June 23, 2009

I got a CT scan of my knee today. Well actually both knees, since they're conveniently located right next to each other. Hopefully this will lead to good news from the doctor. I see him again on July 6th for the results and game plan.

Scout had her stitches removed today as is pretty much the happiest dog on the planet rubbing herself on the floor and licking in her obsessive-compulsive way. She has her first chemotherapy appointment tomorrow morning, so send good thoughts!

Posted by Shelby at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2009

Knee update

I saw the orthopedist today and he was very impressed by my knee, saying it was the worst he's ever seen. Great. He wanted to get an MRI but because of my defibrillator I'm not allowed to have them, so instead I'm getting a CT scan tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Posted by Shelby at 11:33 PM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2009

An entire calamity-free day!

Who says the week doesn't start on Friday? I had an entire day free from trauma and calamity. It's looking up! I saw my primary care doctor re: the knee, and he said normally he'd send me to physical therapy but this looked particularly nasty so he's sending me to an orthopedist. Who will then, I am sure, send me to physical therapy. That's okay though. I love my PT practice and my therapist is great! I can't wait to give him more opportunities to hurt me! Kidding. Mostly.

We were also able to move forward on our plans for Theo's first annual half-birthday party tomorrow. The details aren't going to be 100% what I'd envisioned, but hey, a party's a party, right? So it should be fun. And I'll consider today the start of a brand-new week.

Posted by Shelby at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2009

Crappiest week of my life

So I fell and dislocated my knee today. Holding the baby. Baby is fine. Knee is f*cked up. Urgent Care put me in an immobilizer and sent me home with crutches. Hopefully I'll be able to get an appointment with my primary care doctor tomorrow. At least this means I get to see my physical therapist again. I love my physical therapist. So to sum up the last 8 days:

(last) Wednesday: Scout, my beloved beagle and stalwart companion of 13 years is diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Internetz says the outcome is grim. We make an appointment with a veterinary oncologist.
Wednesday: Theodore's sniffles develop into a full-fledged cough and general unhappiness. A pediatrician appointment is made.
Wednesday: The single product that soothes Theo, makes him stop crying, and helps him sleep--the bouncy chair--breaks. An emergency backup bouncy chair is purchased.

Thursday: Meet with the sweetest, most compassionate vet in the world and given 3 treatment options: surgery, chemotherapy, an NSAID that restricts the tumor's blood supply. Learn that chemotherapy in dogs involve almost none of the side effects of chemo in humans. Decide to hit this with everything we've got, schedule surgery for the next day.
Thursday: Take baby to pediatrician. As expected, he has a virus and low-grade fever. No way to treat, just a humidifier in his room and tylenol when he seems uncomfortable.

Friday: Scout Dog goes in for surgery. Digory is extremely distraught. I am depressed.

Saturday: Scout Dog returns, sans bladder mass and part of her bladder. Her incontinence becomes frustrating. While understandable, it's tiring to take her out every 2-3 hours around the clock and still find puddles on the floor.
Saturday: I start to feel sick. Must have picked up Theo's cold.

Sunday: Scout Dog's incontinence continues to be frustrating.
Sunday: I am hit with the most insane cold in the universe. Miserable doesn't begin to describe how I feel. Fever spikes to 101 degrees. We cancel my birthday dinner plans, reschedule for Wednesday.

Monday: Happy birthday to me! Still feel like crap. Still have a fever. Miss storytime at the library.
Monday: Scout Dog's incontinence continues to be frustrating.

Tuesday: Off to the doctor for me. turns out the reason why I can't hear is because I have an ear infection. Dispatched with an antibiotic and cough medicine. Have an awful time at Target pharmacy because they don't have the cough syrup in stock. Transfer prescription to Walgreens.
Tuesday: Send a Strongly Worded Email to Target corporate letting them know that out of the 3 prescriptions I had filled there, 2 of them were medicines they didn't have in stock. Not a good track record. And this time they didn't even send me home with a partial fill. Just asked me to come back the next day. Tell Target that this is both ridiculous and unacceptable and they might want to rethink their stocking practices or they will lose even more customers like me.
Tuesday: Scout Dog's incontinence continues to be frustrating.

Wednesday: Get a phone call from the Target pharmacy manager at the store I went to. She apologizes profusely. Which is nice, but... Conversation goes like this: HER: "If you'd said something about the cough medicine, we could have found some at another Target store or something." ME: "Why should i have to say something? I think it goes without saying that if you bring in a prescription for cough medicine, you need it now, nott the next morning." HER: "It's not a common prescription to keep in stock." ME: "Walgreens had it." And so on.
Wednesday: Feeling much better so decide to go ahead with dinner plans. On the way to Torrance, start to feel woozy due to not being able to hear (annoying) and two clogged ears throwing me a bit off balance. Get carsick. Have a wonderful dinner. Ger carsick again on the way home. Throw up.
Wednesday: Scout Dog's incontinence continues to be frustrating.

Thursday: Sleep in. Go to visit niece whose 8th grade graduation I just slept through. Hang out with her, play Rock Band, have fun. Step outside their house, miss a small step down, major knee dislocation. Holding the baby. Baby cries but is fine. Drive to Urgent Care and wait a billion years. Doctor is altogether useless. Take x-ray, nothing broken, given knee immobilizer and crutches, and a prescription for something "Just like Advil" because "We don't prescribe narcotics in the Urgent Care."
Thursday: Arrive home. Cry at the suckiness of my life. Consider cancelling Theo's half-birthday party. Decide to hold the party after all. In a tremendous about of pain, topped only by my kidney stone and giving birth. Fortunately, the cough medicine has a narcotic. Try to forget everything that has happened this week.
Thursday: Scout Dog's incontinence continues to be frustrating.

So I'm pretty much done with the crap, if that's okay with you all.

Posted by Shelby at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2009

Holy mackeral

Scout is doing well at home. She's having some issues with incontinence but for the most part we're managing. the doctor said that her bladder will expand and we hope that happens quickly.

I've been hit with a horrible cold, however. It came from Theo and we can't figure out where he got it, but I cannot believe how bad I feel. I woke up in the middle of the night with a red hot throat. This morning I added muscle aches and a lovely fever to the mix. All day I've had a pounding headache, raw throat, fever, and all-over body aches. And it's hard to stand for a long period of time because I get woozy.

I'm particularly bummed because we were supposed to go out to dinner tonight to celebrate my birthday (which is tomorrow). Yeah, that didn't happen. I did have some nice soup. I really hope my fever breaks tonight. That alone would make me feel so much better.

Posted by Shelby at 11:13 PM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2009

Our little Scout Dog is home again! She had surgery yesterday to remove the tumor in her bladder. To get the tumor, they had to remove part of her bladder as well, but she's recovering very well. She needs to go outside frequently which is to be expected, but the doctor assured us that the bladder is a very stretchy muscle and her capacity will increase over time. She looks great and isn't even sequestering herself in her crate like she usually does. We really liked the surgery practice. When I called (after hours) just to get a status update, her nighttime vet tech said, "She wasn't really interested in any of our food so I'm cooking her some chicken." In other words--yep, back to normal! We're still struggling with the medication as usual. Hopefully we'll get something to work.

Posted by Shelby at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)

June 11, 2009

Scouter Update

We met with the canine oncologist today. I really liked her and the practice. She got right on the floor with Scout to look her over and talk to us. She confirmed what we already knew--that the test results indicated a mass in her bladder, apparently a large one, that was probably Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC, or "bladder cancer"). There is a small chance it's just a big blood clot, but that seems unlikely.

She laid out our treatment options. First was surgery to remove the tumor. Luckily, the tumor is located in an area of her bladder that is not directly on top of the many nerves and areas that regulate where the urine goes in and out of the bladder. Removing the tumor involves removing part of her bladder, but since the bladder is a muscle it will be able to stretch back to a larger capacity. As it is, she's only using a small portion of her bladder due to the tumor anyway.

Another option is chemotherapy. Apparently dogs do not suffer the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy that people do. She wouldn't lose her hair and only 15% of dogs experience nausea. The doctor explained that they are very careful with the doses to make sure she's not suffering any side effects, and if she does they can alleviate those with additional medication. A third option is to give her a certain Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory which is also a COX-2 inhibitor and has been shown to disrupt the tumor's blood supply in many dogs.

A combination of all 3 treatments offers her the greatest opportunity for allowing us to stay with us a bit longer without sacrificing her quality of life. The veterinary practice's philosophy is that quality of life is more important than any other factor in treating cancer in dogs. We absolutely agree.

We have decided to go with all 3 treatments. The median age of survival with the 3 is about 12 months, but some dogs live well past that. It will likely be impossible to eradicate the cancer completely and recurrance is very high. But Scout is not suffering in any way right now. She doesn't even know she's sick! She has always had a fighting spirit and a love of life. We want to give her every opportunity to spend more days sleeping in the sun, begging for food, and getting tummy rubs.

She has her surgery tomorrow. Please keep her in your thoughts!

Posted by Shelby at 11:08 PM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2009

Craptastic day

We got some sad news today. It looks like our little Scout Dog has bladder cancer. We see a canine oncologist tomorrow where we will get more information about our options and her prognosis. At this point we don't know much but we're hoping for the best.

A couple of weeks ago Scout had some growths removed (the kind most old dogs get). Before that surgery she had some routine blood work and a urinalysis done. The urinalysis revealed blood in her urine, so we gave her a round of antibiotics thinking it was an infection. The re-check showed no improvement, so we did a second round of antibiotics. Her re-check again showed actually more blood in her urine, so we did an x-ray looking for bladder stones or kidney stones. The x-rays showed a white spot on what we thought was her kidney but it wasn't clear if it was a stone or a tumor. Today the vet did an ultrasound which showed that it's a tumor in her bladder. They also looked at the lymph nodes surrounding her bladder and none of them showed signs of cancer, so that's excellent news. We don't really know what to expect from here, but will know more tomorrow.

Posted by Shelby at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)

June 01, 2009

Total Eclipse of the Wha?

So musically I'm still pretty much stuck in the 80's, which makes my favorite song Tainted Love. However, my all-time favorite cheesy song is Total Eclipse of the Heart, and now those wonderful guys who make literal videos out of music videos have done my song! I have to say, I literally cried from laughing so hard, and this is the best one I've seen yet!

Posted by Shelby at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)