Art Journal #80

Posted in Art Journal, Main at 2:11 pm by carrie

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor! Watercolor, pencil and acrylic paint.

Sad News…

Posted in Main, Mind Wanderings at 1:59 pm by carrie

The day I’ve dreaded for years has come and gone. It all happened so fast, but it still feels like everything was going in slow motion. How can cancer move that quickly? How can she be spry, happy and wagging one day and not be able to walk the next? I wish she could have told me how she felt, what hurt… how not to touch her… what drugs to stop giving her or which drugs she needed more of.

She was taken by Osteosarcoma. A very aggressive bone cancer that doesn’t show up until it’s usually too late. When OS is detected, it usually means the disease has been present for almost 2 years. She started limping one day and after multiple xrays, ultrasounds, a leg amputation, splenectomy, 3 different chemo protocols and almost 4 months later, the cancer had moved into the lungs, kidneys and her back legs. To go from no visible signs of cancer on November 10, to a huge mass in her lungs by mid-February… we’re in shock. Our vets were perplexed at how her cancer was spreading, and by how fast it spread. Dr. Shaw and Dr.Staatz at Sage Veterinary Clinic in Campbell, the UC Davis Vet School Oncology Department, Dr. Juergens & Joanne at Trivalley Mobile Vet Clinic, Dr. Ruslander and all the staff at VSH… I can’t thank you all enough for your help through this incredibly hard time.

The fact that we are treating these animals better, letting them live inside and making them such a big part of our lives means that they are living longer and more folks are willing to pay big bucks for more treatment options if their pet gets sick. New canine cancer specific drugs are being developed and we were able to try one of those drugs. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for us, but it’s exciting that they are making new breakthroughs. We also tried to get Meg into a few different Osteosarcoma studies, and because her cancer was acting so “strange”, we did not qualify… but if you are battling dog cancer, I urge you to look into it. One such ray of hope is a groundbreaking study that started recently that focuses solely on Golden Retrievers called the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. They are looking for 3000 purebred Goldens under the age of 2 to participate. They want to follow these 3000 dogs throughout their lives and see if they can get some clues to why 60% of Goldens die of cancer. Goldens are the 3rd most popular dog in the country, and along with Labs and German Shepherds, they are used as therapy and working dogs. I had wanted a Golden since I was a teenager and I can attest that they have a wonderful even temperament, are great with kids, love to go on adventures and are a universally well-loved breed. But, they are prone to cancer… which I didn’t know when I picked her out of a pile of puppies in 2003.

It took me a long time to even talk about it and even as I write this the intensity of the last few months is starting to creep in. Most of our friends had no idea she was even sick. I just couldn’t bring it up. I didn’t want it to be true. Denial is one of the steps that I kept reverting back to, I suppose.

With the care-taking, changing our entire first floor to accommodate a “tripawd”, lack of sleep, hoping, praying, researching, contacting other oncologists on top of “normal” life stuff… work etc (oh, and we moved across the country… AGAIN)… we’re exhausted over here. But not having her here… cuts deeper than any of it.

I have never loved a creature as intensely and deeply as I love this girl… her face makes my heart skip a beat!

We will miss you every single day, sweetheart. Thank you for the best 10 years of my life!!

Our 2013 Christmas Card…

Posted in Art Journal, Main at 12:45 pm by carrie

Was “Golden” themed…