Why did I pick NOW to become a blogger?

A few days ago I was given a diagnosis that rocked my world. I'm a 10-year old Corgi living in Portland, Oregon. I am reasonably healthy, except for that abdominal surgery I had last summer. Ok - I don't know WHY I ate that piece of wire but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

In the middle of March, I was told by the folks at the Veterinary Cancer Referral Service that I have K9 lymphoma. I was gobsmacked! My mom immediately tried to find out everything she could and, while there were many sad stories, there really wasn't much else to go on. There are "support groups" but my mom's not much of a joiner when it comes to those things.

What we decided to do was chronicle this journey so that others can follow along. Those who have their own dogs fighting cancer - lymphoma and other forms. Those lucky enough to have a Corgi. Those just SO abysmally bored they have no better way to waste their time.

So we'll see how this works. Be well - The Barney Dog

Monday, April 25, 2011

WEEK SIX: Tip Toe Through The Tulips

It’s been six weeks since I started this chemo journey. I’ve been drugged, cuddled, shaved, placated, chauffeured, over-fed, analyzed, spoiled, and lionized.  Maybe the “lionized” is a bit of a stretch but overall it’s been an interesting experience.  I have often heard that we need to take time to stop and smell the roses.  We don't have roses in our yard even though we live in the City of Roses.  However I did stop and smell the tulips but tulips have no appreciable smell as far as I can tell.  Not like gardenias, my mom’s favorites.  They’re very pretty, though.  We don’t have very many in the yard.  My dad claims that’s because my mom planted dozens of bulbs wrong with the roots facing the wrong direction.  He claims they’re probably blooming in China.  I don’t think that possible but he brings it up every spring.
I’m feeling much better lately.  Still in remission.  Had a few gastrointestinal issues.  Experimented with LOTS of food options. We went to see a nice gentleman at a place called the Bark Market. Again – it’s one of those hole-istic places with a very nice dog named Sadie in charge.  He spent a LOT of time talking to my parents about organics and something called a raw diet. He said that cooking things sometimes releases free radicals which is apparently a very bad thing.  My mom thought he was talking about a musical group.
And last week, I saw a therapist for the first time. Our therapist is a young woman named Elizabeth Matthews.  We get to call her Linny Beth. Linny Beth came all the way from Colorado where she also founded a company called Thumbs Up
Linny works mostly with troubled humans but she’s known us for a while. We go WAY back.  She calls us the Love Train because we follow her around whenever she’s here. She agreed to see us for a session even though we’re not from the species she normally helps. Also, food, wine, and conversation always make the world go round and there was LOTS of it. Linny Beth chatted with each of us.  Except Tomo.  I don’t think Tomo believes in that touchy-feely stuff. Must be the Shiba Inu/Japanese part of her. Tomo mostly wandered around the yard smelling things and eating grass.  Linny Beth asked us about our typical day.  We chatted about everything. It was difficult to explain our view of the world, especially from a very low, very short perspective. But the video will show you what we mean.   
We talked and Linny Beth asked questions.  She was very professional, even taking notes for future reference.  Fred was just being overly melodramatic, even turning away from the camera in tears. It’s ALWAYS about Fred.  Linny Beth suggested I strive to live in the moment and just be myself.  (Like who was I going to be? Ethel Merman?) The therapy was fun.  Not altogether an unpleasant experience. 
Linny Beth and my mom laughed a lot.  They were telling stories about some of the things they did when they were younger.  If they were telling the truth, now I understand why neither of them will ever run for public office.  They’re both lucky they aren’t incarcerated even today.
I don’t have go back to the Veterinary Cancer Referral Service this week.  I’ll be taking cytoxan at home along with something called lasix which, as far as I can tell, is a diuretic.  It’s supposed to help me get rid of excess sodium and potassium, helping my kidney function.  I think.  I can't be positive. I’m only a dog, you know. This probably means I’ll be running for the door more often than I usually do next week and I really despise going out when it’s this wet and cold and rainy.  The WORST part about this whole thing this week is I DON’T get to go for a car ride and I DON’T get to see Jim.  Who always gives me treats.  Harrumph!


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