the friends

Is this my new calling? ‘Cuz I’m gonna’ need superhuman strength.

One minute you’re getting your face bit off and the next minute you’re living in Hintzville.

One day you’re living in Hintzville, going for a warm, sunny walk and a week later you’re under the knife.

Last post I told you what I know about Dixie’s history. What I didn’t tell you is that she has had varying amounts of blood in her stool since the day we adopted her. Every stool, every day.

Finally, after multiple trips to the vet and two rounds of blood and stool tests to rule out parasites and infections, we were referred to a specialist for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound revealed a mass in her colon. And an enlarged lymph node. And a small spot on her spleen.

So at 8:00 this morning I dropped her off at the hospital for a colonoscopy – to give the internal medicine specialist and the surgeon a look at what they’re dealing with from the inside.

While she’s still under anesthesia she’ll go directly into surgery.  To remove the mass and resection her bowel.   And, if she hasn’t been under too long at that point, the surgeon will remove the lymph node and her spleen, too.

Just got a call from the hospital. They are about to begin.  It will be about two hours. The surgeon will call when he’s finished.

I hung up the phone, got on my knees and asked God to fill the operating room. I asked Him to give the specialist and the surgeon insight and knowledge and skill beyond what they have. I asked Him to give the surgeon creativity in approaching the mass – since it is partially behind her pubis and difficult to access.  I’m praying he’ll get clean margins without having to split her pelvis.

I’m praying the mass is not malignant.  I’m praying it isn’t any kind of cancer at all.  It’s possible that it’s a stricture. I sure hope so.

I’m praying for no complications.

I’m praying that the resection will not come apart one day and dump feces into her abdomen.

I’m praying she will heal quickly and live another happy, healthy five years.  At least.

If it is a malignant cancer, the surgeon said worst case scenario she’ll have  3-4 months, best case she’ll have 1-2 years.

I’m praying it isn’t cancer.

I’m praying I don’t have to muster the strength, beg God for the strength, to walk another friend down this road again so soon.

I’ve already fallen in love with Dixie.

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And I’m still missing Bebe.

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And Lucy.

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I told you last week that Dixie had been bounced around a lot this last year after her “mom” moved into a nursing home.  And that made it really heartbreaking to leave her this morning.

So I’m asking God to hold her close, to whisper in her soft, floppy little beagle ear that she hasn’t been abandoned.  That she is deeply loved and she will be going home to Hintzville.

Just got a call from the surgeon.  The colonoscopy showed that it is a mass, not a stricture.

Dixie’s being prepped for surgery and he’s heading into the OR.

Praying he gets it all.

Praying it’s benign.

Praying she heals well.

Praying, praying, praying.

And feeling sick.

 

 

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Is this my new calling? ‘Cuz I’m gonna’ need superhuman strength.

  1. Dear Father in Heaven, I lift up Julie and Dixie to you right now and ask that you bestow your love, mercy and blessings on their lives. You are the “rock” we all stand on and depend on to keep our lives steady. You are our “fortress” protecting us from the onslaught of the enemy. May you grant victory in both Julie’s and Dixie’s lives today. Without you we are nothing and with you we are everything. Thank you Father for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!!!

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  2. Dixie is finally out of surgery. After 3 1/2 long hours. The surgeon said she did well with the anesthesia. He was able to remove all of the mass that was visible without splitting her pelvis. He doesn’t know about the microscopic bits, he wasn’t able to get as wide of margins as he would have liked. He also removed two lymph nodes that were quite enlarged. Her spleen looked normal to him but he removed it based on the spot that the specialist saw on the ultrasound. So she’s in recovery now. Depending how she does she may get to come home tomorrow. The first 3 – 5 days will be critical in terms of a possible rupture. Now it’s another wait for the pathology report. Still praying and so grateful for your kindness and your prayers.

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  3. I’m agreeing with you that the doctor will get everything that needs to be removed and that she will heal completely and live a long, happy life. I remember when one of my dogs was at death’s door with Parvo. The vet said that even with medicine there was only about a 10% chance he could survive. I wish you could have seen the look on the vet’s face when I visited his clinic a couple weeks later and told him how well Charlie was doing. He said, “You mean he’s still alive?” When I said yes, he said, “Well, he’ll make it then.”

    It was because we prayed God’s healing Word over him every day, and even when I gave him medicine, I talked to him and told him Jesus was healing him because God’s care for our animals is part of our covenant with Him. I’m believing He’ll do the same for you today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your encouraging story and for agreeing with me in prayer. I spoke those words over Bebe every day and God decided to take her anyway. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so tearful today. But Dixie is safely out of surgery now and I don’t even know yet if the mass was malignant. So I’m going to remain hopeful and trust God’s mercy and loving kindness.

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  4. Julie, I am so very sorry you are going through this…. again. I’m sending prayers up for both you and Dixie. Praying for God’s mercy, strength, comfort, protection, and healing. May God bless you both.

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    • Thank you so much for your prayers Gail. The hospital called this morning and said she did well overnight. She’ll be coming home this evening.

      P.S. I want to make a nutritious broth to offer her when she comes home tonight. I think she might be sensitive to chicken so what do you think about using beef instead? I’m thinking about simmering some grass-fed beef with shiitake mushrooms and carrots, straining the broth, chilling it and then scraping off the fat. Or do you have a better idea?

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      • I am so glad to hear that Dixie had a good night after surgery! God love her! I know she will be ready to come home (and you will be ready to get her home).

        You are such a dedicated, caring, and conscientious pet owner. I certainly wouldn’t want to give any nutrition advice that would go against what her surgeon would advise (so PLEASE take their advice over mine)! 🙂

        The key in diet and feeding after intestinal resection and anastomosis is bland and low fat and feeding small amounts more frequently (as opposed to regular sized meals). I’ve never been a vet who is big on prescribing the veterinary prescription diets, HOWEVER the one time I usually did like using them was after intestinal surgery. I REALLY like Hill’s ID diet. I would tell owners to put it in a blender with some water and make a slurry out of it. Royal Canin also has a good gastrointestinal low fat diet. If an owner preferred to do a home cooked diet, I would usually recommend chicken or turkey but since you think she may be sensitive to chicken, I see no problem with beef as long as it is low fat (and grass fed beef IS lower fat). And yes, chilling it and scraping the excess fat off is wise.

        Please don’t be too concerned if Dixie doesn’t feel much like eating tonight. Most resection dogs don’t have much of an appetite during the first day or two after surgery. Although I think I remember you saying she loved to eat so she just might surprise us, huh? My mother had colon adenocarcinoma and had a resection and anastomosis. I remember she just kept saying how she had no appetite for days after her surgery.

        I’m continuing to pray for post-surgical healing for Dixie and strength for you in caring for her.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Gail. You are so kind. And thank you for sharing about your mom. I’m sorry she had to go through that surgery. Did she recover well? It’s helpful to know that she didn’t feel like eating for awhile – I won’t worry so much if Dixie doesn’t want to eat. I ended up giving her a little bit of ground turkey and pureed sweet potatoes because the discharge instructions said she could resume her normal diet. She ate it all.

          The biggest challenge is going to be keeping her quiet for the next several days and keeping her from jumping on the sofa. I dragged the memory foam topper from my bed down to the family room. We’ll be camping out on it together for a few days.

          She’s such a sweet little soul.

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          • Yes, my mom recovered very well. Her colon cancer was detected very early (thank goodness her polyp ruptured suddenly causing her to pass quite a bit of bright red blood which of course alerted her that something was wrong- her G.I. doc said she was very lucky to be symptomatic at that stage). She lived 21 years after her resection and anastomosis (!) and died from unrelated cancers.

            So glad to hear Dixie ate! What an amazing little dog. She is lucky to have you to care for her.

            I know what you mean when you say the hardest part is going to be keeping her from jumping. I’ll never forget when my oldest son had to have bilateral inguinal hernia surgery at 21 months. The surgeon told us he would be groggy and sore and just want to lay around for a day or so. We walked in the house after bringing him home from his surgery, and he ran straight to the rocking recliner chair in the den, jumped in it, and scaled the back and went over the top before I could get to him! He was fine but I looked at my husband and said, “well so much for groggy and inactive!” LOL! Didn’t slow him down a bit!

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            • So glad to hear your mom’s outcome! I wish Dixie’s doc had referred her for the ultrasound immediately instead of waiting a month. My gut told me she needed it right off the bat. Wish I had insisted.

              Dixie wasn’t interested in food this morning – she only ate a couple of bites of meat. I had to practically shove the metronidazole down her throat because she kept spitting out everything I tried to hide it in. The doc who called to check on her this morning said if she doesn’t want to eat tonight then I should try removing the fentanyl patch because it might be making her nauseous.

              I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night. Dixie kept waking up needing to be cleaned up. I’ll be washing sheets and blankets all day – and then reusing and rewashing them. My husband is going to stop on his way home and buy some disposable bed pads. Sure hope this bloody incontinence resolves soon.

              Good for you for keeping your sense of humor – and with your first child! When Ron lifted Dixie into the car last night she cried out in pain and it took her several seconds to recover. I was so worried he had torn her internal sutures. I’ll breathe so much easier when she is a few days down this healing road. She’s sleeping comfortably now while I’m cooking a variety of things to offer her.

              Thank you again for talking me through this – it gives me peace and hope.

              Liked by 1 person

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