life

Stuck in the Kitchen Again…

We just returned home from Dixie’s check up with the surgeon.

The good news is her incision is healing well and the sutures in her rectum are still intact.

One more week and she can ditch the cone.

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I don’t like it when people call it the “cone of shame.” There’s nothing shameful about recovering from surgery.  There’s something bad-you-know-what about it. It’s an “I’m a tough little cookie” cone of honor.

We went to see the surgeon today because, as you know, she has been having so much trouble going and we were concerned. He did a rectal exam and said the diameter of the portion that he sutured together is only half the diameter of the rest of her bowel, so she is straining (really hard) to push a large stool through a much smaller opening. He put her on a stool softener which seems strange because what little has been coming out has been plenty soft. But the stool on the other side of the sutures isn’t soft at all.

So we are relieved to know that she is healing and her ability to go should improve. I’ve been so worried.

The sad news is that the biopsy report confirms adenocarcinoma.

Fortunately the margins were clean and it wasn’t in her spleen but it has spread to her lymph nodes and omentum. Which means it’s in her bloodstream.

I’ll be meeting with the oncologist next week to discuss chemo, etc.

We didn’t use the same hospital that we used for Bebe, so this will be a different oncologist. Depending on what he says, I might try chemo this time. We’ll see.

The surgeon said her prognosis, based on limited data, is 8 months.

So that’s where we are – sad but also aware that God can do anything.

Once she recovers completely and can get back to her routine we will feed her really delicious, nutritious food, build up her immune system so she can fight this devil off, take her for lots of walks and have lots of fun – even go to the beach when it gets warmer.

And try chemo if it doesn’t put a damper on her quality of life.

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Would love it if you would keep this sweet little heart in your prayers.

In the meantime, we’ll be hanging out in the kitchen again today.

I’ll be ruminating on all the heartbreak cancer has brought to my life these last two years.

Dixie will be ruminating gastric acid.

#ruminate

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18 thoughts on “Stuck in the Kitchen Again…

  1. Julie, I just wanted to let you know you and Dixie are still very much in my prayers. I know what getting that diagnosis of adenocarcinoma feels like. Both my parents had colon adenocarcinoma. My mom’s was caught early, but my dad’s had already metastasized to his mesenteric lymph nodes by the time of his diagnosis. I cried the whole way home upon hearing his diagnosis and the anticipatory grief began. I hate cancer.

    I continue to pray for strength for you both and comfort and healing for Dixie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I was hoping Dixie’s cancer was going to be like your mom’s but it’s not. It’s like your dad’s. (I was surprised to read in your recent post that your dad had that cancer as well.) So sorry.

      Thank you for the comment you left the other day. I’ve been too busy chasing after a drippy bottom to reply but I really appreciated it. And I have a greater appreciation for the burden vets have in holding precious lives in their hands. Is that why you retired? Did you retire? I thought you did but then you went to that conference… perhaps you’re just keeping your continuing education credits up…?

      Anyway, thank you for your love, kindness and prayers.

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      • Yes, I had two parents with colon cancer. My dad suffered a massive stroke on the surgery table during his resection and anastomosis surgery and was never the same. My mother’s G. I. doc told all three of her daughters that we needed to not ask ourselves IF we are going to develop colon cancer, but WHEN. That was a hard pill for me to swallow. My sisters and I had to start having colonoscopies at age 35 and were advised to have them every 5 years.

        I actually left veterinary practice when my youngest turned two to be a full time stay at home mom. I had working mommy guilt of the worst kind but had every intention of going back once I got my kids in college. I loved veterinary medicine but always struggled with the balance of working and mothering. When I was at work, I felt guilty that I wasn’t at home with my boys. When I was at home with my boys, I often found myself thinking about my veterinary patients or reading up on a case. The icing on the cake was while at work one night, my sons’ babysitter called to tell me she thought my youngest son had broken his arm. I had 2 hit by cars in the back that I was treating for shock and a waiting room full of clients with sick animals, I was the sole vet working at nights in the clinic (the clinic was open until 10 pm each weeknight) and I just could NOT get away. My husband is a nurse and worked nights at the hospital and was at work that night also. When I finally did get everybody stable and was rushing out the door to jump in my car to take my son to the ER (I was frantic at that point), I was met with a lady running up the steps carrying a bloody dog and screaming that her dog had just been hit so I ran back in the clinic and was delayed another almost 2 hours. I made it to the ER around midnight that night and yes, my son’s arm was broken. Talk about the guilt! That year, my oldest son started kindergarten and since I worked nights, I had to miss his kindergarten orientation. I spoke to his teacher about it and told her how much I regretted it but it couldn’t be helped. A few days later, I sent her a note asking her a question and was chided for missing the orientation. Her comment to me was something along the lines…. “Well, HAD YOU BEEN HERE for your son’s orientation you would know the answer to that question,” I remember crying that whole day and feeling like a lowly worm, like I was the worst mother in the world. I finally decided my children would only be little once and they HAD to come first, so I decided to leave practicing and stay home with them. I never regretted that decision one iota. I truly admire working mothers, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I did do occasional relief work (didn’t care for it) and then went back to work in 2009 at a clinic right down the street from my house. I had shadowed at this clinic to sort of get back into the groove after being out of the loop for so long and then was offered a job there. But I was miserable and couldn’t find any peace. So I left practice again but not after A LOT of praying and feeling that God was telling me that clinical practice just wasn’t for me. I’ve kept my license up and keep my continuing education requirements up but at 57, I think I’m officially ready to retire.

        So sorry to write a book (and believe me that was the short version- lol). Wishing all the best for you and little Dixie. I know that was not the diagnosis you or anyone was hoping for. It’s hard…. so hard.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your desire to make things better, that is very kind.

      Do I ask God why Dixie has cancer? Why Bebe had cancer? And Lucy? And my sister, Laura? No, I already know why people and dogs get cancer: Highly processed foods doused in pesticides and fertilizers, irresponsible breeding practices (in the case of dogs), over vaccinating, etc., genetically modifying the food God provided – out of greed, a noble desire to feed more people, cheaper, out of a desire to make crops withstand harsh weed killers so the makers of harsh weed killers can sell more harsh weed killers, etc. I recently read that the average life expectancy for dogs is higher in the U.K. because they don’t have mandatory sterilization.

      We’ve messed with God’s genius design and engineering in a sort of Tower of Babel, thinking we know better than Him, can improve on His design, and now we have to live with and grieve the sad, heartbreaking results.

      Do I ask Him why, two weeks after losing my sweet Bebe, He sent another sick dog to live with me? To break my heart again? No. I know why. He sent her because He knows He can count on me to care for her. And I’m grateful that He has given me the time, the resources and the love to do it. He sent her because He wants her life to end enveloped in love.

      And it is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gail. For some reason I missed seeing your comment until just now. Sorry. I will try to give you an update on Dixie tomorrow. My stepdad passed unexpectedly today and I am exhausted.

      Like

      • No problem Julie. So sorry to hear about the death of your step-dad. Please accept my condolences. We’ve also experienced loss this week– two deaths in our family within five days of each other.

        Like

      • Hi Julie, I’m curious to know how Dixie girl is doing. I hope she is doing well with her treatments and healing from her surgery. I hope you are doing well too. You’ve had a lot on your plate with caring for your sick girl and then a death in your family. You can email me at gebd85 at gmail dot com if you don’t want to answer in a blog reply (but no pressure). Hope all is well. I think of that sweet beagle often.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Doxology | Light & life

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