Showing posts with label Boris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boris. Show all posts

January 4, 2012

For Your Consideration

My friend, Karen, put together an Oscar-worthy short film to celebrate Abby's fourteen month ampuversary. You may recall that I refer to her first two lung mets (a.k.a. "lung mints" on the Tripawd's site - hence the film's title) as Boris and Natasha.

Okay, Oscar voters - here it is; for your consideration, I give you: The Mints

Isn't that hysterical?? I think it is the best film ever made. Karen found the Boris & Natasha ornaments while going through some old family Christmas stuff, and of course she immediately thought of Abby's lung "mints."

In other news, my nephew's girlfriend graciously offered to do a photo shoot with us. (Thanks again, Tee!) Of course, Abby came out looking great in all of them. She's not a super model for nuthin'. Here is my fave shot of the three of us. (As you can see, the weather was terrible here on New Year's Day!)

And here is another one that I think is super sweet: (Abby LOVES her some tummy rubs!)
I'm so glad we were able to get the pictures done. That would have been a big regret of mine, if we didn't manage to get a really good picture of the three of us together before it's, ya know..., too late...

In other BIG news, next week on the 11th, Abby is going to get to meet Wyatt Ray - the official Tripawd's spokesdog. Wyatt Ray belongs to the folks who started Tripawds. They lost their beloved Jerry (the "original" Tripawd and reason the whole Tripawd's site was started) to osteosarcoma, but now have Wyatt. Wyatt is a back leg amp. He does not have cancer (Hooray!) but is a tripawd due to the mean people (I just want to interject here that mean people suck) who left him tied up and never paid attention to him. Luckily that former life is way behind him. He is livin' the good life now! We can't wait to meet him. He is actually coming to Fiesta Island to meet Abby!

We are also going to meet this guy maniac. Isn't he cute frightening?!

We are excited trepidatious. If we survive, I'll post pics next week. :)

November 11, 2011

Crazy Day, Crazy X-ray... (Cuz of 11.11.11?)

How is YOUR day? (Bear with me - this is gonna get long. And I want to stress, bear with me - not bare with me. You'll see why...)

My day started like this: (BTW... I know you just want to get to Abby's X-rays, but this sets the scene)
I hear my LOUD neighbors talking even louder than usual, so that I actually think, "Are they in my yard?" I get up from where I'm watching the news (which is the only spot in the whole house where I can't see their roof line) to find my neighbor crawling up NAKED onto the roof of his gazebo (presumably he crawled out of their hot tub, which is smack on the other side of our fence.) He was fighting with his wife (again - this is a common occurrence since they moved in a couple months ago...) and I guess you can make your point better from a higher vantage point. (My very funny friend said, "I personally don't have the confidence to go into battle naked, but it sounds like he's not saddled with such trivialities." Clearly, he's not.) Anyway, I opened the door and yelled, "Hello?!" while Abby ran out and barked like crazy at him. (Go, Abby!) He had the surprisingly good sense to actually look sheepish and get back down. (I feel I should also mention that we live on a canyon, so he was in full view of whomever might have been lucky enough to be standing in their backyard this morning.)

I was inside trying to calm down after the horror of all that, when I heard them yelling at each other again, this is with all the doors/windows closed, mind you. So I go outside and, standing in the middle of my yard, say, "I can hear you!" Finally they realized I was talking to them. She says, "But this is the first time we've been out here at this time." Like the time of day (8.30a.m.) was my issue. (Apparently they have no clue - because I'm quiet! - that I'm sitting in my office working most days, listening to them yell at each other.) I said, "I don't care what time of day it is, I hear you guys yelling at each other and cussing at each other all the time." Then I politely requested that I not see them naked anymore. She, again surprisingly, had the good sense to apologize.

After that I took Abby to the beach, hoping the sun, sand and sea would restore my frazzled spirits. It mostly did, except for when someone tried to run into me, but then when we got home, there was a super scary looking dude sitting in my yard. I thought he was with the movers across the street, but it turned out he's a buddy of my scary naked neighbor. It freaked me out a little that he was in my yard, so I went around and locked all the doors.

Before all this, I read an article this morning where some numerologist stated that because today is 11.11.11, it would be an extreme sort of day. If you were having a good day, it would be colossally good, and if you were having a bad day... well, you might as well go back to bed. So, I'm thinking before her appointment that her xrays are going to be terrible because I'm having such a crappy day. Then on the way there, another person tries to run into me (signals to change lanes into the right lane, but swerves left into MY lane instead).

Finally - the appointment news
At the appointment, I told Dr. V. we'd decided to go ahead with the X-rays and switch to Masitinib if it was bad news, but I asked him how we would decide what was "bad." He said if the mets were 25% larger, we'd make the switch. They take Abby in the back, and I'm seriously feeling like I'm going to throw up, and then he finally comes back and says, "Well, I don't know what we should do. Come look at these X-rays and we'll decide." He added, "Her mets are not acting like normal mets." Here's what we saw:

Boris: from some angles he was ~20% bigger (he went from ~4cm to ~5cm). From some angles, he didn't look much bigger at all. 

Natasha: from some angles she looked exactly the same (~2cm), from other angles she even looked smaller! (You know that Natasha, always trying to stay slim and sexy! "Does this lung make my ass look big?")

Dr. V. said he expected to see lots of dots all over. There were not lots of dots all over. So... if that was all that was going on in there, that would have been GREAT news and we would have just kept on with what we're doing. But...

There was a brand new met - and it went from non-existent to even bigger than Natasha (~3cm) in the past 4 months. Yes, Fearless Leader appears to have joined B&N in their quest to bring us down. But we are not giving up the fight! Oh no! We are going to try the Masitinib for a week and see how it goes. If she does well, we'll keep it up and if not, we go back to the cytoxan/artemisnin.

I asked what the goal is; should we just hope it keeps things stable. He said yes, that is the realistic goal - to keep them stable or slow them down. But, he said they could disappear.* He said he has not seen them disappear with osteosarcoma, but he has with other cancers. And since Abby's mets seem to not be acting like normal mets, who knows! She could be the miracle pup.

At any rate, the very good news is that he said, "She's not going anywhere anytime soon." :)

* For those of you on Tripawds, I said, "Oh I just read about a dog the other day on Tripawds whose mets disappeared." He said, "Yeah, we had a dog here. Lucky." Me: "Yeah! Lucky!" It turns out Dr. V. is Lucky's vet too! I had no idea! Going to have to PM them! Hopefully Abby will be "lucky" as well.

November 3, 2011

My Big Weekend

Abby here. Mama said I could do the blog post today because she is busy. Mama says November is NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. To be all official-like, you have to sign up and post your progress. You are supposed to write ~1700 words/day but Mama is going rogue! She is doing her own thing with a friend and trying to get 1000 words done a day. Right now, Mama is doing laundry, making granola and working on her book all at the same time, so that leaves me to do the update.

I told Mama she should just stick a picture in her book, because 1 picture = 1000 words. Done for the day, and then she can play with me some more!

I am going to take my own advice and let the pictures tell the story:

Saturday, to celebrate my ONE YEAR ampuversary (Yah me!), we went to In-N-Out. 
The box says "animal fries" but it's not - it's my Flying Dutchman!

I got this flat pig. It squeaks. I hate that.
I tried to nap using Mama's shell of succulents as a pillow.

Sunday we had a big photo shoot with me in my Tripawd Warrior Princess cape and crown.
When we start TWP land, this'll be on the currency

Whaddya think? Cute? Yah, thanks. I know!

OK, enough adulation. I'm bored...
Then Mama put on my TWP outfit. She's so embarrassing.
In other news, we went to see my friend Dr. V. His dog, Hank was there. You might recall that Hank is was my boyfriend. The nice lady left me, Hank and Mama in the room together, and . . . this is hard for me to talk about . . . Hank gave Mama more kisses than me! WtH?? Whatever. There are a lotta other fish that lift their legs to pee. Or whatever that saying is. Anyway, after that two-timer left, Dr. V. came in and listened to my chest a long time - I think because he likes to hug me. He told Mama everything sounded just fine. (I guess he couldn't hear my broken heart!)

He talked to my Mama about taking pictures of me. He is weird. I know EVERYONE likes to take pictures of me, because I'm so beautiful, but he takes pictures of the INSIDES of me. Oh well, I guess it's because I am beautiful on the inside too! Mama is supposed to decide if she wants to see pictures of my insides again. If they look beautiful, than everything is good and I keep eating my spoonful of peanut butter and the little ball of braunschwager like usual. If they don't (which I doubt could happen) then Dr. V. said my Mama could try to give me something different in my little ball of braunschwager . I don't really care what they put in there, as long as it doesn't make my tummy hurt and as long as the ball of braunschwager keeps comin'! Anyway, I'm pretty sure the pictures would be beautiful. I don't take bad pictures!
I'm outta here. Kisses everypawdy!

P.S. from The Mama: we are trying to decide about the x-rays. If we look, and Boris and Natasha are being held at bay/not partying in there, then we'd happily keep doing what we've been doing. On the other hand, if we find that B&N are being bad renters and sub-letting space to all their stupid friends (do B&N have friends?) then we could drop all the stuff we are currently doing (cytoxan/piroxicam and our 'ancient Chinese secret', artemisinin) in favor of trying another at-home chemo drug, Masitinib. It is supposed to be similar to Palladia, but Dr. V. said he's seen dogs that do poorly on one do well on the other, so just because the Palladia didn't agree with her doesn't mean the Masitinib won't either. I was leaning toward not looking and just being blissfully ignorant, BUT...  a woman on Tripawds the other day posted that her dog's lung mets disappeared (!!!) after three months on Palladia. That kinda makes me wanna try the Masitinib. And, who knows, if the x-rays show that our current protocol is effective, we might not even need to try it. We'll see. Of course, I'll keep y'all posted. Now, back to work!

August 29, 2011

Double Digits!

Today is Abby's 10 month ampuversary - that's right, she has made it to double digits! Whoohoo!

Unfortunately, we are not having a super celebratory day... Normally we would have gone to the beach this morning, but yesterday she gave us a little scare. We took her to the beach for a walk/run, like we always do on Sundays, and as we were running down the hill at the far end of the beach, she face-planted. She got up and immediately face-planted again. That second one was a little more worrisome. Then she acted a little strange at home – hopping around quite slowly and just not seeming like herself. (She didn't even terrorize me at night like she normally does - chewing my toes while I try to lay on the couch and relax.) But... yesterday was pretty much the hottest day we have had here yet (it's been a cool summer at our house until just the other day) so I'm hoping it was just that the heat got to her and that she maybe tweaked her leg a little when she took the tumble.

Of course, as soon as I decided today that she should stay home and take it easy, she started racing around chasing a fly – so I'm assuming the leg doesn't hurt or she wouldn't do that, no?? Anyway, it is supposed to be hot again today so I think we will just take it easy and hopefully be back at the beach tomorrow.

I can't help the sinking feeling that the cancer has spread to her good front leg… I keep looking at it seeing (imaginary??) strange swelling, but hopefully that is totally not the case (and is just my paranoia). And hopefully Boris & Natasha are still all alone in there…

We will at least break out a Frosty Paw to celebrate making it to DOUBLE DIGITS!!! Whoohoo! This was a big one – I really wanted to hit those double digits… Now our next BIG goal is ONE YEAR. Come on, Ab, you can do it!

On a brighter note - Friday was a great day. It was National Dog Day so we went to the beach for an extra long time. I took a lot of pics of her:
"I ran with some big dogs...

...and a little dog that kinda looked like me."

"I looked for my friend, Gopher, like I always do."

"Mom took a gazillion pics. She likes this one best."

Abby also got a Frosty Paw that day. It was a good day to be a dog - but then, every day is pretty much Dog Day at our house.

July 26, 2011

Feeling Even Craftier

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that some of my sisters and I had been feeling crafty and had gotten together to Forced Craft and "felt" some bunnies (and a bunny-turned-rat). Well, we have attempted it two more times since and, after some moderate success crafting a Bailey beagle - as evidenced below - I was ready to tackle a tripawd. [BTW, I do not know why it is called "felting" since you use a type of wool called roving. Seems like it should be called "wooling."]
Angel Bailey
The Gang of Four that my sisters & I made

The good news about felting a tripawd is that the legs are quite hard to get right when you make a dog, so I only had to make three! Whoohoo! The bad news is, it's a little harder to get the animal to stand up on only three legs, but if you tripod them it all works out. I took a ton of pictures, excerpted below. I think Ab looks quite cute with her little doppelganger. Now that I have crafted versions of her in "paint" and wool, I'm not sure what I'll try next. Maybe clay. Or marzipan. [BTW... the Tripawds folks are having a caption contest for that painting I did of Ab, so if you have any suggestions, email me or leave a comment. So far I like: "I'm too sexy for my leg." Or "With a body like this, you don't need four legs." Hopefully my drawing will soon be gracing Tripawds T-shirts and other merch!]

Ab's not thrilled with this pose...

"See Ab, isn't she cute?"

"Don't eat it!"

SO cute together! (If I do say so myself...)
In other non-felting news, I'm upping her artemisinin dosage, since I realized there are MANY different dosage levels recommended and we were at the extreme low end of the recommendations. Upping it slowly and so far she is doing fine on it. In theory, it should act to cut off the blood supply to Boris and Natasha. [Speaking of the Badenovs, someone on the Bone Cancer Dogs listserv reminded me that Boris & Natasha were never very good at carrying out their evil plans to foil "Moose and Squirrel" - said in my worst Russian accent - so hopefully our Boris and Natasha will be the same inept baddies.]

That's about all the news for now. Don't forget you can still VOTE for ABBY here up until the 28th. [The vote totals aren't showing on her page anymore, but you can see them by clicking on "View Gallery" and searching for "tripawd". You can also vote from that page that comes up, but it is a two-step process from there.] Will let y'all know how she does in the contest. She just better make it into the paper, because I have Abby's Army voting for her!

July 20, 2011

No Contest

Plotting evil in Ab's lung
Well... the follow up x-ray was not great. The Met formerly known as Lone has (a) gotten bigger and (b) found himself a little buddy, or a girlfriend, or a little sibling, or whatever the hell it is. So we won't be having a "Rename the Lone Met" contest. For now I'm just calling them Boris and Natasha (unless someone has a better suggestion), and even though Natasha was bigger than Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle, I'm going to think of the bigger met as Boris, since in my opinion he was always the nastier piece of work.

Dr. V. said that it could be worse, and that Abby could still have a decent amount of time left, but it's still not good news. He said he was really not expecting to see another met. He was getting a little red-eyed as well as he told me all this. :( 

He said, overall, considering how crappy and aggressive this disease is, she's still doing good. She feels great still: has great energy and a good appetite (well, as good as it's ever been, which has never been great; she's just not a big eater). Also, her lungs and heart sound really good - no sign of strain on the heart or fluid in the lungs. Her blood work was also fine. He said there is no sign of mets anywhere else in her lungs and Natasha looks to be a chip off Boris (they are sort of nestled right up against each other). And he said that, as mets go, Boris has grown pretty slowly. We first saw Boris back in December, and now 7 months later he's about the size of a golf ball. (That sounds big to me, but Dr. V said that because of where it is, it can get really big before it starts to be a problem.)

Hopefully the new pills (the Artemix, which is the hollistic thing we just started her on last week) will make some difference. We have to give them to her every night and then in 2 months do another x-ray to see if they are helping at all. It could happen that they would make a difference... So all hope is going into that now.

He also said that if we wanted to try to be more aggressive, we could try another type of IV chemo, which would not cure her, but would maybe slow things down. I don't think we'll do that... I think instead we'll hope for the Artemix to do its thing, but I'll have to talk to her pop about that. 

In a bit of good news, the "Dog Days of Summer" contest is going well! Abby is already into triple digits with her votes! Not bad for being in the contest a mere 24 hours. You can vote more than once, so if you have a sec, click on the picture below and vote for her.

In the grand scheme of this fricking disease, I know we've actually been kind of lucky. Some folks don't get to have their doggies with them this long after diagnosis, or don't get to have them be so energetic. It's nice that she still feels fine and her body has no clue that she is sick. Hanging on to that, and hanging on to hope for the Artemix. Come on, Artemix! Do your thing, Artemix!