It's a good life now!

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considerations and decisions

February 8th 2011 3:47 pm
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Well pups, I had a really hard weekend, but I'm fighting! I was in pain and sick on Friday night and Saturday, and through Mommy and Mama's tears about my cancer, they had to get me to take my pills. I REFUSED. They tried everything. Then they finally got the antibiotic in me at supper time, and the pain pill in me before I went to bed on Friday night, but then I threw it up (the pain med). It resulted in a trip to see the vet lady to get an injection of pain meds on Saturday, because I just was not going to open my mouth for anything. Well Mommy was so worried, cause the pain pills were causing me to be so groggy. I just didn't want to eat then anyway. My dear Nanny and Poppy (Mommy's parents) and my other Nanny (Mama Deb's mom) came over to visit me. Poppy brought me some rabbit to eat, which I managed to eat a few tastes of, enough to get my antibiotic in on Saturday. The antibiotic is more important than the pain pill at this point, because the infection in my mouth is so bad, and that has to be brought under control.

Mommy is happy to report that I have been eating and drinking a bit better in the past two days. I am picky about eating, and I absolutely can't eat anything that requires much chewing, I just spit it out. Therefore getting the pills into me are tricky. I am getting the Very Best Foods on Earth, and the meatz! Oh the meatz! Rabbit, roast beast, chicken, salmon! It r 'mazing, the foods I am getting now that I am sick! Rudy and Izzy are green with jealousy, so I told Mommy they could have a taste of my yummy meals too. The vet thinks the antibiotics are making me queasy, as I refuse to eat in the morning at all, but I manage to eat a few bites at night. Luckily, today was day 5 of 10 of the antibiotics, and even though I don't want to eat, Mommy sees a big difference in me now, than over the weekend. She said I really scared her over the weekend, not eating and barely drinking.

Anyway, Mommy and Mama had a BIG DISCUSSION with the vet lady, and they decided to try some chemo pills for my lymphoma. They have to be ordered it, cause they don't have a supply of them here small enough for such little dogs!!! BOL. We are not committing to the chemo, we are going to try it week by week. It is a six-part regimen, over four months. Each part consists of taking some pills, and having some blood drawn to check my white and red blood cells, liver function and other stuff. There will be no iv's or anything that will be hard on me physically or emotionally. If there are a lot of side-effects on me, we will stop. It's hard for Mommy to think that this chemo is not going to prolong my life, as such, as it will make me more comfortable and possibly put me in partial cancer remission. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Our PRIMARY GOAL is to keep me comfortable. If we don't try the chemo, my cancer will progress steadily, and we want to try and keep it at bay a bit. Maybe it will make a difference. Mommy and Mama just want me to be comfortable and if the chemo helps, then we want to try it. We will try our first dose of pills next week, after I am done my antibiotics, and when it arrives at my vet's office.

Thank you so much for all the rosettes and POP's. It means the world to me and Mommy.

love Ben

 

we got the biopsy results :(

February 4th 2011 7:22 pm
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Dearest furiends,
Today Mommy and Mama took me to the vet because I had more crying at night, and Mommy wanted to change my pain pill to one that would be compatible with my prozac. Anyway, it lucked out that we got in today, because the vet got the results of my biopsy at lunch, and we were due to see her at 3:30 p.m.

Big huge breath.

I have Epitheliotropic Lymphoma in my lips. It is extremely rare to have lymphoma there. In fact, my vet has never seen it before, and she has treated 1000+ cases of lymphoma. It is spread all over my lips, so surgery is not an option. When we had the biopsies done last week, the vet said that cancer had to be "put out there" to warn the mommies, but that it was a rare kind, so maybe it was an autoimmune disorder or something. We are sad that it is cancer.

We are starting a regimen of pain medication to manage my pain, as I am not able to get comfortable at night. Mommy and Mama got a lot of information at the vet today, and there are several routes we could go. Right now I am not ready to go to rainbow bridge, but the nice vet lady said I might be ready in two months, or maybe I will wait two years. It all depends on how we can manage my pain. There is a chemo option of pills called CCNU, that may be a way to help manage the pain, allowing me to live comfortably. Mommy and Mama to go back to the vet on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss options. That is the only chemo option we have, as the other one (by intravenous) is more extreme, and the vet says because of my age and anxiety, I would not be a good candidate. It would be too hard on me. Mommy and Mama agree, they don't want me handled by all sorts of dogtors and vet nurses a lot, and put in more discomfort than is necessary. The pill option is much less invasive. Either way, the chemo will not prolong my life, as much as it will just give me a better quality of life.

Everyone is very much is shock, and my very special human Mommy Sarah is particularly devastated. She has been leaking all day. I gave her some kisses, but I was pretty uncomfortable, and I fell asleep. Now that we know what we are dealing with, the vet could prescribe an appropriate pain medication, and we will likely start a program of CCNU, providing I have no adverse side effects.

Mommy has finally stopped leaking long enough to write this. Thank you everybody, for your wonderful friendship, it means the world to Mommy and Mama. I am going to go take a nap now, that pain pill is starting to kick in.

love always and forever,
Ben

 

OMD! Bichon of the Week!

January 31st 2011 6:54 am
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I have been honoured with the great title of "Bichon Lovers Club Dog of the Week for Jan 31-Feb. 6, 2011"!!! Thank you BLC dogster group for this fabulous honour! I will do my best to live up to the title! Thank you!

I am increasingly feeling better and am now driving Mommy and Mama absolutely crazy with my barking. We think the prednisone makes me super agitated!!! BOL. Mommy says it's good that I am barking and not whining/whimpering. :) Only 6 more days of prednisone, Mommy, and then I'm done. The pain meds ended last night, so I can go back to taking my prozac. Hopefully that will help too.

love to you all,
Benjamin

 

I am feeling a bit better today

January 28th 2011 6:39 pm
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Dear friends,
I got home from the VET yesterday at around 6 p.m., and boy did I feel BAD. Apparently I bled "profusely" according to the vet (of course, the mouth always bleeds a lot!), and she had to cauterize one of the biopsy locations. She had to take four samples, so it was quite a big deal for my little mouf. The good news is that the x-rays came back clear, there are NO tooth roots getting in my way. That is good. The bad thing is that my lips were severely inflamed, much worse than the vet could actually see at first. The vet also took a really good look at my tonsils and throat, and they look good too. So it really looks like the problem is in my lips. There are a bunch of things it could be. The best case scenario would be a strange allergy that we can figure out, but it could be an auto-immune disease, or even a rare lip cancer. We are going to try not to worry until we get the biopsy results back. Unfortunately, the samples have to be sent to PEI and Ontario, so we will be waiting 10 days for sure.
Anyway, Mommy and Mama are not going to speculate just yet. They are happy to have me home with them.

Anyway, I was in a lot of pain last night, so Mommy stayed up with me all night. I whined and whimpered for four hours straight. I finally then fell asleep, but I would only sleep for an hour or so, then I would wake up and cry again. I would walk from one room to another and just whine. It was really hard for Mom to hear and see. She thinks that the anesthetic in combination with the pain made me really disoriented. Mama tried to reassure Rudy and Izzy, cause they knew something was wrong and were a little upset. Mommy and me went into the spare room, and she smoothed me down and tried to keep me comfortable. Finally it was time for my second painkiller (1 a.m.), and I finally drank a bit of water and ate some very soft watered down kibble with my antibiotics and prednisone. At last, by 2 a.m. I was finally comfortable. I slept then for two hours before I woke again. I woke up and whimpered some more, so Mommy held me some more, and then I relaxed a little bit and let her sleep for 3 more hours. It was a hard night.

When I woke up this morning, I was HONGRY!!! I ate a full breakfast, and yippee, I got to have another pain pill. Well, what a difference a day makes. I was much more comfortable today, and did a lot of sleeping. Pain really makes you exhausted. Mommy had to teach this morning, so my Nanny came over to dogsit. That was nice, and Rudy and Izzy were very excited to see her. Nanny said that I slept all morning. When Mommy came home from work, she was really tired, so we cuddled and then fell asleep again in the afternoon. Rudy and Izzy were very understanding, and napped with us.

At supper I had my softened kibble, my antibiotic, my prednisone and my tramadol. It really helped. We have pain meds for 2 more days, and Mommy says she does not mind using them, because she can't stand to see me in pain.

It has been wonderful to read all of your nice comments and POPs and well wishes. Love to you all,
Ben and Mommy Sarah

 

biopsy today

January 27th 2011 4:56 am
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I am typing this covertly as the vet tech gets me ready for my biopsy. It turns out if you're as cute as me you can sneak into the vet hospital computers, no problem! Anyway, I HAD to log in to dogster right away and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me Dogster Diary of the Day! This is a really nice bit of luck for my biopsy today. Thank you! Mommy and Mama dropped me off at 8:15 a.m., and I was just given a sleepy pill to sedate me while they do my bloodwork and x-rays. Then they will put me under anesthetic to do my biopsy of my lip. The vet thinks I should be good to go home at about 5 p.m. today. Of course Mommy cried like a baby when she left me there. I am her special little man. Hopefully the vet will be able to figure out what is wrong.

Thanks Schnauzers Rule group for all the congratulations and Power of the Paw. I love you all.
Ben

 

okay, so here's the deal

January 25th 2011 3:34 pm
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We went back to the vet this morning. The vet doesn't know what is wrong. My lips are bright red and inflamed. I have no teeth in the front, and the gums look okay, but she needs to take a better look. Because of my anxiety (and previous infections), I scream and cry when someone touches my mouth. So, she has to sedate me to take a better look. She is going to do x-rays, bloodwork, and if she sees anything that needs a culture, she will do that. She is going to do a biopsy of my lower lip too.

Mommy is trying to remain calm, but is ONE NERVE away from snapping. This is the fourth time I have had a mouth infection in less than six months, and still no answers. If we don't get all the testing done, it will likely just continue, every month or six weeks, and that is just TOO hard on me. But all of this is going to cost an arm and a leg (too obscene to even quote here!), and there is no guarantee of answers. One of the reason it's going to cost so much is because there is NO pathologist in Newfoundland, so the biopsy has to be sent away! :( All of this testing is just to find out what's wrong with me, not to actually fix me. That makes Mommy so sad. It's unfair, because if it something BAD, then that price doesn't even include the treatment.

The vet says it looks like infection, because it is so red and inflamed and has such a bad odor. But we can't be sure until she does a full oral exam. Also, I can't even get in to get the biopsy done until Thursday, because they are so booked up, and the vet can't give me antibiotics or prednisone cause it will cause the sample to be false. So, I have to stay miserable for two more days. That's killing Mom. She sat with me all day and rubbed my hips, cause I really like that and it seems to relax me. I still love to eat, and still like to be chased by Izzy, and I am sleeping great, so I still have a good quality of life. I whimper after eating, and when I am trying to rub my mouth, and I'm doing a lot of licking of the sides of my mouth. Mommy is trying to keep me comfortable. As soon as the biopsy is done the vet will start me on strong antibiotics and prednisone to get the inflammation down.

WHAT IT COULD BE: we are not really sure. It could be some strange allergy that is affecting my lips. I am on a high-quality food (Go! Natural for seniors) that has excellent ingredients, but it is possible one of them is making my mouth freak out. If it is not that, it could be maybe an auto-immune disease, in that bacteria just attacks my mouth quickly and I have little to no defense against them. It could be that when the first vet removed my teeth, he left some roots in there (we will find that out soon, when she does the x-ray, at least). It could be something else, we are not sure of yet. It's hard to speculate. The vet did say that it is probably not lip cancer. So that's one good thing.

Anyway, I promised that I would keep you all up to date. Mommy and Mama are trying to keep stiff upper lips so to speak. All good wishes very much appreciated.

love Ben and Mommy Sarah

 

Sheesh, Mom...

January 24th 2011 4:44 pm
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My Mommy is a big mushy-head. She sent me roses!!!! See up there from anonymous? Yup, that's her. She says she's just "full of love" for me, her little prince. That's my new nickname by the way. I have to go to the vet tomorrow cause it looks like I have another mouth infection. Mommy is really sad and nervous, and trying not to be, so she decided roses would be a good way to cheer her up so she's not so nervous! I am going to go take a nap now. She's more worried than me.

love Ben

 

dew claws

January 17th 2011 7:39 am
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Mommy has not mentioned this before, because there was so much else to worry about with me, that it was really low on the list. BOL. Yes, I certainly have a lot going on! Anyway, I have not had my dew claws removed. Mommy has never seen a doggie without dew claws removed, so it was very weird for her to see them on me. Remember with my history, they don't know that much about me, but when I was found in the pound, I wasn't neutered either. Anyway, Mommy wonders what to do about them. I lick one of my paws around that area quite a bit. The nails growing out of them are quite thick too. Mommy wonders are they bothering me? Since most pups have them removed, should she get them removed on me? Or do you not do that after you are a pup, maybe it is not recommended for dogs who past puppyhood. I imagine getting them removed would be painful. But if having them there is causing me trouble, maybe I should get them removed. Sometimes I get my sweater hooked up on them. Mommy watches me very carefully though, and tries to make sure that my sweater sleeves are rolled up.

What do you pups recommend?
love Ben

 

I went to the vet again today

December 14th 2010 6:24 pm
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we emailed our vet, and then we went in cause my mouf was still bothering me. I still rub it vigorously after I eat, against anything I can, like the bed. I had my ten days of antibiotic (clindamycin), and the terrible smell from my mouth went away and the dr. said it doesn't look infected anymore, but my lips and gums are still quite red. So we are going to try prednisone for 7 days to see if that helps with the inflammation. We are going back to the vet next week and if there is no improvement, I will have to have an x-ray to see if there is infection in my jaw. Unfortunately, I am so traumatized from my past injuries, I will still not let the vet (or anyone) touch my mouth. So, I will have to have a little needle in order to stay still enough for an xray. Then they will do the reverse-sedation, so I can go home that day instead of staying at the vet hospital. Dr. Marshall doesn't want to do that unless it doesn't clear up in another week, because the sedation could be hard on an old guy like me. Mommy thinks Dr. Marshall is right.

So I had my first dose of prednisone tonight with my supper. Mommy is really hoping this makes a difference, cause she and Mama hate it when I whimper. I am a bit more needy than usual too, and not even staying in a room by myself for more than a minute. I love my Mommy and Mama, they are so understanding.

I've had some great suggestions from dogster pals about what could be wrong with me, thank you everydoggie and Mommy behind them!

I will write soon and update you all.
love always,
Ben

 

We met Santa!

December 5th 2010 4:38 am
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Yesterday Mommy and Mama took me, Rudy and Izzy to see Santa Claus. It was crazy! Here's this big guy with a long white beard wearing a red suit, expecting me to sit nice on his lap?!?!?!? What's up with that? He's a stranger!!! Rudy and Izzy were good sports, but me, I squirmed and squirmed. Mommy finally had to come hold me, and be in the picture with me! BOL. If I have to suffer, SHE has to suffer! Well, then Mama got in the picture too, with Rudy and Izzy, so we got a family pic of all five of us! Mama ordered the cd from the photographer, so we will have over 30 pictures. I sure hope some of them turn out nice!
We get them on Dec 17th, which is too late to send for our cards but they will probably be next year's pictures, and we will put them on our dogster pages too.

love Ben

 
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