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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Apr 12

Today was Fallon’s six month ampuversary!!  I can’t believe how far we’ve come, and can’t figure out if this feels like a long time or a short time, because I can barely remember life before Fallon’s diagnosis, yet we’ve made, and continue to make so many changes that it’s flying by.

 

She is thriving.  She is excelling.  She is rockin’ this.  It hurts me to think of the pain she was in before the amputation.  After seeing the x-ray for the first time a little more than six months ago, I know we’re lucky that bone didn’t break.  I can’t imagine how she must have felt.  Or else I can, and I beat myself up for not knowing.

Smiling in the yard, which needs raking.

We have zero regrets.  Somehow, we’ve ended up in the right places to make this work.  The amputation was the roughest decision, chemo just made sense afterward, and other approaches we’ve taken have fallen into place just by learning everything we possibly could about how to support one of God’s most perfect creatures through this most devastating illness.

 

I’ve written here about next treatment steps I’ve been hoping for Fallon, and we’re there, too…we start the new extended trial for the vaccine specific to Fallon’s diagnosis next week—and we signed an agreement as part of the contract we signed to participate that we would not share details on social media.  But know we’re where I have been aiming.  I will say no more.

 

I am starting a Go Fund Me.  I’ve hesitated and made a few false starts, but to make this all continue to work, I see no alternative.  We’ve blown through savings, sold things, canceled purchases, cut back on non-essentials, but the bills have not gone down.  Insure your pets.  I’m serious.

 

More to come…

Apr 07

Beach Day Two!

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Another greyt day!!  It was a bit windier, not too many people and their dogs on the beach, but we still had a wonderful time.

Check out my family–melts my heart <3

2 of my loves

Fallon is pretty good about pacing herself, and was happy to cuddle with Dad while Maggie and I walked the beach.  It was honestly a bit too windy to be 100% perfect–maybe it was 95% perfect.  We all loved it.

Hurry, Mom!  Amuse me.

We found ourselves farther down the beach than I wanted.  Fallon was a trooper and happily hopped back.

Then we took a short rest, and attended a greyhound party!

Fallon’s hard to see, she’s working the crowd. Maggie is chillin’ on a mat near me.

One more full day–it’s supposed to be cold, but a cold day at the beach is better than most days at home!!

Apr 05

We got to Dewey Beach yesterday, but it was rainy when we arrived, so we didn’t make it to the beach.  Today is a GREYT day for the beach, sunny, but a bit cool.

Paul carried Fallon a lot of the way there.  It’s only a block from our hotel, but we wanted her to save her legs for the beach.

Maggie wears her harness because she is not a good listener.

She still loves the beach!!  She ran and ran, once she accepted that it was cool with us.

We met up with some other people and dogs, she loved saying hello.

We didn’t want to overextend her, although she was raring to go.  After about 15-20 minutes of fun, we headed back to the hotel.  We’ll definitely go out again after she takes a good rest.

Resting in bed after a beach run!

This trip is already a success, and we’ll be here 3 more days!!  Cheers!!

Bacon Mary

Apr 01

Mar 27

Six months ago was one of the most difficult days we’ve had to get through—the day of my best friend Fallon’s x-ray revealing her osteosarcoma.  There were tons of tears, constant research, lots of conversations with anyone with some level of knowledge/experience who would talk to us, lots of drinking…Six months ago I would have never believed we’d be where we are now.  But after an amputation, completing a course of chemotherapy, and starting metronomic chemo, Fallon is just rockin’ this; she really seems happy, healthy, and feeling greyt…Maggie too. 

Nothing has changed in their friendship.

We’re vacationing back at Dewey Beach in a week.  I wondered whether we’d ever go back together.  Despite all the angst, we’ve made the right choices so far.  There’s a comfort in believing that, anyway.

 

So catching you up, all Fallon’s testing came back awesome from our last oncology appointment—bloodwork and x-rays included!  While we were at our last appointment, Dr. Sue and I discussed next steps.  The VCC site visit from Aratana regarding the Osteosarcoma Vaccine was postponed to March 28 due to one of the multiple snowstorms hitting and interfering with their travel.  Dr. Sue and our family are both away the first week in April (! Did I mention Dewey Beach for us !), so the next possible appointment for us would be April 10…and that is when we could get the vaccine.  So given there is this bit of a lull between possible next steps, Dr. Sue and I discussed Metronomic Chemotherapy to bridge the gap, and possibly continue beyond.

 

This is low dose chemo meds administered by us at home, by mouth.  The goal is to slow down tumor blood vessel growth, it will hopefully slow the progression of any new spread.  So that seemed like a good plan, we decided to go with it.  We’re thankful we have Dr. Sue to guide us; we have the utmost trust in her.

 

So Fallon is on 4 new meds now.  The chemo med is Cyclophosphamide, and we give it every other day.  You’re not supposed to touch it, so we were provided with a large supply of nitrile gloves, and instructions how to dispose of these safely, what to do if it touches us, or gets in our eyes, very serious shizzle.  Plus she will probably need to pee more.  We’ll deal.

Fallon is smart, she does not hop in the really sharp snow. Thankfully it is finally melting.

So we have four administrations experience with it so far, but I don’t think it will be a problem, I shake it from the bottle to the bottle’s top, then sink it into Fallon’s delicious home cooked breakfast and she eats it right down without any issue.  Fingers crossed this continues.  Other new meds (an NSAID, antibiotic, and some omeprazole for her tum) we have also been hiding without issue—so far, so good.  She continues to enjoy Omega 3 oil as part of a healthy breakfast. (I also mix in glucosamine, MSM, vitamin C and chondroitin powders and a squirt of Yucca—have been adding this for mobility for years)  It sounds more complex and confusing than it really is.  She’s still on her Apocaps, but a lower dose because of the NSAID, and still gets her favorite K9 Immunity Plus treats.  Busy girl!

 

I am still having major anxiety due to the vaccine cost—which has not been officially made known to me yet by the VCC, but I am a girl with the internet, so I know ballpark.  Devastating, just like everything else has been.  So while I have been 100% solid behind wanting this vaccine for Fallon, seeing it as an opportunity that has come along now for a reason, sleeping at night (and doing most everything else) has been rough while stressing and obsessing over money.  Nonetheless, if she is eligible, we’ll pay for it somehow.  Results have been way too encouraging for us not to take a chance on this.  Buy insurance for your dogs.  Trust me.

 

Despite $, we’re off to the beach soon—it’s a greyt time to go, quiet, cheap because it’s off season, life at the ocean is always better than the Albany suburbs, the beach is open to dogs, restaurants are open and not overflowing with people, other greyhounds will be there—win, win, win, win, win, win.

(This video is our last September trip, so warmer looking than we’ll have next week.  The other dogs are from the Appalachian Air Canines group.  Maggie felt as one with them.  Fallon still had her limp and mostly watched from her beach blanket, it is a week before the x-ray.  We have a plan to go back this coming September also)

Plus, we all need a break.  I am getting crazier, time to rein this in.