Friday, 12 September 2008
Seems like I have been away for ages and ages. Unforgivable but the truth is when things are going well, I am not sure what to write about! Sad but true. Things are going well, Mum is back pretty much to normal, Fudge is at home with her and Larry (or Harry as my mum sometimes calls him - no idea why) is his usual grumpy self. And I am feeling SO much better.
I never mentioned it, but since about May I have been on anti-depressants and having counselling. I just couldn't take any more and felt I was losing the plot. Helped me to face many demons from the past and have a future that I look forward to. Although it was hard to admit that I was struggling I think it was the best thing I ever did. I would recommend it to anyone who has long term depression.
Anyway, enough about that and on to nicer things. Tomorrow we are off to Cornwall again for a week. We haven't had a break since April and are both in need of one. We have found a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere in South Cornwall just near the South Devon border. It looks lovely. An acre and a half garden for the lazy collie to wander in and a creak at the bottom. Sounds idyllic, I hope that it is.
I have been keeping up with the blogs though and am amazed and delighted to see Herbie still going strong. He really is Herbie the Wonder Dog!
I cannot believe that in about 8 weeks it will be a year since Yogi was first diagnosed with his cancer. It seems incredible that this year has gone so fast. I still miss him so badly that it hurts sometimes, but I am so grateful that he shared his life with us for as long as he did.
I hope everyone is well and enjoying this wonderful summer (not) that we have had. I promise that I will post some holiday pics when I get back :o)
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Mum had chemo number 3 and this time was the worst it has ever been. Instead of rallying she got sicker and weaker each day. Last Saturday she called me in tears to take her to the hospital. When I got to her house she was collapsing every few minutes, she couldn't breathe and she was weak and dizzy. I have never been so frightened in all my life. After getting her to the hospital (bad planning meant that we had to get her there in my sports car as the "sensible" car had no petrol! Funny now but not so at the time) she was examined and put on a drip. Then they had to find out what was causing the reaction. ~The options were not nice. Either a clot on the lung, the remaining adrenal gland not working or the chemo had damaged her in some way. They started testing. Day after day she didn't get any better. The test results came back on Thursday. No clot, adrenal gland working, hooray. Trouble was she was still feeling so ill. She still couldn't walk or breathe properly. Thursday afternoon they decided to do a blood transfusion as she was so very anaemic. She was so low and depressed. It was really scary. On Friday morning I spoke to her and she was just like her old self!! She said she felt great! She had one more bag of blood to go and then she wanted a lift to Essex about 100 miles away to see her grand-daughter in her school play!!! Rich picked her up and did the honours and see the play she did. I simply cannot believe the strength and determination that she has. If I had half of it, I would be proud.
She cannot have any more chemo as that last one nearly finished her off. She just has to get strong now and live her life. The doctors all say how well she has done to get this far. She has had most of the sessions so all that will help.
I just feel that things are going to be easier now. It has been a year and a half of hell. A lot of the time I haven't known which way is up really. Coping with all this and Yogi has tested me to my limits I think. Lesley, you are right, she is the Herbie of the human world!!
So, in order to prepare her for having Fudge back, we thought it would be easier if she had short hair (Fudge not mum :o)). This is the result.....
Not sure if she looks like a fox with mange or a goat maybe???
It will be 2 or 3 weeks before she can go home so hopefully it will have grown a bit by then :o) And mum will have forgiven us!!!!
Actually I think that she is much more comfortable in this heat without that great thick coat and mum does too (thankfully)
Larry didn't recognise her and growled when she came back. Then he has been moaning constantly about "women walking around in the buff - not right at all" :o)
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Tomorrow is chemo number 3 for mum providing the blood test was OK on Friday. We are dreading it a bit as after a few days she will NOT be feeling well at all. But she is doing so well to continue. If it was me, I am not sure that I would. Last week her temperature dropped down to 33. That I gather is nearly hypothermic!! It is a real worry each time she has a treatment as to how she will be.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. After this cycle, there is just one more to go. I gather that only one person that has been treated with this protocol at this hospital has ever completed the course. When mum finishes she will be the second one! Well done mum!!
The hospital have also completed their investigation following her misdiagnosis. They have apologised. The cancer was visible on Xray a year before they told her. Where we go from here I don't know. At the moment, we just need to concentrate on getting her through this and then well and not dwell on the past.
That's what Larry and Fudge say anyway :o)
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
It seemed to spiral downwards when we saw the oncologist and they said that mum needed chemo. The details that followed were not pleasant at all.
The chemo that mum needed was for the lung cancer. The breast cancer, they said needed no further treatment. The lung, as the cancer had spread (to the adrenals) needed to be blasted with chemicals so strong that they had the potential to wipe someone out completely. The oncologist had treated 5 people with this particular protocol. Only 1 had managed to finish the course! The actual drugs and the side effects were so aggressive that they are virtually intolerable (or so we were told) Furthermore, the only benefit is a 5% extra chance that the cancer will not return (I don't think that even means "ever" but for a reasonable amount of time). Mum being the tough cookie that she is, wants to take that "5%". We have to support that decision. Not sure if it is all that has happened lately but it sent me into a deep deep gloom. The thought of more illness, more suffering and more unknown was such a lot to contend with and I must admit I am not handling it well.
So, last Monday was D Day or C = Chemo day. An overnight stay while mum is pumped through with the most powerful drugs and then wait. The side effects started arriving the next day. Sickness being the worst. By Friday, she was blacking out, being sick and completely beside herself with distress. Back to hospital. They found her blood pressure through the floor and complete dehydration. I cannot fault the hospital, they took her straight in and got her on a drip. Gave her different medication for the nausea and got her feeling human again. What a scare though. Yesterday she was feeling brighter and more ready for today's onslaught. So, she now gets a week and a bit to recover and then more of the same. She is going to see how she feels at the end of this week and decide along with her doctors whether she can continue. She is very brave I am very scared. My fears seem to be coming true. I must try and be more positve but God, is it hard. Every little problem seems magnified these days.
So, that's why I haven't been blogging lately. When all seems so very black it's difficult to think straight. I am trying....hard.
Larry is doing his best to keep our spirits up. Don't know what I would do without him either. I wish that Yogi was here too......
Thursday, 8 May 2008
The deer park at Holkham
The horses. I should've known she was thinking evil thoughts when she was nibbling my bum!!!
Monday, 5 May 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with you Nicholas. I am so sorry to hear your news.
Thank you for your kind words about Yogi.
Monday, 28 April 2008
The Mill House
Lizzie, one of the permenant residents at the Seal Sanctuary.
Waiting for feeding time for the seals!
Rocky, the sea-lion. Another permie
Overlooking Bude (I think)
Ray, a braindamaged seal with a thyroid disorder. Seemed a happy chappie despite his problems!
Hurry up with that fish!!!!
Bodicea, who tormented Larry in the underwater observatory by swimming right up to the glass and staring him out!
Taking a break at Lands End
Sitting up here I remember welling up with tears. Thinking and wishing Yogi was with me. Then I realised that had he been here, he would have been attempting to sky-dive off the top! That's when I knew that he WAS there and still making me laugh :o)
Spot the Collie :o)
Dougie the beach horse. Great fun and beautiful too!
.....And so to bed
I hope that he recovers by Friday as we are off to Norfolk!
Friday, 18 April 2008
Larry has decided that he needs a holiday. So tomorrow we are packing the car up and going to Cornwall for a week. We have found a beautiful converted mill near Bodmin moor. It has an enclosed garden and is surrounded by an orchard with a spring fed millpool. It really does look the perfect place to relax. It will be very strange going without Yogi but I hope not too sad. This will be the first time in about 12 years that we have been away with just one dog. Not having Yogi will be VERY different. For a start, the journey will be peaceful. Yogi was never a good traveller. I remember one holiday when we went to Wales. Yogi barked for the full 5 hours travelling time :o) Stressful? Yep, you bet it was. Since then we tried a variety of ways to keep him quiet. Hushers, cages, blacking out the car windows and even on occasion, tranquilisers as a last resort! Incidentally, we used to travel with ear plugs :o) The funny thing was that once we had reached our destination, I was loathe to take mine out. I liked the sort of muted sound of everything ;o). Last year I came accross the perfect solution. It was a kennel, enclosed on 3 sides, completely solid and made to measure for the car. It didn't roll about, creak or move. It was cosy and comfortable for both dogs. Yogi couldn't see out and so was quiet (ish) once he settled down. I wish that I had discovered that years ago. It was the best £400 I ever spent.
So, it will be a peaceful journey down to Cornwall. Well, almost. Larry "sings" a bit sometimes, but not too loudly thankfully. But I know I will miss my boy so very much.
I am looking forward to lots of walking, some pub lunches, a few visits to attractions like the seal sanctuary and I understand there is a donkey sanctuary nearby, maybe some riding and most of all.........some peace. It's not too much to ask is it?
C'mon Larry, lets get packing !!! And get that stupid hat off ;o)
Friday, 11 April 2008
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Monday, 31 March 2008
I don't know if it's all the "nasties" that have happened for what seems like such a long time or maybe it's just time for a change.
All I do know though is that without Yogi this house doesn't really seem like "home" any more. Larry is being superb but it still feels like there is something missing.
So, maybe, it's time to stop worrying about stuff and just see what happens.
A delightful estate agent (seems like a contradiction in terms doesn't it?) came round this evening who seemed to think the house will sell easily. But then they all say that don't they?
We shall see.
Perhaps it will be a new adventure?
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Can't blame him. Slumber on Larry, you probably have exactly the right idea ;o)
Friday, 28 March 2008
I feel like I have my friend back again.....
Are we on a turning point too? A bit cautious to say the least but this week mum has written her complaint letter to the hospital and is out and about with Fudge and enjoying her "new" car. So she must be feeling more positive. We all clubbed together and bought her a newer car so that she and Fudge could enjoy a bit more comfort as they went about their business. Also, as it is more modern, the steering would be lighter for her following her mastectomy. Less than 2 weekes after the op she is driving again - amazing woman.
I am praying that we can all have a bit of peace and tranquility now.
I have been reading a Angela and Ari's blog and you both seem to be having a tough time at the moment. Just so you know, I am thinking of you both and hoping things get better for you soon.
P.S. How can I be so useless?....I have just burnt spaghetti. Oh well, I'm sure some of it must be edible :o)
Monday, 24 March 2008
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Larry eating the insensitive g!t ......or is it just wishful thinking :o)Anyone for dessert?????
My beautiful baby who we all miss so very much.....
Monday, 17 March 2008
I had been helping out at a local rescue centre for a couple of years, fostering elderly and feral cats. The centre dealt mainly in felines but never turned away a dog in need either. I had a call from a woman who had seen a dog from her window. He had been laying under the lampost for over an hour and she was worried. She had called the dog warden who informed her that he had been chasing after a dog of that description for a few days but had been unable to catch him. By the time she called me, the dog warden I guess was "off duty" and had all but given up the chase. The woman was reluctant to approach the dog as although he didn't seem aggressive, she was nervous. She asked me to come along and see if I could do anything. It was a cold night I remember it so clearly) and armed with a lead, some food and a bit of dutch courage since I didn't have that much experience of dogs, I wandered along to see if I could help. The dog was still laying under the lampost almost as if he was waiting for something. I wasn't sure how to approach him/her so I stood still for a moment and then called. More or less immediately, he got up and wandered towards me. As he approached I let him sniff my hand, he seemed friendly enough, didn't appear to be hurt so I slipped a lead over his neck. He just stood and watched me. The woman seemed relieved and returned to her house. I was left standing like a lemon with a dog that I had no idea what to do with on a freezing cold night! First daft thought was that maybe he was lost, perhaps if I walked around with him he might lead me to his home. We wandered, he sniffed but took me absolutely nowhere. I decided we couldn't keep wandering aimlessly so thought I had better take him home with me. I had a house full of cats and it was late at night. I didn't want to just let him in in case there was carnage. So next best thing for him was to make him a warm bed in the shed. I got a load of coats and blankets and some warm food and settled him in. He seemed remarkably calm and took to being snuggled in the shed really well. I decided to call the police and see if anyone had reported him lost. They hadn't. So a sleepless night was spent a) going to check on him and b) wondering what to do with him. He was a Lab x, quite big and probably about 8 or 9 years old. He was gorgeous....Rich had been working late and met him on one of the forays outside. They bonded instantly and I knew that I was lost. Even better, in the morning I let him out of the shed in the garden, he came straight to the patio doors and just calmly looked in - while the cats stared out at him :o). There was no barking and I suppose because of that, the cats were not nervous. It seemed too good to be true. OK so now we wanted him to stay. We had to wait a month before he could be officially classed as ours. What a nightmare that was. Each day praying that no-one claimed him. No-one did and once the four weeks were over we could relax. He was a superb dog, no major hang-ups, perfect manners and amazing off the lead. We couldn't have wished for an easier induction into canine care.
A few weeks later a neighbour stopped and said that they recognised him. They said his name was Rocky and he belonged to a man who had had him from a pup. The man, who lived locally, had taken on a German Shepherd who had more or less pushed Monty/Rocky out. The weird thing was, that from time to time we saw this man and his new dog, Monty never once looked at him and he never once looked at Monty.
Monty was a superb dog, travelled everywhere, introduced us to many beautiful walks and became a huge part of the family. Even the cats loved him.
He spent 6 very happy years with us, then he suddenly became ill and was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was very quick and very devastating. But boy, did he teach us a lot about dog care.
Since Monty, the dogs have become more challenging but equally lovely in their own right. All of them have had so much to give and so much to teach.
Thank you Monty, you were one very special hound.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
I am so pleased! Alison very kindly (and not quite sure why :o)) has nominated me for this. Thank you Alison - you make me smile too. I want to award this to everyone who has supported me in the last few months. Not all of you have blogs of your own but I don't think that matters, you have all been and are fantastic.
Dogga, Thank you for visiting, your blog has made me chuckle loads.
Other news from the front.....
Mum has had her operation today and has responded brilliantly. She is wide awake, not in too much pain and having a laugh. Which is superb. Or should I say a miracle? She may need another op if the cancer had gone to the lymph nodes but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Larry is still struggling I think. He used to play all the time with Yogi and considering he is a rather unsociable dog (to put it mildly) that was quite amazing. I think he is missing his buddy more than he cares to admit. He still won't come upstairs which is a real shame. He does seem a little more lively with Fudge here to stay though. I think we all just need time to adjust.
I have had a shock of my own but better now. The day after Yogi died, I found a lump in my breast. Couldn't believe it and must admit I felt rather numb and sort of "I don't really care what happens now". Anyway, I went to the doctors who referred me straight away to the hospital. A miracle in itself as I thought the waiting time was weeks not days. Yesterday I had an appointment with the surgeon who told me they were fine, just cysts. Must admit, I didn't feel that numb when they stuck the needle in!!! All is fine now though, a little smaller in the "upstairs" department. But generally relieved.
Today is the first day I have been able to talk about Yogi without a breakdown. That's a first.
Graham, your advice about wailing, I have been taking it, yes, it does help
I have just visited Teresa's blog, how my heart is going out to you. You are one strong lady but you probably don't feel it right now. My thoughts are with you, Cole and Bridget.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Yogi has left a massive gap in our lives and the pain is very raw. But like you have all said, in time he will be remembered with smiles and not sadness. I expect that for you Graham, Lesley and Linda, it will have brought back the awful memories of your losses of Prince and Watson, and for you Handh, it will worry you deeply for Herbie. For that I am so sorry. But I was so touched that you thought to post his picture on your own blogs and mark his passing in such a special way.
We are going to Norfolk for a couple of days to lick our wounds. I don't think it will do any of us including Larry much good to stay in the house just now.
Elizabeth, you are so right, heaven DOES have a new angel. How I wish that angel was here with me.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
I am so grateful that he chose to live with us. I believe that dogs choose their owners and not the other way around. He is a wonderful dog with a beautiful nature and the best companion anyone could wish for.
Happy Birthday my Little Bear.
Monday, 18 February 2008
On Sunday we walked along the Nene way, the weather was superb and the ground was nice and crisp from the frost. Yogi hasn't been swimming since November, there seems no point in curtailing his favourite activities any longer so once again it was fantastic to see him throw himself into the lake after a stick or his pink ball.
Yogi was a little exuberant while jumping up for a stick, he misjudged his leap and this is the result of his teeth connecting with my arm (through 2 fleeces). By the way, he is NOT a biter or harmful in any way. But it does go to show the damage that can be done unintentionally by dogs teeth....I call it a little love bite from a big bear :o)