Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Chemo, Chemo, Chemo....

I'm not sure which week are are in for Yogi's chemo now, just that he needs it each week. His glands are still up and he has now been on antibiotics for almost 3 weeks. He seems well in himself which is a good sign, but the fact that his glands are still enlarged is not the best news we had hoped for.
He is also having blood tests each week to check his white cell count. These were down slightly on Monday but still within a reasonable range.
Not too sure what else to say except that I am swinging from despair to something representing fairly normal on a very regular basis. I know I need to stay positive for him but it is SO VERY VERY difficult. Right at this moment it's impossible.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Fun Monday!

OK, Monday's are not always that much fun so ....AOJ has decided to make it so.... This is her challenge -

"For today's Fun Monday, continuing in the spirit of "being interested in people", I would like to know, or see, what's on, in or under your bedside table! So open those draws and bare your soul to us! Is there anything special there that has a story or a memory that you can tell us about? Books that you keep there to delve into from time to time? Trinkets that you don't know where else to put? Let's see!"

This is my bedside table.....

Not brave enough to photograph what is in the drawers since bedside table also doubles as underwear drawer....

On top lives a very ancient teddy bear named Bandy. He is about 51 years old. He was given to my mother originally then handed down to my brother when he was born, then he handed him to me. He is the only toy that I have kept since childhood. He travelled everywhere with me until he became too delicate and customs seemed too interested (he is now falling apart a bit and his repeated stitching makes him suspect apparently) He has been to Mexico, America, Canada a number of places in Europe and all over the UK. He is now a brown colour because he was baked in his younger days. I felt he was cold, put him in the oven, Mum turned it on....he was baked. I was only little though. Wouldn't do that now of course :o)

There is also my latest read - a dog psychology book by my Guru, Cesar Millan. An absolute star with problem dogs of which I have 2.

I have not actually mastered the phone, it's new and to date I have cut off calls, not replied to messages and generally been useless. Must read the instructions....

The crystals in the pot and around the table are there to help me sleep, relieve stress and live in the now. Not sure what the individual ones do, but I just like them.

In the top drawers are mainly underwear. Some nice, some functional. Not up for scrutiny though :o)

Bottom drawer holds some bits and pieces such as old cassettes, clothes brush and a note book. Last note to self read "do NOT blow dry fringe after applying mascara - your eyelashes will fuse"

...And of course the remote control for the sound system. I like to go to sleep to music and it must be just at the right level.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Rainbow Bridge

OMG...I have just visited the Rainbow Bridge site...all I did was read the pieces now....
Really should stay away from these things at the moment.

Yogi's day....

Yogi's prescription for today....Walk loads, have fun and get knackered :o)

So that's what we did and it was brilliant.

The pack were loaded up into the car and taken to Woodnewton, a tiny little village in Northamptonshire with spectacular scenery. Coco the Clown is buried in the churchyard there. Seems a fitting place to visit with Yogi :o)

Here are some pictures of his day.....

We also saw 3 Red Kites - I believe that these are fairly rare and have recently been re-introduced to this area....pretty amazing to see. Not sure that these snaps do it justice unfortunately. Blue sky looks superb though :o)

Saturday, 26 January 2008


The last couple of months have probably been the most difficult, painful and downright scary months that I have had since....well... a long long time. I get cross with myself for not dealing with it better, beating myself up for all sorts of things like reactions and generally feeling not really "on top of the world". BUT then something happens or someone says something and I realise that really I am lucky in so many ways. Even through the sh*tty times, there are good times too. This is what I am talking about.
Yogi is an absolute tower of strength. He NEVER lets anything get him down. His glands may be up like bowling balls but what does he want? Love and food and play. In a nutshell he wants happy times.
This morning he wanted to go running on the football pitch in the village, he wanted his pink ball to chase - it has to be pink, no other colour will do. Orange or yellow do NOT fit the bill. So pink it is. He runs, he chases and he has fun. So fantastic to watch. There is a dog who is "living in the moment" nothing will take away his happiness for that moment. I learn from that. His little face when he "catches" the ball, when he brings it back to be thrown again and also when he is tired but happy. He is not thinking "what if" or any of the other crap that goes through my mind, he is just purely happy. The only time he looks unhappy is when I feel it and even then he tries to change it.
My Mum said something to me today when I was losing the plot a bit over Yogi. I said that I felt "we were just waiting for the inevitable" she said "but we are all waiting for the inevitable, no matter when or how, sometime it will happen and you can't let that stop the good times now" So wise and so profound. I am going to try very hard to take her attitude on board.

She is doing brilliantly. She is home today and feeling well. Fudge should be home with her tomorrow. That little dog is missing her mum badly. Whenever I bring some washing back, she sticks her head in the machine to sniff for as long as I will let her :o)She wants her mum back too.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Where do I begin.......
OK, I'll start with the good stuff.
Mum is doing brilliantly. This hospital has been superb in EVERY way. The operation went smoothly with absolutely nothing going wrong. The pain was well managed and the care exceptional. She is recovering quickly and also at last seems more positive. More importantly she seems proud of herself too. As she should. She has been through so much and also has so much to go through I can't imagine how she deals with it. Well done Mum!
We are picking her up today and she is going to stay with my brother and his family for a week or so. I am sure that she will be reunited and walking with Fudge soon.

On Thursday, I did my regular examination of Yogi and to my absolute horror, found that his glands had swollen again. They were huge. It seemed that they came up in a matter of hours. He seemed well in himself though. He is due for a round of chemo on Monday but I thought I should call the vet and check whether he should be seen to perhaps have it early. John wasn't on so spoke to another one who told me that as long as he was OK in himself that he should wait until Monday to be seen. On Friday (yesterday) he still seemed well but was coughing quite badly so called John and took him in straight away. We were told that it MAY be an infection but more likely that the drugs were not working so well. He is now on antibiotics as his immune system is already compromised and to add another dose of chemo which will bring it down even more could be dangerous. Today he still seems well and is eating heartily but that old familiar feeling of dread is lurking dangerously within me.
We talked about the treatment options going forward and it probably means going back to weekly treatments. But we will see how he responds on Monday.

How I wish that I could write a blog that was purely positive......

Friday, 11 January 2008

Thank You!

I just wanted to say a big "Thank You" for all the kind messages.It really means so much to me. It feels like I have a lovely little support network and I really appreciate it especially when I know that not all of you are having a great time either.

We are going to complain, the treatment has been unbelievably bad - not all of it though. But there are some departments who have been completely negligent.

Graham, I expect you know this already, but you have a fantastic Mum.

Today I am taking Mum for a scan and then Monday is operation day.

Yogi had his 9th chemo on Monday and once again did very well. I had noticed that he seemed a little tired towards the end of last week but he seems to have bounced back since his treatment.

Thank You xxx

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Another day, another bombshell

I haven't been blogging that much lately partly because sometimes it's been a bit tough to see the brighter side of life and although helpful to jot it down I don't want to dwell too much if I can help it.
But for the record, this is where we are now.
I went to see the lung surgeon with Mum on Thursday to see where we go from here with her cancer and also to get the results of the adrenal removal. The good news is that they will operate (there was some doubt after the adrenal op) then I found out that the hospital had known about the lung cancer for a year and hadn't done anything about it. When she had the bowel cancer op at the beginning of 2007, she had some trouble breathing, they thought she may have pneumonia. They xray'd and told us that the xray was clear. Then a letter when she was diagnosed THIS time stated that the "cancer had grown slightly". Yet NO-ONE had told her or us that there was anything wrong at all. Shocked, devastated and very angry I think just about describes it. If it had been dealt with then, perhaps the cancer wouldn't have spread so much. Mum has known since November when she was first diagnosed but had chosen not to tell us as she felt it would be too much to take. I think that was wrong because a) it is bad for her to keep things bottled up. b) we all need to know what we are dealing with. But anyway, it is her choice and she must deal with things as she wants to. Having said that, I think she is relieved it's all out in the open now.
My first instinct was litigation, it was pure negligence on their part that it has gone this far. Now that the dust has settled somewhat and having talked it through I am wondering what good it would do. We are where we are and we must deal with it. It would probably just add more stress onto a difficult situation and it wouldn't do Mum any good. So is there any point? I don't know.
So, next week Mum is going into hospital to have the lung op. She is terrified and so are we.

On a lighter note the boys are keeping our spirits up. Larry has decided that Christmas was all too much what with all the disruption to routine, celebrations and having a "woman" in the house (Fudge). He prefers an all male domain really, well, apart from me ;o) and has taken to his bed. Actually, he spends most of his time lounging around in his basket and he is probably the laziest collie I have EVER known. He is doing his Greta Garbo routine at the moment and just about saying "I vont to be alone" :o). No doubt he will get over it by about February - he usually does. I wonder if he suffers from SAD syndrome?
Yogi is the opposite, he loves everything and accepts changes readily with incredible enthusiasm. As long as he can be included he's up for it! He is still madly in love with "Honky" and takes him everywhere. All of a sudden he will collapse in a heap and start sucking his toy, going into a little contented trance. Fantastic to watch. His eyes stay sort of open but they seem to sink and be unfocused. I guess that's his meditation time. We never disturb him when he's doing that :o)

Yogi is going in for chemo on Monday. Now providing all is well, he will have a session every two weeks for two months. He is such a tough little devil that I'm sure he will be fine. Fingers crossed....

P.S Toothache turned out to be some sort of infection so on antibiotics at the moment, they have promised some sort of drilling experience on Monday. Root canal - here we come :o)

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Christmas Toys

The boys simply LOVED their "Honky Pheasants"!

Happy New Year!

Well, despite my usual misgivings, the last week has been a good one.
We got off to a rather shaky start when Mum was re-admitted to hospital on Christmas eve. Christmas eve and Christmas day was mostly spent hacking up and down the M1 to the hospital either waiting to see a doctor or waiting for results and then finally bringing her home late on Christmas evening. It turned out that she was dehydrated with very low blood pressure and things were not "moving" as they should (politely speaking). I think that she was let out far too early I guess because of the holiday. But we have learned a valuable lesson and I hope she will not have to go through this again. So eventually, we had Christmas on Boxing day and it was a lovely day too. Yogi, Larry, Fudge and Tilly (my brothers little Cocker Spaniel pup) enjoyed a more relaxed atmosphere and everyone was in good spirits. They all got loads of pressies, which mostly are still in one piece! And all behaved impeccably!
Yogi is backi in fine form so we thought we would see how he managed a long yomp again. He hasn't had a really long walk since he was ill so a brisk 7 miles around Pitsford resevoir did us all the world of good. He was as enthusiastic as he has always been and made sure that it was a route march and not a gentle stroll for anyone :o) Great fun to be back to normal with him.
We went to stay with Rich's parents who live near the Norfolk coast and spent this morning happily splashing in the waves with Larry and Yogi. Well, they were happily splashing and we were desperately trying to stay dry! Not entirely successful as Rich sort of fell in...."chilly" I think he mentioned :o)
Allyson came up trumps with a truly thoughtful Christmas pressie. It was a picture of Yogi at the vets that she had had framed looking relaxed, happy and heartstoppingly gorgeous. When I opened it I must say I welled up a little. Best present in the world.
Today I am feeling a little sorry for myself, I woke up with the most excrutiating toothache (I think I may even be suffering more than Graham did with "man flu" - but maybe not :o)) So I have loaded myself up with painkillers and am going to try and get an emergency appointment at the dentist in the morning. Deep joy :o)
Happy New Year everyone !