Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Multicentric Lymphoma

We started him on chemotherapy today & it's a 15 week treatment. We are to taper him off his steroids, so he will be done w/ them at the end of the month. 

The best part is that it's affordable. The vet didn't even do an ultrasound because she knows the chemo will treat whatever stage he's at. They're gonna be sending us his oral pills & we go in the office for his injections. 

So I get to lower the donation page & I am thankful for those that have already donated to help pay for his chemo. I don't think I would qualify for the organization that helps pay for canine cancer, I would have to have gone bankrupt & I haven't done that.  I'll just cut back a little (i.e. eat home & cook more) & maybe w/ the help of donations #teamjersey will make it though this. 

Thank you lord for helping us get through this. Thank you my friends & family for the prayers. I have also forgiven the vet, she sat us down & made us feel comfortable. Also, I really like this oncologist, she made all of us feel okay about what we're up against. 

Thank you all for the support. This guy will be begging for food for a long time coming. 😘

Monday, March 21, 2016

For my son.

Jersey was only going to be a temporary part of my life in 2009, but he stole my heart & I told his owner (or the parents of his owner) that I was going to keep him.  I officially changed his name to Jersey & gave him my last name.  Took him to the vet and that was that.  Even his microchip has me listed as his mama.

When we moved to the area that we live now, it was him, me and his 2 little/big sisters, Toki and Lizzie.  He has filled my heart with such love, he has been my protector, son, running partner, stealer of food, and stealer of all hearts.  Everyone that meets him want to hug and love him.

In 2012 I met my boyfriend, and I thought we were in trouble.  But Jersey showed him his heart, and I pretty much got replaced.  O likes to call him his shadow now, they go everywhere together, and even when I initially say no, all Jersey has to do is look at me with those big brown eyes and I always say yes.

I say all this because recently we were told that Jersey has lymphoma, it's treatable, but as he did not technically come out of me (although I always say he was born from me), he is not covered under my insurance plan.  I am reaching out to you, the public, family and friends.  I donate to all kinds of organizations, I support when I can, but I know this is going to be expensive.  I'm going to have to cut back, and probably cannot be as generous as I have been in the past to places that I have donated for.  I am but a mere Social Worker & as I am only half licensed, I don't get paid that much.

So that's our story.  We were told until we see the oncologist we wouldn't know what we're in for yet.  We'll need tests to see what Stage he's at, we think he's at Stage III at this point.  We were explained the difference in chemotherapy in humans and doggies, and that there is only one way this will end...and that the point of all of this is to keep him happy and to have a comfortable life.  Right now he's going to be running, catching ball and annoying the girls as long as he can.  He is an amazing puppy, and I know most people don't like Pitbull’s, but I blame the media and ignorance for that.  They are the sweetest, most loving of all breeds.  If you feel generous to donate to keep my son happy and comfortable, anything would be welcome.  I thank you in advance, we all thank you and appreciate that you took the time to read this.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

He has lymphoma.

That's how the vet said it, then I told her that the Benedryl has been helping & she blurted out, "it is cancer." Over the fucking phone. I couldn't even react & she asks if I want to do a steroid treatment or see an oncologist & she expects an answer at that moment. I asked about the steroids & she said when I picked up the pills she will give me the oncologists information. Then that was that. 

That's how I found out my baby boy, Jersey has cancer. 

We got the inflammation down with the Benedryl & I just gave him his second steroid medication. He's probably wondering why he gets a snack in bed, he doesn't say no though. He loves food, probably even stuff he can't eat. 

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to contact the oncologist & figure out a plan. Study really hard & pass the second exam because I'm gonna need to get paid more to pay for future treatments. I'm also going to look for a new vet. I told her I was worried about his engorged balls near his pee pee at his last examination. She said, "oh he's just excited because he did that with me." Didn't she know he doesn't have his balls anymore?? They were swollen lymph nodes!! I miss his old vets & Banfield Salinas is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. 

We're going to do what we can to keep baby more than comfortable & happy. I swear, any sound & I'm by his side in seconds. We will get through this. 💙

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

5 attempts in 3 years.

It took 5 attempts, 3 years, 3 different study material companies & 2 job changes before I finally saw that 4 letter word. PASS. Oh it was amazing to see my letter. So friken amazing. 

I have heard it all.  Study harder, just keep at it, you'll get it next time. This isn't the type of exam that you memorize everything. It's the kind you have to use clinical justification & you have to answer the way they want you too. It's subjective. I've always been close, once I missed it by 3, the furthest by 6. But this time, this time I dove into my material. Not only did I use all what they gave me, I made notecards & I taught whoever who would listen the material. 

I applied it in my new position, I did whatever was legal or ethical. I abided by all the rules, so much so I was OCD about it. I obsessed about being ethical, making sure I did everything by the rules so I had it burned into my brain. So I do believe I have traits of OCD & OCPD because I made damn sure I did everything correctly, wrote it all out perfectly, and applied it in all I did. 

I worked on my anxiety issues. Used yoga, meditation, mindfulness & therapy. I knew it was the test, not me, I just needed to figure out the best solutions. I was told I used narrative therapy to work on myself & with all that I do I finally got that letter that I wanted. 

This has not been easy, I'm not a good test taker. I prefer essay to explain myself. I hate multiple choice exams. But you have to be able to do it their way so you can practice & do your job. So I bended, little by little I became more confident in my skills as a clinician. Then today I am closer than I have been before. 

I truly believe everything happens when it's supposed too. Before this year we were only licensed in California, after I pass the national exam, I can move & not worry about hours or re-taking everything in the new state. 

Finally it's happening, I got my validation. 🙏🏽 

Meal time

That's the start of our time. We helped her into the rocking chair, prepared her food, I heated up mine & we have breakfast...or late dinner. I'm really enjoying this time & I'm glad she enjoys it as well. It's our catch up time before she get's sleepy & I rock her. 

I've really enjoyed this time & I'll miss her when I'm at work. Time, it's quite valuable. It's easier to practice mindfulness when I'm with her. I value & enjoy our little routines. 

After a stretching session she can finally rest. I pray that she won't be in any more pain. I know she doesn't feel strong, but she is. One does not hold on & keep pushing if they are weak. She has a strength that only a few can handle & for who knows why, she was picked. I pray for peace. I pray that this, this will pass.  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Today was a good day.

She's lucid & instead of sleeping, she wanted to talk.  She's enjoying our time together, as I am. I updated her w/ everything that goes on at work & she knows this week I'm going back to work. She requests that I bring down Big O the next time I'm off. I'm really glad we have this time. 

We ate together, I had her brother help me prepare her food, I heated up my food & we had a meal together. Just like "normal."  We had regular conversation, she updated me w/ what I've missed over the past few days & she documented her eating & we had an estimated time for the bathroom. 

When I was rocking her she wanted to see what I was doing & I showed her the show I was watching. So we watched an episode of NCIS & I introduced her to the Big Bang Theory thanks to the CBS app. She's really enjoying our time together, it's great to see her smile & really get to talk. 

My exhaustion went away, just being in the moment has been great. Especially now, I put away my anxious thoughts about things I can't control & just am enjoying our time together. Today...was a good day. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Kristy massage. 💙

She wanted to exercise her hands, so we  found a way that she can massage my feet, while I massaged her legs.  I didn't want her to get tired, but I was taking advantage of her lucidity & allowed for her self determination. 

She's writing everything down now. We started with what she ate at 00:30 to when she needed the bathroom & what leads to needing it. Time frames so we can gauge it better, every little bit helps. 

This is the best I've seen her over these past two weeks. She even asked me to talk about my marathoning, what I do at work & what it takes to get licensed. 

Someone told me when they start to feel better, then they let go. I'm praying for a miracle, but I'm also praying for peace. I know she doesn't feel good about this all. I told her not to worry & I am here for her. She figured out this morning that I used a good part of my vacation time to help out & I know she appreciated it. 

I'm just glad I was able to help & she's really feeling comfortable. This really has been an exercise in humility. I know she's in there, I just want her to have peace. She deserves it. 


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Rainy nights...

I am fueled by 5 or so hours of sleep & a venti soy butterscotch latte. It reminds me of butterbeer. My sweet reward for today's long run. So I begin my watch for the night. They're trying some new things to help her be more comfortable throughout the night...and she's able to tell us when she needs the bathroom. 

It's nice to come on nights like this, I can sense she feels better. More lucid. She's making a lot of sense. Maybe it's the weather, rainy weather always makes us think clearer...right?

I ran for her today, I was super exhausted. I was thinking of every excuse to not run. It was raining, cold, I was tired, hungry, the pups need me. But I just put one foot in front of the other, waived to those on the trail & kept it moving. The hills were hard today, you just don't know. I also walked more inside the trail, but I was welcomed by the most amazing views. I went a little deeper in and it was worth it. I also fought with my jacket a lot, that's what really slowed me down...I kept stopping to take it off, then I didn't want my jacket to stop my watch so I turned it back on to take off or put on my jacket. Little things, lots of little things today. 

What kept me going was Kristy. When I'm tired, I say do it for her, run for her, run faster so you can get home to're going over there tonight. You need your strength to help lift her, massage her & to stay awake. 

She's comfortable, that's my job. I have to remember to be gentle. Her skin is sensitive, so be light, be patient, you're here for her. I just want her to be comfortable now. Even her voice is more normal (as evidenced by rate, rhythm & volume) it's nice. 

Praying for peace...always.

Sitting in the dark...

Every day is different. I never know what to expect, so I wait to get new direction. New methods, new schedules, new whatever...while I sit in the dark watching. Sometimes I feel kinda stalkerish. Does that sound weird? It's how I feel. 

She trying, always moving, trying to exercise & have movement. 

At the same time I can tell she's tired, the simplest thing makes her tired. But she still tries. 

I wish I could give her some of my strength. But all I can do is sit here & stay in stalker mode until she calls out for me. 

Friday, March 04, 2016

Breathe in, breathe out...stay focused.

Stay focused. Don't worry about things out of your control. Those are the thoughts that have been in my head. Be present, stay mindful in the moment you are in. Enjoy the time you have with her. 

She looks so peaceful sleeping. I sometimes wonder what she's thinking. I wish I had the power of telepathy, that would be awesome. I tried asking questions today, seeing if she wanted to see anyone. I wanted to go deeper, I wanted to tell her about things going on with I used too. But instead I held back, I told myself to be here for her. She's not a patient, you don't need all the answers. You're not assessing her. Besides, if anything it's delirium due to a medical condition. When she's lucid, she's good. She recognized me today, it looked like a good day. 

Stay focused, don't get anxious about things out of your control. Even if some things annoy you. In time, when it's supposed to happen, it will be. 

Oh & lotus pose is not the easiest to get out of quickly. Just a odd side note. 🙏🏽