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For the Love of Honeybear

Osteosaracoma survivor in the making

For the Love of Honeybear

A Scare That Turned Into A Miracle

April 25th, 2017 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

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My last update stated we were about to have more fun……..well maybe I jinxed us because fun turned into frustration, heartbreak, exhaustion, and anxiety.

Two weeks ago Sunday HoneyBear woke up early (about 3 AM) acting sick.  She woke us up by the noise of her coughing/hacking something up.  She was shaking, drooling and her breathing was labored.  We had a check-up 3 weeks prior that showed her metastasis remained stable and was not affecting her quality of life.  So we were extremely concerned and honestly scared when we woke up to her this way.  I kept thinking there is no way the cancer could have  spread and affected her this quickly.  All of the sudden she was acting so sick.  We rushed her to the closest emergency vet to figure out what was going on.

The doctor on call said she looked great, heart sounded normal, lungs sounded “beautiful,” and that she was probably suffering from an upset stomach.  She gave her an anti-naseua shot and sent us on our way.  We watched her all day and were becoming frustrated realizing she wasn’t getting any better.  After numerous calls and messages to the emergency clinic we took her back Monday morning at about 5 AM.  At this point HoneyBear was already acting weak and could hardly walk.

The doctor on call suggested x-rays of her chest and abdomen along with blood work.  We agreed these were good ideas and proceeded.  Before the doctor came in the room the x-rays were loaded on the computer screen in front of us.  I felt compelled to read them myself thanks to Dr Wiley who has showed us in the past what to look for.  From what I could tell HoneyBear’s lung met’s looked the same compared to 3 weeks ago.  When the doctor came in she told us HoneyBear’s chest looked bad because of her metastasis and fluid build up.  She also felt the need to tell us in the most heartless way that HoneyBear had a “very poor prognosis.”  I felt crushed hearing this news.  Even though her x-rays don’t look that bad as far as metastasis is concerned, fluid build up didn’t sound great at all.  What can this be caused from?  At this point I am going to make a long story as short as possible and say the doctors at this clinic (supposedly the best in town) blamed the cancer %100 and kept HoneyBear in hospital care for 24 hours.

Unfrotunately we live 2 1/2 hrs from Dr Wiley and this happened on the weekend when she was off.  Tuesday morning finally came. The local clinic had kept HoneyBear on fluids and a high dose of pain meds.  They “forgot” to give her the injected antibiotics we had talked about so we were beyond frustrated with them and decided to rush her to Dr Wiley.  Her breathing was so labored on the way there but she sat up several times, looking out the window curious where we were going.

My husband carried her to Dr. Wiley’s office and even though we were in this crisis I felt at peace being there.   The receptionists and technicians looked at us with sympathy knowing the dog we brought in was not the HoneyBear they knew and loved.  They were able to withdraw and examine the fluid.  When Dr Wiley came to talk to us she said the fluid was cloudy so that can mean the cancer cells metastasized outside the lungs or there is an infection which would be very rare in this location.  She asked us to bear with her as they were very busy that day until she could look at the slide.

My husband and I sat in the exam room waiting for some answers.  The only thing we could do is pray and ask our family and friends to pray.  I asked God for a miracle.  I knew HoneyBear had everything against her but the look in her eyes told me she has more life to live.  If anyone could make this possible its God.  Right before Dr Wiley opened the door I told my husband “If you believe, miracles can happen.”  With a relieved look on her face Dr Wiley told us “I had to double check with a colleague but we confirmed the fluid is bacterial, no cancer cells!”  I don’t think I have ever been so relieved in my life!  My Shoulders literally rose with the weight being lifted off of them.  We knew HoneyBear was still in a critical state but now there was hope.  We had to wait until cytology confirmed the fluid as bacterial the next day before we could proceed with treatment.

Cytology confirmed the cells were bacteria and in fact Staph bacteria.  Dr Book proceeded to put chest tubes in HoneyBear which was a risky procedure in that he could have punctured her lungs.  Thank God he didn’t and treatment was started.  Every 6 hours for 6 days they had to flush her chest with a sterile saline solution.  These tubes were very painful so they had her on pain meds which made her nauses, which made her not eat for 6 days!  Anti-naseua meds did not work so great so she did lose a bit of weight.  It was so hard for us to leave her there but we had to come back to work.  Obviously, can you imagine our bill??!!  🙂  Totally worth it! We were back and forth this whole week but I felt confident that she was in good hands.  Finally the treatment process was done and we were able to bring her home.  She will have to stay off her chemo pill until her check-up May 12th.  She is also on heavy duty antibiotics.  Like always we are staying positive and praying for the best!

During her stay in the hospital HoneyBear turned 10!  The amazing staff at STVS helped us sing happy birthday to her and make her day special despite the situation.  I can’t even put into words how grateful and appreciative I am to Dr Wiley, Dr Book, Dr Stafford and their staff for literally saving HoneyBear’s life.  She had everything against her but we believe in the power of prayer and have faith that God can make the impossible POSSIBLE.  This was  an incredibly scary and emotional situation for us but we are confident God is giving HoneyBear another chance to fight cancer and enjoy life.  We can’t thank him enough for putting the people in our lives that support us and help us in this journey.


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Is There Such Thing As Too Much Fun???!!!!

April 4th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

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I am so sorry to those of you that follow HoneyBear’s blog for taking so long to write an update!!  We have been too busy having fun!!!  We have been to the beach several times, Canyon Lake and San Antonio.  When we are not out and about or working I am researching food and supplements we can add to HoneyBear’s list.

Her last oncology appointment just happened to be on St Patrick’s day so of course she had to go in style…..you can’t really tell in the picture but she is wearing an LED blinking clover necklace. 🙂

Dr Wiley is still very happy with her progress.  As I have mentioned before she does have lung mets but they are progressing very slow and not affecting her quality of life.  We still have her on the maintenance chemo and her growing list of supplements is honestly too long to type!!  I have been speaking with a holistic vet recently and she has added some Chinese herbs to the mix.  I am still asking questions and researching homemade diets.  HoneyBear eats an excellent quality of food that is grain free and even though it’s for seniors is quite high in protein.  High protein and low carb is great for cancer but can take a toll on the kidney’s.  We have figured out recently HoneyBear’s high protein diet is making her kidney levels rise a little, nothing too crazy but something to be mindful of.  I have been adding non starchy veggies low in phosphorus to her dog food as a filler but it isn’t satisfying for her.  My brain is thinking homemade might be the way to go since she is needing a custom diet.  I am always learning something new and beneficial for HoneyBear.

Anyways on to the fun!  We took a trip to Canyon Lake which was so beautiful and clean!  HoneyBear loved the lake, we literally couldn’t keep her out of the water!  She wanted to swim and grab rocks with her mouth!  This is something she has always done at the river, it’s her thing. 🙂  She swam like a champ!!  As I was watching her I had to remind myself “she is missing a front leg and swimming!!”  We have also been several times to the beach lately.  Last time we went HoneyBear fetched her ball in the water probably 20 times!!  She didn’t want to stop!   Of course the mom in me was like don’t overdue it but the look of happiness on her sandy face was priceless!  Its amazing for a large almost 10 year old dog to be so active but a tripawd dog with lung mets is honestly such a miracle.  Don’t get me wrong she has her days where she is slow to get up and get moving but who doesn’t?! 😉 Oh I almost forgot the Blue Angels came to town last weekend so we went by the bay to watch them.  I was just posing with HoneyBear for a picture when they came out of no where and gave us an amazing picture!!

It’s probably going to be a little while for another update because we have some more fun planned!!!  HoneyBear will be 10 on April 17th so we are taking her on a birthday vacation!  Also April 6th will be her 10 month amputation anniversary!  And……the Easter Bunny will be at the mall next week taking pictures with pets for pet night which we will definitely be attending!  We are truly blessed to be able to spend this time with HoneyBear.  I am so grateful everyday for her presence, the doctors that continue to help her, my husband who works hard (so I can spend all his money on HoneyBear :-)), the ability to share her story and raise awareness and of course God’s healing hands without which none of this would be possible.

 

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#Blessed

January 25th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

We just had such and amazing weekend in San Antonio together!  Friday was Honeybear’s 2 month check up.  This was the longest we had gone between check ups.  So we actually got great news, even though Honeybear has a couple new tiny spots in her lungs Dr. Wiley said “I am very happy with what I see!  If this was a fast spreader it would have done it by now but it is progressing very very slow.”  I know you’re thinking, if she has a couple new spots how is this good news??!!  Metastasis of this cancer is pretty much inevitable. Those of us dealing with it of course pray for that miracle (which I still do) but the fact is most likely it will spread.  It could spread aggressively and fast or it could spread “very, very slow.”  We have done and are doing everything we can to slow it down and it’s working.  Honeybear’s quality of life is better than ever since the spots aren’t located where they cause any problems.  So yep it’s good news!!

Friday night my husband had an awards dinner for work at a “fancy” hotel on the Riverwalk.  Their pet policy didn’t allow Honeybear but when I explained her condition they made an exception!!  Thank you Wyndham!  She took a nap in the room while we attended the dinner.  Don’t worry we are not bad pet parents!!  We checked in on her through the video app Camio!  If you haven’t heard of it and are planning to travel with your puppy…….or even your child 😉 you need to download it.  On the way to the elevator Honeybear discovered her twin in the giant mirror which made a perfect picture. 🙂  There was only one area where she could potty and it was quite a ways from the room and it still cracks me up to think about the scenario.  Once we got down the elevator we had to walk through the very large sophisticated lobby filled with people looking their best.  The floors were beautifully polished and the staff was very attentive to the guests.  So here Honeybear and I come out the elevator door running as if there is a fire in the building, her huge slobbery tongue is hanging out of the left side of the smile on her face, her vest is jingling with her new St. Francis tag we just bought her and I can’t help but to laugh as we make our way to the exit.  It is easier for her to run than walk/hop so I just let her, always puts a smile on my face.  🙂 By the way despite the struggles of this year my husband received amazing recognition for a great year! 🙂  Honeybear and I are very proud of him!

Saturday was the best day!  We took Honeybear to the Alamo and Riverwalk.  Some people have never seen the Alamo and some have never seen a 3 legged dog, can you imagine them together??!! 🙂  She loved it!! One of the best investments we made since Honeybear has been a tripawd is her stroller/cart.  We can do so much more, if she gets tired she just hops in.  We do get some interesting looks but when people ask why or see for themselves why their interesting look turns to a smile. 🙂  I do however want to to put a sign on her cart that says “My name is Honeybear.  I am a girl.  Yes I only have 3 legs since I had bone cancer but I am doing great and I am so happy.  Any more questions go to honeybear.tripawds.com.”  Haha don’t worry I won’t do it but it would definitely help people understand.

When Honeybear came home from her surgery the first picture I added to her blog said ‘Life is Good’ and that has been our motto for life ever since!  I have always loved Honeybear so much but if possible I think I love her more now!  She is truly amazing to me.  Her love for life is as strong as ever, she loves meeting people and making new friends, she always has a smile on her face and she is always ready for the next adventure!  Honeybear is teaching us what really matters in life and that is the time we get to spend enjoying time together.  I feel so happy, blessed, thankful and look forward to much more time we can spend together!

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Enjoying the Holidays!

December 6th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

turkey

Thanksgiving was a great day!  Our turkey was the best ever, the weather was beautiful and we were more than thankful to be spending the day with our sweet HoneyBear!  She even got her own dinner, don’t worry it wasn’t that ginormous turkey in the picture!  🙂  We made her a turkey breast, mashed cauliflower and green beans.  Oh ya and a mini pumpkin pie (It was just pumpkin and egg baked).  She loved it!!  I love how strong her arm looks in this picture!

honeybear-tree-shopping

The other night we went to buy a Christmas tree and of course HoneyBear had to help us!  To be honest we hardly go anywhere without her now!  She loves to go and meet new friends!  Of course everyone asks how “He” lost “His” arm???  I always say “SHE had bone cancer but is doing great!”  I mean seriously she is so pretty I don’t understand why people call her a boy! Oh well there are worse things.  😉

If you read my last post you will know we were considering palladia but after research and talks with our oncologist we decided against it.  The new statistics are not good at all.  Adding it to her regimen would only give days or a month more.  There are also a lot of side effects.  She is doing amazing right now with everything!  Even though she has those 2 tiny spots in her lungs you would never know it from her personality!  She runs, plays, eats great and sleeps comfortably.  We know that the spots are so small they aren’t affecting her yet and I pray they stay that way.  The statistics for what we have done with surgery, chemotherapy and metronomics  are actually really good.  We are confident that if we stick with her supplements and metronomics  she will continue to do well.

I have researched cannabis oil a lot and finally made the decision a couple weeks ago to start supplementing with it also.  It is organic, safe, no side effects, and has many promising testimonials.  So I am going to share a list of everything Honeybear is taking and eating.

  1. Her food is Orijen’s senior formula
  2. Her treats are Orijen’s freeze dried
  3. Her other treats are salt free, wild caught sardines in water, slices of boiled eggs, and cucumber slices
  4. A couple times a week I add spinach, zucchini, or broccoli to her food along with wild caught salmon
  5. 2 TBSP organic pumpkin mixed with breakfast. To help her immune system and digestive track.
  6. 1/2 TBSP Chia seeds added to her breakfast.  Helps immune system, joints and digestion
  7. Bixbii Joint and Immunity Supplements.
  8. 5-1,000 mg Wild caught fish oil with dha
  9. 4 GNC Senior Formula Glucosamine
  10. 1 Canna Pet Advanced CBD Oil Capsule at night and I’m fixing to give her one in the morning too.
  11. Her metronomic therapy in the am that consists of 3/4 of a 227 mg Previcox, 1 Doxycycline, and 1 cyclophosphamide.

It is a lot but we are literally doing EVERYTHING we can to stop this cancer.  There is a lot of talk lately about immune therapy to treat cancer.  I definitely believe there is something to this and although I am not comfortable going %100 this approach I am trying to incorporate it as much as possible.  I think let the drugs kill the cancer and I will supplement with whatever I can to keep her immune system strong.  All this along with our strong faith and positive thinking will get Honeybear the most out of life.  I also still pray everyday for a miracle!

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Faith, Love and Dr. Wiley

November 19th, 2016 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

selfie-2

December 6th will be HoneyBear’s 6 month anniversary from her “life changing surgery,” as we like to call it!  In the beginning when we made the decision to proceed with treatment they told us the inevitable reality that unfortunately comes with an osteosarcoma diagnosis and that is metastasis to the lungs.  We understood and came to terms with the fact that we were just buying her time.  In the last 6 months that reality became overlooked by prayers, love and time spent together.  That statistical fact had been put in the back of our minds as we watched our sweet girl love life with a big smile on her face, literally! 🙂  We clearly made the right decision and her quality of life has never been better!

Today was another checkup with lung X-rays.  Her last X-ray showed 2 very tiny unknown spots.  Today those unknown spots were a little more clear and Dr. Wiley confirmed it looks like metastasis.  Ok I know at this point you are probably saying “Oooohhh no, that’s not good!”  But please let me interject, I have good news!  The growth on these 2 spots is very slow and HoneyBear is still as happy as a clam (I still don’t understand this saying)!  Also they are so tiny they aren’t causing her any discomfort or pain!  We are already doing metronomic therapy and there is another medicine (palladia) Dr Wiley thinks will help these nasty little things from growing and spreading.  We are doing a little research on it and will hopefully start next week.  I have also been doing my own research on CBD oil and will be adding that also.  I mean who is with me at this point???!!!  Team HoneyBear never quits!!!

I know y’all are probably thinking this girl has lost it and doesn’t understand the inevitable will come!  To that I say I fully understand but being depressed and negative won’t help anyone especially HoneyBear.  I also strongly feel in my heart that miracles happen everyday.  As we walked out of Dr. Wiley’s office today I told her “She will be your success story!”  To that she gave a huge smile and said “I hope so, bring it on!”  Dr.  Wiley we are bringing it!  We said from the beginning and still say it today we will do whatever we can for HoneyBear.  That includes medicine, supplements, diet, bedding, love, prayers and Dr Wiley’s expertise.  The weather is getting cooler in South Texas, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Dallas Cowboys are winning and our back deck project is almost complete!  Life is what you make it and right now life is good!

 

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