A Scare That Turned Into A Miracle

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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???!!!!

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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.