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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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On Friday we took Honeybear for her first checkup post chemo. We did exam, bloodworm and chest X-rays. Going into the day I was extremely anxious. Honeybear has been acting great, looking great, still loves her food and treats, still gets excited for car trips and well she has just been herself! She has always been a “cougher” so when I hear her little hack I try to not let it get to me but I think we have heard it a little more lately along with a runny nose and eye buggers. So is it the “cough” or allergies??? She has a history of allergies and honestly I think everyone in South Texas has allergies. Our humid climate is a perfect breeding ground for mold and our warm temperatures mean something is always blooming.
Anyways………..Friday morning my mind was going back and forth with what the results would be. I kept thinking even though she has done so great so far we are still dealing with unpredictable cancer. When they came to take her back for her X-rays I think it hit me. I grabbed the cross around my neck and held it tight asking God over and over to please heal Honeybear and let her results be good. My legs were shaking uncontrollably and I felt my breakfast rising in my throat. After what seems like hours here comes the nurse to take us back to a room. As she is telling us the doctor would be in shortly I am looking at her face for any signs of happiness or sympathy. I’m thinking please give me a little wink or something!!! She didn’t.
When Dr. Wiley finally came in she said exam and blood work were great and her chest X-ray……………was pretty much clear except for a tiny spot that she couldn’t tell us was metastasis or an inflammatory granuloma. At this point I didn’t know what a granuloma was but I will take it!! As we started talking and I told her about Honeybear’s possible allergy symptoms Dr. Wiley said there is a chance allergies can cause some inflammation in her lungs and even Honeybear might have a mild upper respiratory infection. She said even if it was metastasis it would be way too small to cause any coughing or other symptoms for that matter. That definitely cleared my mind. Honeybear’s cough’s have been just that….cough’s.
We will take her back in 6 weeks for another chest X-ray to see if that spot went away, stayed the same or God forbid grow. We are pretty confident at this point allergies are to blame. As soon as we got home and I gave Honeybear some Benadryl (which I hadn’t tried yet) and we didn’t hear a cough or congestion in her throat. We also decided to do metramonic therapy at home. It is basically low dose maintenance chemo in pill form. We will honestly do anything for her! 🙂 My husband and I feel good about her results.
Honeybear was enjoying the weather today looking for lizards which has become one of her favorite activities! When she gets close enough to grab them she literally just stares at them! She just wants to be friends. 🙂 Notice our backyard is a total construction zone! The pool deck is coming along slowly but surely. Honeybear has already been enjoying the pool but it will be so much easier and cleaner once the deck is complete! We don’t want to sacrifice our time with Honeybear to work on it so we take advantage of the times she has had a long day and needs to rest.
She also has a new toy that she loves! I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a moose’s head that has the loudest squeaker ever! Once she heard it she has been glued to it! She will even take it out when she goes potty. It reminds me of the time she had a false pregnancy years ago before we spayed her. At one point she gathered about 8 babies (toys) that she mothered for about a month! She even produced a little milk. This sounds impossible right?! Thats what I thought but google it, its real! She went through one heat cycle and I guess it happens to some dogs. She has always been motherly with her toys ever since.
The weather is starting to get beautiful here in South Texas!! It is my favorite time of year. Temperatures are in the low 80’s and finally we can do more outside without roasting in the scorching sun! We can’t wait to do even more with Honeybear. The picture’s below are her posing on Ocean Drive one beautiful morning and the other is her enjoying the evening breeze from the window as we watched the Cowboys game (we are big Cowboy fans, even Honeybear!)!
I am excited and hopeful for the future. After Honeybear’s diagnosis we prayed and felt like we needed to proceed with treatment for her. I am so thankful we listened to what God wanted us to do and we continue to pray for his guidance and healing hands. I am extremely grateful for more time with Honeybear but when I pray I pray for her to be healed. I think she deserves to enjoy the last few years of her life and leave us a really old dog one day. Even with all the statistics I believe this is possible because with God all things are possible!!
Congratulations to our sweet Honeybear for not only completing her chemotherapy treatment but completing it with a big smile on her face!!! She has been such a champ through all her treatments and we are so grateful and proud of her!! A big thanks to Dr. Wiley and her team for their knowledge and compassion through it all. I’m sure some of you are thinking “That’s great, so she is done and cancer free!” Well to that I have to say God willing that will be true! She goes back in a month for her follow up and chest x-rays to see if it has metastasized to her lungs. From the beginning everything was clear but cancer seems to have a mind of it’s own. In osteosarcoma “they say” by doing treatment the cancer can be halted for about a year. Dogs have also lived a long time with lung metastasis. We of course like everyone else who is going through this are praying for the best possible outcome. The rare but POSSIBLE chance she will be cured!! Regardless of lung metastasis we will continue with at home treatment. We are staying super positive about her future!
Many of you know we decided to get Honeybear a pool and it has been time consuming and hard work getting our yard ready. Well celebration #2………. it’s up!!!! And here she is! I can honestly say she didn’t love it at first but that is part our fault. We still need to build a deck around it for an easy entrance for her. We carefully got her in but I think she was a little uncomfortable with just 3 legs even with her life vest on. I held on to her until I thought she was comfortable and let her go and she did great!! She swam a little crooked but she did it on her own and didn’t go under!! So a lot more work until the project is complete but I think we can get it done soon…….(Right??? To my Husband who is reading this ;-))
We are the kind of people that take their dog everywhere with them! We live in a city that isn’t the most pet friendly so it can be challenging; however, I think HoneyBear is changing their minds! We have just started asking patio restaurants if she can sit with us outside and haven’t gotten a no yet! In fact we seem to accumulate a bit of a crowd! They see HoneyBear’s smile and want to pet her and know all about her. After petting her and talking for a few minutes they look down and say “Oh wow she only has three legs??!!” I love this!! 🙂 They just saw a good looking dog with a sweet personality on first glance and didn’t notice her disability! This is her at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria the other night.
As I am writing this HoneyBear is taking a nap beside me in our hotel so she will have energy to celebrate on the river walk tonight! It seems like so long ago that she had her surgery and she is only 3 months post op! The things she has learned to do in this short amount of time amazes me! I can’t wait to see what her future holds! Thank you God for your healing and strength, please continue! Amen!
If you read my last update you know we bought Honeybear a pool so we have been so busy trying to get the backyard ready for it. If you are a homeowner I know you will understand that one thing leads to another! Its always going to cost more, take more time, and be completely exhausting!! So needless to say we are exhausted and Honeybear still doesn’t have her pool set up 🙁 But we are staying motivated and will get it done soon, very soon!
Honeybear has been doing great! My dad sent her some antlers from Wyoming that she can chew on and she loves them! As you can tell from the picture she is saying this is all mine! As I type she is getting her 4th dose of chemo. The second we turn on the road of the clinic she starts whimpering and jumping around in the truck! She loves coming here and the staff loves all the kisses she gives them! I love coming here too but I have to admit I still get nervous every time. When they bring her out I grab the cross on my necklace and hold it tight as well as my breath and wait for them to say “she is doing great!” Then I breath and say “Thank you God!” I’m sure anyone going through this will understand the fear of bad news.
When we leave the clinic we are going to a pet store that carries Orijen dog food. Even with all the supplementing we have been doing with Honeybear’s diet I still can’t stop thinking that the #1 ingredient in her food is corn. It’s a great food (Science Diet Prescription J/D) for her joints and that is why I haven’t switched yet because obviously her joint health is more important now than ever. But that corn…….so after a lot of research I think it’s best to switch to Orijen. I also have stopped giving her any kind of rawhide as we switched to the antlers. I found out the antlers have minerals and marrow on the inside which have health benefits. As they chew on them they slowly get smaller and don’t splinter off. They also last forever and I am so lucky that hiking in Wyoming is my Dad’s hobby and he finds them all the time!
Hopefully I can include a picture of Honeybear swimming in the pool on my next update. I can’t wait to see her big smile as she paddles around. I’m thinking it will take her a bit to get into the swing of swimming again but she is a smart girl! Life is so good and I know I say it every time but I’m really so thankful for another day, week, month, and God willing, year and even years with our sweet girl! Why stop at year??!! She has the strength and support to live her life to its full potential!
*Look at that core strength!!*
Honeybear has been doing really well! The only little thing and I have mentioned this before is she get’s tired quicker. For example I took her on a very short walk this morning and then a trip to Petco, taking the scenic route home so she could stick her slobbery face out the window and now she is laying right beside me snoring away! Her appetite has been great and she can run like a champ! She is definitely enjoying life!
We are still dealing with this scorching Texas heat! Honeybear is over it and so are we. You can’t go outside for 5 min without melting between the hours of 7 AM and 7PM. So we decided to buy Honeybear a present……….A POOL!!! Not just a little kiddie pool, I’m talking about a 16 foot round 4 foot deep above ground pool! We have a design and a plan so we spent this weekend tearing out our old deck to make space for our new backyard getaway! It is a lot of work but Honeybear is our motivation! I know you may be thinking, how is this a present for Honeybear?? Because she LOVES to swim! If we go to the beach she runs straight to the water! When we go to the Frio River we can’t get her out of the water! She truly loves it! We also thought it would be great therapy for her physically and mentally. It should arrive beginning of next week and hopefully will be complete in about 2 weeks. We are all so excited!
*This is Honeybear swimming at the Frio 3 days before her diagnosis*
I don’t want someone to read my blog one day and think “you must have to have a lot of money to treat a dog with cancer, all these people do is buy their dog treats, harnesses and toys.” That is why I am going to share some personal information with you, not for sympathy but to hopefully encourage someone one day. Ok here goes. Last June our dog Chogan was diagnosed with bone cancer, a week later my husband was laid off from the oilfield (a job he had and was great at for 10 years), that July we lost Chogan (he was 11 1/2). My husband got his insurance license and started working for Aflac in November (he is considered self employed and only makes money when he sells). This February we lost our diabetic cat Jinx due to organ failure (he was almost 15). On May 25th at about 3pm Honeybear was diagnosed with bone cancer. That same day May 25th at about 11:59 PM with swollen eyes and extreme exhaustion we made a decision……to FIGHT! After that our mood completely changed, instead of feeling defeated and depressed we felt relieved and hopeful! Everyday since then has truly been a blessing. We appreciate life more and realize no one knows what tomorrow will bring. This last year has been a real struggle for us but it has made us so much stronger. Our goal is to spend as much time with Honeybear as we can making her as happy as we can and if that means getting her a pool then so be it! 🙂 She is the star of the show right now. Don’t get me wrong this has been a very expensive journey but we are making it happen. We have been saying lately we are not taking our money to Heaven. It takes a lot more than money to take care of a dog/human with cancer, it takes a lot of love and faith. Even at our lowest and far from our wealthiest the decision was easy for us and I thank God everyday for showing us what we needed to do. I also thank him for healing Honeybear this far and ask he continues to do so.