Kick Cancer’s Tail!

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dr wiley

*Honeybear and Dr. Wiley*

We just got home from Honeybear’s 3rd chemo treatment! Her exam and blood work were all great! ¬†Honeybear’s Oncologist (Dr. Wiley) even took a picture with her and her new bandana they gave her that says “Kick Cancer’s Tail!” ūüôā ¬†Too bad they didn’t have one in pink……Dr. Wiley is so intelligent and compassionate, we love her! ¬†She is so patient with my lists of questions every time and has a way of reassuring me Honeybear is doing well and is on the right track! ¬†If you have to go through something like cancer its such a blessing to have a great team that helps you along the way. ¬†We even stopped by our favorite pizza place on the way home for lunch. ¬†If you are ever in San Antonio I highly recommend The Dough Pizzeria! ¬†They even give you %10 off your bill if you take your dog! ¬†ūüôā

honeybear orange ball #2

Honeybear is doing well at home also. ¬†She is back to herself wiggling her booty and playing with some toys. ¬†She has stare downs with the lizards in the backyard almost every night (I’m working on a picture!). ¬†Every time she hears the car keys she is ready to go! ¬†She does however tire quicker than normal but I can’t blame her hopping around in this Texas heat!! It is brutal! I can’t wait for it to be over!! ¬†I have also been spending a lot of time researching nutrition and supplements for her. ¬†We kept her on her science dog food j/d for her joints but I am adding homemade lean chicken, salmon, beef, sardines, cottage cheese, turmeric, chia seeds, kale, spinach, pumpkin, eggs, and an organic immune supplement made from mushrooms. ¬†I am trying to keep the ratio of protein higher than carbs and staying completely away from starchy and surgery foods. ¬†The only treats I buy her are freeze dried salmon, chicken or beef liver. ¬†I am also looking at possibly adding a cbd oil, but just started researching this. ¬†There is so much to learn but I feel confident that with conventional medicine and nutritional support she will have the best results. ¬†So I’m pretty sure Honeybear eats better than we do now! ūüôā I thank God for the strength and healing he has given Honeybear and pray he continues to bless our sweet girl with his amazing power and cure her from this awful disease. ¬†It is possible with God by our side!

 


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Honeybear’s Hero

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chogan and honeybear beach

As you all know HoneyBear is on a journey to fight and God willing be cured from Osteosaracoma. ¬†I strongly believe she is able to fight because we saw her symptoms and acted quickly. ¬†The reason we were able to see this is because one year ago today we lost our beloved Chogan Thor to the same disease. ¬†He was 11 1/2 when he passed. ¬†He had x-rays and we thought he just had some really bad arthritis for months and finally when his leg was lame we saw a specialist. ¬†We chose not to do treatment with him. ¬†We didn’t have the knowledge then that we do today. ¬†I have regretted this before but I am a believer in God and I know that everything happens for a reason. ¬†I find peace in my heart knowing Chogan gave HoneyBear her fighting chance! ¬†If it wasn’t for experiencing what we did with him we would also be treating Honeybear for arthritis. ¬†She at least has a fighting chance now.

chogan and honeybear wedding

*We had an extremely small wedding but the one thing we were determined about from the start is Chogan and Honeybear will be a part of it!* 

Chogan was so special to us, he was our first “fur baby.” ¬†He went on so many adventures with us and was always ready for another. ¬†He was the most intelligent dog I have ever known and gave true meaning to the term “gentle giant.” There was never a quiet moment with him around as he was very vocal! ¬†He even knew how to say “I love you!” ¬†Before we brought Honeybear home as a puppy Chogan knew the names of his toys…..basketball, baseball, monkey and frog! ¬†Honeybear changed this very quickly because she ate them!! ūüôā ¬†Honeybear learned everything from him even staring at the guinea pigs at Petsmart! ¬†They were best friends. ¬†He was the kind of dog you could take off the leash and trust %100. ¬†He was strong, loyal, smart, sweet, and had such a big heart. ¬†Chogan was tremendously loved by us and everyone that knew him and not a day goes by that we don’t think of him and miss him but I know he will always be with us.

Honeybear's Contest Photo

 

Honeybear is doing really well and is 6 weeks post op! ¬†She has enjoyed several trips to the beach and loves to hang out on the deck every night chasing the lizards! ¬†Her muscles are feeling so strong again and her balance and core strength is great!! The only side effect we have seen from the chemo is low white blood cell count. ¬†During these couple days she gets a little sleepy and lethargic and then the next day she is perky and ready to go! ¬†I recently bought her an organic immune supplement to hopefully help with this. ¬†Amazon loves me right now! ¬†Anything Honeybear needs Honeybear gets! ¬†Although she definitely knows how to hop around and hop around fast she does tire pretty quickly so little by little is best for her. ¬†One of the hardest things for me is to let her be a dog! ¬†Every time she tries to chase a squirrel or run around the house I get really nervous she will hurt herself. ¬†I feel like I want to wrap her in bubble wrap!! ¬†ūüôā She plays with her toys once in awhile but still not as much as before. ¬†I have to remind myself she is still only 6 weeks post op! ¬†I feel like the surgery was years ago already! ¬†I am very happy with her progress and feel blessed for more time with her!

silly bear laying aroundhoneybear and immune supp

She’s Back!

honeybear 4th of july

This has been such a long month but I definitely wouldn’t change it! ¬†Honeybear is officially one month post op and is finally getting back to herself!! ¬†It took a lot longer than I was expecting but I’ll take it. ¬†She is off all pain meds as of last week. ¬†The only thing we are keeping her on is previcox (an anti-inflammatory) for any joint discomfort she may have. ¬†We have also recently learned previcox may also help fight cancer cells. ¬†She has only whimpered a couple times this last week from what we are guessing was phantom pains. ¬†Other than that she seems to be pain free. ¬†Her body went through an adjustment phase but we are thinking that is also getting a lot better. ¬†She would grunt when laying down, seem stiff when walking, and have shaky legs upon standing. ¬†Some of this had to do with lack of exercise while recovering, side effects from the pain meds, and her body just learning to move differently. ¬†The oncologist was saying how her front leg is moving more to the center to compensate for the extra weight and tendons and ligaments are being stretched in this process. ¬†Makes sense she would be a little uncomfortable!

Today was her second chemo treatment and her exam and blood work were great! ¬†Last week her white blood count was low and she had to be put on antibiotics. ¬†They say this is common and not to worry (Ya right me not worry??!!). I could definitely tell because she was a little tired for a couple days but she bounced back pretty quickly. ¬†Today they lowered her dose just a little bit and the oncologist assured us that it will not decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. ¬†Last time we saw the oncologist Honeybear was still on a lot of pain meds but today she wasn’t and definitely showed them her sweet personality! ¬†She is a licker and they found that out ūüôā ¬†When we picked her up she was so happy she even tried to sit in the middle with us on the way home!

honeybear front seat truckhoneybear going to san antonio

We decided to take Honeybear to the beach for a couple hours July 4th weekend. ¬†Of course we went prepared with lots of water and we even bought her a little tent that we put her cool pad in so she wouldn’t get overheated. ¬†She actually hopped quite well in the sand and even got jealous of some kids playing a game of baseball so I had to bring her ball out for a couple short tosses. ūüôā

honeybear and ball at beach  honeybear tent

We have looked at many diets and have decided to stick with her Science Diet J/D and supplement with lean meat, green veggies, turmeric, cottage cheese and pumpkin. ¬†We, along with the oncologist, feel like this is the best plan for her. ¬†Oh ya and an occasional bone to help clean her teeth, which she learned to hold with one paw the other night!! ¬†I still think she will need another month and some physical therapy to be at her absolute best given the circumstances but she is doing so well and amazing us every day!! Every time she does something she used to do we jump for joy (literally, sometimes I do!). ¬†She started playing with her toys the other day, she is greeting us when we get home, she is outside looking for the lizards, she barks at the UPS truck again, she is laying on her back again (typical Rottie), she is begging for her bone again, she is standing in the truck on rides again, and she is getting on our bed again!! ¬†Don’t get worried we just have our mattress on the floor. ¬†That is something I don’t think I have addressed yet……..We have been having a giant slumber party in our living room since she came home from her surgery!! ¬†We decided it was easier and cheaper to buy enough non slip rugs for just our main living area and keep her to that part of the house. ¬†So we have our mattress, 3 dog beds, and rugs and yoga matts everywhere! ¬†ūüôā

honeybear and bonehoneybear on back

I’m sure we will still have some rough days ahead but we are also going to have many good! ¬†Everyday is a blessing. ¬†No one knows your future when you are going through cancer treatment but I have strong faith Honeybear has the will to survive and she will get through this stronger in the end! ¬†We are so thankful God has put wonderful doctors in Honeybear’s life and pray he will continue to heal her!

3 Week Roller Coaster Ride-The Ups and Downs

honeybear sunset

It has been awhile since my last post so this might be a little long. ¬†I definitely feel like I have been on a roller coaster ride and I do not like roller coasters! ¬†They are scary, unpredictable and just when you think its over it does one more crazy flip! ¬†This is exactly what has been going on with Honeybear. ¬†Recovery was and is a lot tougher than I had thought it would be. ¬†I knew that she would have some pain and it would take a couple weeks before she acted any better but I wasn’t prepared for the whimpers with the phantom pain, the edema in her belly, the side effects of the pain meds, the soreness and stiffness their bodies feel adjusting to their new walk, the muscle wasting from just laying around, and the gut wrenching feeling I get when I see her struggle in any way. ¬†Between her pain med schedule and listening to her switch positions or whimper in the middle of the night sleep had been non existent until the last couple nights. ¬†I am writing this blog to #1 document Honeybear’s journey and #2 to help someone who is going through this also or thinking about going through this, so I think its important I not only talk about the positives but the negatives as well.

Honeybear is 3 weeks post op tomorrow! ¬†She is completely off tramadol and is only taking one Gabepentin twice per day along with her previcox once a day. ¬†I tried the last couple days to get the Gabepentin down to once a day but as soon as I skip that morning dose she can’t get comfortable and will start panting. ¬†On day 17 I came home for lunch and she was actually standing waiting for me and wiggling her little booty! I was so happy!! ¬†ūüôā Prior to this she would be on her bed when I would come home and lift her head. ¬†I was also bringing her food to her at this time. ¬†She now gets up to greet us and to eat her food! ¬†She loves being outside, anytime she hears the door open she is up! ¬†This is great to see but very frustrating because we live in Texas and it is already a scorching summer! ¬†We can only be outside 5-10 minutes unless it’s after the sun has gone down. ¬†We are close to the beach which she loves but right now they have been reporting a flesh eating bacteria in our water!! ¬†I think we’ve been through enough lately so scratch that for now! ūüôĀ ¬†I have seen where people ask if tripawds get depressed and in my opinion I think for Honeybear she is happy doing something she loves but just cooped up inside the house definitely gets her down.

Honeybears cart honeybear and guinea pigs

Don’t get me wrong we have definitely been doing anything we can with her. ¬†The other night we took her to a walking trail and she got a little ride in her cart! ¬†She loved it! ¬†Last night we took her to our neighborhood park that we used to walk to every morning, she also loved this! ¬†Today I took her to the bank and a quick stop at Petco to see the guinea pigs. ¬†Of course she loved this also but I discovered no more Petco unless she has her rubber pawz shoes on! ¬†She was slipping all over the place! ¬†Thank you Ruffwear for the harness, I was able to hold her up. ¬†I have noticed even though she loves all these activities they wear her out quickly and make her sore and stiff. ¬†So I think baby steps is the best way to go. ¬†I do want to get her into some physical therapy soon. ¬†I think this will help with her strength and stamina.

Honeybear’s blood test last week was good so we have one more to do this week and back to the specialist next week for chemo #2! ¬†As far as I know she is handling the first chemo very well. ¬†It is hard to tell since she is still on some meds and is still recovering. ¬†I have read so many stories where dogs have bounced back to their old selves at 2 weeks post op. ¬†This is great and amazing for these dogs but it is not true for all dogs. ¬†Honeybear definitely¬†has her sweet personality back but as far as activity level she is still working on it. ¬†She was an extremely active dog pre op and was still using her right arm (bad arm) so I think that is why it is taking her a little longer than some.

We are so blessed to be able to proceed with the treatment for Honeybear and I pray for her healing and strength everyday. ¬†Every day is better than the last and every week I see leaps of improvement! ¬†Patience is a necessity going through recovery and I am working on that! ¬†I am also working on not worrying so much, I know she feels it. ¬†I wish I had a switch “worry off!” ¬†Since I don’t I will work on that and Honeybear will work on healing and I will have an update soon! ¬†Got to go prep Honeybear’s salmon and spinach dinner now!

honeybear and sheena sunset

Round 1 Done!!

honeybears shirt

Today was a big and exhausting day for Honeybear! ¬†We saw her surgeon for her suture removal and she is healing perfectly! ¬†Honeybear even sat on her back legs and gave the surgeon a high five!! ūüôā ¬†We then had our oncology consultation and proceeded with her first chemo treatment. ¬†They did an exam and blood work prior to the treatment and all was good. ¬†The exam, blood work and treatment took only an hour! ¬†I think the consultation was longer because of all of my questions! ¬†This was one treatment of five that she will need. ¬†We will take her every week for blood work and every three weeks for treatment. ¬†I just have to say although this specialty hospital is a drive for us they are totally worth it! ¬†I couldn’t be more pleased with the professionalism, compassion and knowledge that the staff has at South Texas Veterinary Specialists.

honeybear post chemoHoneybear in the car after chemo,  her happy little face is starting to come back!!

As you can see we decided to have a little fun with all this to keep our spirits up so we made Honeybear a shirt for her trip today. ūüôā ¬†She has to wear shirts right now so she doesn’t lick her incision. ¬†Everyone loved it and I have to say I think yellow is her color. ūüôā ¬†She is still on low dose pain killers for her muscle spasms (phantom pains) but I think they might be getting a little better. ¬†The surgeon said they might last for 4-6 weeks. ¬†I have been researching cancer diets for dogs and decided to keep her on her specialty food for her joints but also supplement with some lean meats, vegetables, turmeric and hemp oil, etc. ¬†The oncologist said all this would be fine to do with the chemo and since she will be doing so much blood work they will notice if a problem does arise with her diet.

As soon as she is off her pain meds and completely healed I plan on visiting a local canine rehab clinic for some water therapy. ¬†Honeybear loves to swim and it is supposed to be the best therapy for amputees. ¬†I am still trying to convince my husband that we just need to get a pool for the backyard!! ūüėČ ¬†So far no luck but I will keep you posted! ¬†It sure would be nice for our hot Texas summer………Anyways back to work tomorrow so I will update as soon as I can. ūüôā