Lots Going On!

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So a lot has happened since my last post!  Yesterday was a big day, Honeybear got to get her bandage off!  I felt so relieved for her as that bandage looked so uncomfortable!  The incision looked great!  I’m attaching a photo of it below so if you have a weak stomach don’t scroll any further! I mean like I said it looks great from a medical stand point but is still a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect.

honeybear's incisionYou see, it looks great!! 😉

I definitely woke up in a great mood today and let me tell you I am NOT a morning person. I had an email waiting from the specialist and I was a little nervous to read it knowing it was probably going over the histopathology results.  She said “We got complete excision and they did not see obvious metastasis to the lymph node.”  Yay!! Woohoo! 🙂 🙂  Now I know even though they didn’t see obvious metastasis that doesn’t mean microscopic cells haven’t already spread but it is definitely a step in the right direction!  That is what the chemo is for to kill any cells we cannot see.  Anyways that is good news #1!!!

Good news #2……Honeybear’s new Ruffwear harness came in today!!  I know as soon as she is healed it will be such a benefit to help her around when she needs it.  She seemed to like it but I think she thought it was a pillow 🙂

ruffwear harness

She still has that depressed look on her face from the medicine but I started to lower her dose just a little today.  She still needs it.  The last 3 days or so she will cry out of nowhere and the specialist says it is muscle spasms from the muscles healing together.  She has still been lying around a lot but I think all that will change when meds are completely gone.  I think she is also getting super spoiled with her food, tonight was organic salmon with roasted green beans and brown rice!  I am just adding a portion of this in with her regular food so she doesn’t lack certain nutrients.  Other than that we are just waiting to take her for her first chemo treatment on Thursday!!  I will update then 🙂


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The Look on Her Face Says it All

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sad honeybear Ok so I am still remaining positive even though the pain meds are making Honeybear, well……..not Honeybear!   She is on tramadol, gabepentin, previcox and her antibiotic.  We know she handles the previcox well but the other two make her very sedated and at times anxious.  It is very frustrating to us because she was getting around perfectly at first and now with all the meds she is wobbly and weak when walking and doesn’t want to move a lot.  I talked to a doctor on call the other night and we discussed dropping down the gabepentin a little to see if that would help but then literally an hour after I talked to her Honeybear experienced “phantom pain.”  She cried out while she was calmly laying down.  I am not an expert on this but my understanding is the nerve still feels the pain the arm would feel if it was still there.  It will take a couple weeks to heal this nerve (thank goodness its not a permanent side effect) but gabepentin is the one drug to help with this.  So we have to keep her “drugged up” for a couple more days.  I definitely don’t want her to be in pain but I want to see that full of life Honeybear that I know!

On a positive note when she does get around she does great!  She has mastered going to the restroom,  she handles the ramp to the back deck like a champ, and she is still eating and drinking.  Tomorrow we go back to our local vet to remove her bandage and if she is healing well she will start her first chemo on Thursday.  I am excited to meet the oncologist and get on with healing Honeybear!

I read over and over the first two weeks are the hardest and at this point almost a week out I would hope to agree as we don’t know what the next few weeks will be like.  From what I’ve been told chemo has very little to no side effects on dogs, let’s pray this is the case for Honeybear.  My birthday is next month and the perfect present would to be able to take her to the beach!  That’s 4 weeks away so come on Honeybear you can do it!

Recovery……

The last two days have had ups and downs but Honeybear is still doing great on her recovery!  Our sweet neighbors dropped by the other night to give Honeybear some tasty treats and a card.  To our surprise she got up and ran/hopped to them!  The good in this is she ran!  The bad in this is it caused her bandage to slip and she really shouldn’t be moving like that quite yet.  So the next morning we took her to our vet and she got a new bandage.  She loved the car ride there even getting up several times to look out the window!  While we were changing her bandage we got to take a peak at her incision and it looked great!  Well it looked like an incision with staples but no signs of swelling, redness or infection.  🙂 She also stood up on her back legs to give the tech a kiss!!

honeybear in car

I also had to call the specialist because I was concerned about her abdomen.   She has been eating/drinking great and even had her first bowel movement since surgery this morning.  It may sound weird but I was so happy! It takes a few days to get that going after surgery in her case 3 days so I felt relieved for her.  Anyways back to her abdomen, it looked heavy and distended.  I tend to worry and freak out about every little thing so I immediately thought internal bleeding or stomach bloat but the specialist reassured me it was edema and is common after surgery.  It is an accumulation of tissue fluid and with gravity sat in her stomach.  She told me to put some heat on it so I did and this morning it already looks more normal.

I love to cook and learn about nutrition so yesterday I decided to make Honeybear some super healthy dog treats. She loved them 🙂  These had a pumpkin and apple base to help move things along restroom wise and this morning I found out they did the trick 😉  I plan on doing some blueberry ones next.

cookieshoneybear and cookie

At this point I think the hardest part is her being on all the pain meds.  I already cut her tramadol back a little (they said this was ok).  She is so sleepy and when she does walk wants to take breaks.  I know side effects to these painkillers are drowsiness, weakness and dizziness which must be frustrating to her since she is already learning her new balance.  I can’t wait until she is off of them and acts a little more like herself.  She should be done by next week.  We are excited to take her to her favorite places as soon as we can.  One thing about Honeybear is that she is not a homebody!  She loves to be out and about!

That’s pretty much all that has been going on the last couple days.  Tomorrow my husband takes over the nurse role since I have to go to work.  I’m going to miss her!!

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This is Honeybear one day post op!  She has been amazing through this process.  Her surgery was 6/6/16, we picked her up the next day.  My husband and I couldn’t believe that she walked to us and smothered us with her usual slobbery kisses!  Of course she was a little groggy and on lots of pain meds but her sweet personality was still showing.  After the long list of post op instructions were covered we were free to take her home and start her recovery process.  I tried asking the nurse to come home with us but she politely declined 🙂

As soon as we got home I started making Honeybear some homemade chicken with broth and veggies in case she had a difficult time eating her dinner.  Let me just say the only difficult part was telling her she couldn’t have anymore! 🙂 She gobbled it up!  Bedtime was also a breeze as she slept comfortably in the same position on her bed all night.  It is amazing how she is walking/hopping on her own so quickly.  I can tell she seems a little shaky and off balance but I know a lot of that is from the pain meds.  I can’t wait until she is off of them and can really start hopping around.  Ironically one of her many nicknames is “bunny.” 🙂

We still have a long road ahead with chemo treatments around the corner and possibly physical therapy.  Everyday on this long road will be a blessing.  I am so happy with our decision to give Honeybear a fighting chance.  I pray she will conquer cancer and inspire others to do the same!!