Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweetheart and I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am so very thankful that is she alive and doing well!  Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for...

So Thanksgiving is upon us.  I hope that everyone is able to spend it with their loved ones.

Sweetheart is doing fine.  Her leg still looks ratty but that is to be expected. She still has another week of antibiotics to go.  She isn't licking it too terribly much.  She doesn't really put much weight on it when she is just walking normally.  However, when she gets excited outside she will run like the wind on all four legs.  :)  Looking at her lying on the floor right now, it appears the tendon that extends down the back of the leg is getting stronger.  This tendon, while in the bandage, was very loose and pliable since she was not able to use it.

Sweetheart continues to eat fine and her weight is pretty well stabilized as it has been for a while now.  I probably won't take her back to Kolar's for her spay for a few weeks.  There is no rush to get her spayed.  She has not come into heat and I doubt she will for a while due to her extreme emaciation.  Her poor little hormones are probably still out of whack from all she has been through the last six to nine months.  I figure she will most likely be able to be spayed by the end of the year.

So you all know how I like to pose questions to everyone periodically.  Well, I am doing it again.  I want everyone who reads this post to comment on 5, yes 5, things they are most thankful for.  Below is my list!

1.  Thankful that Sweetheart is so far along with her recovery.

2.  Thankful that I am healthy and happy.

3.  Thankful I have my Mom and Dad and that I am close to both of them.

4.  Thankful for Les and his ability to put up with me and our crazy dogs.

5.  Thankful for my friendship with Debbie and all the things I learned about how to live life to the fullest.

6.  Thankful for all of YOU who have given me support through these last few months.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweetheart is HOME...again

Monte spending Friday evening passed out on a
slowly deflating airbed!

I picked up Sweetheart from Dr. Kolar's yesterday.  She was literally hopping up and down in the lobby and pawing the front door.  I think she might have lost a pound or two but that is normal what with being at the vet's office for five days and fighting infection, etc.  She will gain that back in a day or two knowing her.

When I asked Lynn how much we owed (Sweetheart was there since Monday mind you), she went into the back and asked Dr. Kolar.  She came back up front and told me he wasn't going to charge us.  WOW!  Another BIG thank you to Dr. Kolar and staff for the care they provided this go round and for not charging us.

Sweetheart was happy to be home.  She ran around the back yard with Cleo and came in and ate really well.  She took her anitbiotic like a trooper (wrapped in cheese so I guess I shouldn't be surprised she liked it).  She then proceeded to pass out on the air bed with me while I was reading.

Her leg looks good.  Well, good to me that is.  It is all dried up, no weeping wounds at all!  Now that the bandage is off and her leg is cleaned (yes, they cleaned all that gunk off of it) you can really see how much damage was done.  Her leg is indented fairly obviously where the rope and chain wore it down to the bone.  Even though it is odd looking, I am so very thankful that she has this leg.  I never thought she would be this far along in the healing process.  She is an amazing dog.

Dr. Kolar will not spay her for a few weeks.  I will keep an eye on her and the leg to make sure it is healing like it is supposed to.  Her leg has grown hair back on it, you can see that in the pictures I took.  Yes, her toenails are super long but he will most likely cut those when she is under anesthesia during the spay.  I am not touching that foot while her leg is still healing.  I would hate to cause more damage just for a toenail clipping.

Below are pictures that I took last night:


Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday - Sweetheart is coming home!

I talked to Dr. Kolar a few minutes ago.  Sweetheart's leg is slowly healing from the infection.  He has kept the bandage off of the leg since Tuesday and she has continued to do well with it off.  She licks it every now and then but still isn't being obsessive with it.  Dr. Kolar wants to wait a couple of weeks, at least, to spay her.  I am so relieved to hear that!

Dr. Kolar said she isn't putting a lot of weight on the leg right now but she does put it down, at times, when she is just standing.  He feels this is totally normal due to the infection and swelling that she had.  He also feels she may have some joint issues due to arthritis since that leg had so much trauma to it.  But, overall, she is doing well.

I am going to pick her up after work today.  She will be on another round of antibiotic pills while she is at home.  I will also doctor it with  furozone salve a couple of times a day.  Dr. Kolar wants me to keep an eye on her leg over the next few weeks and if it starts looking 'funky' to bring her in. 

I am thrilled the bandage is off for good.  I cannot even imagine how good that feels for her to finally be rid of that thing.  I will let you all know how she does once I get her home and settled tonight. 

Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes during this week!  As always, I appreciate them very much.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  The weather in OK is going to be gorgeous this weekend and I am going to enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Morning update 11/17

De ja vu for me as I am stalking Dr. Kolar's office like I did when we first rescued her.  :)

I just got off the phone with Dr. Kolar.  He said he kept Sweetheart's leg unwrapped yesterday and she only licked it every now and then and she wasn't obsessing about it, whew!  He said the leg is looking better today.  He feels the only areas infected are where she has the open wound.  He said the swelling of her entire leg and paw was from her bandage being wrapped too tight last week.  Dr. Kolar said the swelling has gone done quite drastically and the infection in the open wound is looking better, whew again!

He said he will make a decision about the spay tomorrow morning (he will be gone tomorrow afternoon) but he thinks he will put it off until next week.  I would be relieved if he did put it off until next week.  I asked him if he wanted me to bring her home this week if he puts off the spay until next week and he told me he will decide that tomorrow as well.

I may go tonight to see her, I haven't decided.  I miss having her and her little smelly leg.  :)  If I don't go see her tonight and she has to stay at the vet's until next week, I will definitely go tomorrow evening.

Just wanted to keep everyone updated!  Hope you all have a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Setback confirmed

I talked to Dr. Kolar about 9:30 today.  He said there are a few places on Sweetheart's leg that he feels are infected.  She is running a fever.  He gave her an injection of antibiotics and is going to put off spaying her for at least a few days.  He is also going to leave the bandage off of her leg to allow air to get to it and hopefully accelerate the healing process.  Dr. Kolar is going to try to keep from putting a halo collar on her but if she starts really bothering  the leg it he will have to put one on.

I let Dr. Kolar know that we aren't in any hurry for the spay and that if it needs to be put off for a few weeks that is no problem.  The important thing is making sure the infection goes away in that leg.  I would hate to see her lose that leg after how much progress she has made on it.  I doubt that will happen but I am not taking any chances.  Plus, I do not want to spay her if she has an infection, I would worry it would further compromise her health.

I may see Sweetheart today.  I am going to the OKC Animal Shelter in a little while to look at a dog that might be a greyhound.  If it is, Fasthound will take possession of the dog and I will take it to Dr. Kolar's for boarding and vetting.  If I do, I will visit my little peanut and see how she is doing.  Poor little girl, I hate that she is hurting but she is in the best of care right now!

So, Sweetheart will remain at Dr. Kolar's for at least another few days.  I am glad she is there and is able to have that bandage off.  I imagine her leg feels a lot better without that thing on it!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I took Sweetheart into Dr. Kolar's today.  I think her bandage was wrapped too tightly this week.  Her little toes were rather smooshed and she wasn't walking on that leg.  We ended up removing the bandage Sunday around 1 p.m.  Her foot swelled and her leg got pretty red.  I am hoping this is due to the blood being able to really flow to it.  I put a gauze pad on the open wound and wrapped part of the leg very sparingly in cloth gauze. I didn't want to wrap it tightly because I didn't want to strangulate the paw.  Ugh, I need to go to vet school I swear.

I talked to Dr. Kolar and he is going to examine the leg and foot thoroughly tomorrow.  If he feels she is able to be spayed, he will spayed her tomorrow.  I am hoping her foot and leg are alright.  I really think this bandage needs to stay off.  We are going to see what Dr. Kolar recommends.  Les and I are hoping he might keep her most of the week if the bandage can stay off.  We shall see.  I am rather worried about her but I just have to hope all will be ok.  I asked Dr. Kolar to call me tomorrow and let me know what he recommends.

No new pictures of Sweetheart.  However, Journey is quite cute in the picture below.  And yes, that is her leg slung over her ear.  She loves to sleep that way, why I have no idea.  Journey has nice spots too but not as many as Sweetheart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bandage Change

Sweetheart's weight is holding steady at 53 pounds.  I feel this is the weight she will most likely maintain.  When she gets the bandage off for good she will gain more muscle in that leg and that might bump her weight up a little but not much.  She is a tall, fine boned female greyhound and the weight she is at now is quite healthy for her physique.

Sweetheart's leg is still doing about the same.  The wound is about the same size as last week.  The wound is not deep any longer but the edges of the wound get irritated from the rub of the bandage.  The wound is still too big for the bandage to come off.  If the bandage were to be removed, the wound would bleed and get infected.  So, we are in a catch 22 right now with her leg.  I think we are just going to have to limit her activity outside.  I feel that this may be what is necessary to get over this last little bit of healing.  The wound is not infected though and that is a good thing.

Below are a couple pics of Sweetheart 'roaching' this evening.  Everyone know what roaching is, right?

Spots, spots and more spots!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silly pictures

 My friend at work got Sweetheart an octopus dog toy.  Sweetheart came in from being outside all day and laid down in front of my chair.  Les was sitting by me and told me to look at what she was doing.  She had chomped down on one of the tentacles and was falling asleep with one of them in her mouth.  It was so silly looking we had to take a few pics and share them with you all.

It has gotten cooler in Oklahoma and Les set up the electric heater in the living room to break the chill.  He walked into the living room today and saw Kitty laying by the heater warming up in front of it.  I didn't even notice her.  I took the bottom two pictures a few minutes ago and thought they were cute.  Kitty loves being warm and cozy by the 'fire'.

Kitty warming up by the electric heater

Kitty loves anything warm

Friday, November 5, 2010

A little more about Debbie

I am writing this per Jennifer's request (see her comment on the blog post before this one).  Jennifer wants to know more about Deb, like how we met and how long we were friend's.  So, here goes.  Below is a picture of Debbie, taken maybe a year or so before she was diagnosed with cancer.  She was (it is hard to refer to her in the past tense) was a beautiful person on the inside and the outside.

Debbie and I met at work.  I work at Social Security and I take and process claims.  I was working in the Oklahoma City office and Debbie came up there for training (she got promoted to a claims representative).  We got to talking some because I wanted to transfer to her office because it is smaller, less stressful and closer to my home.   I ended up transferring to the Shawnee office, where I work now, and became her mentor once she got out of class.  I was her mentor for a little while as is usual and we became friends.  She was really smart so she made me look like a smashingly great mentor.  :)

Time went by and we just grew close.  I guess when you listen to someone's marital problems, stick with them through a nasty divorce and the day to day work grind, you just sort of grow close.  Debbie and I are alike in a lot of ways but also different in a lot of ways too.  She was athletic and strong, I am not.  She was outgoing and made friends easily, I am not and do not.  Yet, she loved to read, cross stitch and we shared a similar sense of humor.  However, in certain areas she was tentative, like in talking about feelings and confronting people about things that might cause conflict. I am pretty straightforward and like to get things out in the open.

Long story short, I personally think we balanced each other out.  I think I helped her be able to talk about feelings more easily with people and she helped me be more outgoing (even though I struggle with this still).

When she was diagnosed with cancer in August 2009, I didn't think anything of staying friends with her.  It was and is the most natural thing in the world to me to be there for a friend in need.  Her cancer was the nastiest, most aggressive thing I ever saw in my life.  She started treatment in Shawnee but her cancer spread to her liver and they could not treat her any longer.  Debbie ended up leaving work January 2010 to go to McKinney Cancer Center in Texas but I always made it a point to text her or FB message her almost every day.  I never called because she was always so busy running around to treatment.  She had her mastectomy in May 2010 and another surgery to remove the breast cancer that recurred on her skin in June 2010 (yes, it was THAT aggressive).  I went down to treatment with her for two days around this time and then I went down again for a week in August 2010 (this is when you were introduced to her via this blog).

I knew Debbie was strong and tough but I never knew the extent of this until I went with her in August.  By that point she had been battling a horrible chest wound caused by an infection in the incision of her June 2010 surgery.  I saw her get that wound treated and I never, ever want anyone to have to go through the absolute torture that I saw.  She had to do that 3 times a week (dressing changes) from June 2010 until she died last week to keep the wound from getting infected.  In addition to the chest wound, she was also going through the first part of whole brain radiation when I was down there with her (the cancer had spread to her lungs, liver again and brain) and it was affecting her by making her extremely nauseated.  However, she was so amazing.  While down there we went to a movie, out to eat when she felt like it and shopping at the Coach store outlet and Gap outlet.  She just never let cancer stop her.  We talked about all kinds of things, serious and silly.  That is what I loved about our friendship, we could talk about anything and nothing was ever 'out of bounds' discussion wise.

She would come home to Oklahoma every weekend and would do as much with her three kids as she could. She tried to keep their lives as normal as possible and she did so much with them that many people wouldn't have found the strength to do.  An example of this is she would go and watch her 8 year old daughter's soccer games on Saturdays.

The doctor's told Debbie that her cancer had spread too far and that they could not treat her any longer a week before Sweetheart's party.  She came home that Friday and I stayed the night with her all that night and for six hours that Saturday evening.  She was suffering so much and had to be helped up to the bathroom and back to the couch, etc.  But she was an awesome person, never embarrassed for me to help her with what she needed and she was still able to laugh and find joy in things.  I saw her again for a little bit last Monday and Tuesday.  I went by her house Friday morning and she was asleep.  She died in the early morning hours  that night.

Her funeral was Tuesday.  Les and I had dinner with her husband and her childhood friend last night.  It was so hard being in her house and knowing she wasn't ever going to be there again.  But, I got to hear some great stories about her from her friend and we got to laugh about how strong and stubborn Debbie was.  It was wonderful for me to be able to do that.

I have my ups and downs.  I am incredibly sad she is gone.  Even though this last year we mainly just texted,  I knew she was always there.  Since she has been gone I find myself wondering what Debbie would think about certain things that happen at work or books that are coming out and I have to tell myself she is not longer here to ask.  I am not angry, just sad that my wonderful friend had to leave us so very soon.  I will always miss her but I will be ok because I know she would want us to move on with our lives.  However, I am sure in the upcoming months I will have my ups and downs and that is ok.  I figure that being this sad meant we had a great friendship and I won't ever forget that.

If any of you have any other questions about my friend, please email me or comment.  If you are tired of me talking about her, I understand.  I only wrote this because Jennifer asked me these questions and I wanted to share a little more about her.  Thank you for asking Jennifer, talking about her makes me feel good.  I hope all of you are lucky enough to have a best friend like the one I did.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday evening

Sweetheart had a bandage change today.  She had not really been using her leg as much the last couple of days.  Les found out why today.  She has a pressure sore on the bottom of one of the paw pads and a small rub wound on the side of one toe (from the toenail rubbing on it).  The last open wound has not healed but Les said it looks a little smaller and a little more oblong.  Thankfully there is no infection (I was rather worried about that one)

Sweetheart weighed 53.6 pounds.  That is great, it means she has gained back the pound she lost when her toe on her good leg became infected.
Sweetheart will have another bandage change the 10th and then will be spayed the 16th.  As I have said before, I am not looking forward to her spay as I do not like the fact that she will be experiencing more pain.  However, the pain will be short lived and I know spaying is the best thing for her in the long run.  It is just hard for me to put her through any more discomfort.

I am glad everyone enjoyed the pictures from Sweetheart's party.  I loved reading all of your comments.

I have been having my ups and downs this week since the death of my friend.  The funeral was yesterday and tomorrow I will be going over to her house as her husband wants me to pick something of hers out as a keepsake.  I think that is so gracious and lovely of him.  I have no idea what I will decide on, maybe a book or one of her cross stitch things (both things we loved to do).  I am grateful she was my friend and keepsake or no, I will always remember her.  I hope you have had or currently do have someone in your life as special of a friend as Debbie was to me and to many others.

Ok, enough sappy talk.  I hope everyone is having a good week.  I am looking forward to the weekend and hope everyone out there is too.

Talk to you soon.