Hi again, Bear here with a little more information about me.
As you may have read in my first blog entry, I’m an Australian Shepherd living in Arizona. I live in Northern AZ, so I get to experience all four seasons. With the thick coat I have I’m not sure I could handle the heat of Phoenix. YUK! My mom doesn’t like the heat either so this is a great place for us to live.
The photo I selected today is from 2015 when we had some snow. I like to play in the snow, but we haven’t had much this winter. We’ve had quite a bit of rain where I live, while some of the higher elevations have had snow. When it rains and I go out for my breaks I have to be towel-dried when I come inside. I like that, it’s fun to play with the towel while mom tries to dry my fur. I make a game of it and mom plays along. It’s fun. Once inside I tend to spend the next 30 minutes cleaning my paws. I do not like dirty paws.
Mom mentioned that she was going to set up a grooming appointment for me as soon as the weather cleared up a little. I have to agree with her, no need getting a bath if it’s going to continue to rain. I enjoy the groomer and I like looking my best. I made sure that the photo I posted on my initial blog post was one of my best. I had recently been groomed and was feeling particularly good about my appearance.
Turns out she made that appointment for Thursday, February 2, at my regular Vet/Animal Hospital. I think she’s a little fearful about leaving me at PetSmart for four hours, which is where I typically have my salon appointments. I tried to tell her I’d be just fine, but I think she feels better that I’ll be close to medical assistance should something happen. Moms! They are always worrying. No wonder they are prematurely grey. (Sorry mom, I still think you’re beautiful with all that grey hair)
I started my chemo this past week. I’m on what the vet-oncologist calls a ‘metronomic’ dose of chemo pills. I get one pill every morning wrapped in my favorite – PILL POCKET! I’ll take this medication for a couple weeks then have another blood test (YUK) to see how I’m doing. As an Aussie (yeah, that’s how we say it) my breed is sometimes prone to a blood marker (MDR) that has an adverse reaction to IV chemo. I had my blood drawn when I was at the oncologist for my initial consultation and they sent it off for a test. Can you believe they have to send my blood all the way to the state of Washington as that’s where the lab work is done?
Once the results come back, my mom will determine the best course of treatment for me. If I don’t have that blood marker, I will start IV chemo. That will happen once every three weeks, for a 15-week course of treatment. After that I go back on the daily pills I’m currently taking as maintenance.
If I do have that blood marker present, then I just stay on these pills.
The oncologist said that there is a slight chance I may get an upset stomach from the pills. So far, so good. I have not thrown-up and my stomach feels OK. I like to eat and I love my food, so that’s a good thing. Who wants to eat all that good food only to throw it up later?
I think we’ll settle in to a nice routine soon and everything will be just fine. That’s what I keep trying to tell my mom, she still cries sometimes and I do my best to comfort her. I know she doesn’t want me to see her upset but I’m pretty tuned in to her feelings. I feel everything she feels. For the most part I think she understands me, but she’s got to come to that point on her own. I have faith that she will, she’s my mom and the absolute best in the world.
Talk to you soon!