Saturday, October 20, 2018

September Recap

Happy Saturday. I made the piece below after seeing something similar on Pinterest.  It was done on my Ipad pro in Procreate.
After an incredibly hot summer we had a few days of fall but then it seemed like we went right into winter. It had been very cold and cloudy for about a week and then we had a few days in the 60's with sun. Snow arrived last Saturday the14th it is suppose to be back in the 60's now though. Hopefully the 60's will stick around for the rest of the month now.
September started out okay but we got some terrible news about Lily the middle of the month.
Saturday morning Sept 15th, I heard her having a really bad backward sneezing episode so I gave her a Cernia which was the med I talked about last month that we thought was helping.  When I went to feed her and she would not eat her dog food or take her Cernia so I tried to open her mouth and put it in but she cried out in pain. I finally got it down her and got her to eat her food after I crushed it up but it was really hard to get her to eat though and she was not chewing at all.  Later in the day I noticed a thick clear mucous coming out of the right side of her mouth and it had a foul odor. A few hours later she would not take any treats and started shaking. We took her to Alameda East ER later that night. They were not able to look in her mouth without it causing her great pain so they convinced me to let them sedate her and have a look. I was shocked to find out there was a tumor in her mouth. I thought the doctor said it was on her tonsil but couldn't be certain as I was still in shock after hearing that. They sent her home and told me to follow up with my vet on Monday to schedule a CAT SCAN and biopsy. She was really out of it when we got her home from all the drugs but made it through the night and the rest of the weekend. 
I sent an email to my vet Sunday night and heard back from him Monday morning but he said he could only do a biopsy so recommend we go to VRCC instead to have them done at the same time but I didn’t want to go there because it was too far. I Ended up going back to Alameda East to see Dr Santen instead. Lily had seen him years ago when she had a problem with her foot. We were able to get an appointment with him that Wednesday. He had a hard time getting her to open her mouth but said he saw the tumor from the quick look he got he did not get a good look though. He said he could do the biopsy and cat scan but we would have to wait 10 days because he was going out of town. I did not want to wait that long so I asked if someone else could do them sooner. He talked to the oncologist and she said she could do them on the 28th. We went in to meet her on the 27th and to do blood and xrays. Those thing came back okay so the procedures were a go on the 28th. I dropped her off early that morning. The procedures were done a few hours later and she was ready to go home by 2:00. They told me everything went well. When I got there to pick her up she was a mess. Totally out of it and covered in blood. I was not happy about that. The Dr. tried to clean her up with some peroxide but it didn’t help much. She also tired to show me the CAT scan but it was hard for me to understand what I was looking at and she said she was not good at reading them and to wait for the report. I did see a lot of white on one side of her throat but they said they had no trouble intubating her which was good. She did say she saw the mass though.  She decided to start her on Piroxicam to hopefully help shrink the tumor and Gabapentin for pain but they had to be compounded. I also asked her to write me a prescription for more Cerina and specially said 16 mgs. We got the Cernia and left. I didn’t bother to look at it though. I later found out she had written it for the wrong strength. The ride home was not good. She bleed all over me, When we got her home I noticed that she kept going outside a lot and discovered that she was bleeding from her behind too. Bright red blood. I was besides myself. I felt so bad for her. I put a call in to the oncologist but she was busy with another patient so had to wait for a call back. They wanted me to bring her back in but I said no. I didn’t want to take her back there after that. The compounding pharmacy called about the prescriptions but I told them to wait until we figured out why she was bleeding from the other end. I finally got a call back from the oncologist and she said she thought she had given herself stress induced colitis and put her on Metrodanazol so Emilia had to go back and get that. It was a pill though so I had to crush it to get it down her. Thankfully she took it with a little cheese. She would not eat anything else though. It was awful.  She slept okay but was up in the early morning having to go to the bathroom again. The bleeding was not as much. I gave her another pill and went back to bed. She did not want her regular food for breakfast. I got her to eat a little scrambled egg with cheese but not much. She still was not doing well and a big mess. I tried to clean her as best I could without giving her a full bath but it didn’t help much. Later that afternoon my sister came over with some stuff to rub on her gums that was supposed to help her want to eat and thankfully that worked. She ate her dinner that night and was starting to do better. Thankfully we got through the rest of the weekend and the rectal bleeding had stopped. Monday I was told it was okay to stop the Metrodanazole and start the Piroxicam. I thought it was going to take days to get it since it had to be compounded but thankfully the  pharmacy I used Clearsprings got it done quickly and I had it delivered that afternoon. I gave her the first dose that night. A few hours later I noticed that she was more active and wanting our food again. She had not been that alert in a while . I started to have hope again and thought maybe it was lymphoma which I was told would be the easiest of the cancers to treat. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed early the next morning when the oncologist called and said it was Tonsilar squamous cell carcinoma on her right tonsil and it had already spread into a lymph node. Once again I was devastated. She didn’t sound very positive and basically just told me the standard options. I felt like she was just giving up on her. She offered chemo but I was hesitant to do that with all the side effects and she would have to be closely monitored. She said to give the Piroxicam a chance to work and we could talk again in a week. She didn’t just say she would call me she said you can call me or I will call you which I thought was odd. It would have been nice if she said she would call me to follow up We talked about end of life care and she recommended someone so I asked if she could email his name but she never did. I lost it after I hung up. A little while later I ended up calling Caring Pathways to see about hospice care. I had called them when Sophie was diagnosed but never used them. It turned out they wanted a lot of money and it didn’t sound like it would be very helpful since they were not going to do anything to help get her more time. Instead I emailed the holistic vet I had contacted when Sophie got sick but never met because she was going out of town. Her message machine had not been updated since last July though. I thought that was the end of her but emailed her anyways. She finally got back to me a few days later but she was going out of town for 3 weeks so I did not feel comfortable starting with her at that point. She did say that using CBD an THC would be beneficial. That was something that I had been hearing a lot about but the vets I had seen did not know anything about it. She recommended another place to go but it was to far out and I didn’t want to stress Lily out anymore than she already had been. I tried to get in touch with another holistic vet who made housecalls but she would not even talk to me without charging for the call. I tried Googling one more time and came across a home vet I called a few month ago when this first started for another opinion but never used. It said she did holistic too which I had not seen before so I called her again and left a message. She got back to me the next day and said she was out of town but could help us so I made an appointment with her the following week. We met her the following week. She seemed very knowledgeable and came up with a plan to try and get the tumor to at least stop growing which included holistic things including CBD with THC.  She also suggested we do a lower carb diet even though Lily loves the food from the Farmers Dog my sister gave us. I tried to call them to see if they would customize their food to make it lower carb but they would not do it so it that was very disappointing. I also have never heard back from any of the other vets we saw to see how she is doing which is really upsetting especially the one I used for Sophie. She knows what we went through with her and what is going on with Lily and has totally blown us off.  I don't understand how she can do that, she had been our vet for years. The good news is she is doing better than she has been in months so we must be doing something right which gives me some hope. I just pray that we can keep the cancer from spreading at this point and this vet will be able to continue to help us in the meantime.  It is a terrible feeling not to have a vet to depend on. I guess all we can do is keep doing what we are doing, and pray for more time. We will also continue to do things that make her happy like going on walks in her stroller which she is still enjoying. If you have any extra prayers or good thoughts we could definitely use them. 

Also while I was going through all this with Lily one of my sisters dogs was not doing well either. They thought she had autoimmune encephalitis but nothing she tried was helping and she lost the battle the same time we found out about Lily. My heart breaks for her too. It has been a terrible year for our dogs but hoping there is still some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Even with all this going on I still had work to do. I found out Etsy made a lot of changes to their SEO last month so I have been working on that too. I am not changing everything all at once though I want to see if the changes are really going to help or not first. So far I have not noticed much of a difference. Sales in our Etsy shop were pretty good. We had a custom order for a wild one tutu set and matching party hat. That is a new theme for us and we love how it came out. 
I also got a request for matching banners to go with our purple elephant tutu set. 

This one has a different elephant than the one I have done before. These are the banners with the new elephant to match. Zoom in the see them close up.

Right before all this happened with Lily I was really excited for Watercolor Bootcamp to start but my beginning it was bit delayed because of that. I finally got a chance to dive in though which has been a good distraction from everything else. This was my first piece. An abstract floral landscape. 
I also made this piece to help me through this difficult time. My faith has definitely been tested through all of this and when I saw this verse I thought it would be perfect for this lesson. 

I also did these pieces from more Skillshare Classes.  The first one was from Liz Kohler Browns Chalk Hand Lettering On Your Ipad In Procreate

 I did this piece while I was waiting for the Ipad Watercolor Wonders class to start. It was done in Adobe Sketch and the class was called Learn How To Make Wonderful Digital Watercolor Paintings by Mandar Marathe.

Finally I made these Peach Bars. The recipe was from Flora and Vino. They were pretty good. The granola I used had too much Almond Flavor in it for my liking though.
That's all for now. I hope the rest of your month will be a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

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