Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cap'n Mankybeard and the Predator Prince

Let it never be said that I live a boring life.

On Friday, May 16th, my dog had her eye removed.  The surgeon was surprised at how contained the tumor was, as usually these things have tendrils creeping into other tissues.  This one was quite solid, and had an edge, and he seemed pretty optimistic about having gotten it all, even without MRIs or CAT scans.
My coworker SF took the kitten for a few days, so that I could tend to my drunk, coned-up pirate dog.  This was a lovely gesture, and allowed her kids to have Super Fun Mammal Time without the problems that come with owning a Super Fun Mammal.  Everyone is a winner in this game.  The dog got some quiet time, the kitten got to play nonstop for an entire weekend, I got to sleep past 540 in the morning, and her family got to spoil the hell out of the Predator Prince.  He enjoyed his weekend so much that I caught him sleeping in his travel carrier, something he's NEVER done before.  
The pirate dog is no longer really in pain from the surgery, but she must remain in the cone until the 28th, when her stitches come out.  Food gets stuck in the cone, and gets squished into her beard, so that's sorta manky and gross.  She has been bashing her cone on every possible surface, trying to itch the surgery site.  Yesterday, she figured out how to get the kitten to untie the string holding the cone together, so she could get out of it.

Poodles are terrifyingly smart animals.

After 5 days of being home with the recuperating pirate dog, and 3 days of running interference so that the kitten wouldn't reach into the cone and smack the incision, I went back to work.  There, I discovered that all of my monarch chrysalises have parasites.  Wonderful.  Coworker AL's comment:  "Man, you just can't catch a break, can you?"  Nope.  No, I can't.

One of the rats made an upsetting breathing sound this morning, so I'm watching him like a hawk to make sure he's not developing pneumonia.

This week, I have to build a large sea-serpent puppet for 10 people.  The kitten barely allows me to type, so bending wires and sewing fabric on those wires should be a challenge.

I also have to make a prototype name tag for this year's Pageant.  I came up with the idea before everything came apart at the seams, so this should be interesting.

It's really hard to type with a kitten latched onto your arm.  Leggo, dude.

Oh well.  At least I have things to do.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No celebrations yet.

So, we spent the afternoon at the oncologist yesterday.  They took chest X-rays, and did an ultrasound, and took some blood, and did a needle aspirate of her lymph nodes to see if this malignant eye thing has spread.

The oncologist was optimistic yesterday, seeing nothing troubling.

Today, after having the radiologist look at the films and the cytologist look at the aspirates, he called and said it hadn't spread, and she just needed to have the eye and tumor surgically removed.

Hey, that's rad.  Relief.  Awesome.  With any luck, we can do this ASAP, as I'm taking Friday, Monday, AND Tuesday off work, so I could sit with a pirate dog in a cone.

I started cleaning the gook out of the bad eye with a wet washcloth.  It involves sitting the washcloth on the dried nastiness, and letting it rehydrate so it can sort of be wiped away.  I stroked the other side of her face while we did this, so she'd hold still.

I rarely see the whites of my dog's eyes.  I was petting her firmly enough to stretch her lids open further than usual.  And then I see THIS, in her GOOD EYE.

This better not be what I think it is.
I swear to everything holy, if that thing on the edge of her iris is a melanoma, I will SCREAM MYSELF INSANE.

I don't exactly have the money to be spending on ANOTHER biopsy.  

And if one of these vets dropped the ball and didn't think to look at both eyes…. 

I will concede, it is unbearably hot here.  91 degrees right now, and it's 7pm.  I have a mild sunburn from having been outside teaching all day, and neither my house nor my office has air conditioning.  I haven't slept much since His Kittenship joined us, and I am also covered in small scratches from his gleeful rambunctious playing.  This all probably has bearing on my mood.

But still.

Barely holding it together.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sometimes it pays to show the wounds

I cancelled my trip next weekend- I can't justify spending 4 days out of town, and $500+ dollars, when the dog is possibly dying.  The hotel I could bail out of until the 15th, but the tickets to MakerFaire were no-refunds-no-exchanges sorts of things.

I don't usually challenge policies like that.  The rules apply to me, and I make my own choices.  I'm not the sort of person to yell at the customer service rep or send my entree back.

But it's $60.  With the amount of work I've missed due to vet visits, and the horrifying amount of money I'm going to be spending at the oncologist on Monday, I decided to try.

I emailed MakerFaire's customer service to ask for a refund.

"I just found out that my dog has a very aggressive sort of cancer, and I won't be able to attend the event.  I know it's silly, but my dog is my best friend, and I can't spend the weekend away from her when I know she might not have many weekends left."

The customer service rep replied within 5 minutes.

"We don't usually refund, but I just lost a furry friend of my own.  Spend time with your dog.  My condolences.  Your purchase has been refunded to your credit card."

The older I get, the more I realize that if you show people your wounds (your REAL wounds, not your "I ORDERED MY STEAK MEDIUM AND THIS IS MEDIUM WELL YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED" wounds), they will recognize them, because they have scars in the exact same place.

Thank you, MakerFaire Customer Service Rep.  You made a crappy situation a little less crappy.  My condolences on the loss of your friend.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Biopsy says...


We see the oncologist on Monday to see if it's spread anywhere else, and then figure it out from there.

She still has no idea anything is wrong.  The melanoma is ugly, and sorta blocks her vision in that eye, and bleeds if she rubs it funny, but is otherwise not really bothering her.  She's totally focused on playing with her kitten.

Dammit, Sandman, you are a companion, not a replacement, do you hear me?

Come on, Trixie LaRue, let's go for a walk so you can sniff the neighborhood.