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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

News and a lesson

They didn't find a visible tumor on R's heart, which was the best that we could hope for today.
In meeting with the cardiologist, I learned more about R's condition. A significant fraction of his red blood cells appear to be damaged (called "acanthocytes") which makes all vets nervous about hemangiosarcoma lurking somewhere in his body. We sent out another blood sample to search for a biomarker that would indicate a tiny heart tumor, below the resolution of an echocardiogram. If it comes back positive, they'll send us to an oncologist. There's a 1-3 day turnaround time on that test.
But, the cardiologist clearly told me that none of R's vets will relax until the acanthocytes start disappearing from his blood - something must have damaged his red blood cells, and we all hope that it was something transient that is gone now. The fear is that there's a hemangiosarcoma tumor someplace that's still too small to see in ultrasounds. So, I guess that we won't fully relax for a while. It's not reasonable to expect his red blood cell population to change substantially for at least a month.
I am reminded very strongly of those 7 months that K lived with osteosarcoma. She taught us about seizing every single day to live as joyfully as we could, even under the burden of a deadly disease.
Now, we need to do that with R - not because we have any definitive diagnosis - but because that's how K taught us to live. At the end of our lives, none of us, including R, would want to regret missing the joy and beauty in each day of our lives.
K galloped with joy, just a few days after stereotactic radiation on her leg tumor


  1. Could it be he was bitten by something? Or picked up a fungal infection (similar to our valley fever)? We are praying for quick answers and a speedy recover!


  2. That black dog sure looks healthy to me :-)

  3. I'm sorry to hear you having another health mystery hanging over your head. Java could barely walk the day after we returned from a camping and hiking trip. She tested positive for lyme disease. Makes you wonder whether all the expensive preventatives do any good. After just one day of antibiotics, Java is full of energy and running around. So yes, here's to today and all that we can make of it.

  4. Will keep sending good thoughts for R. Hug your beautiful boy!

  5. Wha---? I moved this summer and have been away from the blog world for awhile, so I haven't visited since before K passed...and now you're dealing with another health scare?? That seems unbelievable! I'm so sorry, and so hope that this is something treatable and/or curable.

  6. What an unbelievably tough year your family has had. Were all thinking of R and hoping for good news. Much love to all of you.

  7. Gosh, I'm sorry to read this about R. We will keep our paws crossed for him and hope all is well.

  8. I still feel that it isn't cancer.
    Can't accept that at all.

    Isn't this the guy that likes to eat mushrooms?

    Its just something else and he can get over it. I just love that little nutcase!


  9. I'm still hoping hard for the best news for R! I'm glad that today's test didn't drop a bomb on you that it was the worst case scenario. I think losing Treat taught me the same lesson. I've been looking at Blueberry lately and wondering how she got to be twelve years old, or how Bunny is almost six. When did that happen? They were both just puppies yesterday! I made up my mind with Lilac to live with no regrets, and that still holds true for all of our dogs, regardless of their age. I can't imagine R having any regrets about the life he lives with you!

  10. Kia ora KB,
    Ataahua. I am inspired by the philosophy and lessons you have absorbed and learned from K. She still teaches us. Kia kaha e hoa.

  11. Holding good thoughts in my heart for R's test results.

  12. We humans struggle with all of the possibilities...and I am right there with you, filled with fear. And yet in the clutches of it we miss the tiny yellow flower or awesome sunlight on R's coat. Focus the power and believe that the best results will happen then follow the lessons of the Now so beautifully taught by your Girl.

  13. You are doing the very best,and we are all hoping the next tests show good news .Yes, each day, and K has taught you so much, and the lessons will be with you as the next days and weeks unfold.Fond greetings, Jean

  14. I'm glad to hear no tumor showed on R's heart. I know he's not completely out of the woods but my fingers are crossed that what ever did the damage is gone and he can slowly heal. No sense wasting time worrying about what might be. For now it's negative so you have to think positive. (Did that make sense?) I love seeing pictures of him. He is such a shining black beauty and I'm glad to hear that even in his new big brother state he is still your cracker dog! It sounds like things with him and Shyla are going great. You are so good at training your dogs, you can tell it is your passion. Now if I could just get you to come and train Freddie! LOL!
    P.S. - I love the picture of R laying on Hug Hill in your last post. :)

  15. Our paws are crossed for R and we send our very best wishes to you all.

  16. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers, KB, and our paws remain crossed for you, R. We so hope this is curable!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  17. Hi KB, we can't believe it will be anything bad. We have paws crossed here that all ends well and your two enjoy each other's company for many many years to come. Enjoy your beautiful part of the country. No worries, and LOVE, Stella and Rory

  18. Wow -

    You just never get a chance to relax -

    We'll keep the paws in place until you get updates on The Amazing R -

  19. hopefully his bloodwork will return to normal and this unknown assault will be gone! i feel for you KB, not really knowing and with the big C word looming over his diagnosis.....

  20. That news (or lack of it) is a good start! We'll continue keeping our paws crossed for R.

    Keep on running R!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  21. We're continuing with our prayers for R. On a more positive note, there was a time when R seemed visibly ill. Since then he has improved a lot. So just maybe this problem with his blood has something to do with something that happened when he was sick. Let's just keep our fingers crossed for a good report.

  22. Everyone at my house has our paws crossed as hard as we can for a good result!

  23. I am so sorry that you have to deal with another round of worry in your lives. We are sending you a prayer that all turns out just fine!
    Please give both of the kids a hug from my family to yours!
    Stella Rose

  24. So glad to read these words today - hugs to R and Shyla from me and Indy Bones!

  25. It is just so unfair that you have to worry so much about R at this stage. We are crossing everything we've got for him. This may be a silly question but would a transfusion help the red blood cell issue?

  26. So thinking of you and hoping all will be okay. Sending Husky hugs your & R's way.

  27. You have such a positive attitude about this. I know it's scary - but it's a great thing when we can learn from our dogs to live in the moment and not worry about what might happen. Just enjoy this time and the results will come. You can't change the outcome by worrying - so yes, just live in the moment as K taught you. :)

  28. Hows your back feeling these days. Girl you have to have a strong back for all the weight you are carrying. We are sending all the love we can muster from CCC and hopefully it will ease the weight just a little.
    Give Shyla and R a hug for us.
    Bert and My Vickie

  29. Hi Y'all,

    I think all of our Humans have learned lessons for K.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  30. I'm glad that you've gotten over one hurdle and hope that the ones to come are easy to get over as you travel this road--I am thinking of you often and sending healthy and healing energy and continuing positive thoughts to you and R!

  31. Angel K taught all of us and R how to live life. We are going to follow her lead- and live each moment to the max. R is now showing us the way.
    We are keeping our paws crossed that R keeps getting better,


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