The Dynamic Duo: Carl Binder and Michael Shanks
Marty G. "Hansamu" as the Japanese would say.

Michael Shanks was back in town so, last night, we headed over to what is fast becoming a second home for me here in Toronto: Scarpetta.  And, this time, we were joined by fellow Stargate alums Carl Binder and Martin Gero for pasta, wine, and reminiscences.  Michael was in town shooting a guest spot on Flashpoint, Marty G. is here Exec. Producing his new show, and Carl is here working on The Transporter and bathing my dogs.

Today – completed revisions on Sharks (episode #103) and finished up my wrap report for 12 Hours (episode #102).  Took a break to finally check out the ice cream at The White Squirrel Cafe along with my friend Sue who was in town with family visiting family.

Sue (right) and family.

The coconut ice cream was fantastic!

On the home front, I’ve noticed that Jelly and Maximus have started gravitating toward each other of late, spending more time together, sleeping side by side. It’s very sweet, almost sad, as though Jelly realizes something is up and is trying to comfort him.

We call 'em "the oldsters". Maximus and Jelly.

Spoke to the surgeon Saturday.  Apparently, it’s a very big tumor.  Surgery would be risky and still wouldn’t get it all.  At mom’s suggestion, I asked about cryo ablation that would effectively freeze the tumor, killing it.  Unfortunately, this procedure only works for smaller tumors and would have little effect on the bone of Max’s jaw that has apparently been invaded.  Radiation is an option (melanoma is apparently very sensitive to radiation therapy), although the side effects are something to consider – especially given that part of the tumor is located in the back of Maximus’s throat.  Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking to a radiation oncologist who will offer his opinion on the best course of action.

In the meantime, Maximus seems alright.  Slower, a little more lethargic, but still hungry and happy.  He even ran down the corridor this afternoon to get a treat from Akemi.  Feel sorry for the little guy.  Wish I could do more to help him.

Whuzzat?!

37 thoughts on “August 7, 2011: Out and about with the Stargate gang! Ice cream with Sue and co.! The Maximus update!

  1. Carl gets to bathe the dogs eh? Sorry to hear that the tumor is that large. Hope that radiation, chemotherapy or some other option can be found to help. Jelly is a good friend to stay close.

    Good to hear that you’re finally done with the revisions on “Sharks”. Did the script fairys come to help?

    Nola S.

  2. Heya Joe, we wait patiently for any news about cutie pie Max. We know you will do all that can be done. Jelly’s “mother instinct” is good for both her and Max as well as you knowing she is there near him. With Akemi and you giving him treats…he is probably content plus he is at home and not away from his family. If laughter and happiness works to some degree on humans in similar distress, then doing things to keep Max comfy and content and happy will help.

    Wish there was more we could do at this time. Still sending good thoughts vibrations and frequencies your way in the hope of some good.
    Thanks for the pix of the gang.

  3. {{{{{{huggles Maximus}}}}}}

    I had a nice day today. This evening we went down to the beach (on the bay) and had a cookout – burgers, dogs, and chicken – with watermelon, fresh tomatoes, and cukes (next time will have to bring corn and stuff – this was a last minute thing with little time to prepare). Very nice, very relaxing. Walked along the shoreline, sat and chatted, played with the kids in the sand, watched the sunset…just a perfect summer evening. 🙂

    das

  4. Feeling helpless when a pet is sick is awful – hang in there, Joe. I remember my Black Lab, Jake, putting his head against Elway’s when Elway had seizures, it was amazing. We’ll be waiting to hear what the oncologist says, but meanwhile, many kisses to Max. And a big hug to you. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the Shanks (and Binder) pic. Only one? 🙁 ha ha.

    Sweet pic of the “pups” together.

    Yes, radiation is a tricky thing. I had it after my cancer. Don’t want to hit any vital organs…

    Interested to hear what the rad oncologist says. Best wishes.

  6. No one could do more for their dogs than you do. Sending hugs and hope.
    Shanks looks tiny next to Carl. Is Carl a giant?

  7. However you decide to deal with poor Maximus I hope that he (and you) does not suffer. It sounds as if you have some very tough decisions to make in the weeks to come.

  8. So, in this episode of Flashpoint that Mr. Shanks is doing, is there any kind of role reversal for him and Enrico from their SG1 episode together? That’d be fun. It was good to read your comment a while ago about Enrico and how you considered him for a recurring spot on the show. I felt the same way after watching that episode. He’s a great actor and a really funny guy. I was so hoping to see his character return sometime.

    It’s so hard, what you’re going through with Maximus. I went through a similar situation with my cat Wacko(a la Animaniacs) a few years ago. His kidneys were failing and he needed a transplant that wasn’t guaranteed to work. My biggest problem then was that I couldn’t afford the procedure. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and one of the toughest things I’ve ever gone through. I had him put to sleep while I held him. Everytime I came home from work, he’d greet me at the door and jump up into my arms and stay there as long as he could, usually until I started making dinner. It’s where he liked to be the most. It made sense to me and it was the best way I knew to show him how much I loved him. I’m not a cat guy at heart and all of my dogs in the past have lived full lives and then some with a couple of my beagles, living a little longer than breed standard. But this one really hit hard. I still have a soft spot in my heart for him and hopefully always will.

    Oh, and I now know how good an actor Robert Carlyle is. I saw a promo for his new series on ABC and all I could think was, “grrr, I hate that Dr. Rush!” I was surprised at my knee-jerk reaction! Great writing and great acting really suck me in to a role and story, more than I realized!

  9. Joe your doing plenty your a good owner who loves his dogs very much and in the long run it will be your love that will be the best medicine for maximus have a good night.

  10. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ve sent the rest of Pooches to the Doggy-Dentist!?

    Same goes for the rest of you Dog-Owners here!

  11. So sad to hear/read about Max’s situation. 🙁 I’ll keep you and your pups in my thoughts.

  12. thanks for the pictures of MS. love that guy. and Carl he looks so excited to be there.

    so sorry to hear the news about Maximus. I’m glad he is happy and has his friend Jelly and all the love in your home to surround him.

  13. Oh, man. So sorry to hear about Maximus’s health problem. It’s never easy to see your pet go through something like that, especially when there’s not much you can do to help. I hope some solution is found.

  14. Poor little guy. Hope he stays feeling okay for as long as possible. Give him a hug for me! Keeping my fingers crossed.

  15. Thanks for the Maximus update. Hope that the oncologist can give you some good news. And great to see the old gang hanging out. Just make sure to treat Carl right. Marty can handle the abuse. Carl, even if he can handle it just looks so….fragile? Besides, Marty looks to be staying in Toronto awhile, so you can always make amends to him. Carl, being in the west coast, may return home full of resentment and turn into a stalker at some all woman’s gym and end up stealing hundreds of smelly sneakers….um, on that note, again, wishing Max well. And keep yourself healthy, you have too much to do to get sick.

  16. Congratulations to Ashleigh and James! Ashleigh, we miss you!

    Poor little Maximus. It’s one day at a time, no?

  17. Sorry about Max. Right now, showing him love and having him happy are the best options. Basically, the normal attitude you have toward him. Aww… Jelly is such a sweet girl.

    Congratulations for Ashleigh! Happy Birthday for Sis!

    Nice to know you put in the effort for that “personal” touch. I’m sure they appreciate your thoughtfulness. And Mom is probably so proud of you for remembering her advice.

    I see you’re training Trevor up right. Did he know he was signing up for super villain sidekick when he became your assistant? Guess he’s learning fast.

    It’s always nice to see old friends. My prediction for Mr. Shanks’ guest appearance is that he will die. I’m sure Carl was honored by being designated dog washer.

    Glad you are finding some places in Toronto that you feel at home with.

  18. Just got back from my annual game convention (GenCon in Indianapolis: 4 days of Dungeons and Dragons and people in amazing costumes) – and got caught up on the blog. I’m so sorry the news was not reassuring for Maximus. Radiation, while it doesn’t always cure, may be able to shrink the tumor, make Max more comfortable and buy some time. It may even shrink it to a resectable size – might be worth asking if post-radiation surgery is a viable option. There are risks to irradiating the throat, too, but the radiation oncologist will cover that. Did they do aspiration biopsies of the spleen and liver masses yet? Still hoping and praying for a miracle.

    Pass our congratulations along to Ashleigh and James, please!

    I’m glad things seem to be going along smoothly on the production front for The Transporter!

    Thanks for keeping us posted on all the news.

  19. It was great seeing all the pictures of your friends.

    Sending hugs to Max and Jelly. Sometimes the circle of life sucks!

  20. Coucou Comment allez vous?

    Moi ça va!! je profite du soleil et de la plage!!!

    Je pense à quelque chose, vous ne mettez plus de Q&A sur votre blog…j’aurai tellement de questions à vous posez…!

    Nice pic 🙂 C’est Micheal qui est petit ou Carl qui est très grand? Ne faites pas comme avec moi et n’oubliez pas son anniversaire dans 2 jours! LOl 😉

    Oui je trouve que Maximus est mieux..j’espere que l’opération se passera bien!!:)

    Gros bisous,
    Anais.

  21. @Ganymede
    If you haven’t already, I hope you’ve sent the rest of Pooches to the Doggy-Dentist!?
    Same goes for the rest of you Dog-Owners here!::::::::::

    A dentist can’t stop cancer. Nearly 80 percent of dogs have some dental disease by age 3.. so I agree all owners need to get their dogs’ teeth cleaned at 3 then at least checked with their yearly check ups. Plus, btw— few “doggy dentists.” At least 95 percent of all dental care is done by your vet, not a specialist. In fact most the “dog dentist” specialists here only do surgeries and– I kid you not– dog braces and implants. I wish I thought it was just for insane owners, but I suspect show people illegally “fixing” bad bites to win at shows.

  22. My heart goes out to you and Maximus. How old is he now?

    Haha… Carl bathes your dogs… is he your 2nd assistant?

  23. When our poodle Sassy had cancer in her upper jaw, her tumor was too big to do anything about too. All we could do was make her as comfortable and happy as possible. What we had to do was make sure she was feeling good. So keep doing what you’re doing, and my family will keep praying for yours.

  24. Joe,

    I hope that the treatment for Maximus is successful.

    Interesting picture of Carl Binder and Michael Shanks. :p

    If you (or your visitors) would like to check out some music I wrote a few years ago, I recently found an old instrumental piece and uploaded it to my blog:

    http://doctordarby.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/an-instrumental-piece/

    The music in that page is obviously digital, so it doesn’t pull off the full effect of what it’d sound like performed by a live music ensemble, but the general idea is still relayed in it. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

    Dr. D.

  25. Yummy, ice cream and good friends, what a great day!
    ~~~~many many {{{{{hugs}}}}} for Max and his family!!

  26. Hi Joe,

    The fact that you wouldn’t put your dog through a procedure that would only cause him more discomfort, with patchy results at best, shows what a good owner you are.

    Sometimes the right thing to do is letting go. It’s also the hardest and most painful for you, as I know you would do anything, and pay any amount to help your old friend.

    My heart goes out to you. But you have, and still are doing all the right things, and you have nothing to beat yourself up about. I just wish human being were treated with as much love and dignity, as you are treating Max.

  27. Hugs and love, every day, always.

    I do like Flashpoint, now I will love it even more!

  28. Cancer is a cruel disease for any of God’s creatures. Just remember to be a kind steward to the creatures in your care. And, in all seriousness, please count your blessings that you have the resources to do all you can. Many have to make hard choices, based mostly on financial reasons, to stop heroic care. Doesn’t mean we love our hairy children any less.

  29. Jelly is just making sure Maximus does not leave her sight after him being gone the other day. On the serious note, I think dogs have a sense about these things. There are dogs that locate tumors now (amazing, I know), so maybe she knows his scent is different or something of that sort.

    Feeling helpless is a horrible thing, but you are doing everything you possibly can and you HAVE to know that.

    Great to see more pics of Michael Shanks, Carl and Martin. And you found fantastic ice cream. Score more points for Toronto?

    I know there is a lot on your plate, but how is Akemi’s situation? Have you figured out how she can stay?

  30. I’m so sorry about your sweet Maximus. I will be thinking of you all. I hope they can find a treatment that will help.

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