Whew.  What an exhausting day spent dealing with an avalanche of issues: dogs, Dark Matter, banking, and bills.

September 27, 2016: Another Doggy Update!

Bubba went in for some follow-up tests: a physical examination, an ultrasound, and some fine needle aspirations of his lymph nodes – as well as another growth on his leg.  All this on the heels of a surgery that saw the removal of two masses on his head, one of which was apparently cause for alarm since it crossed over into the malignant category.  The concern was two-fold.  First is the possibility of a recurrence of the growths.  A way to forestall that would be to go ahead and remove a much larger section of the previously affected area – which would, ultimately, include his right ear.  We elected not to go for this more aggressive procedure and, instead, yes I’m going to say it – play it by year.  The second issue was the possibility that other areas of his body had been compromised. Fortunately, all of the results came back clean, much to my relief (and Akemi’s who ended up wiping away her nervous tears on the back of my shirt).  They went ahead and gave Bubba an anti-cancer vaccine which we’ll need to follow up with once we’re back in Toronto.

September 27, 2016: Another Doggy Update!

Speaking of Toronto, it looks like Hog Town will have to wait a week as our scheduled Vancouver departure October 4th will now be the date of Lulu’s surgery. Our girl is suffering from rear leg ataxia and, according to today’s tests, her MRI is abnormal at the T11/12 vertebrae where the area has seen some deterioration that, if left untreated, will eventually result in full paralysis.  As a result, and because the procedure is tricky, we’re going to wait until Tuesday for the lab to send back a 3D imaging of the affected area before proceeding with surgery.

September 27, 2016: Another Doggy Update!

Above, a 3D imagining of a section of a pug’s thoracic spine.

All this to say, I’ve had to completely re-juggle our travel schedule.  Instead of all of us traveling the morning of October 4th, Lulu will be undergoing surgery on that day.  Then, two days later, I will fly solo to Toronto the afternoon of Thursday, October 6th.  I’ll hopefully get in some preliminary meetings, spend Thanksgiving with mom and sis, then fly back the early afternoon of Monday, October 10th.  The following morning, October 11th, the entire family flies back to Toronto.

And so, the better part of my day was spent talking to specialists and driving to and from appointments with specialists.  I also got in some writing – and finished my rewrite of 301.  A few patchy spots which I’ll go over tomorrow, but all in all it’s going to be a great opener.  You’re gonna love it!

As for the banking and bills all I’ll say is: “Isn’t online banking supposed to make things easier?”.

Of note – today, I tried the ghost pepper chili my sister and Daisy brought over from their garden in Montreal…

September 27, 2016: Another Doggy Update!

So, what was the verdict?

Pretty freakin’ hot!  This despite the fact I removed all the seeds and consumed it in quarters accompanied with bread, butter, and avocado.  Interestingly enough, I had a much rougher time last night when, while eating a batch of mild-to-medium shishito peppers I noticed a larger, multi-colored variety that found its way into the batch.  I popped it into my mouth, not even giving it a second thought, and the second I swallowed it, I started hiccuping uncontrollably.  For a good twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, on the fantasy football front, my Snow Monkeys fell to 0-3.  Trailing my opponent by 31 points going into the Monday night game, we rallied and came storming back, closing the gap…

Well, almost –

September 27, 2016: Another Doggy Update!

Tomorrow, let’s talk Dark Matter!

17 thoughts on “September 27, 2016: Another doggy update!

  1. Sounds promising for Bubba. Crossing fingers and toes. Glad you are able to juggle your already frenetic schedule to fit Lulu’s surgery. Once the whole family is in Toronto, it will be smoooooth sailing. You did rebook your last apartment…right?
    And no more “kill yourself peppers.” I started the sweat just reading about it.

    One day at a time…one day at a time.
    (Actually, I like to say, one trauma at a time, but I think you’ve had more than your fair share.)

  2. Well, that totally screws the travel schedule up. But, it will be worth it. Lulu has a friend in spirit who wants to be there for her. Give her a good scratching and lots of love for me. I feel bad for Bubba, too. Cancer is not a word you want to hear ever, be it canine, feline, or human. Hopefully, they can get everything out without sacrificing significant body parts and give a positive prognosis post-treatment for Bubba and post-surgery for Lulu.

    About those ghost peppers, Joe: 2 gallons of water should put the flames out. Oh, and never eat a ghost pepper whole, unless you’re willing to be a fire breathing dragon for a few hours…!

    My love to the dogs and many hugs…

  3. You’re riding a bit of a tsunami at the mo’ but from what you’ve said here, on an even keel!
    Sounds like Bubba and Lulu are in great hands. Fantastic news about Bubba! So happy for you all (breathe a deep sigh of relief!). And it is good to know exactly what’s wrong with Lulu and what can be done. Spinal surgery is always scary but the results can be quite amazing. (3D printing of the spine? – what a brilliantly wonderful use of new technology!! How useful is that for the surgeon Wow!)
    Good luck for op date October!

    And thanks for keeping us updated 😊

  4. Thanks for the puppy update; was getting worried when you hadn’t posted before I went to bed. We’ll be keeping both in our thoughts.

    I had to give up spicy a long time ago due to stomach issues. Good luck. Lol

    Yes, online banking IS supposed to make life easier. 😜

  5. Well, good news that you know all that is going on with Bubba and Lulu. Bubba sounds like he might be in the clear for now which is great. Here’s hoping Lulu’s surgery goes perfectly. What is it that they do for treatment for the spinal issue? Did they already work on her breathing issue? (I can’t remember what that procedure was called.)

    Maybe I’m just getting old, but I find myself less tolerant lately of *really* spicy foods. Which is disappointing because I’ve always really enjoyed something once in a while with a real kick. Now though, it always seems to flare up the acid reflux, which is no fun at all.

  6. Still sending good thoughts for both pooches! I feel like I know them after all these years, and I’m thoroughly pulling for them.

    Speaking of pooches, how about Montreal passing that misinformed, cruel and dangerous BSL legislation? I hang my head in shame for them.

    Yeah, ghost peppers are “pretty freakin’ hot!”. I have about a pound in my freezer that I use sparingly in soups, chilis and marinades. I did eat one, seedless like you. And regretted it. Watch this if you want a laugh. This fella vapes a Carolina Reaper chili:

  7. Thanks for the update on Lulu and Bubba, and hugs to all including Akemi on this stressful time. Sending healing thoughts your way.

    Might be a good time to lay on the comfort foods and comfy blankets. Ghost Pepper sounds like a comic book anti-hero.

  8. Big sigh of relief on Bubba! What about that soft palate surgery on Lulu? Why didn’t the vet in Toronto catch the disc problem? Sorry for the questions. I was worried about both of them all day yesterday. It’s rough having a sick fur baby but terrible when it’s two at the same time. At least, Bubba is ok now. 🙂

    It never occurred to me about the applications of 3D printing for surgery. I’m a visual person, seeing the disc would help me understand it.

    No ghost peppers for me, jalapenos are more my speed. 🙂 I saw a show on quenching your mouth after eating hot peppers. I think they recommended peanut butter because of the high fat content and it sticks to your mouth.

    Did you get the same condo in Toronto?

    Hope everyone has a G’day!

  9. Wow – great updates about the pups Joe — thank you. Wonderful news for Bubba and it looks very hopeful for Lulu as well.

    My friend had a very successful spinal surgery for her beloved dachshund. While there was significant healing time afterwards (months), little Otto was his sweet self through out and today is good as new!

    I’m sure we will All continue with our positive vibes and sending of good prayers for you & Akemi and Lulu & Bubba.
    As Sylvia said “Once the whole family is in Toronto, it will be smoooooth sailing.”

    Thank you for working so diligently to make Dark Matter fabulous for us!
    But remember to “breathe”.

    Take good care all,

  10. Sorry to hear about Bubba and Lulu. I believe playing it by year is a good approach for Bubba because he isn’t getting any younger.
    I hope everything works out well.

    Those multi-coloured hiccup chilies sound funny.

  11. Wow. That is an incredibly eventful day. I think your decisions were wise. I likely would have made the same ones. Bless Akemi’s heart. She loves the dogs so much. They are like children to both of you. The surgery for Lulu sounds complicated so I will say a prayer for the vet’s hands as he works on her spine. I’ll also say a prayer that Lulu will be ready to travel on the 10th.

    Patrick will be having outpatient surgery on Oct 3. You know he has had a 25-pound unexplained weight loss since last year. He has gained back 6 pounds since we put him back on every-day Prevacid. He was put on Zantac as an infant because he had reflux and presumed gastritis. Then they changed him to Prevacid. A few years back, we heard about the long-term problems being on Prevacid and wondered if he would be okay if we started weaning his medication. We got the blessing of his doctors and we started the very gradual process. Like remove 1 pill for one day and see what happens. If okay, the next week we would go to every other day for one day and then every day the rest of the week and see what happens. We had gotten to every 4th day. Once we started giving him Prevacid again every day, he gained 5 pounds because he ate more. I thought it was finally time for someone to actually go down there and look. HIs bowels are fine — Dr. Oz would be proud of some of his poops LOL — but upper GI I’m not so sure. He was supposed to have it on Sep 19 but the doctor’s office screwed up. We have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. UGH. That means we have to leave at 5 a.m. (there won’t be traffic at that time of day). Jeff is taking off to help me in case we run into trouble like last time (hospital screwed up our insurance and we had to wait 2-1/2 hours until they opened to certify him for his dental procedure; then Patrick wouldn’t wake up after his anesthesia. We had to annoy the crap out of him to get him to open his eyes. This doctor knows ZERO about autism. He has no patients with autism. I told him that Patrick is part of the 1 in 10,000. The 1 in 68 is coming and many of them have GI issues. (This is a gastroenterologist). I told him that we will break him in for everyone else. I know that sounds arrogant. But he is a young doctor so he doesn’t have the God complex yet (at least he didn’t seem to).

    I’m glad the rewrite went better than expected and sorry you are having bill/banking issues.

    I do hope you were able to get the same place you had so you won’t have to deal with that stressor in Toronto. Just concentrate on work and family.

    Deep breaths (and hugs to both of you). Everything will work out.

  12. Thanks for keeping us updated Joe. Hugs n healing prayers for Bubba n Lulu. Hope all goes well next week.
    With all the stress and everything already piled high onto your plate might be a good time in your life to learn to delegate a bit more. For example – instead of flying back from TO just to scoop up the family, maybe Tomomi or one of your friendlier neighbors would like a free trip to Toronto? They could fly in with Akemi Bubba Lulu and the luggage, stay over for a day or two at the apartment, then fly home to Van? Also maybe give Ivon a bit more responsibility on set this year so you dont have to be there quite as much? You could simply pre arrange a video conference call twice a day for items that need approval. I think google hangout is still free to use isnt it?
    Also stock up on that sake for night caps when need be and set aside 15 minutes alone time per day to clear your mind. To just close your eyes and meditate or go for a lazy walk and have a treat. Maybe invent a saki bananna split ice cream sundae to indulge in?

    Inhale… Exhale. One breath at a time. Sending warmest happy mellow healing thoughts n energy to you and the fam. Let your mind wander as much as you can and daydream about seeing Olivia Wilde when up look up at the clouds.

  13. Took my beagle in for her annual exam, shots, etc., last week. Just in time too because I had just discovered a little lump on her side. The vet did that needle thing and said it was a fatty tumor and to watch it for now.

    I got to thinking…. If dogs age 6 to 7 years every year, does that mean when I take her in once a year for an exam she is 6 years older? So that means it is not one year since her last vet visit, but it has been 6 years since she saw the vet? And I am waiting 6 years in between vet visits. So maybe these things don’t really grow fast. They are growing over a one year time period to us, but 6 years to a dog.

    See what I’m saying? When my last dog got sick (with cancer) and died, what I thought was a quick period of time, was more like a few months in her life. That would explain why tumors and things on dogs progress so fast to us. A couple months to us is like a year for the dog.

    Anyway, joining others here in keeping Lulu and Bubba in my prayers. Animals are God’s very special creatures and we are commanded to take care of them.

  14. @pbmom. Will keep Patrick in my thoughts n prayers all goes well on the third. Sending warm healing thoughts your way as well. Life is much too short and precious to live it without joy and counting blessings. Just as one must learn to choose their battles wisely the same is true for what we allow ourselves to seriously stress over.
    I think I’d be dead already if i allowed all the stress of my often 16 hour work days to get to me!
    I’m so proud of how well you have managed to hold it together through all the difficulties over the past year
    And of you as well @Joe. XO

  15. Hoping that Bubba continues to heal & remain cancer free. Gotta love that anti-cancer vaccine. Curious on Lulu’s definitive diagnosis: herniated disc? spinal stenosis? cord compression? tumor?

    Puppy prayers your way – read this last night but fell asleep before I could respond. Hope all is going well today. I know you’re dogs love you as much as you love them. Having to deal with multiple medical issues…I don’t know how you are coping so well!

    I don’t eat anything hot or spicy, on purpose that is. I order “mild as mild can be” when given the option but I have heard that drinking a cold beer will help put the fire out. I’ve also heard that milk does the trick too.

    Poor Snow Monkeys!

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