27 January 2007

I have a terrible habit of

transferring my anxiety. I take things I have no control over that really upsets me and transfer my worries to something I do have some control over. I'm sure it's fairly typical. I bet it's just human nature.

I have faced the truth. I'm really, really upset about the whole Rocco situation. I'm afraid I'm going to lose him and I don't want to. 12 years is not long enough. I sat down earlier and had a good cry over Rocco and now have my strength back. We'll do whatever it takes to give Rocco the best chance possible.

I was losing myself in the money of it. Because that's the part I have some control over. There are a number of possible ways to pay for Rocco's surgery and the easiest way is with my bike fund. That's life. I saved for my bike over the past couple of months, I can do it again. I may not get another shot at a Kestrel but if it's meant to be it's meant to be. Also, they do offer financing. Maybe next weekend, after Rocco is taken care of, I'll go to the bike shop and check it out.

Anyway, I'm sad and I don't want to lose my boy but I've worked through my feelings and am ready to do what's necessary.

When will this end????

So I started this post saying how I was feeling much better about Rocco. Yesterday, after speaking to the vet, I was really down. When we took him in for the biopsy I kind of knew that it was going to be another mast cell tumor. But there was one little spark of hope that maybe, just maybe it wasn't. Well, after speaking to the vet that little spark of hope had been squished like a bug and I was feeling really down.

But this morning I was (was being the operative word here) feeling much better about it. Once we got the chest x-ray and the bloodwork done I would have a whole lot more information to work with and would not be making a decision in the dark, so to speak.

So I'm typing away feeling much better when I look over at Rocco who's laying in the doorway about 4 feet from me. I glance over and notice the lump looks different. Hmmmm...... I roll my chair over there and proceed to freak! The tumor is open. There is a quarter size hole in it and I can see into it; see the blood, flesh, his muscle wall. UGH!!!!!!!! This is gross!!!! And it can't be good!!!!!!!!

I jump on the phone to the vet and we move his appointment from tomorrow to this morning. I have to take him in at 11:30. Meanwhile I have to keep him from totally licking that thing. It is gross.

So I'm skipping my training this morning so I can keep watch on him. Which I don't mind at all, I was totally not motivated this morning, but this is gross!!!!!

Okay, I'll update later on what the vet says.

UPDATE: Okay, all the things I feared are coming true right before my very eyes. Did you ever get the feeling that sometimes you shouldn't even think something because it will happen. Like you say to yourself, 'geez, hope that glass doesn't fall' and the next thing you know, crash, broken glass everywhere. Sometimes I really feel that my thoughts influence outcomes. Yeah, I don't think to much of myself at all. But I digress.

We went to the vet. They took chest x-rays and drew blood. The doc says the chest x-rays look good. The bloodwork should be back Monday or Tuesday.

As for the open, weeping wound. Due to the tendency of mast cell tumors to granulate and send histamines shooting through the body and kill the dog, the vet won't touch the wound. Rocco's licking it could set off a giant histamine reaction. Yeah, great, just what I was hoping for.
The surgery has to be done and the sooner the better. It's scheduled for Friday. At this point I can't not do it, that thing is like a time bomb sitting on his chest, maybe I should call Jack Bauer..... It kind of doesn't matter what the blood work says, this can't stay this way. So there you have it, I'm the proud owner of not 1 but 2 million dollar dogs and any dream I had of riding a Kestrel is shot to shit. Not that I'm comparing a bike to my dogs, clearly the dogs win every time, but just once I'd like to win....... See, being a grownup is not all it's cracked up to be.

26 January 2007

It's times like these that I wish I wasn't an adult.

I wish there was someone who I could turn to and say, so what do we do now????

On November 17 Rocco had surgery to remove a mast cell tumor on his face. At that time they took chest x-rays and did blood work and determined that the cancer was confined to the facial tumor.

Last week hubby noticed that a little fat lump Rocco had on his side started to grow and was getting really hard. Also, Rocco was starting to lick at it which creates problems all on it's own.

Yesterday I took Rocco to the vet. They said they really needed to do a biopsy to see if it was another mast cell tumor. But, since he has a history of them, they needed to give him a shot of Benadryl because mast cells produce histamines and sometimes when disturbed will granulate and send the histamines out into the body. This can result in anaphylatic shock and death of the dog. They kept Roc for 2 hours yesterday to make sure this didn't happen.

The vet just called, it is another mast cell tumor. The choice I now face is what to do. We could have the tumor removed and have more blood work and x-rays done. Odds are good that if this tumor came up so quickly it's probably all over his body and removing the tumor may be pointless exercise. Also, he's 12 years old and really took the last surgery hard. Another one so soon could be even worse. The other option is to do nothing, put Rocco on a Prednisone regime, and let him go when he goes.

I'm really not sure which direction to go in. My immediate reaction is to have the surgery and see what happens. But is that the right thing to do?? One thing I swore I would never do is put my animals through things for me. I always want to do right by them. What's right. Mast cell is an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. If he had the tumor removed 2 months ago and another tumor has grown, it really doesn't look good for Roc. On the other hand, this could be it. We could remove it and he could live for another 5 years.

What do I do???? Someone tell me. I hope this doesn't sound shallow, but there is a monetary consideration. This surgery costs $1000 only to have him die a month or 2 later???? I just don't know??? All these thoughts running through my head........ UGH!!!!!!! I hate being a grownup!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: I just spoke to the vet. On Sunday we are going to do bloodwork and a chest x-ray so we can get a look at what's going on inside Rocco. Once we get those results then I will make the decision on the surgery. I feel much better. I hate making decisions where I don't have all the facts.

25 January 2007

Okay kids

I've made my decision.

This is my new bike:

The other day when I looked at it they slapped some flat pedals on it and I took it out for a spin. But they said if I wanted to really try it out to bring my own pedals and shoes and I could take it for a real ride. So I did that today. Hubby went with me since I can't make a purchase of this size without his blessing.

So while Rocco was at the vets (that's a whole other post) we headed over the hill for the test ride.

Side note: The Look pedals I have came with my bike and they are ancient. The bike mechanic took the pedals and kind of laughed. The sales girl goes, "What kind of pedals are those??" Mechanic, "These are the original Look pedals. I haven't seen them in years."

Anyway, he got me all hooked up, adjusted the seat and I was off. This bike is sweet. I rode it up the sides of Diamond Head and, while I suck at hills, did pretty well with this baby. I was pleased.

The only problem I ran into was that I forgot to wear bike shorts and the seat is much harder than mine, ouch. Also, my Bianchi doesn't have drop bars so I wasn't used to that and with not wanting to put too much pressure on my butt, I put a lot of weight on my hands they were sore.

The guy who helped me the other day was off today and since he offered to throw in a set of pedals I decided to wait till he's in tomorrow.

I'm not sure how I'm going to work this purchase. It's a little more than I planned on paying but I think I can work it out. They have a financing program, 90 days same as cash, and they also do layaway. I'm sure I'll be able to work something out.

It's a 2005 model that's why it's so cheap. They are clearing out a lot of their older models . That's fine with me.

Okay, just had to share my decision. After my trip to the bike shop I will fill you in on how it all worked out and, more importantly, when I take possession of my new baby. Now, all I need is a name.......

A sudden realization

Although I haven't been blogging about it, I've been getting lots of training in during my time off. It's been a lot of fun, I pretty much follow my training schedule in the morning but then in the afternoons do whatever I feel like doing. It's been great, I could definitely live like this :)

Tuesday was weights and I upped the weights on all the moves because it was time. I did them but a couple of muscles actually went to total failure so it was a good workout. Wednesday morning I went swimming and I had every intention of swimming 4000 m. I've never swam that far and I decided it was time to try. By the time I got to 2000 m my pecs and my lats were sore and I could feel the pull in the triceps and biceps. I wisely decided that the weight training Tuesday made swimming 4000 m impossible. That's okay. I stopped at 2000 m and left the pool. By last night I was sore. My biceps and pecs were just killing me. I guess between the weights and the swimming I really gave them a workout. So when I got up this morning I was still a little sore and (wisely) decided to take a rest day.

My cockatiel has been out of seed for 2 days and I just keep forgetting to pick it up. Since we have a feed store 2 blocks away I decided to walk up this morning and get her some. It's a beautiful morning and a walk in the sunshine is always nice. As I'm walking I'm noticing things in the neighborhood that you don't from a car. I thought to myself, 'when I come through here I'm always moving, either in a car, on a bike, or running.' This thought was immediately followed by 'geez, I used to walk all the time for exercise.' Which was immediately followed by, 'there was a time when this 20 minute stroll was my exercise for the day.'

My point here, and I do have one, is how far I've come. There was a time when walking 1 mile took me 30 minutes and it was all I could handle. I vividly remember walking from my house to the park, around the park and home again. That was 1 mile and it would take me a full 30 minutes. I remember when it started to take me only 20. I remember when I added another loop and was doing 2 miles in 45 minutes. I remember how tired I was and how proud I was of myself.

I remember when I started running. I thought I was going to die. I would run for 30 seconds then walk for 2 minutes. I kept it up and eventually I could run for 2 minutes and walk for 30 seconds. To this day I fall back into that run/walk pattern when things are tough.

I remember when I got my mountain bike. I started riding it a couple of days a week. Where I lived there was the 7 hills of Kualoa. Right out from my house these small hills began. My first ride was brutal. I could only do 2 hills. By the time I got home my legs were shaking and I could hardly walk. But I kept at it and eventually I could log 30 miles on my mountain bike without thinking twice about it.

Finally I added in the swimming. I lived right on the ocean and had this small thought at the back of my head to do a triathlon. So I started swimming. At first I couldn't swim 10 strokes without being out of breath. But I kept it up and eventually I was swimming, in the ocean, for 30-40 minutes at a time. When I moved to the pool it became another story. But I persisted and soon was swimming like a fish.

I was thinking about all these things as I walked. I'm still not speedy in any of these disciplines but I keep at it and who really knows how far I can go. You have no idea how glad I am I took that first walk that day. How glad I am I kept at it. How glad I am that I get discouraged but I keep at it. Keep doing it and eventually it will get easier.

So ends the deep philosophical thinking for today.

24 January 2007

It's Wednesday and I've done all the chores on my list.

I'm stoked. This means the next 4 days are all mine.

Today I went and picked up my bike, no, not my new one, my old Bianchi that was in the shop. I was excited to get it back. I have not really ridden since October. This afternoon I took it out for a spin and it's totally cool. I am however, out of bike shape and that will have to change quickly.

Other than that, I washed and waxed my car. I'm seriously thinking of getting a new car. I have a 2001 Ford Escape and while I love it to death, it's getting up there. It has almost 100,000 miles on it. As I was waxing it I noticed a whole lot of new nicks in the paint and some small scrapes that I don't know where they came from, hmmm!!! I think it needs new shocks, which I'll probably have done next month, and it's just plain getting old. I'm thinking of the new Ford Edge, I really like those, or possibly even the Ford Fusion. I drove the Fusion last year and it was really nice. And, it has a back seat that is split and folds down so I can get my bike in the trunk - these things are important. I could get it in a nice silver grey that would match my new bike, hehehe. In any case, that won't happen for awhile, probably 6-8 months.

I start a drawing class next month at the adult education school and I went and picked up the supply list. I used to draw really well when I was a kid, I'd like to get back into it. My dad was an awesome artist. He was offered a job by Walt Disney himself back in like 1954 but my folks had 5 kids and it would have required a cross country move.

I'm also taking guitar lessons. I took guitar lessons when I was in high school and did okay just didn't stick with it. It's time to try again. We'll see how it goes. If nothing else I can piss off the drug dealing neighbors :)

Well, I guess that's it for today. I'm watching Oprah and it's really boring. Her guest is weird!! Okay, I'm off....

23 January 2007

This was almost like work.

Since it was raining today I decided that it would be a good day to go bike shopping. Now I should explain that I really know squat about bikes. They have 2 weeks, some gears, some brakes, I'm good to go. But in order to get the best bike for the money you really have to have some idea of what's going on. So today was looking, pricing, and learning.

Oh. My. God.

You would not believe all the crap that's flying around in my head right now. Carbon fiber, forks, Ultegra, 105, gear ratios, geometry, WSD, shaft length, 11 teeth, 13 teeth, compact cranks, blah, blah, blah.........

I looked at a lot of bikes today but the ones I seriously considered were: Specialized Roubaix, Kestral Talon, and Fuji S2. I test rode all 3 and it's hard to get a feel with just a few minutes on a bike. I need to ride it for 2 hours and see how I feel then.

Anyway, the Specialized Robaix I was not impressed with. I don't know exactly what I didn't like but there was something that just didn't feel right to me. And of course I didn't have a full blown bike fitting but I tried a couple of different sizes and something just felt wrong. So I pretty much crossed that one off my list.

The Kestral Talon was a real nice bike. I felt good and the ride was really nice. The only reason I even considered this bike was that the bike shop is clearing out the old models and I could get it for $1500. BUT...... After I rode it and left the shop I started to think..... Is that too much bike for me. Seriously. I will not be "racing", I will be doing tris and riding on the road. That's all. Do I really need a serious racing bike even if it is the low end one??? I don't think so. So I think this one is out too, although I am still considering it.

The Fuji S2. Oh yeah. I really liked the way it rode and the way I felt on it. Again, I was only on it for about 20 minutes but I liked it. A lot!!! There are 2 main selling points to this one. It's only $1,000. And it's PINK!!!!! Yeah, okay, I know the color is a minor consideration but I really think I'd be faster on a pink bike with a matching helmet (which Giro makes!!!!)

Now I haven't made the final decision and won't for a couple of weeks. I'm going to look at a couple of more bikes but I think this one is the one.

If any of my readers (Ross) have any opinions or suggestions one way or the other, please feel free to just jump right in. As I said, wheels, gears, brakes, let's go :)

22 January 2007

You will not believe what I did today.

I made soap. Yes, soap!! I've been wanting to try it for a long time and a while back Mojo had how she makes soap on her blog. Well that got me to thinking and over the last couple of months I've gathered the necessary supplies (thank god I work in a lab cause lye is hard to find). So today was the day. I just tried a basic recipe, fat and sodium hydroxide. I know it won't be pretty and won't smell all that great but I just wanted to see how the process went. I'm already planning my next batch which will be a little fancier. I want to make clear soap with flowers in them. I've seen them I just have to figure out how to do it. Anyway I was very busy today but I had to share my great soap adventure. Oh yeah, I won't know how it turned out for about a month. It has to cure for that long.

Monsoon season has arrived

and we got our first rain yesterday. Actually, it's still raining a little this morning. It wasn't a lot of rain, but it was rain....