Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Labrador Runs For Mayor

It's ruff competition in this town. Now that Max is home from the hospital and feeling pretty spunky, I fear he may give up agility for a career in politics.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Max Update

Max is out of surgery and he did well. The surgeon said it all went as planned. What a relief! We can probably visit him tomorrow evening if we can arrange it and then take him home Friday evening. The surgeon is going to send what he removed (teeth and bone) to the lab for dissection. If the dissection shows the surgeon got "clean margins" then Max is essentially cancer free. I am not totally sure what that means long term, but we are cautiously optimistic and we are sooo happy the surgery is done and we can focus on recovery for our big boy! Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes and positive thoughts our way!!!

This photo was taken last weekend at the family reunion. Max had just finished swimming for the day and was chillin out on the deck.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Fun!

We had our family reunion this past weekend up at my dad's house. He lives in what used to be our summer cabin on Lake Whatcom. It's rural, green, beautiful. The lake is gorgeous and clean. I spent summers there growing up and am hopeful our four-year-old son (little B) will have that same experience. In addition to swimming, boating and making s'mores over a beach fire, Little B learned how to fish! Uncle Eric (my brother) is an expert fisherman (he competes in state tournaments and is ranked 12th in the state so far this year). He taught B how to bait the hook, cast and wait patiently for a fish. B was ecstatic when he reeled in his first trout. Even today, he can't stop talking about it.

The hubby and I also went on some long, technical mountain bike rides in the woods behind my dad's house. It was sooo much fun. It was also good to see our cousins, eat way too much good food and reminisce over a few (or more) drinks. The dogs were in Labrador paradise...swimming and running on the beach for three days straight.

Speaking of dogs, Wednesday is Max's surgery. His CT scan was beautiful and the cancer hasn't spread anywhere that we know of, so we are very hopeful. He has his last agility class (for awhile) Tuesday eve and I will take him to the hospital at 7:30am Wednesday. We probably won't be able to pick him up until Saturday morning. I hope I can visit him in the meantime. I will be a wreck on Wednesday and will have to restrain myself from calling every hour. Still haven't figured out how to tell our son about the surgery. I'm figuring, "Max has an owie in his mouth that the doctor needs to fix" is about as much as I can say.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. Seattle actually has summer weather...YEY!

Song I loved hearing today: "Mercy" by Duffy
Weekly running mileage completed (ending yesterday): 25
Running mileage for this week: 0/26
WIP word count: Ask me tomorrow!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Quiet House

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, we had wonderful house guests this past week. My good friend and her twin boys, who are exactly one week older than our son (they were born on Christmas eve and our son was born on New Years Eve - 2003). Three four-year-olds in one house is hilarious, by the way. They live in Sweden, so we are lucky if we see them once or twice a year. Next year, we hope to visit them or meet them for a vacation in Italy (if our dollar is doing better than its current peso status).

I have developed my training plan for the Portland Marathon (Oct. 5). I have NO idea if my body will hold up to that kind of training but hey, it's worth a shot. I can always chicken out and shoot for the Seattle Marathon the end of November.

Max is doing very well. All his tests have come back normal. No signs of cancer in his chest, lymph nodes, abdomen, spleen, etc. Tomorrow he gets his CT scan. I am so so so hopeful that the tumor is small. The CT scan will determine how extensive the surgery on his jaw will be...and will actually determine once and for all if surgery is possible. He still plays like a puppy in the backyard. He and Brandy had a serious game of tug-of-war in the backyard today. I filled up our wading pool and it was so warm that me, my son and both dogs spent a good portion of the day sitting in it!

Weekly running mileage: 0/24 (today is a strength and rest day)
Song that got me going this morning: Beautiful Day by U2

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Sweet, Sweet Dog Max

I want to thank everyone who emailed, called and blogged after we lost our dear kitty Tino.

I promise that this blog will not be a daily downer. I just have to post this news, because it’s the center of our family right now, and really, really sucks.

Two days after we lost Tino, our sweet, gentle Labrador Max had a dental and they removed a tooth. Underneath they found some suspicious soft tissue. While most vets may have dismissed it, Brenda (our amazing vet) took it out and sent it for biopsy. Last Thursday (July 3), we discovered it is oral melanoma. Simply put...it's cancer. Our Max has cancer. I guess I could say we are lucky, because if he'd had this dental last year, or even six months ago, they wouldn't have discovered it. If we had postponed the dental, He'd be gone in three months, as this is an aggressive form of cancer.

We spent the day Thursday crying and researching and speaking with oncologists, with the assistance of Brenda and Mary, our friend and vet tech. We have already developed a plan of action and will do whatever it takes to keep our Max in good health and with us for as long as humanly possible. We may only have a year with him...we may get two or three. We just don't know. Even with the cancer removed, there is no "cure" for this. It will reappear again.

Yesterday, he went through a battery of tests and it looks as though the cancer may not have spread to his chest, abdomen or lymph nodes - Yey! (we will get more test results back later today). Next week he will get a CT scan so the surgeon has a better idea where the cancer is located. Then, on July 23, the surgeon will remove the tumor. This will include the removal of several teeth and some (hopefully not too much) of his upper left jaw bone. He is also on a new “melanoma vaccine” which may help fight the cancer and keep it from spreading…or at least slow it down. There is also a minute chance (think small grain of sand on very large beach) that the tumor will never metastases.

If you are a dog person at all, please think good thoughts for our dear sweet Max. He is oblivious to his illness and for that I am grateful. Just last night he was playing keep away from Brandy (our other lab) in the backyard and we both competed in agility on Sunday.

Check out this photo of Max, he’s the agility calendar cover dog for 2009.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Run Forest, Run!

I'm a little late with this one, but last weekend, I ran the Team Medicine Seafair Half Marathon. The 13.1 mile course crossed Lake Washington on the 520 bridge, the first time they've closed that bridge for an event in more than 20 years?
Highlights of the run:
  • I made the shuttle bus to the start line, unlike the unlucky 400 who missed the start
  • The weather was georgeous (although hot)
  • It was a party atmosphere, with Seafair pirates cheering us on
  • The scenery was spectacular. When we ran across the bridge, the lake sparkled and we could see Mt. Rainier off to the south and the Cascade mtns to the east. Reminded us all why we absolutely LOVE the northwest

I felt great almost the entire run. When we ran through Bellevue, residents lined the streets in front of their homes. Many of them had sprinklers and hoses and sprayed us down to keep us cool. It was awesome. At mile 10, I got cramps in my calves (this happened during the Mercer Island half in March). It was frustrating to have to stop and stretch so many times. I must consult a nutritionist or something before my next long run.

This run benefited cancer research at Virginia Mason, a good cause!

Now...on to the Portland Marathon...I think...maybe...we'll see...