How Cancer Effects My Dogs
When I began this cancer journey back in January, how cancer effects my dogs was one of my biggest concerns. I have four beauties of different ages, and honestly, my strongest worry was Flash and Patches. They turned 14 years old in March, which is the high end of the life span for a 60 pound dog. I panicked just thinking about their health sliding downhill and me being helpless, what with chemo and medical bills. How on earth could I withstand being so ill and one or both of my babies dying while I was sick? I thought that that alone might kill me.
Turns out, yes, Flash and Patches are on that downward slope, panting more, more joint supplements (we’ve had a lot of rain all year, which is unusual for Tulsa, and it hurts their ancient joints), deaf and slow in general, but they don’t seem to care that mama is a slug. Meaning cancer has slowed me down A LOT this year. I sit too much. I sleep too much. The dogs don’t get to go places in the car like they always did. But the gift of their old age is that Flash and Patches don’t seem to care as much. I’m so grateful.
The Lap Dogs
My other two dogs are lap dogs. I wasn’t worried about them. You’d think that my being in a chair, sitting, sleeping, would be their happy place. And yes, they do sit in my lap most of the day. They love it. But several other things have changed which have shaken them. Cancer effects my dogs in ways I didn’t expect.
Chemo messes me up. It makes me sick to my stomach. It’s disorienting. I can’t jump up to let the dogs out every hour like they were accustomed to. After surgery, there was no way I could have lap dogs jumping on my stomach at all, much less all day. And now, with this second, longer round of chemo, it messes me up even more every two weeks. This effects the little dogs two ways that I can tell:
- I’m so very grateful for my mother. Chewy and Gadget have spent a lot of time at Grandma’s Doggy Daycare, playing with her lap dog. The first round of chemo, Hunny would drop them off on his way to work and pick them up in the evening. During and after surgery (a little over a month), they just stayed at Grandma’s house. Now they go to Grandma’s for three days every other week while I work through the horrors of chemo (it’s not as bad as I make it sound – I sleep through a lot of it). And as amazing as my mother is, and as much as they look forward to going there, they’ve changed. The little guys alternate between clingy and scared. And they’re having accidents in the house occasionally. I’m hoping that all settles down once I’m back to whatever my normal will be and they’re home full time. I think it’s the shuttling back and forth between two homes that’s changed them, not the actual environments.
- Holy crap. I took a brief break and forgot what number two is. Chemo is ugly that way. I forget things. I forget words. I forget to feed the dogs and let them out. I forget so many things. Maybe that was number two? I don’t think so. But the dogs obviously aren’t the only ones effected by my cancer. My whole family is, actually. It’s drawn us all closer together, but it also has Hunny at the end of his rope. Anyone want to come over and mow our lawn?
Last, but certainly not least, none of the dogs are getting as many treats as they should! It’s a crime! It’s a travesty! Especially since I have the very best treats in the world, Jones Natural Chews! I have them. I do. But I’m not working with the dogs regularly like I used to, on things like Come, Sit, Stay, Up, Down. So the treats stay in the closet most days. You should see all their eyes light up when I remember the treats! It’s both beautiful and sad. Will someone come over and give my dogs treats? No, no – I’ll do it. It’s a matter of remembering.
Speaking of treats, Jones Natural Chews is giving away their latest treat, and it’s pretty amazing. The Bully N Bacon is a coiled Bully Stick wrapped in pork skin and baked. It’s tasty! And your dog wants one. To enter, click this sentence, scroll down in the new window to the Rafflecopter, and click it for simply entry instructions. Do it now! The giveaway ends this weekend!
I sure hope I didn’t depress anyone today with how cancer effects my dogs. Just being real about the challenges of cancer and chemo. I have mostly bright, happy days. And nearly all tired days. I see a ton of silver linings in this. Lots of blessings. But I like to tell a cautionary tale, so caregivers and family are aware of and prepared for some of the difficulties the doctors and websites don’t prepare you for. Feel free to ask me questions. My mindset really is mostly positive, but, I hope, realistic.
Spreading the good chews …