Category Archives: dammit


That’s Life, laughing at me.

I am home. Kuro is not. He is still at the garage because 1) the sideview mirror was not painted during the week as it was supposed to be, so it was not ready to be installed, but that was okay because 2) more work was needed in the form of replacement of the catalytic converter, which failed. Hence, the ::check engine:: light.

The fact that I have money saved for things like this is beside the point. It would be nice if, at least once, said money was able to sit in the damned account for longer than a bloody month.

They know when you have money. Damn straight.

So, I have a loaner until Monday/Tuesday. I also had the presence of mind to print out another 15% off coupon and boy am I glad I did that. In the case of the catalytic converter, it ain’t the labor. It’s the cost of the blasted part.

And no, not even thinking of a new car. The absolute last thing I need is a car payment. Kuro is going to have to serve for the next few years. At the rate he’s going, he will be brand-spanking new under the hood anyway. He’ll be 12 11 years old in April. Maybe we can reach 20.

I would like to reach at least 15, because 15 YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.

Anyway. Home. We set the diet aside for the time being and had a glass of wine and a tuna melt with an excess of good cheddar.

Red peppers are currently roasting. Some will be used to gussy up some jarred marinara tomorrow. The rest will be saved for sandwiches.

More snow fell this morning. Overall, we wound up with 3-4 inches of fluff stuff. Could snow overnight, so I’ll wait until tomorrow to shovel.

It’s only 1 pm. Feels like it should be later.


I really had been looking forward to today. Started off in a really good mood.

Then, on the way to work, a passing SUV clipped my driver-side mirror as I sat waiting in a turn lane. Big chunk of plastic knocked out of the housing. No, they didn’t stop. No, I didn’t get the license number.

I could probably fill in the gap in the housing with duct tape and a black Sharpie, but I will go ahead and get the thing replaced. Because what am I but a river of money. Dammit.

It didn’t help that the meeting I was on my way to when this happened was canceled without any notification. If I had followed my normal schedule, I would still have an intact drivers side mirror. Dammit.

Sometimes there isn’t enough chocolate in the world. Dammit.

At least my hearing is okay. Had that checked today, as I have been dealing with ringing in my right ear for a couple of years and have finally decided to see if we can figure out what’s causing it. I have some loss of hearing at the highest frequency, but for a number of reasons I think there’s something else going on. I see my regular doc next week. There may be an otolaryngologist in my future.

In better news, just planned a long weekend with a few other writers. End of April, but given how we’re almost in February already, it will be here before I know it. I will really need the break.


Saturdays are always busy. I try to cram two days worth of stuff into one day, grocery shopping and errands and laundry and odd chores. Cooking for the week. Today’s items, ginger cookies and meatloaf.

I had tickets for Amanda Palmer’s sold-out show at Metro this evening, but by this afternoon I knew it wasn’t going to happen–legs and back were achy and every time I sat down I drifted off. Coffee and ibuprofen helped, but not enough that I felt like braving Saturday night Wrigleyville traffic. I’ll probably be sorry I missed the show, but the timing just didn’t work out.

King had his second checkup this week. CBC and liver function. Everything looks good–no inflammation, anemia, or other side effects of the chemo. Liver enzymes still high, but down to half what they were pre-surgery. The doctor twitched King’s med schedule a bit, and prescribed something for his stiff hip that really seems to be helping. He’s doing about as well as possible given the circumstances.

He was a character. The nurse took him to the examination area to draw blood–a few minutes later, I heard barking that sounded familiar. The doctor was smiling when she came out to talk to me–yes, King was the barker. They had him tied on an extended lead, and he walked around the room and barked at them when they talked to him. He has become very vocal in his old age.

They like him. That makes me happy.

Today we had near-record warmth, and tonight the wind is roaring. Possible snow showers on Monday. Trying not to think about it.


I can’t keep up with the changes over at Madame Agent’s critique auction for Sandy relief. We’re currently looking at the possibility of 4 critiques, with 4 folks donating $1500 each. Tune in tomorrow to see how it all shakes out.

King had a restless couple of hours this evening that I think was caused by an upset stomach. He seemed fine when I came home. I admit that I did give him a couple of biscuits, a new brand that might not have agreed with him. After a few minutes, the restlessness hit–he paced, drank water, and wanted to go outside. He went to the bathroom. He seemed anxious and a little clingy.

I had to give him his chemo tablets, so I did. I also gave him 10mg famotidine in case he had heartburn. I then fed him some chicken breast and rice. He remained restless for another half hour or so. Then he finally settled. He’s sleeping now.

I, on the other hand, am now the one feeling restless and edgy.

When I take King in for his next follow-up, I am going to ask about the best way to handle an upset stomach. I’d like to have something on hand to give him when it hits.

I hate when something like this happens now because I worry that it could snowball.

I need a cookie.

In other news, I just watched two minutes of STAR WARS–Episode 3. It was all I could take.

Drive-by pupdate

The oncologist phoned yesterday with King’s baseline labs. Everything’s fine except for the liver, which stands to reason. A couple of values are elevated, possibly from the disease or a hangover from surgery. I told him that King is eating well and is bouncy–to look at him, you wouldn’t think he was sick. The doctor was glad to hear it. The goal is to keep King at this point for as long as we can.

King spoils easy. A dog that gets his nose kissed on a regular basis and receives cookies for the asking is a dog that gets very, very used to ALL THE ATTENTION.

Oh well.

Forging ahead

Took King to see the oncologist this morning. We’re going to try chemo.

Without treatment, the prognosis was about 2 months, give or take. If treatment successfully holds things at bay, we could stretch things out as far as 6-8 months, with 6 months being the usual length of survival with successful treatment. There’s always the chance that the two drugs we will be using–tablets, given on alternate days–may sicken King or not help. We will be monitoring, and will revisit if issues occur.

I have to at least try.

The surgeon cleared KIng for his usual activities–no more movement or Gaby restrictions. I also was cleared to resume his gall bladder and thyroid meds. The surgeon thought that holding off on the thyroid med might have led to King’s lack of energy, at least in part. I dosed him when we got home, and within a few hours he was pretty much his old self. I don’t know whether that was the sole reason for his perking up, but I’ll take it. At least that was something I could fix.

I spent the rest of the day running around like an idiot. Picking up King’s meds. Grocery shopping. I also wanted something decorative for the outside to celebrate fall, but dammit it’s all Christmas stuff already. I didn’t want a pot o’ mums, because they could die if we get hit with frost. I finally managed to find a wibble-wobble metal scarecrow that I can stick in the planter. He’ll hold the fort until the day after Thanksgiving, which is the soonest that I would put out the reindeer, penguin, etc.

I just want to get through this year. Everything else is gravy.


The surgeon called me with the test results, which confirmed what we feared. King does have hemangiosarcoma, which likely migrated from his spleen. The first consult with the oncologist is next Friday–the surgeon told me that he had already discussed King with him.

King had a decent day today. His appetite has improved by leaps and bounds since Tuesday–he ate three meals of rice, cooked chicken breast, and some of his dry & canned food. He’s still drinking a fair amount of water. Sleeping/dozing a good part of the day. He seems comfortable.

Thursday morning

At home this morning. Had some company in the dining room for a while:

He seems better. Moving slow, but more alert. Wanted to explore the backyard a little when I took him out to do his business. Appetite seems to be returning. Things did get interesting last night when he drank a little too much water a little too quickly and upchucked in the dining room. I phoned the e-clinic and spoke with the doctor. Withheld food and most water, checked the site of the incision, and just watched. Luckily, the patient settled down, and slept through the night.

One day at a time. Cliche, but so appropriate.

Fly-by pupdate

King is home. He’s totally zonked on tramadol, and was drinking water like mad, partly because of nerves and partly because the tramadol. He hadn’t eaten before I brought him home, which might also be due to the tramadol. I need to give him his next dose soon, so I hope he’s in the mood for a little cheese. Otherwise, I will have to toss pills down his throat and I hate doing that.

I hate tramadol. It seems to be the pain reliever of choice for dogs, but it upsets King’s stomach and whoozies him out. The dose I gave him for his arthritis was bad enough, but this dose is 2x larger and more frequent. The surgeon said I can taper it fairly quickly and I think I will. I’m not sure it’s helping if King keeps burping and refusing to eat.

King rode home in Kuro’s hatchback, which was a first. But it had more room than the backseat, as well as a more stable ledge for support of the ramp I bought a few years ago to use if/when he could no longer jump onto the backseat. King doesn’t like the ramp, and has refused to use it in the past. But today he really wanted out of the car, and he wobbled down while I supported him from the side. I was prepared to ask my neighbor to help lift him out, but I’m glad it worked out this way. Didn’t have to grab him around his belly.

He’ll have to wear the cone for the next couple of weeks. He and Gaby can’t play.

He’s sleeping now. He ate a couple of nibbles of hamburger meat. A few hypoallergenic biscuits. He refused everything else. I will try a little rice with broth later.

Biopsy results early next week.

On the discharge summary, the surgeon wrote that he’s “an outstanding boy!”

I know.

End of Days

Furnace kicked on this morning.