Friday, August 22, 2014
We were given a few simple rules that Henry is to follow post surgery. Most of them are pretty easy and things naturally do anyway. But some of them are just asking to be broken.
The easy ones to follow are that he is to be crated when we are not home (which we already do). No walks for a week (only go out to potty, and come back in). That one is easy for now since we are not going to push him beyond any limits just so he can go to the mailbox with us to get the mail and we are definitely not taking him on a long walk (the boy just had his kidney out! we are amazed he CAN even walk!).
After this, the rules get a little harder. He is not supposed to jump up on anything (i.e. the sofa, a chair, etc). This means that if we are not right next to him he may get a wild hair and take measures into his own paws. So, this has actually happened twice already. Grr! Turn your back for one second and he's got a stubborn mind of his own.
Then the rules get impossible! He is not allowed to have any "sun" time. The vet is concerned that if he is out in the heat too long he could be at risk for dehydration. (And that his wound could get infected by laying on his belly.) It is crazy to me that this is the hardest of all the rules to follow. And, of course, we have to confess, that this rule, too, has been broken two times. Each time, around midday after a little snackie and relieving his bladder, his routine is to spend a few minutes catching some rays. So, we have permitted him to have 3 minutes of sun time a day. We set a timer. The bonus is that Henry is such a good boy that he always comes in right before the alarm actually goes off. And so far as his wound...well, he lays on his side or back usually, so his stitches are not even in the grass or dirt. We know that these are reasonable precautions and of course we want to do all the right things but to deprive him of his favorite thing: refilling his vitamin D supply by soaking up the sun for 3 minutes just doesn't seem right. It really is the one thing that makes him the most happy. Especially as of late. So, we've been "flexible" with the rules. He's been sticking to the time limit, so i think we are good.
#HenryStrong all day long! #TeamHenry
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Henry has always been the tortoise (in comparison to Benjamin being the Hare in the infamous fable). So, in his healing we expect no different. He is simply pacing himself and taking each day as it comes.
We will see the oncologist on Monday and since they are 90 miles away, we are going to stay up there in a hotel the night before. This will not be routine or habit and we are bit concerned about this working him up into a frenzy since it will be new and exciting but we hope to stay relaxed and mellow so that it seems natural. The first appointment will be a big one for us. They said plan between 2 and 5 hours for the appointment. And we don't even have the full results back yet from the kidney biopsy from this Monday yet. OBP people stress is starting to spike, but calm, cool, collected Hank is his ever even keeled self. He truly never ceases to amaze us.
We are all playing on Team Henry. He is for real #HenryStrong. And maybe some day we will think of some quirky challenge to raise awareness for dog cancer (like the ice bucket challenge that's going on now for ALS). Maybe it would be something like lifting your leg to pee on a tree. Just kidding. Gotta laugh to keep from crying, right?
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Yesterday was Henry's first full day at home and I think he did remarkably well!
He spent most of the day sleeping, but that was to be expected. And we were happy that he was able to find comfortable positions to sleep in. In addition to sleeping, he also ate a few small meals and kept hydrated with some small sips of water throughout the day. He was most lively for a few hours in the evening, when he hung out with us in the living room while we ate dinner and he walked through the house for a bit while we were doing some chores. Then it was back to bed for some much needed rest.
All in all, I think Henry had an awesome first day of recovery. Here's to a great second day of recovery.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Henry is home and is doing remarkably well. When we picked him up from the vet we certainly did not expect him to have as good of a night as he did. In fact, he almost didn't get to come home with us yesterday.
When we went to pick Henry up, he was quite frantic and pretty worked up. The vet said around 3pm he started to howl and whine in his crate. The howling got so bad that they let him out of his crate (thinking that that would calm him down). Not only did that not calm him down, it almost made things worse. He started pacing around the room. Fresh from surgery, he was getting himself very worked up.
When we got there, our vet expressed his concerns, but could see that our mere presence started to calm him down. So we decided it would be best that he goes home with us. Of course, we had a list of things we needed to monitor and strict advice to take him to the emergency vet if we had the slightest of doubts about how he was doing.
Henry was calmer, but still a tad worked up on the drive home from the vet. But, after about an hour of being home, he was a completely different dog. He was no longer panting, his breathing was no longer labored and he was much more relaxed.
We took turns sitting with him, trying to keep him comfortable, but you could tell that Henry wanted to get back to his normal routine as quickly as possible. When we sat down to scarf down a quick bite to eat, Henry wanted to lay in the spot that he always lays in when we eat dinner. He was ready for things to get back to normal.
He slept well through the night. There were a few times he was awake and sitting up, but his pain seemed to be under control. As I write this now, he is snoring away, getting some much needed rest.
Thank you for the well wishes yesterday! They were much needed and worked!
Monday, August 18, 2014
Today is Henry's big surgery day. Needless to say, our anxiety is pretty high, but we are trying to stay positive and up beat so that Henry doesn't pick up on too much of our nervous energy.
To maximize his recovery time at the vet, Henry is the first surgery of the day. Which is great for a lot of reasons, but also means that we should hear from the vet mid morning.
I will do my best to post an update after we get Henry home and settled.
We have received an outpouring of support for Benjamin, Henry & Luna. I can not express how grateful I am for all the emails, cards and gifts. With everything going on, I am a bit behind in responding and thanking everyone. Please know that I blown away by the kindness of everyone in the OBP family I will be getting in touch soon.
UPDATE: Henry's surgery is over. He is in the recovery room now. The vet said it was not an easy surgery and there were a few things that made it a little tricky but Doc navigated them and now we are on to the next phase. The next 24 hours are critical. Doc said Henry is moaning and howling. While we know Henry can be a bit vocal, hearing that he's so uncomfortable that he's letting the world around him know about it and not just for his at home peeps is heartbreaking. We will be sure to up his meds tonight so we can get him as comfortable as possible. Thank you all for you continued good vibrations. Herny and his OBP peeps are feeling them. (And they are working!)
Friday, August 15, 2014
We heard from our vet yesterday after he consulted with the oncologist. After reviewing Henry's biopsy, it was decided that the best course of action would be to remove the kidney with the tumor. After the kidney is removed it can be sent for a complete biopsy and we can determine what course of chemotherapy is needed.
The oncologist confirmed that this is a very aggressive type of cancer, but based on what we know so far, thinks we caught things early (although there is no way to be 100% sure). Because of the aggressive nature of this cancer, removing the kidney is a top priority and our vet scheduled Henry for surgery on Monday. Before the surgery, Henry will have a chest x-ray to make sure his lungs are clear. The most common place for metastasis for renal cancer is in the lungs. If Henry's lungs are clear, he will have surgery that day to remove his kidney.
I appreciate the well wishes for Henry. His spirits are high and we are going to make sure he has a wonderful weekend. I will keep you updated as best I can on Monday.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
A few weeks ago, I got a small tattoo in remembrance of Benjamin. At the very last minute, I changed my mind and went with "Benny" instead of "Benjamin" for the text inside the bone. "Benny" just felt right to me because that is what I always called him.
A tattoo for Luna is in the works. I am just finalizing the design and figuring out where I want to put it. I'm debating on putting it near the tattoo I have for Sol.
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