Bert’s followup visit

We paid a visit to the vet’s office this morning for a follow-up to Bert’s jaw surgery. I had hoped to have the stitches removed, but decided to leave them in for a while longer to allow the front of his jaw to heal more.

Bert has lost 3 pounds over the last 10 days since surgery.  He is still struggling to eat & drink on his own, so I’ve been syringe feeding him.

I got a good look at his mouth and tongue and it is clear that his tongue is in great shape. The vet believes Bert should be able to lick & lap food & water into his mouth, but Bert is accustomed to having the support of his front lower jaw that is no longer there to help him. It looks like I’ll have to continue using the syringe to water and feed him for the foreseeable future.

Click here for next update on Bert –>

My sweet Bert

My sweet kitty Bert has had some health issues lately and we’ve gotten to know our veterinarian pretty well since he’s made many trips for care in the last few months.

The vet performed some exploratory surgery on his bottom lip and chin 10 days ago and sent some tissue samples off to UGA for examination. We got the word on Thursday that the tissue was malignant carcinoma.

When the vet operated on him, he removed all of the suspicious tissue that he could see, so we are hopeful that he got it all and that Bert will live several more years. Bert is not as handsome now as he is in this picture above, but he is still just as sweet as ever. <3

Here’s a picture of what his lip and chin looked like before surgery.

UPDATE: 2/22/2018

Got really terrible confirmation today when I took Bert in for a final check up from his cancer surgery…..I noticed on Sunday night that his mouth didn’t look right and woke up Monday morning crying with the realization that the cancer was back. The vet confirmed it in today’s visit.

So now I must explore some options…..If anyone who reads this has had a pet with cancer, I would love to hear about your experience.

I will be taking Bert in for an oncology consult with a cancer expert, hopefully, next week and will go from there…..

Needless to say I am sick about this latest development. Right now, Bert is happy, eating well, and feeling pretty good, so it’s really hard to think about what is going to happen to him in the future. I just can’t bear to think about watching this beautiful, happy boy succumb to cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018

I scheduled an appointment with a cancer specialist for Bert for this coming Thursday, but over the weekend, the tumor on his lip grew quite a lot.

Last week, when I discussed options for Bert with the veterinarian, I was given 3 options: a more invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and to do nothing. I had hoped to explore the veracity of chemo and then make a decision, but, given how fast the tumor is growing, I am concerned that the window for a surgical solution is closing rapidly, so I called the vet yesterday morning and told him that I thought we should pursue the surgical option as soon as possible.

So this morning I dropped Bert off at the vet’s office and sometime today he will be operated on again. This time the vet will remove part of his lower jaw (partial mandibulectomy) in the hopes of removing the cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018 Post Surgery

The vet called me after surgery to let me know that Bert was okay.  He texted me a few pictures.

UPDATE: 2/28/2018

Bert got through surgery okay, but stayed overnight at the vet’s office. He is home now and appears to be hungry, but is having some difficulty eating. He has to learn a new technique for eating….

UPDATE: 3/01/201

Bert is struggling to eat, but he seems to be doing okay. His tongue hangs out of his mouth and he doesn’t have much of a lower jaw so when he tries to eat his tongue gets in the way. I have been syringing water & watered down food into him. It’s a very messy business and stressful for both of us.

So far, I think I’ve managed to get his meds in him and keep him hydrated, but haven’t gotten much food in him.

Tonight we wrapped him in a towel & Mark held him tightly. I was able to put some soft food on my finger & get it in his mouth. That was a little encouraging & tomorrow we will try to get more food into him.

Click here for next update –>

Reflections on a lovely evening

The Douglas County Chamber Singers Christmas concert was last night and as I reflect on the evening, I feel so many emotions. I have sung with this group for 16 years (I missed the very first concert). I am honored to be a part of the Singers and have learned so much about choral singing from our conductor Vickie Orme.

I am humbled by and appreciative of the people who turn up to listen to our concerts. I am thankful to the musical composers and song masters who have created the beautiful songs we sing. I am thankful to the United Methodist Church of Douglasville for allowing us to sing this beautiful music in their beautiful sanctuary with it’s gorgeous stained glass windows, graceful wooden arches and its wonderful organ.

I am especially thankful to Vickie Orme, our conductor, to Deanne Ohman, our pianist, and to all of the singers in the Chamber Singers for their loyalty, their commitment, their flexibility, and their love of music.

Together we lift our voices in celebration, love, and devotion to each other, to the world around us, to our fellow humans, and to the God that we love.

Happy, blessed and safe holidays to all during this last month of the year.

Last night I saturated my dry hair with this stuff, put on a shower cap & left it for about 30 minutes. Then I shampooed & conditioned as usual. I let my hair dry naturally and my hair is soft, smooth, shiny and not frizzy…it also feels like it has more body in it.

I can’t vouch that it will do much for brown, black or blond hair, but I’m liking it for my silver hair.

 “White Privilege” & Confronting My Own Racism

When I read the essay I’ve linked below, I remembered a conversation about race I had several years ago with a black coworker, a man who I respected and who was a friend, and a safe person to discuss such things…I knew he would not be offended by my questions and would be honest in his answers. He commented that he knew that many white women were uneasy around him when they encountered him on the street. He told me he noticed the women in their cars as he walked by, the expressions on their faces as they looked to make sure their doors were locked. I thought to myself, “I do that too when I’m in my car.”

It opened my eyes to the insidious racism that infects my thinking. When I catch myself, I take conscious effort to root it out. It is a continuous effort.

At least I am aware that it exists. Awareness at least challenges me to be better, to do better, to confront these thoughts.

In the last several months , I have been confronted with the concept of “white privilege.” I’m not sure I fully comprehend yet what it means to me as a white woman, how I need to acknowledge it, and what actions I need to take in my own life to root it out, but I am trying.

“It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black. It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with ‘I’m with Her’ and ‘Coexist’ stickers on their German SUVs.”

A message to Charlotteville from a black farmer

Atlanta’s Women’s March for Social Justice

Here’s an impressive picture that was taken of the March for Social Justice & Women in Atlanta yesterday. (I didn’t take the picture…I was one of the pink dots in the picture).

I got home too late last night to watch the evening news but my husband watched the news and told me the count was at around 60,000 marchers in Atlanta! The organizers had estimated about 10,000 marchers and yesterday morning we all woke up to pouring rain, thunder & lightening. I did not rethink my decision to go, but I hoped that the rain would not prevent others from showing up.

When took the subway to town, and when I exited the train at the CNN station I was elated to see the crowds of people that were in the station…As I emerged from the station, it was exciting to see the large crowds that were gathering up on the street level….And the rain stopped !

The subway stop was several blocks from the starting point and as I walked the crowds who were walking beside me just got bigger and bigger. It was like I was floating along in a river with branches and tributaries dumping more and more marchers into it….

It was hard to get a sense of the numbers of sisters & brothers who showed up to march, but I knew it was a lot. Every where I looked I saw crowds of people.

When I approached the park where all the crowds were gathering I was at a higher elevation and I could look down and see a large body of people. It was amazing!

Today as I read about the march in Atlanta, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and across the nation and across the globe I am humbled, joyous, elated, encouraged, and energized. And now the real work begins….

Milo crossed the Rainbow Bridge today

Best friends come in many shapes & sizes
This one in the shape of a scruffy little terrier

By all accounts a wanderer,
When I eyed him trotting down the road
On a cold Spring evening almost 10 years ago.

He was a social friendly guy who had never met a stranger
A loyal devoted buddy to anyone who needed a friend.
Even after He’d settled into his new digs he’d wander,
Following his nose in his paripatetic fashion to find some new interesting adventure
 

Over the years he moved a little slower & stiffer,
his handsome brown mask lightened to white,
and his wanderings became infrequent…

He enjoyed the comfort of a warm bed, a regular mealtime, and the occasional treat

 But mostly he just loved walking with his best friend
…and keeping his human company
and today as he crosses over the rainbow bridge, our hearts are sad and our tears are fresh

So long dear one….happy travels.