Friday, August 7, 2015

Day 2061

I think we've got a plan for Dot now. She had an ultrasound scan of her abdomen today and the tumor has not grown any further. Her blood work still looks good as well. This is very good news. Dot's oncologist thinks it will be safe for us to discontinue her Palladia treatment for two weeks to see if this is what is causing the weakness in her rear legs. It is entirely possible that the lameness has nothing to do with Dot's chemotherapy, but since muscle weakness in a well documented side effect of Palladia, it would be good to know if this is what is causing the problem.

If discontinuing the Palladia makes no difference and Dot still continues to get weaker, we will assume the problem is neurological in nature and resume the chemotherapy. If she shows any sign of improvement, we will postpone the chemotherapy for an additional two weeks and then do another ultrasound scan. This way, we will learn two important things. We will know whether the Palladia is causing the muscle weakness and we will see if the tumor starts to grow again after being off chemotherapy for a full month. At that point we will have to decide whether to resume the chemotherapy for an extended length of time. The best case scenario would be if Dot's leg gets stronger without the Palladia and the tumor still does not grow any bigger. If this happens, maybe we just discontinue chemo entirely and monitor her condition every three months with an ultrasound scan.

When we left the cancer center today, the thermometer in the car said 118 degrees. I'm sure it wasn't really this hot, since the thermometer was picking up heat from the car itself. Once we got moving, the temperature went down to 106. That was probably closer to the real temperature. Either way, it was way too hot. Dot was happy to get home again where the air conditioner was keeping things comfortable. When the car sits out in the sun for any length of time, it takes most of the journey home just to get it cool again. At least Dot is riding better in the car now. I think I have finally learned how to get her situated so she doesn't slide around whenever I go around a corner.

The field monitor for my video camera finally arrived today. I discovered that every single device I want to use the monitor with requires a different type of HDMI cable. I didn't even know there were three distinct flavors of HDMI. I need a micro HDMI connector for the miniature cameras, a mini HDMI connector for the DSLR camera, and a regular cable for the video camera. This will require another trip to Fry's or Best Buy. All the cables I currently have are already attached to the TV.

When I was eating breakfast this morning, I was surprised to see that I was the only customer in the restaurant at one point. Often this place is so crowded that it's hard to find a table. Of all the people who come here, I seem to be the only one who is relentlessly consistent. I always arrive at the same time, order the same thing, and sit at the same table. There are lots of other regulars, but their schedules seem to vary. There are hundreds of reasons by people's plans change, but I still value consistency. I've always been a good observer.  When you look at the same things over and over again, you start to notice nuances and small details that other people miss. I can tell who cooked my breakfast now. Some of the cooks use more salt on the potatoes, others garnish the dish with extra cheese, or cook the Chorizo a little longer. I used to think the coffee was all the same, but now I can tell if they are using Ethiopian or Sumatran beans. These little things keep breakfast interesting.

I'm not sure what I'll do this weekend. Janet and I need to find time to photograph some new Dalmatians that have entered the rescue program. The house definitely needs to be cleaned. The hotter it gets, the more I'm craving an ice cold beer. I still can't bring myself to drink alcohol again though. The discipline I acquired when I was fighting Hepatitis C is apparently going to stay with me for life.

Lou is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

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