Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Day 2247

Today was discouraging. Dot's oncologist found a second tumor during her ultrasound exam. We won't know whether she also has kidney problems until the complete lab reports come back later in the week, but we did learn that Dot has high blood pressure. The high blood pressure could be causing the abnormalities discovered in the routine urinalysis we ran last week. None of this is good news. Dot's oncologist wants us to consider resuming chemotherapy at a lower dose to see whether Dot can handle it. This will slow down the growth of the cancer, but it might cause her to become weaker and make it harder for her to walk again. It's going to be a tough choice.

Cancer is so relentless that it's really hard to beat it entirely. Most treatments don't actually cure cancer, they just slow down it's advance. Despite her limited mobility, Dot is still a happy dog who enjoys her life. If we can come up with a treatment plan that will keep her happy and motivated, I'm willing to try it. The day Dot becomes severely depressed with her condition, it's all over. I think this is true with people as well when they become ill. You've got to have a reason to keep moving forward.

I'm having problems with my car and had to make a service appointment. It used to only take a day or two to get an appointment, but now the wait can be up to two weeks. I'm sure this has something to do with the economy. The dealership is still selling a lot of cars, but they haven't added any new mechanics. As a result, customers wait longer. The same thing seems to be happening when you need a plumber or make a doctor's appointment. Airlines are the worst. Fuel prices have come down dramatically during the past year, but have ticket prices decreased? Nope. Flying is just as unpleasant as it has always been.

I digress though. I was talking about my car. The car is still under warranty, but is getting old enough that things are starting to break. My current problem is with the electrical system. Modern automotive electronics are so complex that they are almost unfixable when things start to go wrong. Usually they end up replacing the expensive computer brain that controls everything. That's why I'd like to get this problem taken care of before the warranty runs out. I was able to keep my old Defender 90 long after the warranty ran out because it was basically a very simple machine. I don't think I'll be able to hang on to this car without a good warranty. The car is just too complicated. Repairs are already so expensive that it would make more sense to just trade it in as soon as the warranty runs out. Luckily, I've still got a few years to decide what to do next.

I don't think I've got a few years with Dot. I'm worried. After all we've been through, it's hard for me to accept that she won't live forever. I've never seen a dog with this much strength, determination, and resilience. We're getting near the end of the road however. I'm observant enough to see what's happening. I'm just not ready.

I was pleased to see the outsiders win tonight in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are as different as day and night, but each is authentic in their own way. I hope this sends a message to Washington DC that politics as usual is over. I don't know what the solution is, but we've got to find a way to move beyond the total gridlock our current politicians have created. It won't be easy because we have allowed ourselves to become so fragmented as a country that nobody can agree on anything anymore. The next year or so should be very interesting.

Jazz it today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day