Thursday, August 27, 2009

So helpful

Last month when we were at the beach my friend Casey taught me how to knit. Big mistake. I am totally addicted now. It's such a relaxing thing to do after working all day. And I am getting a good jump on Christmas gifts. Apparently Clishy wanted to get in on the action by holding the yarn for me. Never let it be said that my dogs are not helpful!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

round 9 and Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Preacher! My big guy turned 11 years old this month! This would be amazing no matter what...a Great Dane's life span is usually like seven or eight years so 11 is pretty incredible. But given the lymphoma, well, we are so far beyond thrilled I don't know what you call it! I am wondering how to go about baking a cake that is high in protein, low in carbs...sounds tasty, doesn't it?!?

Today was the ninth round of chemo. He spent the whole day there and came home completely pooped. Today's chemo drug was doxorubicin - it's kind of the big daddy of the chemo drugs from what I understand. He's had this one once before and handled it fairly well so fingers crossed we'll get through this go-round without incident.

We also hit the two month mark today! I am beyond thrilled because this means we go to every other week for treatments instead of once a week. Yippee!!! It will be so nice to just get to be at home with him for two solid weeks without shuffling off to the vet and it will give us more time to bulk him up with good food between treatments! :)

We still have four months to go, but somehow it doesn't seem that bad. I look back at where I was at when we got the diagnosis and where I am now...I never would have believed I could be this okay. The body and mind are pretty amazing. And of course the fact that Preacher feels so good is probably what keeps Tom and I so okay. This new normal seems to be workin' for us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting ready for ACL blog contest...

Okay, it's time for some more audience participation. I am counting down the weeks to ACL. I have made a chart of what I think I need, what I need to make and how much of each item. But no matter how much I pour over it, consider and reconsider, it's all still a big giant guess. So, here's where you come in. Hopefully everyone of you reading my little blog is going to be attending're dying to see Pearl Jam or Levon Helm or Kings of Leon and shop the artists market...okay, maybe not all of you, but imagine for a minute you were and you were shopping the artists at a music festival...what would you buy? Bracelets? Earrings? Necklaces? Gifts for others, mementos, something for yourself? Tell me your thoughts, opinions...think of it as a survey. To show my appreciation of your feedback I will draw a name from the comment-ers and send you a pair of the above pictured concave disc earrings! Leave your e-mail so I can notify the winner. I seriously need your help!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

day dreaming...

I love Austin. I love Texas. I don't really see myself living anywhere else. BUT, and I know I probably sound like a broken record, I am sooooo unbelievably tired of this heat. We have now had more than 60 days of over 100 degree heat and barely a drop of rain. My yard is crispy and my electric bill is insane. I spend a fair amount of each day thinking about where I would rather be. New York City is pretty high on my list. Not necessarily in the ABC stairwell as pictured above, but just somewhere in NYC. From what I gather they are having a very, very mild summer. hmmmm, how quickly can I get a flight?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Build a bangle necklace

I love this necklace. I know I made it and maybe I should be a bit more humble. But it's versatile, you can wear it with one charm, just the hoop, both charms and the hoop, etc. And it is a perfect gift. It's personal. As Martha would say, it's a good thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

round 8

Today was Preachers eighth round of chemo. We have officially been through all of the different chemo meds. Now he'll just cycle back through them over the next four months. I am hoping that now we will kind of have a grasp on how he reacts to each one and will be prepared. However, today proved that theory wrong. Today's drug was vincristine. It's one he's had several times before and has handled better than any others. So I guess I had a false sense of security this go around. When I brought him home he promptly had diarrhea all over the living room floor. Thank God for tile. Poor guy. I can tell he feels a little poopy (pun unintended). But he ate dinner very well so that's good. He had put on another three pounds over the last week which is great. The oncologist tech said "everything looks great. He's doing great." So, that's our update.

Chemo day is always a little blah, but the six days in between are usually just fantastic! In fact, the other morning Preacher was playing with The Business Man! If I could just get a photo of them in their play standoff - both in the downward dog position - it's just that one is 120 pounds and the other is 5 pounds. It's like they see who will break the pose first and then it's bounce, bounce, chase, chase. But the minute the camera comes out it's "who me?"

Thanks again for all of your comments, well wishes, and happy thoughts. I know it is helping. Going into this we were terrified. But like anything, you adjust to the changes and make the best of things. And honestly, things are pretty wonderful.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is this gonna last forever?

I don't know how many of you have seen the you tube video of the kid in the car after the dentist appointment...I thought it was pretty funny, but I guess some people thought it was not so funny...anyway, I keep reciting his line, in the same pitiful voice "Is this gonna last forever?" in reference to our record breaking heat. It's ridiculous is all I'm sayin'. More than 50 days of over 100 degrees with virtually no rain. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE cold weather! LOVE IT! The colder and more severe the better - ice stores - love 'em! Any excuse to make a pot of soup, curl up in front of a fire, and cuddle with my honey and the pups - ah, heaven! But I am beginning to think I will never see cold again. Will I ever get to wear this cute hat again? Or snuggle with my husband? Is this gonna last forever?

Oh, but this photo, me and him - that IS gonna last forever!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

padding the chemo budget

When we considered dog insurance years ago we dismissed it fairly quickly. Why was that again? And I am wondering now if we ever thought "hmm, we could just get it for the dog that weighs 130 pounds" since veterinary medicine is priced by weight. But no, we didn't. That seems downright silly now. But hindsight is indeed 20/20. Luckily the Preachers treatments are paid for at each visit vs. one lump sum. The one lump sum would scare the bajeezus out of me. But the weekly visits seem more do-able. But they also mean that each week I am frantically thinking of ways to work harder, make more jewelry, and stick to my spend strike. Hello Closeout page! Right now the metalsgirl closeout page is pretty chalk full of jewels at great prices. I have big time incentive to mark 'em down and get 'em out! So if you need some gift, wanna do some early holiday shopping, or just need a little recession priced gift for yourself or your sweetie - there are goodies galore!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

round 7

Today was round seven. Tom was taking him in on his way to work and then the plan was that I would pick him up when they called to day "all done". But Tom called shortly after leaving to say that he was getting oral chemo meds at home this time 'round. huh? Every other time it's been an injection or iv administered chemo. ** a bunch of mumbo jumbo to follow so if you don't want all that skip to the next paragraph ** So, long story short, this was to be the last time we would have to go through a "new med". Because he had such a bad reaction to the cytoxan in round three he would get a new, similar drug next time he was due for cytoxan. So, here we are. Apparently this drug, leukeran, is in pill form.

Sooooo, Tom says "they are gonna give you some pills and some gloves." Okee-do-kee. And sure enough, I go pick him up (he came prancing out like a big fat cutie-pie!) and the tech gives me a baggie with a pill bottle and a pair of gloves. So here's the deal - he has to take 25, yes - twenty five, of these little orange pills all at once that I cannot touch with my bare hands. But they are okay for him to SWALLOW?!?!? Man, cancer sucks. Oh and by the way, "if he pees or poops in the house in the next three days use the gloves to clean it up." What?

So, I thought it was going to be painful. My other-mother suggested a peanut butter and pill sandwich. But I just dumped the whole bottle of 25 in with his grain-free food and freshly grilled (we all know how he feels about that!) hamburger meat and he gobbled it right up. Pretty darn painless considering how intimidated I was when I stuck the baggie of pills and gloves in my purse at 9am.

And as the day progressed he has been happy and hungry. Everything we want in a Big Man!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Several months ago I was contacted by someone putting together a book about Austin women business owners. The idea is part shopping guide /part women's empowerment hoo la la. I love the idea on several levels. Most important is the message - shop from the little guy not the big box store. Whether it's a man or a woman that owns the business I think we should all try to shop from the small business owners first. I for one am pretty anti Wal Mart. I simply will not go into a Wal Mart. The fact that Sam Walton's goal was to put all small, local business owners out of business is just disturbing. But I digress.

So, I am lucky enough to be one of the women featured in the Austin edition of Crave! It's pretty cool - each woman was photographed by local, female photographers (mine was the FABULOUS Casey Woods Maddeaux), we each answered questions about inspirations, favorite local hang outs, that kind of stuff. I for one am super excited to check out every one's thoughts and photos. I know I will be drawn to these crazy cool and local businesses.

If you aren't local I still think it would be a cool, inspiring book to have - and a great buy before a trip to Austin!! And there are other cities with Crave books - Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are both out now...and one the way: San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Toronto, and AUSTIN! Look to buy the Austin version at very soon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Boys Schmoys!

My imaginary friend Taylor has been harping on me for years to have make "boy stuff". But most of the boys I know don't wear jewelry so it has been hard for me to know what to do. But then I thought "tie tacks, some boys were tie tacks"..."cuff links, boys were cuff links to weddings". And chains with cool pendants, I like those on boys. So, I finally have a Men's line! Yay!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Six down.

Round six of chemo is under our belt. He went in yesterday and it seems to have gone off without a hitch. He is eating great, has some spunk, and is our normal Preacher Man. yay!!

I was telling a friend of mine the other day, a friend whose dog was just given a cancer diagnosis, that you find a new kind of normal when you have to deal with things like this. It's an odd thing, I think it's some version of self preservation or our bodies unknown defense mechanism kicking in. What I mean is that I have found that when you deal with any kind tragedy or intense difficulty in life, especially an illness, you are initially in shock, in a panic, freaking out, all of the above. But then once you come to terms with it, make a plan, I think you find a new normal. A few months ago, before our cancer diagnosis, life was good. We were cruising along with out thinking about things too much. But now I feel like I am enjoying my life even more, and as odd as it sounds, I am even happier than I was before. Weird? Maybe. But I appreciate everything more now. It's an odd thing - life and all that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

a beachy breather

I took a much needed breather and headed down to the Texas beach. A lot of people aren't big fans of the beaches we have here and honestly, if you said I could go to the Oregon coast or Maine, I would abandon the Texas beaches in a heart beat. But since this little beach is just a few hours away it's the go to beach for us. And Port Aransas is a great, crusty little town. It's basically still a little fishing village. Maybe the term "village" is a stretch. Village sounds like some quaint little town in Vermont. This is, well, like I said, crusty. But it's not all built up and full of bars and party-ing kids. God I sound old. Anyway, it was great. It was just my mom, my cousin-but-more-like-an-aunt Jan, and my friend Casey...oh, and The Business Man.