What is a "bottom line"???

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, there are numerous "bottom lines"...a biweekly alternative newspaper at the University of California Santa Barbara, the running scores and news for ESPN (the ticker at the bottom of the screen); net income (revenue minus costs and expenses); music venue in New York City's Greenwich Village; a World Wrestling Entertainment syndicated television show; catch phrase of Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Vespa; a publishing company...and my backside!!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year...New Outlook...Hopefully!

I was told that it's too late to say "Happy New Year"...thus, the title of this blog.

I am not going to make this a post about crazy resolutions (because let's face it, we already know what we are supposed to be doing...and how to get there...yada, yada, yada).  So, I have to say that I am not going to change the resolutions (that have likely been the same for the past 5 years (if not longer)...but to expand on those.  Yeah...that's it!!!

I ended 2010 on a positive note, as far as weight loss is concerned...from the week of Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve, I lost a whopping 6.8 lbs.  I could not believe it!  I officially weigh in tomorrow at Weight Watchers--so I will post after my 9:15a meeting...good, bad, or indifferent.  I was quite pleased with myself (although I was sick for part of the holidays...so that counts for part of the loss).  The week of Christmas Eve, I lost four pounds....and then the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I lost 2.8 lbs (I was sick from Christmas Day forward).  Anyway, I have kicked the crud...but this week was TOM, so I am expecting some gain (happens every month...dang bloat!).

But it's not all glitter and glam for me (as if weight loss signifies glitter)...my (canine) boy, Albert, has been diagnosed as of late with some pretty serious issues.  Last summer, we noticed that he was panting excessively (as if he were in hot temps and high humidity all of the time)...so we took him to the vet.   Our vet, who is exceptional, ran a battery of tests, including bloodwork and the like, all of which came back "normal".  We didn't panic (although in hindsight, isn't it funny how everything is crystal clear AFTER the fact?) but we noticed in October (when temps were significantly cooler in GA) that he was still panting--so again, we were concerned.   We took him back to our vet, who took a chest x-ray this time along with more tests.  This time, because they noticed something suspicious on the chest x-ray (could be something...could be nothing), we were referred to an Internist...Yes, my dog has an Internist (I do not...but my dog does...how bizarre is that?).  So, she looked at the x-ray (says that the spot on the x-ray is nothing to alarmed about) and suggests one of two diagnoses...laryngeal paralysis or Cushings Syndrome.  Both of the tests were costly..but the scope was a bit less invasive and we could get an answer to confirm/rule out the laryngeal paralysis almost immediately.  Turns out my boy, Albert, did have laryngeal paralysis.  This was treatable with surgery...so we got a referral back to a surgeon that had previously done work on Albert (he had TPO surgery, basically replacing parts of his hind legs due to a congenital defect, about 2.5 years ago).  So, the surgeon looks at Albert and does a preliminary exam on him...and notices that there's a lump on one side of his neck.  He re-refers (is that a word) to the Internist, so that she can verify that it's nothing or that it's something.  So, we go back to the Internist...who performs an ultrasound.  (Note:  I have never met this lady at this point...only know what my husband has relayed to me about her).  She comes back and the first words out of her mouth were, "I feel so badly"...Well, that was nothing compared to what I went through the next few days.  Albert has a huge thyroid tumor that not only consumes his thyroid but has grown and "wrapped" itself around parts of his trachea, his carotid artery and his jugular vein...it's massive.  She recommends surgery to remove it immediately--that week (did I mention that this was the week of Christmas?).  So, we (husband and I) discuss...and decide that we will do the surgery (she said that if we didn't remove it, he would die within three months due to the tumor growing and cutting off the respiratory function...horrible!).  So, the next day, I take Albert (after no sleep, worrying obsessively about whether this was the "right" thing to do for him, was he suffering?) back to the surgery center, I am just supposed to be dropping him off ...and the surgeon wants to meet with me.  Again, my  husband has always been the one dealing with the doctors (his schedule is a bit more flexible than mine, as he can work from home), so I knew this was nothing good...He tells me that he can/will do the surgery but wants me to understand all that's associated with it...due to the massiveness of this tumor, he knows he will not be able to get all of it (I get the feeling because of this, he doesn't want to do the surgery); there's major risks associated with infection and morbidity and it would, in all likelihood, leave Albert disfigured on the left side, due to nerve damage.  He says that he is willing to refer us to an Oncologist who will be able to give us a better treatment plan for Albert. I ask about numbers...how much and the odds of this working out for Albert...he refuses to give me either, telling me that he's a surgeon that canine (and other animals, most likely) oncology is so specialized...he's not qualified to speak on such matters.  (Nice...).  So, we get our referral to the oncologist (by the way, in the state of GA, there's only one local place w/in Atlanta...otherwise you have to send your family member to UGA's vet school or Auburn's vet school.  I am sure that either of the last options are superb in what they do...but it's just not geographically desirable).  We go with the local option...They do a terrific job on December 23...they took another chest x-ray, did a full work up and met with the husband (again, I wasn't able to go...).  Unfortunately, the news wasn't so great...the cancer has moved to Albert's lungs.  Radiation (which was the surgeon's suggestion) is not an option.  We are doing a 12 week round of chemotherapy with two different meds (we travel once a week to the local facility) in hopes of prolonging Albert's life.  There's a 50/50 chance that this will "help"...by "help", I mean keep the cancer from growing, as we all know that lung cancer is not one of the treatable ones.  Luckily for me, the side effects of chemo in dogs is minimal (the oncologist has been practicing for over 22 years and says that the vast majority has no side effects)...Albert's not losing his fur or his appetite...and truthfully, if I didn't know he was such a sick boy, I would never guess it...he still wrestles with his brother, runs upstairs at bedtime for his nightly treats, and is still wagging that tail like a madman.  I can only hope that he is truly not suffering...and if/when he starts showing signs of pain that I know it and can make those tough decisions in life.  Yep, Albert has taught me a lot (that's another post for another day, as this one is way too long...)...but most of all, I have learned (again!) to tell those around me what they mean to me...to not wait for a special occasion or holiday.  Albert and I have our (new) nightly ritual.  I lay on the floor with him and assure him that I love him with all of my heart...and good thing for me, he loves to be hugged and cuddled...otherwise, I just might be a basket case!

So, I leave you tonight with a few photos of my Great Pumpkin...
 Until next time...(which will be tomorrow...with my weigh in results)...


  1. oh what a story...sweet
    Albert. Gotta love a guy named Albert.

    glad you are back blogging. unreal that you've lost wt but more power to ya.

    I 'm a believer in holistic things even though I am an RN and have used off and on a holistic vet when we've needed. The one I've used is Loving Touch Animal Clinic in Stone Mtn right off 78. I think there is another holistic vet somewhere in Alpharetta. They do conventional vet work mixed with holistic like accupuncture, homeopathy, reiki. If I hadn't seen the positive effects of what they do I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen dogs walk that could barely lift their butts off the floor before just one accupuncture treatment. Not saying a cure..just if you need some alternatives to consider...

  2. At Ms. PJ Geek, You are right...what can you not love about my fella, Albert? (We didn't name him...but his name stuck...and he is truly an Albert...used to be Fat Albert, but he lost weight after his first two surgeries).

    Thanks for the advice...I will definitely explore the holistic treatments. I have heard great things (not from a vet perspective...but for humans). If we can just keep him comfortable...I am happy with that!

    Will keep you posted...:)

  3. Our fur babies are just like our real babies.. I can tell that your baby has a great set of parents and the he is loved very much... He really is cutie pie...


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