Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Case Case

Our granddaughter Cierra stayed with us last night so that we could drive her to school this morning. Due to a logistical crossword puzzle that happens once in a while.  It's fine with us and we actually look forward to any visits by grandchildren because they're all getting more independent as they forge their way through teenagedom. Their independence curriculum doesn't call for a whole lot a face time with Grandma and Papa so we're always happy to see them any chance we get.  Cierra will be the last to become a teenager next May. She's currently in middle school and a pretty good student. And she elected to play in the band this year, playing the clarinet. She practiced a bit yesterday afternoon with her grandmother acting as the music stand/instructor.  Grandma used to play the clarinet in high school so she was semi qualified to critique and offer hints on Cierra's practice performance.  I used to play the trombone starting about the same age as Cierra (12) and on through high school and into college. So both of her grandparents in this household were band geeks and proud of it! The truth of the matter is we never considered ourselves geeks when we were in high school but in retrospect that's pretty much what we were regardless of how we viewed ourselves. So we were somewhat amused to see Cierra's preparations for gathering her gear for school this morning. Everything goes inside a back pack. Not that that's breaking news; all the kids trudge their "stuff" to school inside backpacks nowadays. But THE CLARINET CASE TOO?!?  Yep. She got everything including the clarinet case inside that back pack. Not sure how, but she did it. We asked her if it was because she did not want to be classified as a geek carrying both a backpack and a clarinet case. She denied that was her intention. I'm not sure but I'll take her word for it. Like I say, she's a good student, a great kid, and she's a band kid...pretty good combo in my book.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lucy's Lump

Lucy with her stuffed dog companion

Here we go again. Lucy, our American Bull Dog, has another lump, this time on her forehead. It has been diagnosed as malignant. So this makes the 4th cancerous growth she's had...first on one toe a year or so ago and three others this past summer on both flanks and her right wrist. The vet says her breed, along with similar short haired breeds are prone to growths. But, of course, not always cancerous like Lucy's have turned out to be. So we keep our eyes on her to see if we see anything in order to catch them before they have a chance to spread. But this one on her head seems like it came out of nowhere just a few weeks ago. It looks like a half egg sized oval right over her right eyelid. Kind of hard to see in this picture but no mistaking it's there when you see her. If it were to grow as dramatically as it has in the last few weeks in another couple of weeks she would start to resemble the elephant man. I'm not trying to be funny.  We love her dearly and are concerned for her well being so brought her to the vet as soon as we detected the problem. Lucy doesn't display any indication that it bothers her, at least not in any way we can see.

She had surgery last summer to remove the three that appeared then. So we took her to the vet when we first detected this one to see if that was the course of action to take this time. We've gone from biopsy to x-rays and finally got to the point where we got an estimate for another surgery to remove when, this past Monday, Lucy got a nose bleed. We've been back three times this week because of concerns that the nose bleed is a sign of possible spreading of the cancer into her nasal cavity. And the surgery proposal has been withdrawn by our vet and replaced with a referral to another surgeon who is more experienced in this area. We have an appointment for Lucy to be seen by this new veterinarian next Monday.

It's difficult to view where to draw the line between love for a pet and the expense of veterinary care. Last summer's surgeries as well as this month's tests and office visits are not cheap. And although the decisions to be made are never easy it just seems to compound the gravity for this to develop around Thanksgiving when the newspapers and the nightly TV news describe the human triumphs and tribulations so many people are going through. Makes worrying over a pet dog seem frivolous. And Lucy is no spring chicken either.  She'll be 11 years old in January. And just to make it interesting, this morning the lump was almost gone! Still there but drastically reduced in size. We already had an appointment for her this morning to check her blood pressure and make a blood profile and the vet explained that sometimes the liquid in tumors just disperses within the dog's system. And not necessarily "spreading" the cancer, just redistributing and absorbing. But still there and just as much a concern as it was when it looked like it was growing overnight.

We'll see what happens Monday and go from there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Really?! One in Five??

Saw this blurb in this morning's paper. Not sure how authoritative it is. Only identifiable source is that the article originated in New York, whatever that means. Could be from the New York Chamber of Commerce or the Occupy Wall Street gathering for all I know. But documented or not, true or false, black or white or gray all over, someone seems to think the statistics are important enough to be newsworthy.

Also in this morning's paper was an article entitled, House Approves Concealed Gun Bill.  I'm not posting this because of any argument I want to make, pro or con, regarding gun control.  I admit, I DO wonder why people feel the need to carry concealed weapons but that's a subject to ponder in another place and time. My real question is just this...how many of those one in five anxious and/or depressed American adults are carrying concealed weapons this morning?  And did they remember to take their meds?

I don't expect an answer.