Monday, January 24, 2011

Joey the dog's, dangerous adventure

Joey the Dog
My buddy, "Joey the Dog" can sometimes be a stinker which on this particular day got him into trouble. I was going about my normal routine of picking up the kids from school. I got the youngest dog Spooky on her leash but decided it wasn't necessary for Joey. He usually wont run away when he knows he's going to get a fun car ride. I would soon realize this was not a wise decision.

The dogs were happy and content as they peered out their respective windows. It was smooth sailing on the ride to Orono except for some barking when my furry friends saw other dogs out for a stroll. I pulled up to the school and waited for the kids to get to the car.

The ride home was uneventful and at last I pulled into the driveway of our home. The kids and I were grabbing back packs and other items from the car which distracted us from Joey's secretly planned get-a-way. I yelled for Joey to get right home but he knew he had made a clean break and wasn't about to listen.

It was one of those typical busy week days with kids doing homework and me finding my share of housework to accomplish. The kids and I finished our chores and we were off to Caribou Coffee. The kids enjoyed a nice, hot coffee drink while I jumped on my lap top. After an hour of relaxation and hot beverages, we were off again to pick up mom from work which was conveniently located close to Caribou.

As I made a right turn into our driveway, I couldn't believe what I saw. My poor, cold, shivering dog, running to the car. We were all in a state of confusion as to why our dog was outside. Within seconds the proverbial lightbulb went on and we remembered that Joey had gotten away at about 3PM as we got home from Orono Schools. To our horror, it was now about 6PM and very frigid out.

Joey had one of the best nights of his life. We hovered over him, ooing and awwing, hoping it would somehow make up for our mistake. We gave him enough love for fifty dogs. The four of us got Joey on the king size bed and wrapped him in a cozy blanket. He got a special dinner that night as well as numerous apologies for forgetting about him.

As if the guilt about leaving my dog outside wasn't bad enough. A few days after Joey's great escape, I got an ear full from our mail-woman who filled in the blanks about Joey's adventure. Turns out he'd gotten himself into a dangerous situation. She noticed Joey all tangled up to a set of garbage cans he'd been rummaging through in the neighborhood. He had gotten his collar hooked on something and as he struggled to break free of it's grip, he was strangling himself. Our postal gal is deathly afraid of dogs, so she didn't know what to do. Eventually she saw a man walking his dog and asked him if he would free the dog. I don't like to think about what might've happened to Joey if that stranger hadn't come by. Whoever you are, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. We would be lost without our best friend.

We all learned a important lesson that day: Always leash your dog. Don't make assumptions that your pet won't run away just because he hasn't in the past. Dogs are smart and sneaky. Just like kids, they'll try to get away with something if you tempt them with the opportunity.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I had a questionable catscan in December

I must say that being a cancer survivor really brings home the saying, "let go and let God." This cancer journey keeps me on my toes and has taught me not to take one day for granted. None of us knows when God will take us home and that is why living every day to it's fullest is so important. I was forty-one years old when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I now look at life very differen't and know that every day I'm alive is a blessing.

I had my routine catscan this past December. My oncologist told me that the scan was questionable because it showed a spot on my right lower lobe of my lung. The same lung that had a tumor almost seven years ago. I was a bit shaken up with the news that the scan was abnormal but my oncologist isn't real concerned. I have had two past catscans that were abnormal and they eventually turned out to be nothing to worry about.

I am trying to keep positive and hold onto some reassuring facts my oncologist gave me at this last appointment. She reminded me:
  • I have had two abnormal catscans in the past and they turned out to be nothing to worry about.
  • I was given a 20-25% chance of survival within the first five years. I have moved past six years which is very promising.
  • She gave me the choice to go back for the follow-up scan in three or six months. If she was this comfortable letting me wait six months, she can't be too worried. I'll be back in three months for my own piece of mind.
  • She stated that she tends to worry a lot about her patients but she is not too concerned about this scan.
  • The type of lung cancer I had, usually comes back within three years if it comes back at all. I will be celebrating my seven year cancer-free this coming March.  My anniversary is March 17, St. Patrick's Day. I have the luck of the Irish on my side.
  • If the normal population was getting cat-scans as often as I do, they would have abnormal scans from time to time.
I hope you'll say a prayer that all will be fine when I go for my follow-up scan in March. God Bless you all and remember that life is a gift from God.

My Mom and Dad who I know are watching over me from heaven