“We just want to survive the storm. We pray “Please God, just get me to the other side.” We never imagine what it will be like when we get there. What if when the storm passes nothings left? I always said I could handle anything. I was wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things. But I was right about one thing. I was right about this.” Grey’s Anatomy season 10 ep 1
I’m a big believer in faith. Not the religious type, Faith as in…Hope, Trust and Belief. My mom and dad always taught me, if you just believe in something strongly enough anything can happen.
In regards to Cody’s cancer; I’ve been trying to be my most positive self, only think good thoughts about his recovery. The only way to beat it is if I have faith in the treatment hes been receiving. But about four weeks in, we got a big blow.
It wasn’t working.
Hes been receiving Chemo for his Lymphoma via intravenous therapy in his back legs every three weeks. Each time he goes in they do a blood test first to determine first if hes in good enough health to endure another treatment, and second to see how well the treatment is working. It wasn’t. The doctor decided to switch treatments and the next choice for him was pills.
I was so sad when I heard they wanted to switch his treatment that I almost just wanted to stop and let it run its course. You see, the intravenous therapy was hard enough on his body, I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would be to have to feed him his treatment. I was scared.
He gets three pills, one in a tiny neon red bottle and two in a separate neon red bottle. I have to put on surgical gloves to even open the bottles, and then also to administer the pills to him. My little puppy is then considered “toxic” for the next 48 hours. You are required to wear surgical gloves to clean up anything that …well…comes out of them for the next two days if you have to get that close to it.
So horrible. How can I do this to him? How can I give him something and hide it in a treat, when its actually considered a bio hazard? How can I put these gloves on to protect ME when its going in his body? I felt like I was actually killing him. How can I give him something that was so toxic and pretend like its a special treat for him. I felt like a fraud. No parent would ever give their child something toxic. The first time I had to do it I cried.
The second time he went in for his blood test my husband called me at work and said he was in full remission. My heart finally started to beat again. I’ve been in a funk since he was diagnosed, depressed like you wouldn’t believe. This was the best news in a really long time. Hope. I have hope for him again. Finally.
You wouldn’t believe the change in him. Hes back to his normal self. Hes back to wanting to play, to take walks, to steal socks from Chris. Hes NORMAL again! Its been so long since hes actually brought me one of his toys and wanted me to throw it for him. Its been so long since he has been able to run and play without laying down thirty seconds in. Its been so long since he has barked at me to get up off MY ass and play with him!!!! sigh. finally.
FINALLY I had faith in something. I have to be positive for him. I have to have faith that he will pull through this. I have to have faith that this therapy is the best thing for him. I have to let him live his life the best way that he possibly can, for as long as I can help him to live it. Faith. The power of positive thinking. Optimistic belief. I am now a believer. I absolutely BELIEVE in the power of positive energy into the universe. It worked.
I don’t know what I am going to do without him.
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•. jenni
Posted on 29 September '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under family. No Comments.
Stayed at home today because of Debilitating cramps. It’s not unusual that I would take a couple of naps since all I can really do is lay down all day. Chris had a client meeting outside of the house today so he left a little before 8am. So I curled up on the couch with a hot pad and settled in for the day. After nodding off a couple of times during the afternoon I decided to go back upstairs to the bedroom. It was about 2 in the afternoon.
About an hour later, half awake and half asleep I heard footsteps. Our house was built in 1910 and comes with its share of creaks and noises, especially with two stories of creaky hardwood flooring. At first I noticed the footsteps came suddenly in the hallway outside my bedroom door, possibly at the top of our stairs. Was Chris home? Where was Cody? Heavy steps, slow and calculated. It sounded like a metal jingling noise with each step, sometimes Chris’s belt makes that noise but it sounded like something heavier, this is going to sound weird but I thought it sounded like someone wearing armor. Hard heels on the wood floor with a simultaneous metal jingling noise. What the heck? As they got closer to the bedroom door, I realized it was boots with spurs. Oh my freaking god who was in my house.
I had my back to the door, and the footsteps got faster, the bedroom door banged against the wall as the footsteps entered the room and circled around to Chris’s side of the bed. I was frozen, unable to open my eyes…it’s now laying on the bed right in front of me. I could feel breath against my arms, hot and angry. I felt its arm slide under my pillows and then as if it couldn’t get any more horrific, I felt a hand wrap around the front of my throat and squeeze. I was literally paralyzed with fear. Could not move.
I tried to scream but all that came out was a slow stream of forced air, no noise. I tried again and finally I was able to move my arms to my neck to try and pry its fingers off, but again I was unable to scream or open my eyes. I kicked my legs as hard as I could while my fingers tried to get its hand to stop strangling me. I was so scared that I began to shake uncontrollably. Suddenly I heard a loud scream in my ear and the hand loosened its grip from my neck. It was then I realized that scream came from…me.
I opened my eyes and expected to see a man, instead the bed was empty. I was shaking and my hands were still clenched up around my neck. Was that real? I ran out of the bedroom to Chris’s office, empty. Ran down the stairs and there was Cody wagging his tail. There’s no way that could have been a dream, it was way too real. Immediately I checked the whole house to make sure no one was here…empty. All doors locked, all windows shut.
If it weren’t for Cody I don’t think I would still be sitting here writing this. I’m still freaking out!!!! Where is my husband???? eeek.
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•. jenni
Posted on 6 August '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under dreams, me. 1 Comment.
“Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”
I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song
And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up
I’m on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight
I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don’t want to see another generation drop
I’d rather be a comma than a full stop
Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees
Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart
As we saw oh this light I swear you, emerge blinking into
To tell me it’s alright
As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear’s a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh
Is a is a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh
So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I’ll raise the flag
It was a wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall
A wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall
Every teardrop is a waterfall
Every teardrop is a waterfall
Every teardrop is a waterfall
Posted on 18 July '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. No Comments.
Chris and I decided we needed to got out of the house more, we rarely go to the theater to see movies because we download most. I think the last time we’ve been to the movies outside of our house was the new James Bond Skyfall movie…and before that it was Avitar. So you can see we don’t go to the theater ever.
As we were watching the previews, an announcement came on indicating where the emergency exits were in the theater, just as they do in airplanes. We have never seen that before, at least I’ve never seen it since the last movie I saw in a theater. It honestly didn’t occur to me until later in the evening…
About an hour into the movie I noticed a kid get up and walk half way down the steps on the right side of the theater, he had a back pack on and just stood there watching the movie from the stairs with his hands in his hooide pocket. Then after about 30 seconds he walked down the remainder of the stairs and out of the theater…and then all of a sudden the house lights came on.
About 15 to 20 people got up and scrambled out, one after the other. I asked Chris, “why is everyone leaving”?…and then my heart lulled..my ears started ringing, I remembered the theater shooting. Oh crap. There were only about 40-50 people in the theater before everyone started leaving.
I started to get a little scared. My heart rate increased, and I could hear it in my ears. The movie continued, but it was then that we realized, it was the new security tactics that have to be taken since the tragedy last year…and people reacting to trauma. The person in the booth probably saw the kid standing on the stairs, and therefore turned on the lights, which is probably a security procedure now.
Honestly, I do not know why the lights came on, why that kid stood on the stairs…what I do know is that I understand why those people got up and left and it wasn’t because of the movie.
We cant even go see a movie anymore. Maybe staying home and downloading movies is “safer”…sigh. These are sad days
Posted on 27 June '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. 1 Comment.
My dog is the greatest dog in the whole wide world. Just had to get that out there in case you weren’t aware. jk. Hes amazing. So its been three Chemo treatments so far and well, its been quite the adventure. Chris’s dad decided to make a visit a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out to be just a couple of days after Cody’s second treatment. I just have to say thank God for Chris in my life. I don’t know what I would do without that kid. Hes been so great taking over Cody’s random appointments. I haven’t needed to miss work since. However, we weren’t prepared for the side effects the chemo would bring. The nurse I met on day one warned me of the side effects but I never expected Cody would have to endure them. I don’t know why but I’m always the girl who says “sure but not my dog” always second guessing. He wasn’t showing signs of sickness in the first place, so the whole telling us he had cancer I was like pfft…whatever!
First he started throwing up in the basement, fully carpeted. Lovely. I tried to clean it up as much as I could. Then he threw up on the carpet upstairs, mind you we have hard wood floors. Why he chooses to throw up on the carpets I will never know…but it happens every single time. It was horrible. And ps I have never heard noises like that come out of any living being, it was like a cow being squeezed out of an empty box. I’m sure our neighbors heard it, so loud! So of course I’m trying to get the house ready for guests and at the same time trying to hide the fact that there was vomit all over the place. Chris was the greatest and steam cleaned the carpets that afternoon. Cody finally got the hint and went out to the yard where he slept for the rest of the day. Poor guy couldn’t even get excited to see Chris’s dad, hardly even wagged his tail. Eventually he ate some rice and broth and went to bed.
He snapped out of it the next day and was a little more normal. Slowly he became the dog I have known for 10 years. Hes been a zombie dog since his first biopsy surgery. I am also so happy to say that he doesn’t have to take his prednisone pills anymore Yay! The side effects are eating everything in sight, and drinking water like there’s no end. I swear if you put him in front of a swimming pool a couple of weeks ago, he would try to drink it all! Not good. I’m so glad that phase is over. Lots of sleepless nights letting him outside to go potty. (omg I just said potty didn’t I?) Only two more rounds of Chemo to go!
Posted on 24 June '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. 1 Comment.
It amazes me that even at almost 40 years old I still have to deal with bitches talking behind my back…right in front of my face! Get a life! I’ve got one, and its fabulous.
Posted on 5 June '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. 1 Comment.
“You don’t just wake up in the morning and wash your face and comb your hair and go out in the street and look like Marilyn Monroe. She knows every trick of the beauty trade”
Milton Green, Photographer
Posted on 2 June '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. No Comments.
In the midst of all the doom and gloom in my life, a ray of sunshine broke though the clouds. My little Sister gave birth to her second child, my new niece!! Yay for little girls!!!! Meet Skylar Danielle Schafer born 04/30/13, 8 lb 1o oz, 21″ *LOVE!!!* cant wait to kiss those dimples!
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•. jenni
“There’s no such thing as magic. Not in the traditional abracadabra genie in a bottle kind of way. But there is a magic in knowing that while not everything can be repaired, most everything can be survived.” Grey’s Anatomy S9 Ep22
Continued from fight or flight
I promise this will be a lighter posting…
Its the morning of May 2nd and I haven’t slept a wink. Chris and I decided to opt against the b cell lymphoma clinical trials. I just couldn’t imagine putting Cody through all the surgeries they required. He already had so many issues with the simple surgery from the biopsy, couldn’t go up the stairs, couldn’t run, couldn’t go to the bathroom normally etc. We opted for 15 weeks of Chemotherapy.
I was so scared. I’ve seen cancer take so many people from this earth, too many of them were family. Its heart-wrenching. I really had no idea that animals can get cancer too. Chris was out of town so I was on my own. Gosh, I don’t remember the last time I had to go through something so emotional and Chris wasn’t by my side. Yup, this day was going to be hard. I was still numb emotionally. My body and mind choose to go into hibernation when faced with stress. I was still just going through the motions. Alarm went off, get up. Get dressed, wash face, brush teeth. Get Cody in the car, drive. Robotic.
It had already been four weeks since his first diagnosis. I was so scared that any day now he would start to go downhill. I think he was feeding off my energy, because I felt that Cody was depressed too. I felt like he was catching on when he got so many car rides, something had to be wrong. I felt like I was keeping a secret from him…I wished I could speak his language so that I could explain. Looking at him in the rear view mirror just confirmed that he was still happy, silly, loved car rides, still Cody.
Mother nature introduced May to us in Colorado with an epic snow storm this year. Fort Collins is about an hour and a half North of Denver, almost to Wyoming, and they got so much snow that night that trees were downed, power outages were rampant, and lots of lines were down. Luckily by the next morning when we had to drive up there, the snow had melted from the roads. We made it on time with a minute to spare I walked him into the hospital. He seemed excited to be back!
Let me put this into perspective for you. Imagine your vets waiting room, multiply the animals and humans by five, and add a dog that loves both other dogs and human attention…what does that equal? Total embarrassing disaster. The second we walked up to the receptionists desk he was standing on his back legs like a little human…front legs swimming on the poor receptionists desk. He was trying to kiss her from our side of the desk. I gave her my name while trying to wrangle him back down to the floor. “Greenwood” I managed to mumble as his front feet were finally back on the ground and I mistakenly thought I was in the clear. It was then that i was dragged backwards with his leash wrapped around my legs because he noticed all the other dogs and their humans behind us. I literally spun in place on the newly waxed floors and Cody’s legs just ran in place like a cartoon.
I could almost hear the silly cartoon music as he tried to run on the slippery floor, all the while I’m trying to unwind myself from the leash knot he managed to wind around me. The receptionist slides over the paper I’m supposed to sign but his leash is on my left hand, which is now outstretched as far as my shoulder can possibly stretch attempting to hold him from drenching another poor human from his kisses. At least hes excited right? It took me a full Minute and a half to just sign the frigging form. I needed another hand to hold the paper still while I signed…I couldn’t sign! Embarrassed to the point of sweat on my upper lip I asked the receptionist for help, she held the paper still while I was able to sign with my free hand…and then it happened. I have never been this embarrassed in my whole life. Cody jumped up on her desk again, and with a swoop of his front paws immediately cleared her desk of everything that was resting on it. Pens, phone, Rolodex, flowers, business cards…all now in slow motion in the air and on the floor…and then…epic noise. The record scratched, and it seemed like everyone in the immediate area stopped and stared at me. Oh.My.God!!!! Seriously dog? All I could do was take a deep breath and look up at the ceiling…sigh.
Took a place in the waiting room…as far away from everyone as possible…but he was so excited I literally had to pace him back and forth. Sheesh dog! Finally I saw a smiling face from across the room, it was our nurse. She came over with her file and her super positive personality and sat with us, but that lasted for about 30 seconds before Cody jumped up on her and knocked all the paperwork off her lap onto the floor.Drenched her face in drool, but she never lost her smile. Mind you all this happened in a matter of about three minutes from the time we walked in the door. I was exhausted and glowing bright red. She was so nice and just left it on the floor as I listened to her talk to me about his treatment. It was then I realized that in these situations where it comes to handling Cody with strength I normally count on Chris! I’m not strong enough to handle him anymore- he weighs 104 Lbs and I’m about to hand him over to this poor little tiny nurse. I asked her “are you ready for this?” as I handed her the leash. She laughed and told me “I think I can get him from here to the room over there” as she wrapped his leash around her whole arm. I pictured him pulling her like a sled dog across the room, but they walked calmly as she looked back at me and winked. It didn’t hurt that she reminded me of our friend Jill. It was then that I think I came to. I came out of my coma.
I watched them walk away and then I started to walk towards the door. The tears had already drenched my cheeks and blinded me before I even noticed I was crying. The knot in my throat turned into nausea, and I found myself in the bathroom having a breakdown. It finally hit me, all the emotions I had been holding down, all the anxiety I was hiding, all of the stress I was denying…finally came out. The haze cleared, I took a deep breath and realized it was out of my control He was in good hands here. I trusted that as I walked out and left him there for his three hour treatment.
They called when he was all done and said he did beautifully. I believe she said “he was a dream to work with”. Its a teaching hospital so I’m sure he got a lot of attention from the student nurses. They said when they got him up on the table he immediately rolled onto his back and let them rub his belly and do whatever they needed to him. He stayed still and let them just pet him and put the catheter in his vein for the chemo, and had no problems. I was so happy I cried again. When I got him outside all he wanted to do was lay in the snow. The second I stopped to unlock the car he found a snow drift and wallowed in it like a polar bear. I just let him be a dog, who knows how long we sat there, I didn’t care. He was with me and that was all that mattered. It was a couple of hours after we got home when I noticed his release paperwork read “Cody is such an awesome dog! We all fell in love with him Today!…”
sigh. I love this dog.
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•. jenni
Posted on 16 May '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. 1 Comment.
continued from sleeping monsters
Our story is now in the middle of April. The vet gave us other options, one of them was to visit CSU Animal Cancer Center in Fort Collins, CO. We faxed in his test results and a Vet called us to schedule an appointment to get in as soon as we could. Cancer in animals progresses quickly. Untreated dogs have a survival rate of 60 days from diagnosis. It had already been a couple of weeks so we needed to move fast.
I was still in my haze, going through the motions, trying not to feel the emotions that were welling up inside me. Got up every morning, followed my routine, went to bed every night. Rinse and Repeat. It seems to be my brains way of saving me, just shut off emotionally. Its not good…I know this. But its saved me from completely losing it on more than one occasion. It makes everything appear as though it is in slow motion, like being under water. I go into hiding, don’t see my friends, don’t answer the phone, I sleep. Its my fight or flight reaction.
The morning of April 24th Chris and I drove Cody to Fort Collins (which is practically in Wyoming) its a teaching hospital so there are students everywhere. It is such a neat place. My mood improved when I saw all the other animals and their parents in the waiting room, just like us. The nurse took us into a private room and gave Cody his initial check, of course he covered her in kisses and let her do whatever to him. He was so excited to get so much attention. We finally got to meet Dr Weishaar, who had spoken to Chris on the phone a couple of times since his initial diagnosis. Shes so nice and bright and happy, you can just tell she loves her job. It was refreshing and comforting. They kept Cody for a few tests and Chris and I went for lunch. It was when I walked out the doors of the hospital that my haze disintegrated and my emotions finally kicked in. I bawled through lunch, it was miserable. Poor Chris.
When we came back they had done chest x-ray (which came back normal), and did a test to see if the cancer was B cell or T cell, I’m not really sure which one is the bad one but his is B cell. We got to meet with a clinical trial doctor who went through about 6 clinical trials that Cody could be eligible for. Dr Weishaar then went through our options for treatment. I cried again. We had a lot to read, and a lot of thinking to do. This was a huge decision.
to be continued…
Posted on 6 May '13 by Jenni Greenwood, under me. No Comments.