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Cadence goes to the farm...and other thoughts
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Member Since:
22 August 2011
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13 December 2011 - 9:52 am
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This past weekend we took Cadence to a tree farm to pick out a tree. It had been years since we did a living tree as we have had an artificial tree for years and years. This year it just felt right to get a living one and decorate it. Of course the ugly thought crept into my mind that this could be our last Christmas with Cadence which made this a really emotional trip for me. I try not to think like that, I try to be positive, but I can never seem to push this out of my mind. I am having a harder time getting into the spirit this year of Christmas and even do not really have a zest for decorating. Everything seems dampened a little bit more. Maybe because it has been such a year of rollercoasters and emotional ups and downs, and knowing your dog has a disease that cannot be cured…it's sobering. I feel angry also sometimes that this happened to us and that the innocence and idealism we had before Cadence's diagnosis with OSA will never be present again, and I mourn its loss. You know what they say, ignorance is bliss. Bliss is gone now, and in its place is fear and uncertainty of the future, and jumping on every small thing and fearfully waiting the calls from the Dr. if this little bump, or cough, or loss of energy is the cancer returning. Before that, anything like cancer affecting Cadence would be the farthest thought from my mind. I wonder if this is normal being it is our first Christmas as a tripawd pawrent, and the first Christmas after diagnosis. Of course, a cancer diagnosis is a terrible thing, but I am trying to focus on the good it has brought me like this website with wonderful supportive group of people, (Thank you Spirit Jerry for paving the way), the Chicago-land group and Cadence's tripawd playmates (You know who you are wink) education about supplements, pet nutrition, and vaccinations, and the opportunity to help, educate, support, and give advice to others now that I have "been there".  I don't have any regrets at all on this journey about how we have handled anything but in the back of my mind, I think back to to Cadence's puppy-hood and through her adult years she has always struggled with allergies, skin problems, itching rear, and ear infections, and frequent trips to the vets trying to treat that, getting tests and put her on different foods, and figure it all out, then we finally get that figured out, and now this! I hope that she has not suffered too much and has been comfortable. I like to think we have tried our best to give her a happy, adventurous life with all the love a pawrent can give despite all of these circumstances and we are cherishing every moment with her. 

I have attached a few pictures below from the trip. I hope I did not depress you all. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. 


Tearfully, Cadence's Mom

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Helping Mom Cut the Tree


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Riding Santa's Tree Wagon

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Golden Girls
13 December 2011 - 10:11 am
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She is beautiful! Trust me, you're not the only one that isn't into the Christmas spirit here. So many have just lost their tripawd or it's the first Christmas without them. Once you have deal with a diagnosis of cancer, it's really tough to not think that every little thing could be the result of a met/re-occur of the disease. Cadence doesn't know anything about cancer, and there is no date stamp on her butt either. Enjoy EVERY moment with her, and have faith. Kiss her snout for me,too!

Sending you lots of golden hugs...


San Diego, CA
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29 October 2010
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13 December 2011 - 12:48 pm
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Ignorance definitely is bliss - and Cadence is ignorant of the diagnosis and the prognosis. And she's blissful! Try to be blissful too, like her.

Last Christmas Abby had just been diagnosed at the end of Oct. We didn't know if she would still be here for this Christmas - but she is! Try to not make yourself fret over this Christmas worrying about the next one. (I know that is totally easier said than done.) 

She looks like she had a very good time at the farm - and she looks so cute in her red shirt. Very festive!

Now have a Merry Christmas! And we are going to try to have one too!

Jackie, Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Leicester, NY
Member Since:
11 February 2011
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13 December 2011 - 2:08 pm
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Great pictures- we cant tell which one is Santa!

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

Caledonia MI
Member Since:
13 October 2011
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13 December 2011 - 4:23 pm
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I think I feel the exact same way as you Cadence's Mom.  I feel like we spent the last 4 year getting Levi's food right, training him to stay in our yard, running in sync with me etc.etc.  Just when he turned a great mellow age and was the "perfect dog" we get the osteosarcoma diagnosis.  What a complete mess I have been since July.  Good thing i'm self employed or i probably would have lost my job.  We also don't have a tree up yet...just aren't feeling it.  Anyway, you're pictures look cute!  Hang in there.  I know how you feel.

Levi was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 7-7-11
Ampuversary 10-14-11
Lung Mets Discovered 1-4-12. Chemo seemed to not be working so we switched to Artemisinin and other supplements. In May, Levi developed a sinus infection and started having seizures. The cancer had moved to his brain. We let him go 6-26-12.

Palm Desert, California
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8 February 2010
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13 December 2011 - 7:33 pm
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We felt much the same way last year, which was Rusty's first since diagnosis and amputation.  We were very aware that with his prognosis, it could possibly be his last Christmas.  We decided to make it a "normal" Christmas and enjoy our time with him and not focus on our anger and fear. We had a open house for all of his dog friends parents which he really enjoyed; he enjoys people as much as other dogs and seeing his friends from the dog park (he no longer goes to the dog park) was a treat for him. 

The previous Christmas was probably our toughest one; in mid-December his tumor (which was about the size of a large lemon) was growing at an alarming rate and our prior Vet still did not think there was a problem.  Jan and I both knew in our guts that something was very seriously wrong and we had to wait through the holidays before we had an answer.

Now we are approaching our second Christmas with him, a tribute to his fighting spirit and Dr. Macy; we are more relaxed this year and are very appreciative of the time we have had with him and not thinking about how much remaining time we have.  Rusty really enjoys getting "dressed up" for the season and loves our open house for all of his dog friends parents.  We had another open house last weekend with 49 guests and he enjoyed his three hours of being the center of attention.  He hopped up on the couch when the last guests left, went to sleep sitting up and then fell over on his side.  It took him a full day to recover from being a "party" dog.

Your live tree should make his Christmas special!


Chuck & Rusty

Rusty is a Labradoodle who was diagnosed with level 3 Fibrosarcoma on January 16th, 2010 and had his left hind leg amputated on January 25th, 2010 five days before his 18 month birthday. Please see Rusty's blog  He is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease.

Member Since:
26 November 2011
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13 December 2011 - 8:10 pm
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I was just saying to myself yesterday that ignorance was bliss. And having a lot of the same thoughts. .Wow-I can really see this is going to be quite a journey, and our angels are going to teach us a lot. Your Cadence is so precious and such a spirit. I'm so glad you all experienced the tree hunting together and I hope you have a very special holiday! 

Member Since:
1 February 2011
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13 December 2011 - 10:27 pm
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Cadence's mom,

The holidays are tough even when you're not dealing with cancer and it's myriad of ups and downs. Try not to lose out on the opportunity to make some more beautiful memories (like the ones in your photos above) because you're busy worrying and fretting about NEXT Christmas. Not to be a fatalist, but that's a whole year away and a lot of unexpected things could happen between now and then.

I'd like to share with you my plan for making it through this holiday season with my sanity intact (if this works, it'll be the first time ever!!!).

1. Be kind to yourself.
2. Ease up on the holiday expectations. It's basically just another day.
3. Make it about the memories, not about how many decorations you put out.
4. Take time to chill with your pup and other people you love.
5. If you're feeling depressed, talk to a friend who will listen.
6. Try to get a little fresh air every day -- it helps to shake loose the cobwebs.
7. If you feel the need, give yourself permission to have a brief meltdown, then move on.

Best wishes for a memorable holiday. We're here, even for the venting and tears.

Micki and Rio

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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13 December 2011 - 10:30 pm
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 Cadence Faye!   You look fabulous and festive!


Now, tell your mom that Christmas is a time rejoice the blessings given to us today...and not to fear the future!  Fear keeps you from living life to its fullest.  (Just ask me...I'm the Fear Keeper!  But I'm getting better.) 

So let us don our red party hats with our red sweaters and sing "Here Comes Santa Paws"!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Member Since:
22 August 2011
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14 December 2011 - 8:03 am
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Thank you all for your great posts and support. You are all amazing. For me right now, it is the ups and downs. After the chemo, I thought were were past a major hurdle and could relax a little bit. But we found the lump on Cadence a few weeks ago, took her in to aspirate and that thankfully was nothing (actually now that they have aspirated it, it seems smaller, no doubt in part that they attempted to suck something out 6 times, and what could be left?). Then she has started this hacking dry coughing, and was scratching her mouth in a place there on/near the lips on the outside corner and caused bleeding plus some kind of rash thing and a bump . I jumped online and started researching, of course imagining the worst right away…heartworms or a heart problem as a symptom of the dry cough or possibly lung mets reoccuring, and for the mouth, oral melanoma. My heart just fluttered and I started having anxiety and fretting. We put boots on her full time now so she cannot scratch at her mouth anymore and scheduled an appointment with the doctor, and now her hacking actually has stopped and her mouth looks better. I feel foolish now for even getting this worked up. This is the life of someone who is living with a dog who has been diagnosed with cancer. You don't look at anything the same again. I think someone said it best in an old post that if they wag their tail the wrong way post diagnosis you want to call the doctor to make sure it is normal. In the past I would have said oh that mouth problem is her allergies. Probably dermatitis and put cream on it (Our cabinet is just chock full of all the creams, sprays and powders she has accumulated over the years from her skin issues). I would have told you that you were crazy way-confused if you would have told me that one day I would be powdering the private area of my beloved friend because she licked all of the hair off of it: "Gave herself a Brazilian", I told the vet. But that is love and it's amazing what you can do when you have to do it. Maybe this was God's way of preparing me for what was to come, or she was chosen for me because He knew what lay before her and knew that I was strong enough to handle it. I don't mean to go all religious here but I don't think any of this was an accident. I feel this awesome sense of responsibility that her life has been entrusted to my care. Its an amazing experience and one that has changed me. I am even contemplating a new path in life now career wise. 

But I digress. Thank you all again for your support. I am going to try to get out of this funk and enjoy this holiday the best I can. I cant promise I will go as crazy in the past decorating as I have in past years, but our house will look festive. Cadence is still with us and I know I need to focus on that instead of what may or may not happen. Bless you all and huge hugs from me and licks from Cadence. 


Cadence's Mom

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Member Since:
22 August 2011
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16 December 2011 - 10:29 am
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Just wanted to post an update. Cadence went to the vet and they said the bump on her lower lips by where her mouth opens and the rash was just a dermatitis. They also did the full mouth check up and everything looks good (thinking of Gayle). They took blood for the heartworm test too. But everything else looked good. Now I will relax! Happy Friday everyone!

Of course they were amazed at how well she was doing. I thought to myself: Of course! These are amazing dogs! 

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

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