Travel

For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jun 25, 2011

Words of a Mother Whose Heart is Breaking...

"How do you explain to a 7 year old...you don't look 'funny' without hair? I wish I could do this for her. She has been soo sooo good about everything, but once in a while it really hits her. As she is brushing her teeth and looking in the mirror after a week of not looking in the mirror while she was in the hospital, she's crying because most of her hair is gone and I can't help her."

These are the words of my niece about her little 7 year old. How I wish I could take the disease from her and make it mine. It's just not fair, you know? We ask why? But there's no answer.

Jun 24, 2011

I Did It!

Taken From Mr. Nimble on the Move

I imported posts from another little blog that I had started when I had anticipated traveling, again. It turned into a mish-mosh of random thoughts, etc. Only I would confuse myself on purpose. I didn't want to pull all of it over, so I just chose individual posts. It was easy peasy to do! There's one post left--I need to ask permission to use a picture and name. I'm still hoping that Jack will take over the blogging duties when we travel, again.

Jun 23, 2011

Fingers Still Crossed

Jack had his staples out, yesterday. He had a little more fluid than last time, but not enough to drain. His Dr., here in Georgia, is cautious about declaring complete cure, yet. He has been wonderful as has the surgeon in Texas. I don't mention names because I don't know that they would want to be mentioned in a blog. The surgeon in Texas says her fingers are crossed right along with mine; it's reassuring to hear from her. She is an incredibly wonderful and kind person. Still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I love this pup.
Sound Asleep

Sporting Yellow

Tongue Still Works



If Only I Could Go Out!

Enough With The Camera...I want to go to sleep.

Jun 16, 2011

A Long Week

Jack has been a trooper. Most of his pain is not so much from his large incisions, but from where they spread his ribs to access the lymphatic vessels.

The surgeon from Texas has been in touch twice, now, inquiring about his recovery. She is going above and beyond what I ever expected. Just couldn't ask for a nicer person.

I'm a little apprehensive about taking Jack back to GVS on Wednesday, though I don't think they will have to do much--just a quick ultrasound to check for fluid in his chest. They don't expect to know much because he is a slow leaker, thus the 2 week to a month wait. I just worry that he's going to be frightened. I'll give him pain meds before I take him in at 8 a.m. to calm him, and I'll wait for him.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to take him camping and traveling once again. I loved seeing him out of suburbia and urbia - free to run, swim, an explore as a free spirit. I thought I had a lot to write about, but my mind is cluttered with worry about Jack and other things happening at the moment. Not sure, even whether I will publish this.

Until We Meet Again, Jazz...



Gentle Leader
Last night, Nancy told me that you went to Rainbow Bridge to wait for your Mom and Molly. You were our "gentle leader", and I'll miss you, dear friend. Until it's time for all of us to see you, again, have fun with Rich and Lizzie. Stretch your legs and run as fast as you can run! You are young, again.






A Long Week

Jack has been a trooper. Most of his pain is not so much from his large incisions, but from where they spread his ribs to access the lymphatic vessels.

The surgeon from Texas has been in touch twice, now, inquiring about his recovery. She is going above and beyond what I ever expected. Just couldn't ask for a nicer person.

I'm a little apprehensive about taking Jack back to GVS on Wednesday, though I don't think they will have to do much--just a quick ultrasound to check for fluid in his chest. They don't expect to know much because he is a slow leaker, thus the 2 week to a month wait. I just worry that he's going to be frightened. I'll give him pain meds before I take him in at 8 a.m. to calm him, and I'll wait for him.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to take him camping and traveling once again. I loved seeing him out of suburbia and urbia - free to run, swim, an explore as a free spirit. I thought I had a lot to write about, but my mind is cluttered with worry about Jack and other things happening at the moment. Not sure, even whether I will publish this.

Jun 15, 2011

Back for recheck-Not Quite Ready to Yell "Victory"!

Just a quick update today. I took Jack back in for a check and he had accumulated fluid. It was a bummer (my heart just sank). Though the surgeon at the Atlanta hospital said he was worried, he is not ready to call the surgery a failure.

As promised, I emailed the surgeon in Texas with the update as she had requested and she returned my email within minutes. "No worries, yet." It's actually normal for a dog to drain a bit after surgery, and she said she left a bit in their to see if it would reabsorb over a month's time. She has a more optimistic view, and says we don't have to worry until a month or more as long as he doesn't start breathing heavily or show other changes.

Fortunately, it was a short visit, and he was one dog in a hurry to get out of the hospital! I only had one pain pill left, and I don't think I'll need more, but the vet said he'd be happy to call in a prescription to my pharmacy for my peace of mind. I would hate to wake up in the middle of the night to a pup in pain and not be able to do anything. So far he hasn't had anything since 6 a.m., and appears to be comfortable I think he feels naked without his Georgia State University t-shirt!

I was going to take a picture of his staples, but I figured I'd give the poor guy some privacy.

We go back next Wednesday to the internist to have the stitches out.

Been hot and muggy in Atlanta-hate it, but I hear thunder in the distance. Let's hope the rain comes. Everything is bone dry.

Good news for little Mary. The chemo is working and they will take a middle of the road approach toward a cure. She's not the best, but more importantly, isn't the worst. Sweet little thing. Time is moving slowly for her though they feel at this point she may be able to stop chemo 2 months short of the full 3 years.

Jun 11, 2011

Maybe This Blog Wasn't Meant to Be...(Mr. Nimble on the Move)

I confused myself. I actually started this blog thinking it would be a journal of our next trip west. Of course, Jack was going to write it. Everything has gone haywire, though. I'm in limbo as far as whether we'll be able to travel, again, we got the terrible news about Mary which leaves us with helpless and very sad feelings. I feel guilt for being alive while a little  seven year old suffers, and it's so frustrating that we can't turn back the clock and change it. It is so sad to me that I can't write about it because there are no words to describe what I'm feeling and how terrible I feel not only for her, but for her parents and grandparents. I've always given to St. Judes; come on, let's find an easier cure for this thing.

My back is in bad shape, I can't stand or walk after 5 minutes. I'm fine sitting or lying down, so that means I can still hitch up and go at the first opportunity. The problem will be walking Jack, but I'll figure something out--find fields, etc., though he'll wonder why I'm not walking him on the leash.

We lost another beautiful soul, yesterday. Nigel, Matt and Stephanie's pup had to be put to sleep. He lived a good long life, but no matter it's hard to hear that he's gone. Judy was crazy about him--such a nice dog. While I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I liked him because of what she told me, and all dogs have good souls.

Now, what to do about blogs. I think I'll just keep writing my thoughts down. Something's going on as I can't edit the older posts and I already spotted a grammatical error. Anyway, this is the blog written as a person with TBI plunders through.

Jun 10, 2011

Maybe There's a Miracle

Jack had a restless night last night, but he ate some yogurt this morning, some of his food, and of course some sweet potato chips. Susan game him some pain medicine before she left for work at 5 a.m. She's been wonderful staying with me for a month now in case of an emergency. There's no way I could lift him up into my truck. With her medical background, she is a great comfort to be around and she surprised me with dinner last night! It's also good for Jack that she's here as he loves her as much as he loves me; and she loves him right back. We share him.;-)

I'm encouraged by his progress. The doctor was going to keep him for another day because he wouldn't eat for them and he usually likes his patients to eat before they leave. He called, yesterday, and asked me to come over to see if he would eat for me. He would only drink a little water and eat some sweet potato chips. If he got any closer to me he would have been inside me. The doctor felt that he might be better off at home--more comfortable, and I think he is. He was anxious to get to the car as we headed out the door.

I got an email from the surgeon in Texas, today, and she had been checking on Jack since arriving back in Austin. She's encouraged so far, but we still know that we won't know the success of the surgery for 2-4 weeks.

I didn't write much about the surgery-things were just so turned upside down. The Dr. from TAMU, a very pretty woman, came out of surgery looking stressed. It was the look I didn't want to see. It seems that Jack doesn't have the main lymphatic vessel that goes up to the duct so she could not do the dye test to see where the leak was coming from. Instead, he has many small vessels some of which were leaking. She did her best to find them all so she could tie them off. It's very difficult to know if she got them all. She also found a mass in his belly that looked to be lymphatic vessels that had sealed themselves. She didn't touch it as she felt it  might cause more harm than good. I'm not sure if I've described the surgery correctly, but you get the idea. Jack's anatomy is different than what they expected. Dr. F. was disappointed that it wasn't as straight forward as she had hoped. By all his records, there was nothing to indicate that it wouldn't be. So...we hope.

He ate some yogurt and some of his food this morning. I can get him to drink if I offer it in different size little cups. You know, I'm thinking Jack might just pull off a miracle, thanks to the help of his medical team-I couldn't have asked for more.

So, here he is in "one" of his beds-he actually wanted to climb on the sofa with me last night, but of course that wasn't possible, so his other bed is right next to me where I could reach down and touch him during the night. That seems to calm him. Here he is in a T-Shirt to keep his incisions clean and away from his reach.

Who knows, maybe if all goes well, we can hit the road, again, together. I sure hope so, but if that isn't in the cards I'm hoping to give him good quality of life - I'm sure he's not quite convinced at the moment, but I see improvement each day. I'm betting that in a week, I won't be able to keep him still!

Jun 8, 2011

The Final Chapter?

Pay attention, Nancy. I can't stop your tears but when the time comes for us to say good bye, take comfort that maybe...just maybe I will be with our beloved Rich and Lizzie, waiting for you. I will never leave your heart, just as they have never left mine~I promise.

When the pain of parting seems too much to bear, think of Rich singing this to you, Lizzie, and me. Weren't we surprised, to say the least, riding along a country road out west when he burst into song, knowing all the words (so, not like him). Who knew?  How we laughed, do you remember?

Big Rock Candy Mountain (1st right after Rainbow Bridge)

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me know. Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear. When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to the bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper. Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger. And, beloved master, should the great master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you, rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands provide me the merciful boon of eternal rest, and I will leave you knowing with the last breath, I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
~ Beth Norman Harris
The night before going into the hospital. See, aren't pups lucky? No worrying for me!






So glad I got to camp with my friends Molly and Jazz. See, I still look like a young pup--just last November.
We will spend our last days, weeks, or months enjoying the time we have together ~ you, me, and Susie.