Week 6 Recap, and Oncology Visit #7
“Think positive and positive things will happen.”
“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult” …But finding the energy and strength to have and keep a positive attitude after hearing Margarita’s diagnosis was almost impossible for me. However, after some deep soul-searching, I realized that being negative would get Rita nowhere, and do her (or me) no good. Negativity and gloominess is not gong to cure her cancer. Spending whatever time we have with her crying and being sad isn’t going to make the rest of her life enjoyable either. Thinking positively not only helps my mind stay strong – but more importantly that positive energy transfers to Rita, who needs it most!
I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” …the people you cross paths with, the dogs in your life, and the situations you find yourself in. Sometimes I can’t always figure out what that reason is right away – and sometimes I may never know the reason. Most times, I am ok with that. I am convinced all experiences in our lives – good AND bad – teach us a lesson, and allow us to grow. But when I feel that a loved one has been dealt a bad hand, I find myself asking, “WHY does this have to happen?!” I wonder if sometimes we ARE the lesson – – the experience that helps someone else digest a negative circumstance, cope with their emotions, and find the positive in an unfortunate situation. All that being said, it is not easy by any means for me to live by what I write here. Watching Margarita’s strength, resilience, and positivity as she left her “past life” behind and started anew with our family – and now her Lymphoma journey – has really taught me valuable lessons, and made a profound impact on my attitude and mindset.
Lessons Learned from Margarita:
- Don’t dwell on the past.
- Margarita was neglected and abused in her past life before being found as a stray. Rita didn’t fixate on her past, or hold a grudge toward humans. Instead, she embraced her new life, and returned the love to us two-fold. I realized that fixating on the past – her diagnosis of Lymphoma – and what may or may not happen was doing no one any good. It was easy to hold a grudge, wondering why something like cancer would happen to such a sweet soul, but Rita has taught me it’s time to leave the past behind, and focus forward…focus on the positive.
- Use an unfortunate experience to help others
- Margarita didn’t let her past neglect and abuse dictate how she treats humans. Despite how humans let her down in the past, she found a way to trust, and has been spreading happiness everywhere she goes . As a therapy dog, she brought joy and inspiration into the lives of many humans in need. “You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.” Rita opened my eyes to find a positive – to discover a way to “turn things around” not only for myself – but for others. My hope is that sharing Rita’s journey through this blog will help other PAWrents get themselves and their fur-kid through a difficult diagnosis, or an unpleasant experience.
- Don’t let anyone or anything slow you down or break your spirit
- With the right attitude, anything is possible! Margarita has not let her chemo treatments get her down! She hasn’t let cancer stop her from living life to the fullest. Rita has been kicking cancer’s butt and taking names! Yes, she’s had some tough days after chemo, but she has not stopped doing the things she loves. After her diagnosis, I found myself feeling sorry for her and for our family – thinking Margarita would no longer be able to do agility, or volunteer as a therapy dog – that we would not be able to camp, travel, or do the things we loved doing as a pack. Margarita’s “Bring it on!” attitude through chemo has been inspiring. As I watch her continue to live life to the fullest, I realized with a positive outlook, nothing can stop you! Margarita encouraged me to be hopeful in continuing the things we love to do, and to start planning some new adventures for Rita and our family.
This is Margarita just a few hours after a chemo treatment enjoying her time playing in the yard:
I think all humans can learn from our fur-kids. Dogs take joy in even the smallest things. They are thankful for each meal they are given, and throw a party every time they see their friends and family members – even if it had only been 5 minutes.
Humans should be strive to live each day like a dog!
Week 6 Recap
Margarita had ANOTHER wonderful week! Rita had absolutely no symptoms or side effects, and enjoyed her time outside.
We were supposed to camp in Maryland this past weekend to attend a dock diving competition hosted by Delmarva DockDogs. However, on our Easter camping trip, we discovered several leaks coming from our RV’s hot water heater and dishwasher. After some investigation, it turned out that the dealer who winterized the camper did not do the job correctly. Luckily, this meant they were going to foot the bill, but this still meant we had to cancel our plans. This became even more upsetting to us when we saw what our Delmarva DockDogs family had done for our Sweet Reet!
We always mention how lucky we are to have an extended family because of our pups … Well, here’s just one of many examples of just how wonderful these individuals are. These are some of our best friends – our Delmarva DockDogs family members – raising money for canine cancer in the name of Margarita. What a thoughtful, generous, and amazing gesture.
Margarita has an army backing her. What a truly blessed gal she is to have so many people, and so much positive energy behind her in her biggest fight!
Oncology Visit # 7
This visit was the last treatment of Round 2, which officially puts Margarita at the half-way mark on her CHOP based chemotherapy treatments! She will have blood work only next week – and then begin Round 3 of the 4 cycles of treatments the following week.
Rita’s oncologist, Dr. Risbon, said the CBC recheck results were normal, and that she was happy with Rita’s physical exam as well. There were no abnormalities, and Rita’s weight has remained stable.
- Adriamycin IV in right hind limb
- We are to monitor the site for any inflammation, oozing, or discharge.
- Margarita will be on Cerenia (24mg) for the next few days in order to prevent nausea from the treatment.
This is one of the tougher weeks, as the Adriamycin can cause some pretty significant side effects.
This Week’s Treat:
This week we stopped at Shake Shack!
Margarita perked RIGHT up when she realized it was treat-time!
Margarita enjoyed a little bit of a grilled cheese, and a couple of french fries.
Did you know Shake Shack has a couple of special treats on their menu just for dogs?! They have a “Bag O’ Bones,” which is a bag of 5 ShackBurger dog biscuits made by NYC’s Bocce’s Bakery , and a “Pooch-ini,” which is a ShackBurger dog biscuit in vanilla custard.
Rita loved her dessert!
Thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.