Tractor Supply Company: Southampton Township, NJ

For Margarita’s 10th birthday she visited Tractor Supply Company for the first time!

Margarita checking out the Chick specials 馃槀

Picking out her birthday gifts:

Waiting patiently for her treat from the nice cashier:

馃懐鈥嶁檧锔忦煇金煇絋winning with one of her birthday toys bought at Tractor Supply Company!

11 Months in Remission

11 Months in Remission

Margarita had a fantastic month!

Rita received another box of amazing goodies from Chewy.com from a friend of ours!

Margarita’s Aunt Jen brought her a treat from McDonalds when she came to visit

Broom Challenge accepted! Rita joined in on the magic of February 10th… and voil脿!

Armageddon Brewery opened its doors, and Margarita was their first 4-legged visitor!

We had the most special Valentine’s Day ever when the Medford Lakes Police Department came to the house to help Sweet Reet check off another Adventure List item (take a ride in a police car)!

February 21st was one year since Rita’s splenectomy. While it may seem silly to celebrate having an organ removed, had her spleen remained, Rita wouldn’t be here with us today.

How about your own National Day to help celebrate 11 months in remission?! National Margarita Day was celebrated February 22nd.

At Rita’s last oncology visit, Dr. Baez (Margarita’s new oncologist) cleared her to do whatever activities she pleases. We have been incorporating longer walks into our schedule, and this month Margarita took her first hike since her diagnosis last year.

Margarita, Porter, and their cousin Clyde enjoyed a nice hike together!

Margarita has accompanied me at school many times this month. At least once a week I come home for lunch, and after all the pups go potty, Rita will head back to school with me for an hour visit with the students. The students are thoroughly enjoying her company, and Margarita is soaking up all the love, pets, and belly scratches!

February 27th was one year since we found out Margarita had Lymphoma. We are truly blessed to be able to “celebrate” this one-year mark, as we know many dogs are not as lucky as our Sweet Reet to have made it this far. She is truly a Lymphoma Warrior!

Monthly Primary Veterinarian Check-Up

On February 4th, 2020 Margarita saw Dr. Campbell and had her blood work drawn again to retest her liver enzyme levels.

The results were as follows:

ALT Normal Range: 18-121

  • Rita鈥檚 ALT Values:
    1. 1,155 (12/9/19)
    2. 1,195 (12/26/19)
    3. 924 (1/15/20)
    4. 500 (2/4/20)

AST Normal Range: 16-55

  • Rita鈥檚 AST Values:
    1. 146 (12/9)
    2. 146 (12/26)
    3. 56 (2/4/20)

As you can imagine, we were thrilled! Dr. Campbell instructed us to increase Margarita’s Denamarin and have her blood work retested in 4 weeks. Rita will visit with Dr. Campbell again March 3rd to have this test done.

Current Liver medication and supplement dosage:

  • Prednisone:
    • 5 mg in AM
  • Denamarin:
    • 1 tablet twice daily (increased from the prior 1 tablet daily)

Dr. Campbell also suggested that we contact Margarita’s cardiologist, Dr. Bossbaly, in hopes to have her chemo-induced-DCM recheck appointment moved up, and also to inquire about the possibility of taking her off of the cardiac medication, Pimobendan. The less medication Rita is on, the better…this way her liver is not overworked with processing medications.

I was not able to get a sooner appointment with Rita’s cardiologist, Dr. Bossbaly, but I was able to speak with her. Dr. Bossbaly wants Margarita to stay on the Pimobendan at least until the appointment in June because she is doing so well on it. Dr. Bossbaly does not feel this medication will have any effect on Rita’s liver values. She also said that she was concerned that if Rita’s heart disease got worse, it would have even more of effect on her liver.

Monthly Oncology Check-UP

I was surprised to find out upon her exam that she gained over 2 pounds. Last oncology visit she was 52 pounds, and this visit she weighed in at 54.8 pounds. This could be a side effect of the Prednisone, and I plan to discuss this at our next monthly veterinary appointment with Dr. Campbell. On exam, Margarita’s heart rate and rhythm were normal and Dr. Baez could detect a low-grade heart murmur. Rita’s peripheral lymph nodes were normal and she was in good body condition.

Dr. Baez said Margarita looked fantastic! I shared with Dr. Baez that I was interested in exploring nutritional options for Rita and possibly adding in some holistic care to maximize all the treatment options for her. Doctor Baez provided me with some referrals for both a holistic vet as well as a nutritionist. I plan to discuss this information with our primary veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, at our next monthly appointment.

Although I rehearsed in my head many times, the next part of my conversation with Dr. Baez was very difficult for me to say out-loud. After careful consideration of Margarita’s current level of liver disease, intestinal disease, and heart disease, Brian and I feel as though if her Lymphoma resurfaces, another round of chemotherapy would not be a fair option for our Sweet Reet. However, if those diseases improve, and she is deemed healthy enough, we would absolutely explore chemotherapy again as an option. In the meantime, we are inquiring about any and all ways we can support Rita in hopes to keep her in remission for as long as possible.

If Margarita’s liver values decrease with her next blood test, we are going to hold off on her abdominal ultrasound until June (which would be 6 months since her last ultrasound). If her liver values increase with the next test, we will order the abdominal ultrasound to be completed ASAP.

With the “1 Year in Remission Anniversary” approaching, Margarita’s oncology visits will also now change from every month to every two months until she reaches her “18-months in Remission Anniversary.” At that point we will then increase the time between oncology visits to quarterly, (every 3 to 4 months). Dr. Baez asked us to continue to monitor Rita as we have been doing, and to reach out if we have any concerns. Margarita will have her next oncology visit with Dr. Baez in April.

This Month’s Treat

This month Margarita enjoyed a small taste of Bacon, Egg and Cheese Tacos with a side of Mac-n-Cheese from TGI Fridays !

We are looking forward to March – we have some pretty amazing milestones to celebrate!

Blueberry Hill Conservation Area; Gibbsboro, NJ

Margarita and Porter went on this hike with their fur-cousin, Clyde.

Blueberry Hill Conservation Area consists of 134 acres of wooded area in Gibbsboro, NJ. It features both paved and unpaved trails that are suitable for hiking or biking.

At 192 feet, Blueberry Hill is one of the highest elevations in Southern New Jersey.

From the top of the hill on a clear day you can see the Philadelphia skyline off in the distance.

The Philadelphia Skyline is just beyond the treetops

There is also a great view of a quarry at the top of another hill.

Margarita checkin out the views from the top of the hill as we approached the quarry:

A section of the quarry:

Porter and Clyde stop for a play-break:

Cousin Clyde is so handsome:

We enjoyed this adventure at yet another hidden gem we never knew existed in our area!

Armageddon Brewing: Somerdale, NJ

We visited this hard cider brewery during its third open weekend.

Margarita was their first 4-legged visitor!

Armageddon uses as much organic locally sourced produce and honey as possible.聽

Their tasting room is dog-friendly, and Rita-approved!

“Desolation” was my favorite in the flight!

Valentine’s Day 2020

Love is in the air… or is that bacon? 馃挐馃し馃徏鈥嶁檧锔忦煡揝ame Difference!聽馃槣

馃挌馃挐馃挍馃挋鉂わ笍馃挏
Sending you all a 6-pack full of love! Happy Valentine鈥檚 Day!

I鈥檓 looking for a leash-free relationship聽~Limoncello馃挍

路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路

You must be my back-yard …Cuz I really dig you. ~Hooch馃挌

路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路

Hey, Ladies! Are your paws tired? …鈥楥ause you鈥檝e been running through my mind all day. ~Lager聽馃惥鉂わ笍

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Well here I am. What are your other 2 wishes?聽馃鈥嶁檪锔忊湪~Margarita馃挅

路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路

Will you o-FISH-ally be my Valentine?聽~Whiskey馃挏(AKA Wish the Fish馃悷)

路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路路

Is your name Google?….Because you have everything I鈥檓 searching for.聽~Porter馃挋


鉁旓笍 #2 Take a Ride in a Police Car 馃殧

With the help of Medford Lakes Police Department’s Chief of Police, Margarita checked off Adventure List item #2 on Valentine’s Day 2020!

A HUGE thank you to Medford Lakes Police Department 鈥檚 Chief Dugan for helping Margarita check off #2 on her Adventure List! (Take a ride in a Police car 馃殧). Chief Dugan was nice enough to come to our house to pick up Sweet Reet and take her for a nice long ride around town!

He also gave Margarita a MLPD patch and pin!!

We are forever grateful to Chief Dugan for creating this happy memory in Rita鈥檚 Journey through Lymphoma.

We would like to thank chief Dugan and the Medford Lakes Police Department not only for this kind and generous act, but for everything they do to keep our community safe.