1 Week Post Diagnosis

It’s The Memories We Make with Others That Are Forever Written In Our Hearts

When I began this blog about 10 years ago, it was meant solely to be a collection of all memories that were created with Limoncello. What it has become is far more than I ever imagined. It’s by no means a “famous” website – what I mean is that this blog has not only held each and every memory that Cello created in our lives, it has also become a means to help others by sharing information and experiences. It has been a gateway into a whole new family of amazing people and pups that I am now connected with – all because of Limoncello. My mission is to continue to help as many people and pups as I can as I promote my compassion for animals, share activities that strengthen the bond between humans and their fur-kids, and document experiences with our pack.

I am disappointed in myself for falling behind on this blog, (about 2-plus years behind to be exact!) …but writing about Limoncello’s recent diagnosis as prompted me to remember the whole reason I began this journal of posts in the first place:  to share all the memories that have been gifted to me by Limoncello – and now ALL of my fur-kids.  It’s important to me to be able to look back on just how blessed I am to be spending a part of my life with each and every special 4-legged angel included in this blog, and it has become even more important to me to have a diary of adventures and experiences that can easily be accessed to help others when needed….whether it be as simple as sharing a dog friendly establishment, or offering support with documented information on diseases and injuries that PAWrents find difficult to navigate through.

So I apologize in advance for any of you who subscribe directly to the blog for the abundance of email alerts that (hopefully!) are to come as I try and buckle-down, back-date posts, and publish “missed memories” in an attempt to catch the blog up to date.

Bucket List A Medley of Memories in the Making

There’s nothing wrong with making “Bucket List”… In fact, I think it’s actually a great idea…but when I decided to create a list for Margarita, I chose to call it an Adventure List because “Bucket List” had me more focused on the fact she was dying, instead of concentrating on celebrating her LIVING days . Although I was blessed to have completed 8 out of the 10 adventures before she had passed, it wound up adding to my heartbreak that the list remained with “adventures that would never be”…

…So when Brian and I spoke about doing some extra special things for Limoncello, we decided that a spontaneous Memories in the Making would be a nice choice. Instead of making a list and stressing out about trying to complete everything on it, each day (or each week), we will choose to do something special with Limoncello. That “something” could be as simple as individual time of sitting with her on the couch or the porch, or as elaborate as a planned overnight trip. Whatever hits us as a good idea in-the-moment will be the memory that makes the list. The list will be ongoing…in the making…until Limoncello decides it is her time to cross the rainbow bridge.

1 Week Post-Diagnosis (August 30, 2023)

It took us a quite a few days to get our heads on (somewhat) straight….but even still, we managed to squeeze quite a bit into the last week! Due to schedules and life getting in the way at times, we know we won’t always be able to create such an abundance of memories each week, but we are grateful for the memory-packed week that we had with our special girl!

August 31, 2023

Sun bathing and neighborhood walk

September 1, 2023

Watching the Phillies game with brother Hooch

September 2, 2023

1/2 mile hike at a local park

Picnic in a local park

September 3, 2023

Making a memory box.

I save special items throughout each dog’s life. I have the items in basic cardboard boxes until I make a “fancy” box for each dog. Although this was not the situation that I wanted to prompt me to do Limoncello’s memory chest, I am glad it is finished and that all her special things are inside for us to cherish always. I bought the box at Joanne Fabric store, did a pencil transfer of Limoncello’s name, used a wood burner to burn her name into the wood, then stained it with “Lemon” (yes, that was the actual name of the color!) tinted stain by Minwax (so excited that I found stain that can be colored!!)… and lastly, I put a couple coats of clear polyurethane over the stain to protect it.

September 4, 2023

Pool PAWty

From the time Cello was a puppy, she loved to just lay and chill in a baby pool and would often try to lay in any puddles she could find along our walks!

When life gives you lemons…make limoncello (literally).

It has been quite a while since a batch of Tommy D’s Limoncello has been made. A batch has now been started and we plan to try and always have some on-hand from this day forward.

September 5, 2023

Duck, Duck, Jeep with cousin James

Cello got ducked with her very own stuffie-duck, and off we went to duck some Jeeps!

September 6, 2023

Ice Cream

“I’ll stop the world and melt with you.” This week’s heat wave was a great opportunity to have a cold treat. Our local ice cream shop, Sand Stand, offers dog-friendly pup cups! It was dark by the time we got there today, so the pictures aren’t the best but it sure was fun to watch her enjoy her ice cream!

We May Not Have A Lot of Ammunition, But We Surely Are Not Going Down Without at Least Trying to Defend Cello

I’m going to be honest…I had a lot of anger with this diagnosis…A LOT. I couldn’t fathom how this cancer took over so much of Limoncello and went undetected in bloodwork and in our daily observations….how she is otherwise healthy aside from this vast tumor taking over half her head. I don’t ever like to accept the notion that there is nothing we can do….but I had to also come to grips with the devastating diagnosis at hand. Through tears of sadness and anger I realized it is my reality that I cannot save the sweet soul who single-handedly rescued us…that’s a hard pill to swallow.

We may not have a lot of ammunition, but we surely are not going down without some kind of a fight…even if that “fight” is geared more towards defending Cello with the only options we have. We will battle daily for Limoncello to be sure she is happy, content, and comfortable for all of her remaining days. We will fight to prolong her quality of life.

Our goal at this point is to support Limoncello’s immune system with anti-tumor, anti-cancer, and antioxidant benefits. In conjunction with the traditional medications Cello is on (Gabapentin and Carprofen), the finalized list of holistic options we chose to incorporate for Limoncello (with he help of her medical team of course) are as follows:

  • Organic turkey tail mushrooms
    • Antioxidant properties, boosts gut health, and known to have cancer-fighting properties
  • Yunnan Baiyao
    • helps to control bleeding
  • Pet Wellbeing’s Life Gold
    • Immune system support and antioxidant protection for dogs with cancer
  • Organic mushroom blend (Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, Phellinus, Shiitake, Chaga, turkey tail)
    •  enhance immune, liver and kidney function
  • Organic coconut oil
    • helps to boost the immune system and aids in reducing inflammation. The lauric acid in coconut oil is also known to have anti-cancer properties.

Support from Others is Not Just an Important Thing, It’s EVERYthing

The outpour of support has been absolutely amazing. Brian and I appreciate every post comment, phone call, gift, text, and private message. This just makes us that much more grateful for Limoncello, who is responsible for the fact that we have this huge community of support and love.

Our Primary Veterinarian

I’m sure everyone thinks their vet is the best… but honestly…OUR VET IS THE BEST! Dr. Campbell is the most brilliant, caring, compassionate (and most patient!) person I know. With each issue that arises, we learn so much from Dr. Campbell. We always have (a ton of!) questions and we are so grateful for the time, efforts, and love this saint-of-a-woman provides to our family!

Care package

Great friends of ours, who we met at Limoncello’s first-ever dock diving competition, recently lost their amazing dog to cancer. Limoncello received a box filed with some items that helped our friends’ pup when he was on his cancer journey.

Visitors and Cello-Yellow Flowers

Family members stopped by to spend some time with Cello and each brought a bunch of Cello-yellow flowers.

Connected to Author Penny Miller for Holistic Approach Advice

A great friend, who I met through Instagram in sharing Cello’s DCM diagnosis, connected me with this author, who contacted me directly to share her advice on hospice care and holistic options.

Card Expressing Support

Close friends – you guessed it – we met because of Limoncello – – sent a card of support even though they check in with us regularly. We are truly blessed!

Shots of Limoncello at the Competition We Had to Skip

We received a video from great friends at the competition in Ohio doing a shot of limoncello for Limoncello. As we watched the video, we smiled….and we cried… what an amazing group of people! We were so upset not to be there. Friends sent us pictures and videos all weekend long to make us feel like we were right there with them as we cheered them on from New Jersey. This group of people right here is the true meaning of community. Limoncello prompted us to get involved in dock diving…and having our DockDogs family in our lives has been life-changing for us. We are forever grateful!

Session with an animal communicator

What an amazing gift! We have never done something like this before. An absolutely awesome couple we were fortunate enough to meet through Limoncello thoughtfully and generously gifted us a session with an animal communicator whose expertise is having insight into the physical body (medical intuition). Our session was extremely cathartic during this very difficult time.

A Lemon Themed Mani-Pedi for Cello

An amazing friend had her manicure and pedicure done …Limoncello style in an effort to spark up both conversation and more prayers for our girl!

With sincere gratitude: Thank you ALL for the love and support you continue to extend to Limoncello, and to our family

Limoncello 9/6/2023

2 Weeks Post-Diagnosis (8/30/23)

Weekly PUPdate

Another week to be thankful for – – Limoncello continues to reveal no symptoms other than her right eye looking slightly irregular. Her eye does not look any worse, her activity level is normal, and she is eating and drinking as usual. Tuesday she will have a check-up with her primary veterinarian.

We Don’t Remember Days, We Remember Moments

~Cesare Pavese

I never really thought about it…but you never know when you are making memories, do you? Limoncello’s diagnosis made me realize that without even being aware of it – everything we do in our daily schedule is a live recording of memories-in-the-making. It’s easy to get wrapped up into social media and focusing on “post-worthy” events/photos/videos that often overpower other important moments in life. Sometimes life is just to busy to realize that everyday activities that appear to mean nothing at the time, actually turn out to mean EVERYTHING when a devastating diagnosis is delivered. If there is even a positive that can come out of a situation like this, it’s that it sure does make you slow down and focus on being grateful for the routine things that tend to go unnoticed because they become ordinary, unremarkable activities…it makes you appreciate each and every moment in your day – because all those little things…all those non-post-worthy moments…are about to become the most important and significant memories you’ll have with those you love…

Memorable Moments Made This Week

Lake Time

We were given the “go-ahead” to let Limoncello swim in the lake if she enters at her own will. Although we will miss tossing a toy for her, we are grateful that she can still enjoy one of her most-loved activities.

Family Visits

Limoncello is enjoying being the center of attention when visitors come to see her.

Breakfast at Evergreen Dairy Bar

Any M. Night Shyamalan fans out there? One of his latest movies, “Knock at the Cabin” was filmed extremely close to us here in the Pine Barrens. One of the scenes towards the end of the movie was shot at one of our favorite breakfast and ice cream spots: Evergreen Dairy Bar. For the movie, Evergreen’s name was changed to “Angie’s Roadside Diner.”

Limoncello enjoyed a scrambled egg with bacon.

Pointer Piles on the Couch

Shopping at Tractor Supply

Walks Around the Neighborhood

Dollar Tree Find

I stopped into a dollar store for something totally unrelated, and my eye caught something yellow! Brian and I always enjoy a glass of wine at the end of each night. These lemon themed wine glasses will help us remember to toast to Cello each night

Cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies

Porch Sittin’

Car Ride Around Town

Thank You For Accompanying Cello On Her Journey

Good company on a difficult journey … it lessens our fear and fills our minds and hearts with the hope, faith, and courage needed to uphold the strength needed to support Limoncello with a positive tone and light spirit . We deeply appreciate the kindness, support, and love that our friends, family, and community continues to offer during this difficult and uncertain time. Your post comments, private messages, and phone calls help to ease our stress and brighten’s Limoncello’s days. Your support is a majority of the fuel that keeps us going strong on this difficult path. Thank you all…for everything.

Limoncello Profile Pictures

Friends changed their Facebook profile pictures in support of Cello.

Surprise Chewy Box!

Another Surprise Chewy Box!

Dock Diving Friends Jumping for Cello at Their Dock Diving Competitions

Collection for Chase Away Canine Cancer

Chase Away Canine Cancer is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. This organization was created in memory of a canine dock diving competitor named Chase. Chase Away Canine Cancer’s passion and commitment is to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this terrible disease.

Care Package from Amazon