Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Our hero suffers a major setback

Last Wednesday Blue enjoyed his usual swim, but as each day followed there was deterioration in his energy levels.

As first we thought he overdone the swimming but each day he dipped a little more, we consulted the Oncology team, and were advised to withdraw his medication, and monitor him closely.

Each day he would show signs of renewed enthusiasm, only to slip into lethargy worse than the previous day.

Monday morning Sue rang Fitzpatricks, as Blue could not even make it across the road for a wee without full support with his sling, he could barely stand, and was now refusing all food.

We arrived at Fitzpatrick Referrals at 11:30 and by 12:30 we agreed that Blue should undergo an operation to find an abdominal bleed.

Yesterday afternoon, Blue had his spleen removed, and required a blood transfusion until 2:00am the following morning.

Blue will be monitored closely over the next few days, dependant on how he responds to surgery, we all know he is not a good in-patient, and will be keen to get back home.

Blue had been doing so well through the chemo, this has really shocked us, as it will many others.

We don't know how much this will take out of him or whether his remaining time is measured in hours, days, weeks or months, but we will make sure he gets the best of attention.

Forgive me for not going into all the details, it has been hard to share, but the support we have received has been brilliant.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Blood test today

Blue attended Fitzpatrick Referrals today for his follow up blood test. This is following two weeks of medication in tablet /capsule form.

We are all becoming anxious with each visit, but in truth Blue continues to pull us all through, continuing to prove what a remarkable character he is.

Today he had 5 sedatives, to take the edge off ahead of his visit, these make him wobbly, but aware of what is going on.

Leaving home just after 2.00pm we were being guided through reception into the consultation room, to the welcome greetings from the ladies on reception, who instantly recognise Blue as we enter.

Weighing in at 50.8kg Blue soon settles and waits, the sedatives doing the job, even when a curious dog stands the other side of the door looking in through the viewing glass, Blue remains calm and comfortable.

Change occurs when Dr Kelvin Kow enters with a nurse, but soon subsides to a few sighs and puffs of his cheeks, Blue that is.

We talk through how Blue has been, namely less energetic, more sleepy, but with bouts of energy bursts, appetite is fine and with credit to Sue, not one tablet missed. (Thin chicken slices or ham wrapped around each one soon sees them down the back of Blue's throat).

Dr Kelvin explains that once the blood tests are done, he will have a better idea of if the dosage requires increasing or decreasing.

As Dr Kelvin held out his hand to take Blue's lead, Blue objected, but accepted a split second later, they were building their bond of trust with each other, that on it's own should not be underestimated as a significant change.

No sooner had Sue and I settled in the reception pod, and Blue was back, his paws scurrying across the floor, but not with the Dr, but the nurse, either those sedatives are working abnormally well, or the hard work and patience of the whole "FROST" team was paying dividends. In my opinion it has taken both, but the FROST team have really begun to win Blue's trust, even to the point where the Nurse said that she had stolen a kiss on the top of Blue's head, we all smiled.

We had to wait longer than we should have for the blood results, and during this time Blue even allowed a dog in the next pod to look at him without reacting to protect us.

The results as always are delivered in person by Dr Kelvin, this time the white blood cell count was slightly down, no anaemia, but it was still too early to tell if the dosage is causing the periodic lethargy or it is his body getting used to the new medicines. 

Blue will return in two weeks for another blood test, and dependent on the results, if all is well his visits could be extended to a month interval, looking further forward he could have two of those, and in two and half months from now we will have a decision to make. That decision will be whether to have a CT scan to see what is happening inside of Blue, but it is not a decision that we have to make yet.

We have heard the phrase #frostfamily and we are in no doubt all the staff that work there are like one big extended family, that welcome you all, and share every moment with you. Dr Kelvin is viewed as a friend of Blue, and us too. He explained that the day Blue laid on the operating table, he was consulted on his condition, and is so genuinely pleased to see where Blue is today compared to that dark afternoon in November last year.

Blue is a reward to all those that have helped along this journey and those that will ensure to see him get the best he can, from life.

Tomorrow Blue will be swimming at Aquadoggies, last week it invigorated him so much, he did not settle until 3 hours after getting home.

On a lighter note, Sue and I have been set a challenge, to get a wee sample for his next visit;

This will take a bit of strategy and a steady gloved hand!

Thank you for following Blue's story

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Scotland 2016

Who would of thought it would have been possible, given everything Blue has gone through since the car accident last September, and the discovery of the cancerous mass in his abdomen, but in Scotland we shared what could be Blue's last holiday away, but who knows what is around the corner....

To put some perspective to it, our journey from Reading to the Highlands of Scotland, some 650 miles or a 12 hour journey is not for the feint hearted.

Below is a google map of our journey, and  a couple of images pinned on the map which are clickable. Feel free to zoom in to see the location of the images, on the top left is menu for specific selection. (If you lose your place, simply refresh the page).

Our journey was without incident, and as always, Blue travels well, there are times you have to remind yourself he is in the car.

Whenever we indicate, Blue pops up to have look, are we there?

The main reason for the holiday at this particular time, Blue's Chemo injections were completed, and three weeks later he was to begin chemo in tablet form. This was a chance for the three of us to recharge our batteries before we commenced with the new chapter.
Two weeks in Shieldaig, located on the West coast of the Scottish Highlands, affectionately well known and loved by us all.

Our holiday in pictures;

Our home for the next two weeks, with the red car outside.

These are but a few, more will follow and some more will be added to the google map.

Two weeks after setting off we returned home, rested and relaxed, ready for the next chapter.