It's one year today since Spike's surgery!
I planned to celebrate with happy fun park romps and pics and videos of same, but deathtired is kicking my arse too much to do that today. So here's a small picspam of the last year's journey instead.

Spiiiiiiike )

thank you all, thank you so much. we might not have got through this without you. I love you all.
It's one year today since Spike's surgery!
I planned to celebrate with happy fun park romps and pics and videos of same, but deathtired is kicking my arse too much to do that today. So here's a small picspam of the last year's journey instead.

Spiiiiiiike )

thank you all, thank you so much. we might not have got through this without you. I love you all.
Bye now, 2010. I can't call this one a bad year or a good year - I lost my Dad, but my greatest fear had been that I'd lose him without finding him first, and that didn't happen. Spike got cancer, but we fought it and (touch wood) we won. The DWP and my own glands conspired to undermine every foundation holding me up, but I'm still standing.

2010's been the year with no middle ground. I've been wrestling a tiger all year, and some days he wins and some days I do. I've been holding my own, I'm even starting to move forward, but I am so godfucked tired and gunshy now. I really need a break from "interesting times." I hope to fuck 2011 can do that for me.

For everyone reading this, I wish you ease from pain, rain where it's needed, sunshine where it's wanted, snow where it's relished, and all the peace, love, joy and plenty you can take. I love you all.

And a special note to some of you - you know who you are. Thank you. I've kept a list of all your addresses, saved in two places so as not to lose it. I said when I promised artwork-for-help that I might take some time doing it; thanks to deathtired I've already taken more than I meant. I just wanted to say I'm not forgetting, I'm not going to break that promise. But please be patient a bit longer. The pills are working, but I still don't have enough energy to throw balls for the dogs two days running and making art takes a lot out of me. Thank you, again, some more.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.
Bye now, 2010. I can't call this one a bad year or a good year - I lost my Dad, but my greatest fear had been that I'd lose him without finding him first, and that didn't happen. Spike got cancer, but we fought it and (touch wood) we won. The DWP and my own glands conspired to undermine every foundation holding me up, but I'm still standing.

2010's been the year with no middle ground. I've been wrestling a tiger all year, and some days he wins and some days I do. I've been holding my own, I'm even starting to move forward, but I am so godfucked tired and gunshy now. I really need a break from "interesting times." I hope to fuck 2011 can do that for me.

For everyone reading this, I wish you ease from pain, rain where it's needed, sunshine where it's wanted, snow where it's relished, and all the peace, love, joy and plenty you can take. I love you all.

And a special note to some of you - you know who you are. Thank you. I've kept a list of all your addresses, saved in two places so as not to lose it. I said when I promised artwork-for-help that I might take some time doing it; thanks to deathtired I've already taken more than I meant. I just wanted to say I'm not forgetting, I'm not going to break that promise. But please be patient a bit longer. The pills are working, but I still don't have enough energy to throw balls for the dogs two days running and making art takes a lot out of me. Thank you, again, some more.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.
You know that feeling you get just before you realise that you've left the gas on, or an oven glove on a hot stovetop, or your keys/child/dog in the car, or something? That urgent sense of imminent disaster that you can prevent as soon as you remember just what it is?

I haven't stopped feeling like that almost constantly since the beginning of the DWP/mental illness medical drama. And that was back in September last year. It doesn't leave me with a lot of energy. I crave people and socialising and interaction as much as I ever did but every second of contact with anyone uses up energy. I used to have enough and to spare but this constant shoe-drop vigilance soaks up so much that I've all but shut down. It's killed my attention span and my capacity for concentration, neither of which were all that great to start with. Then I feel guilty about not answering comments and not finishing projects and etc etc etc. It's become a downward spiral that I don't have the energy to lift myself out of unaided.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon. I need this to change before I break irretrievably. I probably won't answer comments on this entry either because I need to go and lie down till my heart stops hammering, but know that I am reading them and that I'm committed to resuming normal service as soon as possible. thank you.
You know that feeling you get just before you realise that you've left the gas on, or an oven glove on a hot stovetop, or your keys/child/dog in the car, or something? That urgent sense of imminent disaster that you can prevent as soon as you remember just what it is?

I haven't stopped feeling like that almost constantly since the beginning of the DWP/mental illness medical drama. And that was back in September last year. It doesn't leave me with a lot of energy. I crave people and socialising and interaction as much as I ever did but every second of contact with anyone uses up energy. I used to have enough and to spare but this constant shoe-drop vigilance soaks up so much that I've all but shut down. It's killed my attention span and my capacity for concentration, neither of which were all that great to start with. Then I feel guilty about not answering comments and not finishing projects and etc etc etc. It's become a downward spiral that I don't have the energy to lift myself out of unaided.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon. I need this to change before I break irretrievably. I probably won't answer comments on this entry either because I need to go and lie down till my heart stops hammering, but know that I am reading them and that I'm committed to resuming normal service as soon as possible. thank you.
aargh fuck oww. My twisted knee was nearly BETTER. I could nearly walk again. Then last night I bent over to slide Spike's cushion from his spot by the Uncomfy Chair over to be by the bed, and my knee unexpectedly made this sharp crack-pop sound.

I have a friend with a chronically bad knee and I've heard her use the phrase "my knee exploded" before. I hadn't realised how literally she meant it. EXPLOSION OF PAIN. I couldn't sleep last night despite the icepack and painkillers, there was no position I could rest it in that didn't throb with pain and I couldn't stop fretting about how the fuck I was going to walk dogs like this. Getting from the Uncomfy Chair to the bathroom or kitchen is just about possible but unprecedentedly difficult. Down the stairs didn't seem likely.

In the end I scooted downstairs on my arse with the dogs offleash and let them out to piss in the communal back garden. This is strictly not allowed in the tenancy agreement and it worries fuck out of me to resort to it, even though downstairs neighbour does it every day with his greyhound. But it was either that or have them both piss on the floor in here, what can you do? Spike didn't drink for a day and a half after he had that accident on the floor last week and I'm not risking that again.

happier news: Spike had his stitches out yesterday, barring a few inside his mouth that he'd broken. The vet put those back in with dissolving sutures so we won't need to go back. The lab results are back on his poor departed nose, and all the indications are that we got a good clear margin and Mouth Thing is no more. YAYYYY WOOO HOOO YAYY!

they also both really enjoyed the back garden. I was too paranoid to leave them out very long but they ran and bounced and were happy.

my cat boxes need emptying and my kitchen is an unholy shithole. I was looking forward to ...not doing those, but having gotten them done. Now I can't even fucking stand up without a piece of furniture to lean on and fuck fuck fuck OW. Did I say ow? OW.
aargh fuck oww. My twisted knee was nearly BETTER. I could nearly walk again. Then last night I bent over to slide Spike's cushion from his spot by the Uncomfy Chair over to be by the bed, and my knee unexpectedly made this sharp crack-pop sound.

I have a friend with a chronically bad knee and I've heard her use the phrase "my knee exploded" before. I hadn't realised how literally she meant it. EXPLOSION OF PAIN. I couldn't sleep last night despite the icepack and painkillers, there was no position I could rest it in that didn't throb with pain and I couldn't stop fretting about how the fuck I was going to walk dogs like this. Getting from the Uncomfy Chair to the bathroom or kitchen is just about possible but unprecedentedly difficult. Down the stairs didn't seem likely.

In the end I scooted downstairs on my arse with the dogs offleash and let them out to piss in the communal back garden. This is strictly not allowed in the tenancy agreement and it worries fuck out of me to resort to it, even though downstairs neighbour does it every day with his greyhound. But it was either that or have them both piss on the floor in here, what can you do? Spike didn't drink for a day and a half after he had that accident on the floor last week and I'm not risking that again.

happier news: Spike had his stitches out yesterday, barring a few inside his mouth that he'd broken. The vet put those back in with dissolving sutures so we won't need to go back. The lab results are back on his poor departed nose, and all the indications are that we got a good clear margin and Mouth Thing is no more. YAYYYY WOOO HOOO YAYY!

they also both really enjoyed the back garden. I was too paranoid to leave them out very long but they ran and bounced and were happy.

my cat boxes need emptying and my kitchen is an unholy shithole. I was looking forward to ...not doing those, but having gotten them done. Now I can't even fucking stand up without a piece of furniture to lean on and fuck fuck fuck OW. Did I say ow? OW.
I have started and deleted this entry several times, because it's uncomfortable and I feel as though I'm doing something wrong.

The lovely people on Khimeros (which you should join because they are lovely people and there are pretty shiny fake pets on it like this) set up an art auction, unasked, to help pay for Spike's surgery. So I am finally making this entry because more than one of you has asked me to, and while I don't like to ask, I am not too proud to turn down help offered.

Well, the surgery's been paid for. So it isn't urgent. It isn't one of those "help me or my dog will have to stay sick" deals. But it was a lot. The diagnostic work pre-surgery came to £1500 - that was my DWP back pay and some that my Mum kicked in. The surgery itself came to £3000. It was paid for by my mother killing off her savings and running two credit cards up to the limit and my sister putting in £500 and now Mum doesn't have an emergency fallback if anything goes wrong in her life. I'm paying her back, but even if I live on ramen noodles and Smartprice baked beans for the rest of my life I can only pay it back pretty slowly.

So since I've been asked, if you want to help, if you can spare it, here it is:








That goes to Mum's bank account, it was set up specifically to help cover the surgery. Please don't think you have to or that you're a bad friend if you don't for any reason. You've already all been awesome; like a huge tidal wave of love and supportive.

My original idea was to try and do art commissions, but I have something close to a panic attack every time I think too hard about that one. What I thought I'd do is a kind of compromise: if anyone puts in more than £7 or $10 (i.e. enough to cover postage and a bit over) I will mail you something I painted. You'll need to give me a mailing address (comments to this entry are screened) and tell me what kind of thing you want. I don't guarantee I'll be able to do exactly what you want, and may fall back on dragons or flying unicorns instead, and it may take me some time, but I promise there'll be SOMETHING.

Meanwhile, Spike is doing good. His teeth need cleaning and his lower lip is getting all dry and cracked where it used to be covered by his upper lip but isn't any more, but these are minor things. He also informed me that handfeeding is for invalids and if I hold the bowl up for him he can eat out of it fine by himself, thanks.

I've caught Mum's bronchitis and have twisted my knee (that first night when Spike puked twice? I slipped in a small pool of it, landed on my arse and apparently near-crippled myself.) so I'm feeling like shit on a stick. But that's minor too, in the larger scale of things.

Love you all.
He is coming round from the anaesthetic, and the vet says it went very well indeed. I should have him back on Monday.

I don't get to keep the teeth because the entire resected part has to go to the path lab and be treated with formalin which makes it toxic so they can't save any of it. This is so the path lab can confirm the diagnosis and double check that the margins are clear and Mouth Thing is dead for good and all. I did rather want to hang the teeth on my necklace, one each side of my tiger's eye circle, but hey, I get my dog back so I don't really care about that.

Cassie is going batshit bored without him and driving me crazy in turn, but we'll deal.

Thank you all for commenting and being all-round awesome. I've been a bit too frazzled to answer each one yet but I've read everything

I GET MY DOG BACK OMG YAY!
He is coming round from the anaesthetic, and the vet says it went very well indeed. I should have him back on Monday.

I don't get to keep the teeth because the entire resected part has to go to the path lab and be treated with formalin which makes it toxic so they can't save any of it. This is so the path lab can confirm the diagnosis and double check that the margins are clear and Mouth Thing is dead for good and all. I did rather want to hang the teeth on my necklace, one each side of my tiger's eye circle, but hey, I get my dog back so I don't really care about that.

Cassie is going batshit bored without him and driving me crazy in turn, but we'll deal.

Thank you all for commenting and being all-round awesome. I've been a bit too frazzled to answer each one yet but I've read everything

I GET MY DOG BACK OMG YAY!
Spike's in surgery now. Updates when I have them.

I asked them to keep his canine teeth for me.
Spike's in surgery now. Updates when I have them.

I asked them to keep his canine teeth for me.
Just got a call from the vet; he'd just got off the phone with the laboratory and they're saying another 48 hours before they can have our results.

So now our provisional date for the surgery is Friday. Also, I kind of want to KICK SOMEONE TO DEATH RIGHT NOW ARRRRRRGGHHHHHH ASGFGKLJKFH!!!!%XXXCZ;!

The vet did say that he feels at this stage it won't make a lot of difference if Spike damages the surface of the thing playing fetchy, so at least we all got to let off some steam. I've discovered that the best fetchy toy for Spike is the cut-off tracksuit bottom (sweatpants) leg with knots and no stuffing; that's narrow enough that he can carry it about without using the front of his mouth at all, which he's being very smart about doing.
Just got a call from the vet; he'd just got off the phone with the laboratory and they're saying another 48 hours before they can have our results.

So now our provisional date for the surgery is Friday. Also, I kind of want to KICK SOMEONE TO DEATH RIGHT NOW ARRRRRRGGHHHHHH ASGFGKLJKFH!!!!%XXXCZ;!

The vet did say that he feels at this stage it won't make a lot of difference if Spike damages the surface of the thing playing fetchy, so at least we all got to let off some steam. I've discovered that the best fetchy toy for Spike is the cut-off tracksuit bottom (sweatpants) leg with knots and no stuffing; that's narrow enough that he can carry it about without using the front of his mouth at all, which he's being very smart about doing.
stoned collie is stoned.

stitches and an attempted shot of Mouth Thing under the cut ) they've done a wedge biopsy on his lymph gland, hence the shaved neck and stitches. vet says that while the CT scans show the tumour to be bigger, it's still operable as long as the lymph gland comes back clear. obviously he can't say more without the results, but he did say he was optimistic and we are to bring him in Wednesday morning.
stoned collie is stoned
stoned collie is stoned.

stitches and an attempted shot of Mouth Thing under the cut ) they've done a wedge biopsy on his lymph gland, hence the shaved neck and stitches. vet says that while the CT scans show the tumour to be bigger, it's still operable as long as the lymph gland comes back clear. obviously he can't say more without the results, but he did say he was optimistic and we are to bring him in Wednesday morning.
stoned collie is stoned
No surgery. The damn fucking thing's grown so much this last two weeks that the vet wants to take samples from Spike's lymph glands and do some more CT scans before he'll go ahead. Which means now we'll be doing it next Wednesday. If we're lucky. If there isn't cancer in his lymph glands. If the CT scan doesn't show major changes. If if if fucking if. We've still left him there, as the scan and lymph gland needle aspiration need a general anaesthetic, but we'll be bringing him home later today nose, tumour and all.

Every time I've hoped and prayed for something specific not to happen, right back to day one when I first noticed the red mark on Spike's gumline, that's turned out to be exactly what did happen. Forgive me f-list, I don't think I have it left in me to be hopeful any more.
No surgery. The damn fucking thing's grown so much this last two weeks that the vet wants to take samples from Spike's lymph glands and do some more CT scans before he'll go ahead. Which means now we'll be doing it next Wednesday. If we're lucky. If there isn't cancer in his lymph glands. If the CT scan doesn't show major changes. If if if fucking if. We've still left him there, as the scan and lymph gland needle aspiration need a general anaesthetic, but we'll be bringing him home later today nose, tumour and all.

Every time I've hoped and prayed for something specific not to happen, right back to day one when I first noticed the red mark on Spike's gumline, that's turned out to be exactly what did happen. Forgive me f-list, I don't think I have it left in me to be hopeful any more.
Should be three Spike vids embedded under the cut, if it works )

Am waiting on a call from the vet. We should be able to make an appointment for the surgery early next week. It's conceivable that the Dogs Trust will cover it - I'm waiting on news from them too - but if not, Mum and I can cover it although it'll leave both of us uncomfortably indebted.
.

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