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Hit With the Cancer Stick

There is no way to sugar coat this. I just have to say it.

Blitzkrieg has cancer.

My world is crumbling.

Blitzkrieg was snoring and snorting more heavily than usual. He was due for a routine vet check. Our vet didn’t find anything enlarged or unusual. We thought it was his seasonal allergies since mine are also working overtime with the early warm weather. While we checked out, Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

I’m so glad Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

 When you travel, you should take a friend. This is Bear. He is my first toy and best friend.

Two weeks later, we drop Blitzkrieg off at the vet for his grooming appointment. Later that day, we get a call from the groomer telling us one of Blitzkrieg’s broken teeth (from his abused like a punching bag days) is infected past the gum line. She asks if the vet can pull it. Of course. Maybe this is why Blitzkrieg was snoring heavier than usual?

We get a second call from the vet. Blitzkrieg’s tonsils are swollen. They wanted our permission to do a biopsy – absolutely!

Of course the next thing I did is what we all do - I researched tonsillitis in dogs on the Internet. Turns out tonsillitis in dogs is different than it is in humans. They don't remove dog tonsils. Tonsillitis in dogs is usually a symptom of a bigger problem. Husband and I freaked.

We feel lucky Gahanna Animal Hospital made room on the veterinary side of the practice to treat Blitzkrieg when he originally came in for an appointment on the grooming side of the practice. We are grateful the veterinarian called us later that evening to explain what she found and discuss our fears.

The biopsy results came back. Lymphoma.

Husband and I sat on the sofa, held each other, and cried.

Blitzkrieg tried to comfort us.

That made us cry harder.

We haven’t stopped.

It's not fair it will end this way given the horrible 18 months that Blitzkrieg lived through in the beginning of his life. Blitzkrieg is missing an eye and teeth because he was hit and kicked. I couldn’t pick up a TV remote, book, or hairbrush without Blitzkrieg flinching and preparing for a smack. His behavior reminded me of abused children. He clearly wanted love but he watched my hands very closely just in case. It broke my heart. Every. Single. Time.

It is through sheer hard work, education, and training for the first three years we had Blitzkrieg that Husband and I have the happy go lucky confident goof ball you see on Condo Blues. Blitzkrieg doesn’t care about the remote control anymore unless it is taking the place of where he wants to rest his chin on my leg while I watch TV.

 Chobani sent me a rocket ship! 
Why is my rocket ship is full of Greek yogurt? 

Blitzkrieg still twists and turns when I pet him, not out of fear but to lean against my hand. Behaviorists say this is how dogs hug back. I have to spell the word brush because Blitzkrieg knows the word and gets excited. After a brushing, he earns treats. Blitzkrieg is the smartest dog I have ever known.

How many one eyed dogs do you know that do agility weave poles? 
Do you believe a dog professional told us, "you can't train a Pekingese"?

Husband, Blitzkrieg and I spent last Tuesday with a canine oncologist at Ohio State Veterinary Hospital. The OSU oncologist was impressed with how devoted we are to Blitzkrieg and the things we've done and the lengths we've gone to help him from his dark journey. They were equally impressed with Gahanna Animal Hospital and all they did for us when we came in for a routine grooming. I'm trying to remember we are lucky in that regard. Any later and we would have weeks left with Blitzkrieg and not very good ones at that.

Blitzkrieg is a good candidate for chemotherapy. We start treatments today. My husband and I are determined to give Blitzkrieg the best quality of life for as long as we can.

 See this motion blur peeps? That's why they call me Blitzkrieg!

Blitzkrieg will need six months of chemotherapy. OSU Vet Hospital doesn't have a payment plan. We do not have pet health insurance. We have to pay $300 up front each week. The total treatment cost will be around $3, 000 when we're finished with chemo.

It will take some financial juggling because my freelance income isn't as regular as my husband's. Before this we were hit with our human health insurance not covering a chunk of my three big kidney tests (they came back normal BTW) because we are close to the out of pocket limit. Once we hit the out of pocket limit, the insurance pays for everything so of course they are eeking out the time until we meet the limit. That will show us to choose the "we're healthy and probably won't need more than routine care" health insurance option.  Husband and I have both needed tests and such this year. Whoopsie.

I was surprised and grateful when friends asked me if they could contribute to Blitzkrieg’s care and give this little dog the best life possible in the time he has left. I worried if you would consider it being exploitative.

Also, I suck at asking people for money unless its work related or I’m raising money for someone else’s charity.

With prodding from blogging friends and thanks to Karen of EcoKaren, I created the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund donation page using GoFundMe. This is independent of my personal banking accounts and is transparent to donors. Transparency is very important to me because I think there is a special circle in Hell for people who misappropriate charitable donations. Or if there isn’t, there should be.

If you would like to help Blitzkrieg, you may make a donation using the button above or through the link http://www.gofundme.com/BlitzkriegCancerFund. Husband and I will use the money donated to pay for Blitzkrieg’s chemotherapy, medications, and doctor’s visits. Thanks to your generosity, we raised enough money to pay for today's chemotherapy treatment and next week's treatment too.

Please don't think that money is the only way you can help us. The out pouring of love and support from your comments, tweets, emails, and Facebook status messages mean just as much to us. There are a lot of people who have said some terrible things to us and think we're crazy for treating Blitzkrieg. Husband is floored that so many kind "strangers" have been so supportive.

Clearly my Husband doesn't know the power of the blogging and social media community. Although honestly, I'm amazed and humbled the way you are supporting us too. Thank you.

Husband and I will pay for Husband’s and my vet counseling appointments (How cool are they? OSU Vet Hospital has councilors to help the humans deal with a canine cancer diagnosis), our human medical bills, and the indecent amount of ice cream we have been consuming since we got the news. We will also pay for any car rides to really awesome dog places like the beach ourselves. Blitzkrieg loves a good car ride and smelly places like a Lake Erie beach after a storm.

 I get to go all sorts of fun places because I learned how to be a good dog.

I am an affiliate and make a smell percentage from the following vendors. If you are already making a purchase, will you consider doing it through the links on my blog?

If you are a blogger, I am selling ads on Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef sidebar for $25 a month for a 125 x 125 size ad. Please email me at condoblues (AT) gmail [dot] com for details.

In this economy, I fully understand if you want to help Blitzkrieg but are not financially able. Feel free to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. There are donation  Tweets, and Facebook updates you can use on http://www.gofundme.com/BlitzkriegCancerFund. If you want to put a Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund donation widget on the sidebar of your website or blog, I am including the code for you below.

Lymphonia is not environmental. Research is being conducted, but as of now, all they know some breeds are predisposed to it. Pekingese are not.

Every dog responds differently to chemo. OSU focuses on quality of life. Husband and I we are determined to do that too. We’re determined to this our tough little dog with the crappy beginning the best ending a dog could possibly have.

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Stephanie said…
I'm so sorry this is happening to all of you! Blitzkrieg is lucky to have humans like you who love her so much. I hope you'll keep us updated as she goes through treatment. Chemo sucks!
Brandie said…
I'm sorry. Cancer sucks on so many levels. I'm sending prayers for all of you. ((hugs))
Maureen McCabe said…
I'm so sorry. I saw you mention doggie chemo on Twitter and had to come see. I will be praying for Blitzkrieg.