Paris Shaula +183

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Today is also Paris’ 6th month anniversary since her splenectomy, exact to the day. Unfortunately we were off to a rocky start today. After our grocery shopping (to get fresh ingredients for her meals) we came home to two very noisy dogs. Paris was still barking very happily at us, and even ventured to sniff at the grocery bags we came home with.

We didn’t sense anything wrong until H cooked and served her meal to her. She sniffed a little, and refused to eat. That almost never happens in Paris’ life history and was a sure sign that something was wrong. We didn’t force her, but at H’s suggestion, I cooked up some tuna and sausages for her. She managed a few mouthfuls, but didn’t finish the small portion that I prepared.

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She continued resting by the dining table – a very strange place to lay down but we let her be, sensing something was not right. After about half an hour, she suddenly stood up and headed for the bedroom slowly. I reckon she wanted to go to her bed so I followed behind her. Just 2 paces from her bed, she paused for a few seconds and then suddenly her legs gave way and she plopped with such a loud thud onto the floor. It frightened the hell out of me. I thought it was the end.

I knew she was going through a massive internal bleed. Both H and I stayed by her side and reassured her that we were ready to let her go. And I really thought she wasn’t going to make it and cried buckets.

When she finally stabilised, I called the clinic asking if we should go tomorrow instead when the ultrasound technician would be around. Dr Lee told us to bring her in immediately since she crashed. Realising the severity of it, we rushed down.

Dr Lee managed to draw blood out of Paris’ abdomen and told her she bled substantially, about 100-150ml but she didn’t recommend drawing them all out because 1) they could get reabsorbed into her body and 2) if she drew everything out Paris might crash again. Basically she told us we couldn’t do anything for her, but she took some test results so we have a baseline to work with in the future.

Paris walked out of the treatment room with a clinic staff. And almost looked well. A far cry from how she was like at home. My heart soared. Maybe I have more time with her.

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She got progressively better throughout the evening and night. And her appetite was back – she wanted the pear she refused in the day, she wanted the nuggets I made for her, and she wanted my kaya bread!

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I think my baby is on the mend. But we have to be extremely careful from now on. We are lucky it happened when we were both at home. Looks like she should never be left alone this day forth. I don’t know how it can happen so fast; she was still fine 3 days ago when we brought the girls to Hort Park. And 2 days ago she went to a pet cafe with me. How can her condition deteriorate┬áso fast?

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My Love Affair with Criminal Minds

I started watching Criminal Minds several years back, during Season 5. It’s been 7 years now. And I’ve grown attached to some of the characters in particular Hotch and Reid. They are my favourites. I also enjoyed the playful banter between Morgan and Garcia. And with my other favourites shows axed/about to end (Castle, Bones, Rizzoli & Isles), Criminal Minds became my staple series.

That was until episode 6 that was broadcasted this week. I don’t really follow the news of the drama series so long as I know they have been extended for the next season. During the episode, it was revealed that Hotch had entered the Witness Protection Scheme with Jake. What? That sounds fishy… like he was being written out of the show.

Went to google and found out that he had been axed since August. Omigosh. How am I going to survive? First Morgan, and now Hotch? I really like Prentiss too and loved the idea of her returning, but I want the old team!

Sounds like Season 12 might just be the final season for Criminal Minds. Sigh.

Paris Shaula +168

I have been so, so remiss in my duty here updating on Paris. Have been rather preoccupied on the travel blog instead, and I didn’t want to switch between blogs. Also, just returned from a holiday etc. OK, sorry excuse. Paris comes first.

Making the decision to change to the iPhone 7 Plus was my best decision yet. I love the Portrait function of the camera. As a result, I now possess many incredibly beautiful pictures of Paris.

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Once in a while, I still get the ‘black face’ treatment but in general, she has been very obliging whenever I wish to take her pictures. And she’s been into funny faces lately, too. ­čść

As for her condition, nothing much has changed if you observe her. We were worried the whole time we were overseas and left the girls with the home boarders. We prepared so much fresh foods for them! They must think we are crazy or something. Paris came back looking as well as she looked when she left. Maybe tired, especially Belle, but they usually are since I would reckon they don’t sleep terribly well in unknown territory. Especially without their beds.

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I’ve noticed though, that she tended to slip if she ran very quickly at home, say when H called them from the kitchen and they dashed out of the bedroom to look for him. Initially I didn’t give it much thought, thinking it’s probably time to trim the overgrown fur on her pawpaws but as it occurred more and more often, alarm bells went off in my head. I started researching a little. So apparently it was a sign of old age, with joints not being as strong anymore, senior dogs tend to slip more often. Told myself I have to ensure that she doesn’t excited at home since we can’t do much about the marble flooring and I think she will also hate me with a vengeance if I make her wear those rubber shoe grips specially made for senior dogs.

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They were sent for grooming recently. So smelly prior to the grooming, especially Belle, which meant that Paris had done a fair bit of bulling her younger sibling. They came back looking so tidy and pleased with themselves heh. I initially planned to bring them to Tanjung Beach on Paris’ 6-month mark, but decided to replace it with any venue since they just went for grooming. I don’t relish in the thought of them having sand all over them merely 2 weeks post-grooming.

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The way Paris laid her head on Belle reminded me so much of what she used to do to Sugar as well. Same habit some 10 years later, to a younger sibling instead of her only older sibling. Pangs of pain shot through my heart. I miss Sugar. But it’s been so long I’m starting to forget what it was like having her around me. I’m forgetting her scent.

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Paris still behaves like a little pup very often. She’s so cute at times but well… she doesn’t like cuddling as much as Belle does, hence I can’t really manhandle her much without her struggling. ­čÖé

Paris is 11!

On 5 Nov 2016, Paris turned 11. This post is backdated to that day because well… 2 weeks later, the pictures are actually still sitting in the SD card and will likely continue to be so if I do not persist in getting this post written up.

On her 11th birthday, it was also 5 months post-splenectomy. A very significant milestone, to mention the least. Back then Dr. Lee only gave her 1-3 months without chemotherapy. And look where my baby girl is now… 5 months and still going strong! I am so, so proud of her for wanting to spend more time with us.

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I ordered Paris’ birthday cake in Seoul while sitting in a cab getting back to Myeongdong after our flight back from Jeju. I initially wanted to just cook her a good meal, or bake a cake myself but after some serious contemplation, I decided to go ahead and order a commercially made cake instead. After all, it might actually be her last birthday with us and I want to make it a little extra special. So I ordered a cute cake for her.

The garland I bought from Tokyo Disneysea finally came into good use. I decorated the wall, made her wear a cute hat, and then further annoyed her by making her pose with her cake. She was not too pleased hahah.

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And then we made Belle join her. Things got a little more tense because well… Belle is a lot less predictable when food is put in front of her. We had to snap it quick or Boo might actually help herself to the cake. Not that she hasn’t attempted.

I don’t know why Paris looked so serious! It was hilarious. But like I’ve said, we didn’t want to waste time to make her smile, not when she has a ticking time bomb sitting beside her. We settled for serious birthday girl shots. Still some good pictures nevertheless.

Hoping we can have pictures on her 12th birthday. *pray*

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Paris’ birthday was on a Saturday. The following Monday I brought Paris down to the clinic for a checkup. She lost a little bit of weight, and when I mentioned about her black poop to Dr Lee, she was concerned since black poop usually indicated dried blood (the same as I understood) and could mean kidney problems. She took Paris in to take some blood while I waited outside, alone. Didn’t bring Belle along since H had to work and I cannot manage the both of them. Especially not when it was raining outside.

Her blood work was generally fine, except for low red blood count. Fell a little since the last visit. That can’t really be helped since she has a blood related cancer. But mum was quick to buy some pig liver again when I told her about the results. I truly hate handling raw pig liver (so slimy!) but for Paris I tolerated them for the three meals when they were added to her food.

Dr Lee requested that we bring Paris in earlier for an ultrasound scan since she is due for one anyway, at the 6-month mark. Couldn’t do it on the actual day because the ultrasound technician doesn’t work all days. I’ve felt lumps all around her tummy… bracing myself for bad news.

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More than one person has mentioned to me that Paris’ aging markings on her face is very cute, like a heart shape. And she resembles Duffy Bear. Hence on night after changing them into their Halloween suits, I made her sit and take a picture with them. So cute!

Paris Shaula +140

Mummy has been extremely remiss in updating Paris’ condition. But 20 weeks is such a major milestone I feel that I shouldn’t just skip it.

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My sweetheart has been very kind to me lately. It hasn’t been too difficult to capture a few good pictures of her smiling brightly at me. And I think food has a large role; yes, I have kind of been bribing her with her heh. On Day 141, I woke up early in the morning (like at 5am) to make her pancakes because I felt so bad about not doing anything special for her on Day 140. She must have thought that she struck lottery or something hahaha.

So yes, she is still upkeeping her high spirits in general. Just more tired and needs her naps more. For a spell, her poop turned very dark in colour and I was really concerned (because black poop cannot mean anything good, right?) but H told me it gradually got better. This FB page that I’m on, I’m not certain if it is doing me any good. It makes me very ganchiong whenever I read something that I can relate to, and it also kind of raises my hopes. I think I should gradually wean off the page.

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My darlings were so happy when I took this shot. Should be just after dinner, I think. We are making a trip out to Korea for about 10 days and I feel unsettled about it. But like I told H, better travel now than later because Paris’ condition will only get worse. Very fortunate to have found a good boarder who is willing to feed her 4 meals and take more care of her, at the same cost as before. I feel more at ease putting her back with them.

Paris Shaula +120

Just last week, Paris laid down in front of me when I sat on the floor, requesting for me to pat her. And so I did, only to make some harrowing discovery – I found several lumps on her tummy. Lumps in a cancer patient is never, ever good news. One of the lumps was even large and very discernible.

I broke down. And immediately arrange for an appointment with Dr. Lee the following Monday i.e. today. H came home and felt for the lumps, after which he told me they have always been there. I knew he was just trying to trivialise the whole matter. The lumps were not there prior. They only became much more pronounced lately.

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I’ve been feeding Paris lesser, but she didn’t lose weight. Queer, because by eye, I thought she lost some weight. She is 32.3kg now. That’s a little too heavy, in my opinion. Gotta watch the portions we give her from now on. Probably less of the carbohydrates.

After taking a sample of the lump, Dr. Lee got it tested. The result was negative but Dr. Lee warned that the result is largely inconclusive, and the only exact way of knowing is to remove it and send it to the lab for testing. For now, we can take it as benign. We were sent home with instructions to monitor any changing size, shape and colour to the lump/s.

I’m not certain how to react to the supposedly good news. To me, it isn’t good. But for now, Paris is still bright and cheery most of the time. And still always begging for food. She didn’t understand why she had to go to the clinic ahead of the scheduled appointment (which is a month away), and she most certainly didn’t know why Dr. Lee was pricking her again. Dogs live simply, especially a silly one like Paris. I really ought to stop fretting every single thing about her and let her live happily.

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The girls really adore their daddy and cherish the little time they have with him. I pray that Paris has a lot more time to spend with her favourite daddy.

Paris Shaula +112

16 weeks! That’s almost 4 months. Take it, you cancer! My Paris is kicking you in the butt!

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For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been progressively going out more often and staying out longer since Paris seems to be doing fine. But I’ve observed that the longer I stay out, the more sluggish she behaved when I got home. Of all the things we’ve done/changed for her since her diagnosis, I think making her happy has been key in her apparent good health. If she is unhappy that I’ve been staying out too long, then I will change for her.

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H was not feeling very well almost the whole of last week, hence he had been retiring very early. But it’s very apparent that Paris missed him a lot. She wouldn’t let him rest properly even when he was lying on bed, making sure he had to keep his hands active by patting her. This girl ah… is truly a daddy’y girl.

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For some reason, Paris has been a little more cooperative with the photo taking recently. Maybe she has finally resigned to fate, or maybe I am now more skilled and take pictures quicker. I don’t know why for sure, but I’m thanking my lucky stars!

I have a lot more to be thankful for. Being in a FB group specifically for dogs with hemangiosarcoma, I’ve come to realise how fortunate we really are. There are several dog owners who only had days with their dogs from collapse to death. My sweetheart must know that she cannot break my heart like how Sugar did, and struggled through the initial days. This is how sweet Paris actually is. Rather like the personality of a middle child. To think that I’ve neglected her for so many years…

I cannot be on part-time forever. Discussed this with H and we decided I shall return to daily work in mid-Nov, after Paris’ 11th birthday. I contemplated setting up a webcam so that I can monitor her, but H is deadly against it. He sees no point in it – I can’t rush back in time anyway, and I won’t be in the right state of mind to drive at a time like that. So the discussion has ceased, for the time being.

Mid Autumn Festival 2016 aka Paris Shaula +102

I didn’t update on Sunday as I usually do because I wanted to update on Day 100. And then I was busy chasing after rare Pokemon these days so I told myself to update on Day 101, at the same time to add a cheesy tagline ‘101 ways to love Paris’. ­čść

It didn’t work out in the end so we finally took one of the snowskin mooncakes (we got specially for the girls) out from the freezer and fed it to them. Durian flavour, for their first experience with mooncakes! They were overjoyed, H less so (he finds the smell repulsive).

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So tonight is Mid-Autumn Festival, aka Lantern Festival in recent years. It’s a huge festival celebrated by Chinese and Koreans. Could be celebrated by other Asians too, but I’m not too sure about that. Made the girls sit for a picture of course. They were quite happy to oblige, of course food is always the best bribe.

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They look so neat now (never mind that Belle has come home with a swollen paw, again! – something is wrong with that paw, maybe it has a persistent fracture that didn’t heal properly. Gonna check on it the next time we see Dr Lee) but they were a mess prior to this with unruly fur sticking out all over!

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These pictures were taken the day I brought Paris out to Chinese Garden to meet S and D, her boarders when we go on holidays. Of course we won’t be able to leave the girls with them for a while, since we’ve decided not to travel till next spring. But they really love the girls and wanted to meet Paris. It warms my heart to know that we have found such responsible boarders who really love our girls.

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After Chinese Garden, the next outing was also with Paris, bringing her to Bishan Park to meet up with M and J. I feel bad towards Belle for bringing her out less often; when I was finally ready to make amends to her she has to hurt her paw. She has been locked up in a little space (enough for her to lie down comfortably but not big enough for her to attempt to walk) these few days. This girl is quite curious leading us to resort to this method to force her to rest the paw. Maybe when she feels better I’ll bring her on a long walk.

Paris is doing well. Gets tired more easily and wants to sleep/rest more but other than that, she is as happy as she used to be. As greedy too. And getting really picky about her water; it has to be flavoured (with her food i.e. using her food bowl to fill with water immediately after her meal) or she would just take a sip and stop. This naughty girl…

Paris Shaula +3 months

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And now, we have finally arrived at the massive┬áhurdle for Paris to cross. She crossed the 3-month mark with ease. My heart is bursting with so much happiness and joy. She was after all predicted not to live beyond 3 months. Perhaps that was just Dr Lee playing safe but whatever it is, on hindsight, I am so glad we didn’t listen to her and give up on her. To think that we initially stopped all her supplements because we thought it wasn’t necessary to give them to her anymore.

From our ordeal these past months, I have myself come to the conclusion that attitude in the face of illnesses (and also setbacks) is very important. Sure, we always hear people saying that but I have finally experienced it myself. And I have a lot to learn from Paris. She lives simply and aims to be happy every single day. A good meal can have her beaming for minutes (that’s rare for Paris lol). She gallops like a puppy excitedly when we call out to her. And she trembles in excitement whenever we bring her out. Such love and zest for life. I really should take a leaf out of her book.

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It was quite unintentional when I made an appointment with Dr Lee for a medical review, but it happened to be 3 months since her splenectomy. She is doing fine, from what we can see… except that she really sleeps a lot nowadays. Drinks a lot too. And seems to be always hungry. She was afraid there was some hormonal issues or Cushing’s, but her blood work looked good so we were sent home to monitor her water intake.

Paris gained 0.2kg since her last medical review a month ago. Belle, on the other hand, despite our efforts to cut her food intake and walk her more, did not lose a single gram. We are truly in trouble where she is concerned. 27.5kg is simply to much weight for her to bear. Haiz. What should we do with her?

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With the haze season and Zika virus going around, last Friday was a rare blue sky day. So fortunate we chose that day to bring the girls to East Coast Park for a walk and take some nice pictures of them.

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We left home really early and arrived at the park at approximately 9am. It was still too hot for the girls. Guess we have to attempt leaving home even earlier for our next excursion.

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Paris has been seeing a lot of this country she was born and lived in for the past 10 years. I had no idea I neglected her so much until I started doing her collage from the time she came to us. During the years when she was with Sugar, I practically had no decent pictures taken of her. It really didn’t help that Sugar would sit nicely for pictures while she would always look away. A lot of guilt I felt. I know it will never be enough, but I hope she has felt my love these past few months.

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In short, 12 weeks. Almost 3 months! I asked H when he wanted to celebrate this milestone in a big way aka a good steak for Paris, and he answered at 12 weeks instead of 90 days. And so Paris was served a good steak.

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As usual, she wasn’t too delighted about posing for me, especially when she was dying to have her steak. Nothing I did could make her smile. Not even enlisting H’s help could make her smile even a little for us. And so, we had to settle for this picture for this major milestone of my sweetheart’s.

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The past week was full of nostalgia. First the painting I commissioned a very talented artist to draw for me was completed. She managed to very nicely include Sugar into the painting. I was both happy and sad to see the three of them sitting together again. When Sugar crossed the rainbow bridge, Belle was just over a year old and not year an adult. I wonder if the two of them might get along better now, if they meet.

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Then I started sorting out the pictures of the girls. A very painful process but necessary evil, especially with so many pictures in my mobile phones. And I came across this rare picture of the three girls when Belle was about 6 months old. Heart ached a little.

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Then I went back a little earlier to dig up some of Paris’ puppy pictures. And found some really adorable ones of her one day into coming home with us. She was so, so small and cute!

By now, I think it’s clear why I’ve been looking at old pictures. I did up a collage of her through the years – 1 picture for each year passed. I created a total of 15 spaces but I am realistic, she is not likely to live to 15. 14 would be nice.

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And this last picture, shows the dynamics between the two girls. Belle has been bullying Paris quite a bit recently and Paris has been taking it all in her own stride. I suspect a shift in power is about to take place i.e. Belle is going to take over as the Alpha of the pack. And Belle looked so fat in the picture! We have been putting in a lot of effort to feed her less and exercise her more. But oh Lord, it’s so hard for her to lose weight. We have an appointment at the vet’s the following Monday. I’m hoping the scales show that she has lost some weight, or I’m really going to cut her down to only a small dinner meal daily.