Paris Shaula +78

It’s been a whooping 11 weeks! My Paris is still as good as gold, having an insatiable appetite which we are only too happy to satisfy. She also still love her walks and car rides, although I once put her in the back seats instead of the boot and jam braked, causing her to fall off the seats. That seemed to have spooked her since, because I’ve noticed the next couple of times she appeared to be very nervous. I think I should put her back in the boot. She may not see as well there, but it is after all her safe haven. I want all her experiences now to be positive.

Paris 78a+

Paris 78b+

Paris has been to so many new places in the past week – we walked at Punggol Park, East Coast Park, Ang Mo Kio Park, Changi Beach and Waterway Park. Some of these parks I’m certain H hasn’t even been to. My darling is definitely going places. 😆

Paris 78c+

But her lacking in stamina is evident; she tires very easily and when that happens I stop the walks. By then she wouldn’t even have the strength to board the car, requiring some help from me. It pains me to see that happen. She is obviously still full of curiosity and zest for life, but her body can no longer support her pursuits.

Belle 78e+

Belle really hasn’t been neglected. On alternate days Belle goes out for long walks with me while we leave Paris home alone for about two hours. I think it is necessary for her to have some alone time at home to do whatever she loves doing when we aren’t home for example, sleep in peace. Belle is loving the attention she gets from me, but I reckon she isn’t enjoying the very long walks hahaha.

Paris 78d+

And of course, the girls are as always, not ready for bed whenever I command that they go to sleep. Just like kids, these 2 girls.

I often wonder how Paris managed to make it so far. Is it that her cancer isn’t as advanced as Dr Lee claimed, her diet that we changed, the supplements that help with cancer or because we kept her happy? Or is it a combination of everything? I have no idea. Another sane person wouldn’t think of questioning and choose to live in the moment, but not me. I need to know what we might have done right so that we can learn something from this whole experience.

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Paris Shaula +70

10 weeks! My baby has made it through 10 weeks! This was completely unforseeable in the days following Paris’ splenectomy when she was not doing so well. Who would have known?

Paris 70a+

There have been far fewer pictures this week because H and I have been busy with Pokemon Go. Not that we have been neglecting the girls. On the contrary, they have been getting far more frequent walks and car rides than usual. In fact Belle has been taking such long walks with us in the past few nights I think she doesn’t quite look forward to walks as enthusiastically anymore. 😆

I have been becoming more and more paranoid as we near the 3-month mark. This paranoia has been made worse by the fact that the friend I mentioned in the previous update finally had to put down her cancer-stricken dog because she was doing so badly – major bleeds, distended tummy, seizures and a lock jaw. Through Buttons, I saw the possible end for Paris and it frightened me senseless. I envisioned a painless end for her but this is anything but.

Sometimes I wonder if Paris understands why we fuss so much over her, or perhaps she relishes in the attention hence doing so well health wise. Her sweet nature has been shining through, especially now when she is forced to slow down. I cannot say this often enough… that I’m immensely grateful for the extra time we have been granted to spend meaningful days with her. I still stare at her tummy closely when she sleeps, ensuring that it is heaving. To be honest, it is burdensome to always worry like this, but it is a burden I willingly carry.

Paris 70b+

Belle clearly loves her jiejie and vice versa although they both have a funny way of expressing their dependence on one another. I dread the day when Belle finds herself alone. While she will relish in all the attention showered upon her I think she will also feel a sense of emptiness. From the day she came to our home, she has never been without a jiejie. And for almost a year, she had two! I do think it is time to consider a puppy but perhaps now is not the best of times since it might add on to Paris’ stress. Then again, this is also the best time possible because I am home so often I can see to the training of the new puppy.

Paris 70c+

Paris is full of antics, and she cracks me up all the time by doing things unexpected. Like I came out of the bathroom one night to find her sleeping like that. Heh. Be happy darling. And be full of enthusiasm for life to the end. Mummy and Daddy will always be here for you.

The Pokemon GO Effect

This widely popular augmented reality game was finally launched in Singapore last weekend, rather quietly, I would say, after much anticipation. Like many others, I waited with bated breath while coming across article after article of accidents occurring all over the world due to the game, or rather the gamers getting distracted by it. One camp of people have decided against trying the game at all even before it landed on our shores.

I belong to the other camp. Let’s just say my curiosity got the better of me. And it really takes a lot to rouse my curiosity for a game, because I am no gamer. After 5 days of playing it, I am ready to declare that it is fun! I enjoy the collecting, but I have not gone to battles at any of the gyms. That part of the game, I don’t particularly enjoy.

A cursory scroll through my FB feed tells me that many of my peers are put off by the strange phenomenon brought about by the game. People gather around poke-stops in masses, and the public parks have never been this crowded. They think it is retarded, herd instinct. They are entitled to their own opinion.

And I am entitled to mine. I won’t comment for the others, but this game has brought about some positive changes to my household. H has noticed that I am much more willing to go out with him just so that I drive and he can catch some pokemon on both our behalf. And for the past 2 nights, Belle has gone on very long walks with us, so much so that I predict she will very soon hesitate to go on walks with us. Considering how sedentary my lifestyle is, this is indeed a very good change. For how long, we won’t know but for now, it’s good.

H and I have noticed that it can actually be very safe to play this game. I don’t know how people can walk onto the roads, or fall into rivers just to catch a pokemon. Once one is captured on your screen, you can move to a safer place to capture it. This is tried and tested. I always move to the side of the paths in the park or up the curb to capture the cute little monsters when I spot them because 1) I don’t to be in the way and 2) I don’t want oblivious pokemon catchers to bump into me (that really happened).

This game has done what nobody has been able to achieve in Singapore – to encourage us to lead a more active lifestyle. Never mind that it won’t last forever; for as long as it lasts, we are all reaping the benefits. I wish the naysayers will get down off their high horses and view this more objectively. But well… like I’ve said, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Paris Shaula +63

9 weeks! We have officially cleared the 2-month mark. Paris is still doing well with no symptoms, but just a couple of days ago, a local acquaintance I knew through the ‘Hemangiosarcoma’ FB Page updated that her furkid suddenly had a major bleed, after 2-months of absolutely no symptoms. It was a wakeup call for me, telling me that I cannot assume Paris is doing well just because she appears to be so. For all I know, she could be concealing her pain.

The past 2 afternoons we had been blessed with great weather. I took her out for short walks near the house. She was so happy to be out on walks, but I very soon realised that she didn’t really want to walk; she just wanted stand around and sniff at things that interests her.  As I watched her, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. Age and cancer have taken such a toll on her health in the most obvious ways; other than the apparent weight loss, she has also lost her appetite for adventure, preferring to stick to the familiar.

Paris 63a+

Paris 63b+

On the other hand, she has been very nice to me, ever smiling into the camera cooperatively when I asked her to. This is very rare especially where Paris is concerned.

Paris 63c+

Bad weather persisted. I’ve been monitoring the weather forecast hoping we have a good, clear morning during the weekend because we have planned to bring the girls to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Part of it was to bring them out to explore new places, part of it for me to take some nice pictures of them for memories’ sake. And there was a 3rd reason, we were going to meet up with some friends who wanted to see Paris.

Come Saturday morning, we set off very early in the morning before the crowd descended upon Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The girls were not cooperative at all. They refused to sit and stay whenever we asked them to. It was quite vexing. They were probably bothered by the heat and humidity. Even I couldn’t take it. And I could feel my hair going crazy and frizzy as I perspired more and more.

Paris 63d+

Paris 63e+

We didn’t stay very long at the Gardens, leaving slightly after 1.5hours there. Couldn’t meet the friends who had wanted to arrive only at 10am. Too bad then. We didn’t want to stay any longer because the girls were really panting hard. Cannot risk tiring them too much.

To add variety to her food repertoire, we’ve been thinking very hard to balance between healthy and delicious. They don’t always go hand in hand, but I think we can afford to allow Paris to indulge once in a while. So long as she is happy…

I decided to go ahead with the supplements plan without consulting a holistic vet. Good thing is, the turkey tail mushroom extract actually doesn’t taste bad at all. Paris doesn’t mind it when we sprinkle it on her food. Then again, this girl really isn’t picky with her food. She even eats celery now, a food she hated in the past. At this point, I’m just happy that she still has a healthy appetite (and is constantly begging for more food).

Paris Shaula +56

8 weeks! It’s been 8 weeks since her splenectomy and my precious Paris darling is still doing well. Yes, she has lost some weight (more apparent now after her groomer tidied her fur to conceal her bald patches shaved off during her ordeal) and becomes tired very easily, but she hasn’t lost her curiosity for most things and her zest for life.

Paris 56a+

Paris 56b+ Paris 56c+ Paris 56d+

She is also becoming rather naughty. We have let her get away with many things the past 8 weeks, but I think we’ve both realised that loving her also means that we have to discipline her when it is in her best interest. We don’t need a disciplined dog that listens to us anymore (given her condition, our expectations of her have changed), but I personally will not tolerate her bullying Belle excessively or getting overly excited (and in the process runs the risk of hurting herself).

The turkey tail mushroom extract that I bought over Amazon has arrived. Tomorrow onwards, we are adding these to her daily ‘diet’ of supplements. That adds up to quite a bit of supplements – some days she has as many as 16 capsules to ingest over 2 meals. That sounds terrible, if you ask me. It isn’t so bad if the supplements are tasty, but I doubt they are. I’m also worried about simply adding on to the supplements diet without being about to consult someone who has the knowledge to advice if they will interfere with one another. I requested that we visit a holistic vet once to sort out the supplements but H refused to agree to it. 😦

I have so many places I want to bring the girls to for them to explore, and for me to take more pictures of her. I have many pictures of Sugar to remember her by, but Paris hates the camera since young; I don’t have that many nice pictures of her.

Paris 56e+

To celebrate this special milestone, I made pancakes for her again. With bananas and eggs. This is something different from her usual diet so it’s kind of a treat. I would have added some maple syrup to the pancakes if I have it at home, but unfortunately I don’t. H suggested us ordering McDelivery and keeping the maple syrup instead of pouring it on the hotcakes. I looked at him in amusement and said, ‘If that’s the case, we might as well just order the hotcakes and feed them to Paris? Why would I need to make the pancakes myself?’ 😆

Eventually, we did as he suggested and gave her a trickle of maple syrup to go with her 3 pancakes. It was a new taste to her so she was ecstatic!

Paris 56f+

H has been too tired to bring her down for walks every night. Doesn’t help that Singapore is currently in the monsoon season… loads of rain. But whenever she gets her late night walk, she enjoys herself to the fullest.

风起时

几星期前,约了一位不常见面的好友。就在我们最爱的餐厅吃点心时,她开口了。就这样,我听说了《琅琊榜》。

这位好友说,之所以介绍我看《琅琊榜》,是因为我俩对《太阳的后裔》有相同的看法。令我们感动之处也一致。太多女观众观看《太阳的后裔》后,是被主角们的恋情给深深吸引了。我觉得相当可惜,因为《太阳》是韩国一部难得的作品。它何止是一部有关爱情的剧集。更深深吸引我的是… the moral dilemma. Big Boss 常常陷于道德困境,陷入两难。他屡次在困境中的取舍确实是我被这部剧集深深吸引的最大原因。而不是那平庸的爱情。

XX 与我有同感,所以力介《琅琊榜》,说是部难得的剧集。我有自己的偏见,所以不长看中国剧集。之前看过的,也只是《兰陵王》。这还是台湾朋友介绍的呢。《兰陵王》前面还不错,后面却一直围绕在三角爱情之中,我看了很烦。最近听老公说《医女明飞转》口碑很好,就开始看了看。看不到5集就停了。真的不爱刘诗诗。觉得她很烦。索性不看了。

《琅琊榜》几乎是把爱情排到最后, 注重的是情义和正义。看完54集,相当感动。之后又找了这网络小说来阅读。毕竟,剧集和小说是有出路的。小说在某些部分,是交代的比较清楚。聚集呢,把一些不核心的角色给斩掉了。各有千秋啦。

华文现在真的不行了。

I’ve been watching and rewatching this ‘Fire in Nirvana’.  Even H has been using it as his lullaby. I really like it for its depth. And since I feel so strongly for it, I thought I should dedicate a post to it so that years later, I can be reminded of this phase in my life.

Paris Shaula +50

Paris 50c+

Into her 8th week since the surgery, Paris is still doing very well. We brought her back to the clinic for a medical review today. Dr Lee said since she has not exhibited any of the excessive panting when she first came home, there isn’t a need to do any scans so only a blood test was ordered. My happy girl was very happy smiling throughout until Dr Lee took over her leash to bring her to the back for her blood test. She looked at both of us very worriedly, probably thinking if we were leaving her behind again. The hospital stay must have been a traumatic experience for her.

Paris 50d+

Paris 50e+

I had wanted to ask about daily chemotherapy pill treatment, but somehow I forgot all about it prior and during the visit. And only recalled about it when we were driving home. Haiz. I do get mislead by how well she appears to be.

Her HCT is at 38%. Meeting the minimum borderline for healthy range. This Dr Lee has warned us right from the beginning, that given her condition, her HCT will always be on the low side. At least it is within normal range. We should feed her more red meats. And hopefully the Yunnan Baiyao will also help her in the long run.

Paris 50f+

Paris has a lost about 0.2kg of weight since her last visit on 16 Jun. It’s a negligible loss. Meaning that we are doing fine with the home cooked food feeding. Belle on the other hand, has put on more weight. This is very bad for her. We have almost completely stopped feeding her apart from her main meal in the morning. I will probably keep up the night meal because she does need her golden paste dosage twice a day and it won’t be likely that we can feed it to her neat. She is greedy, but not that greedy lol.

Paris 50a+

Paris 50b+

To be honest, towards Paris’ condition 我其实别无他求。She is doing well, eating well, sleeping well, playing well… in short, leading a quality life. She’s also enjoying her late evening walks with her favourite person although H now allows her to pace the walk. Fact is the walks are now all very short because she tires easily. I just want to bring her out a little bit more if we can afford the time and that the weather permits. She really cheers up a lot more when she gets her walks. It makes me so happy to see her happy face.

If there is any wish I have, it’s that when the time comes, I hope it is as painless for her as possible.

Paris Shaula +39

Another week has passed. 5 weeks since discharge! 😀

Although I’ve gradually reduced my presence on FB, but at the recommendation of some other GR friends, I explored Golden Paste. And thought it was worth trying. That decision was pushed to the back of my mind till I chanced upon cold-pressed coconut oil at a supermarket in town. There and then I shopped for the other ingredients. And I didn’t procrastinate. Much. I made the paste on Sunday night, one day after buying the ingredients.

It smelled bad. Ewww. I wouldn’t want to eat it. Fortunately Paris and Belle are really not too picky about what they put into their mouths. We fed them twice on Monday, morning and evening. Then for some reason, I decided to search ‘Hemangiosarcoma’ in the Golden Paste FB Group. And could literally feel myself going pale. The blood thinning effect that I was initially concerned about is indeed a concern for dogs with Hemangiosarcoma.

I immediately stopped Paris on it. I almost inadvertently put my dog in danger by thinning her blood.

For some reason, I also thought of searching for a FB group on Dog Hemangiosarcoma. I found one, but it was a closed group so I wasn’t sure what the group was like. I requested to join and was rather promptly approved to join. After gaining access, I realised it was actually the very first group I should have joined since Paris’ ordeal.

I read tens of accounts written by dog owners who are/were in our predicament. And I realised that Paris behaving like she doesn’t have cancer is typical of dogs who managed to get discharged from hospital after an emergency splenectomy. I learnt something extremely important – that Paris’ condition is not unique. Her recovery is not unique and therefore, her decline will also take a certain predictable path.

Paris 39a+

While Paris is blissfully still eating good food, sleeping well and enjoying her late night walks with her daddy, mummy is worrying herself silly. From the FB group, I learnt much more about Hemangiosarcoma, in particular how she may seemingly look fine but may be bleeding out through microbleeds. No wonder on certain days, her gums look more pale and on certain days they look as pink as Belle’s. Many people in the group also advocate using Yunan Baiyao to help with the microbleeds and I’m Yunity to help with the cancer. This isn’t the first time I’ve come across holistic methods using these supplements but I didn’t consider that back then because I deeply believed that Paris is a miracle case. Sadly she isn’t. And since we would not consider chemotherapy, I have to try other means.

To H, I look like I’m grasping at straws. We argued several times over this. He reminded me that we opted for quality of life but everything I know what to try is prolonging the quantity of life, not necessarily the quality. I wasn’t very nice either: I accused him of hiding behind the screen of ‘I choose quality of life’ and simply do nothing; no research no read-up.

Paris 39b+

I refuse to do absolutely nothing when I can try to prolong her life, and cause her less pain without compromising her quality of life. This cute brat is not aware, but in a few days, I am going down the holistic path for her.

Paris Shaula +32

Wohoo! It is 4 weeks since Paris was discharged from hospital. What a major, major milestone!

Paris 32a+

Paris 32b+

She is doing well, gaining weight and strength by the day. But she is also becoming quite the brat because we do let her get away with a lot of bad behaviour nowadays. So… she has been sleeping often, eating often, barking often, scowling for food often, and humping Belle often. Actually nowadays, she comes to me all the time to tell me she is hungry knowing that I will want to feed her. Totally preying on my soft heart. So much so that I think she has put on too much weight and I need to control her diet now.

To my surprise, her daddy my husband accuses me of feeding her too much. Right. Who was the one who fed them only kibbles and still managed to get them so overweight? I don’t trust him at all when he says he’s been cutting down the portion for her.

Paris 32c+

Paris 32d+

Paris 32e+

Hardly any outdoor walk pictures because as usual, H cannot keep up with his enthusiasm for anything. I wanted to bring the girls out but so many stars must align before he would ‘approve’ of an outing. Thing is, I think he has forgotten that Paris doesn’t have many days more. And that he is going on course (i.e. office hours) will only make these excursions even harder (weekends are out, so when?). Furthermore, he is getting lazy and the poor girl’s walk (even around the estate) has been sharply decreasing because of that. He insists on walking her at 11pm at night so that she could be off-leashed to roam on her own. Point is, 11pm is past her bedtime. If you ask me, I think she prefers an earlier walk, even if it meant that she has to be leashed.

Sorry baby, mummy will try to do better.

Paris Shuala +24

I had several milestones in mind that I badly wanted Paris to cross, and yesterday was one of the major milestones, it being my birthday. She crossed it with ease. And so we are marching into her 4th week since surgery, another super major milestone because well… statistics are stacked against her.

Paris 24a+

Paris 24b+

The flight of steps behind her bears a major significance to all our 3 girls; they all learnt how to climb and descend stairs using this flight of steps. A couple of days ago we passed by and Paris decided she wanted to climb the stairs. So she quickly attempted with much gutso, but she slipped and I had to go help her get steady. It pained me to see that she no longer has the energy to do something she wanted to. 😦

Her spirits have been kept up high, with good food, frequent walks and at least one of us is almost always at home. We kind of made a pact that we won’t leave her to be alone for anything more than 2 hours so I think this is a major reason why she has been happy – she craves for our company.

To celebrate yesterday and to begin on the list of places we’ve wanted to bring her to see before she eventually leaves us, we planned for a picnic at Marina Barrage. The weather was beautiful. And unfortunately rather cloudless hence neither of us lasted very long at Marina Barrage. It was so scorching hot at 10.30am we didn’t want the girls to be running about too much too. Good thing we prepared a lot of water. But still, given that Paris is still recovering from the surgery, we didn’t want her to over-exert. And since she doesn’t know how to pace herself, we have to do it for her.

Paris 24c+

After Marina Barrage, we decided to leave the area to have some cake at Flor Patisserie. To our pleasant surprise, they actually allow dogs to be seated outside with us at one of the tables. H and I each took a cake while the girls rested at our feet.

I thought of calling it a day when we were done eating, but the weather was so good I decided we should go back to Gardens by the Bay. We met some irritating tourists who were sneakily taking pictures of our dogs while pretending to take selfies. Seriously all you have to do is ask.  They couldn’t even do that. And all the shrieking and commotion were confusing the girls, so we decided to walk them away from the main area until the tourists were done and left.

Paris 24d+

It was getting a little too hot since it was noon. We called it a day after managing to get Paris to take a last shot. As usual, she didn’t want to look at my camera.

Paris 24e+

Paris was completely exhausted by the time we got home. She was so fatigued she didn’t even want to move from the living room to the bedroom where her comfortable bed was. We ought to remember not to over-exert her next time. Thank goodness she was recovered after a few hours of rest.

Paris 24f+

We both have had several arguments about seeking second opinion from Dr Chua, the vet that has seen Paris for the 10 years. But what am I seeking out to achieve, H asked me. I don’t know… maybe seeing her recover so well from the surgery and living as if there is no cancer in her, I am hoping someone can tell me she is cancer free? This death sentence of 3 months (at the maximum) looms over my head every single day.