Chemo Week 4

Spent the day in Pittsburgh at the vet and chemo had her 4th week of treatment. Lily was such a good girl she got a treat (who knows how many she got while in the back):

Every time I go I have to fill out update paperwork, put down any symptoms she might be suffering, request any refills, etc., and note any other things I want done, and this week all it was was “toenail trim and she needs a new bow and her gas can clear a room.” Apparently one of the nurses hand makes the bows (I thought they just bought them en masse), so when I left for lunch I stopped by Joann Fabrics (is that a local chain or national? The other type of place like that we have around here is Michael’s) and picked up a bunch of rolls of ribbon so she would have supplies to make them for more dogs because they’re all good dogs.

As far as her health, she is doing well, although now her platelets are getting too high, so we are scaling back the prednisone and adding a little plavix. She gained some weight (about a .3 kg) and all her other vitals are fine, and on the end of the seventh day of each treatment she is doing better than she has for months. That doesn’t make sense so let me explain more. On the day of treatment, she is fine and doing well, then the day after and the next day after treatment she is a little morose and less energetic, but then she quickly rebounds and every day she progressively gets better until the final day before her next treatment, when she is in peak form and better than she has been by months. Each week, the day 7 peak is higher than previous weeks. If that makes sense.

When she came out today she had this super fancy bow and a very nice pedicure and was looking very good. Sadly there is not much that can be done about the gas but that is why we have fans and scented candles, amirite?

At any rate, I know I am biased, but I still think Lily is perhaps one of the most adorable dogs on the planet:

I just love her delicate eyelashes and the fine whisker around her muzzle and the coal black wet nose and those big eyes. And we have been together so long I just know how she is doing by looking her in the eyes.

At any rate, it was a long day and everyone has been fed, pooped, and peed, so now it is time for the herd to nap. I’m tired. It’s been an exhausting year.

98 replies
  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    She has amazing eyes. Thank you for the update. Glad to hear it. Or read it, as it were.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Thanks for the update.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    That last picture made me burst into tears of happiness. She is such an old soul. And she’s rocking the fancy ribbon.

    You pretend to be such a crusty person, but you are a sweetheart, John. Ribbons for the sick pets is such a good idea.

  4. 4
    voncey says:

    Way to go Lily!

  5. 5
    Shana says:

    So glad to hear Lily’s responding so well, and doing well on a daily basis.

    Joann’s is a national chain as far as I know. Very thoughtful of you to get a bunch of supplies for the nurse who makes the bows. They will long remember Lily’s owner and his kindness.

  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    LILY!!!!! Our girl is really rocking the polka dot bow. So adorbs!

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Go Lily! As to the gas, good thing you’re into open-windows season.

    And yes, a lady deserves a bow (and a bow, and a bow-wow).

  8. 8
    Josie says:

    It’s a national chain. We have them in Texas. I love the close up shot. Such a gorgeous girl.

  9. 9
    Emma says:

    This is wonderful news. And yes, she is a beauty queen.

  10. 10
    Heidi Mom says:

    It’s not your bias — Lily IS one of the most adorable dogs on the planet! So glad to hear things are going well.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    Lily! She’s the best doggie! So glad she’s doing so well and really feeling good as her week ends before her next treatment. That’s a great sign. She looks so cute in her bow. How nice of you to pick up ribbon so all the dogs can be dressed in style.

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    Scented candles smell worse than anything your dog emits. I literally have trouble walking by scented candle stores because the smell walking past the open door is so overpoweringly awful.

  13. 13

    Awww who’s a good girl!

    And what a great bow! Is that a tiny ladybug?

  14. 14
    raven says:

    Hang tough lil doggie.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    She wears that little blue bandage really well too. Sweet puppeh.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    This reminded me that I had to make a follow-up appointment for Annie for her pemphigus, so I did that. I told the receptionist that we had to get her a lion cut, and she started to laugh.

    Annie has adapted to it, though, and has decided that she’s a little punk rocker now. I opened a bag of treats in the bedroom (Charlotte’s territory) the other day, and Annie came trotting in like, “Treats? Where’s mine?”

  17. 17

    @Roger Moore: Then you should definitely not visit the Yankee Candle Company’s flagship store.

  18. 18
    Elliott says:

    You are a sweetheart to bring in ribbon for more bows.

  19. 19
    Cermet says:

    Sounds like love!

    Glad she is doing so very well. Hope the cost isn’t sinking you.

  20. 20
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Happy to hear this, John

  21. 21
    The Lodger says:

    @Roger Moore: Me too. Yankee Candle displays are the worst. I can take a combination of about two or three scents, but any more than that will drop me in my tracks.

  22. 22
    Shell says:

    Oh John,you are truly blessed. And so is Lily! And that new bow is a kicker!

  23. 23
    David Hunt says:

    I’m so glad that she’s doing so well. Thinking good thoughts for you two.

  24. 24
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Love the Lily updates, John. Keep ’em coming!

  25. 25
    Johannes says:

    She’s beautiful, John. And my Ninja!Cat can clear a room the same way…

  26. 26
    Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Your photos are awesome lately.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Lodger:
    I mostly can’t handle it when the scents are obviously artificial, which they almost always are with scented candles. Natural scents are complex blends of dozens or hundreds of different chemicals, but artificial ones are usually just the one or two chemicals that have been identified as the dominant scents in whatever they’re supposed to be mimicking. For some reason, I just find that incredibly offensive to my nose, the same way a bright monochromatic light (like LED traffic lights) bothers my eyes.

  28. 28
    mai naem mobile says:

    Happy for you and Lily. Also, febrieze

  29. 29
    Catherine D. says:

    Scaling back the prednisone is good – she might not eat you in your sleep! Glad to hear she’s doing well.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    Thanks for the update.

    Good girl!

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    Each week, the day 7 peak is higher than previous weeks. If that makes sense.

    Makes a lot of sense; people going through chemo often are the same way. Chemo is after all basically very controlled poison designed to kill the cancer without killing the patient.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    Lily is an incomparably beautiful and sweet girl, and I’m glad to hear she’s doing well. I hope everyone is napping peacefully — a secular blessing!

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    So old that when see the capitalized word Chemo, first thing that comes to mind is this.

    @Roger Moore

    Amen to that. Back when used to make candles, had eyedroppers aplenty for adding scent to the wax in order to keep it low key and subtle. The commercially produced candles seemingly employ ice cream scoops to add scent (not to mention using the cheapest stuff on the market).

    There was one time went to a scientific equipment supply house in order to pick up a couple of cases of 2 oz. plastic bottles with eyedroppers in the cap. Took almost an hour to convince the person there what I wanted them for. Seems junkies had been known to toss the bottle, slice the narrowest business end of the eyedropper on a diagonal with a razor blade and use that in place of needles (or so he said).

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    Lily is beautiful😍😍
    Thanks for the update, Cole.
    Good on you for getting those supplies.You are good people, Cole.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    Nice to see such a positive update and pretty Lily pictures!
    And as always you’re a mensch John, for buying ribbon for more bows.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I love the news about Lily (well, except for the gas which just makes me weep with mirth), I love her perky bow, and I love you for going to Joann’s and buying ribbon for more doggies’ bows.

    In case no one has said it recently, you’re a good sort, John Cole.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    If there’s a Ben Franklin store near you (yes, they still exist), good place to get ribbon stuff and other craft supplies and walk out with change in your wallet.

  38. 38
    ruemara says:

    Lily looks wonderful. Just happy, bright-eyed and healthy! Love the bows, plus I could use a manicure too, thanks for reminding me. It’s really sweet that a nurse does the extra mile of making the bows. Good on you for buying them more.

    In the interest of keeping up with the generally happy pet stuff, here’s the kittens being floofy in public.

  39. 39
    maeve says:

    Yes, JoAnn Fabrics is a chain usually located in a strip mall – my most recent encounter with a mention of it was when someone on twitter said “hiring Cohen was like buying shrimp from the guy who sells shrimp off the back of his truck behind JoAnn Fabrics.” To which I replied “Hey, that shrimp can be really, really good.”

  40. 40
    karen marie says:

    About the gas, John – do you give Lily cheese? I discovered early on that cheese gives my current dog terrible gas. No cheese for her!

    Glad to hear she’s doing well.

  41. 41
    HRA says:

    I am very glad you are sending updates on Lily’s progress. She is a very lovely girl by looks and mannerisms. Please keep sending us the posts.
    That was an excellent gesture you did by buying ribbons for the ribbon maker and most of all for the pets.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Those are some beautiful floofy kittens! Those tails….

  43. 43
    Mary G says:

    @ruemara: They’re growing fast! So cute.

  44. 44
    seefleur says:

    Strike anywhere matches – LOTS of them – will help with clearing the room of the Lily’s bouts of “the vapors” without the odiousness of fake scents. And she radiates sweetness with her oh-so expressive eyes. Very happy to hear that she’s doing so well! Sending best health vibes to both of you from a lurker….

  45. 45
    Blue Nana says:

    I’m so glad she’s doing well. I look forward to your updates.

  46. 46
    Skepticat says:

    Who can but agree that she is the most adorable dog around? Live long and prosper, sweet, beautiful Lily!
    I’m happy to hear good news, as I have some of the other stuff covered. Tomorrow I’ll be with a friend when the vet comes to put her 10-year-old Great Pyrenees to sleep. Less than a week ago, she and I were with another friend when the vet came to put that friend’s 17-year-old dog to sleep. This is what I get for being guiltily and secretly relieved that I didn’t have to be with my insignificant other when he had to put two dogs to sleep in two days two weeks ago. What is this, the big one in the sky is bored and needs a lot of new dogs to play with? Leave ours alone, go make some more critters or something.
    I’m going off to bottle-feed foster puppies now, and I’m going to tell them all about how strong and brave Lily and JC are. Tears may be involved.

  47. 47

    Thrilled to hear that sweet Lily is handling chemo like a champ.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    sweet Lily. crying happy tears.

  49. 49
    Mary G says:

    @Skepticat: four doggos in two weeks. That’s awful. My condolences. Glad you will have the distraction of puppies after you have a good cry.

  50. 50
    TomatoQueen says:

    *admiring Lily as she goes from strength to strength, eyes get foggy again. Such a good girl.*

  51. 51
    WereBear says:

    She looks so much better than she did before! What a good girl.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    @ruemara: Your cats are gorgeous. I remember how another photo you showed of one of them was stunning.

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    @Skepticat: I’m sure the foster puppies help. My condolences to your friends.

  54. 54
    Aleta says:

    @Skepticat: My sympathy for such sorrow.

  55. 55
    Aleta says:

    My friend added this quote to a routine email today.

    This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, have patience and indulgence toward the people.

    (Part of Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass)

  56. 56
    Paula says:

    These updates are very cheering!

  57. 57
    Mary G says:

    @Aleta: That is beautiful and would make a pretty good Democratic platform.

  58. 58
    Shell says:

    @Skepticat: I hear you.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    jill tasker says:

    i love Lily so much. From your very first post about meeting her in the shelter to today, you have helped us know and love Lily through you. Thank you, Cole. May she fart and prosper forever.

  61. 61
    Teddys Person says:

    So glad Lily is responding well to treatment. Give her some extra scritches today from Teddy and me.

  62. 62
    Rand Careaga says:

    As long as we’re talking dogs, I might mention that about ten days ago the spousette, anticipating our visit to tick country in the Sierra foothills later in the month, fed the pooch (Ravi, a ninety-pound shepherd-husky mix) “Nexgard,” a newish oral flea/tick medication, because she’d heard that the topical treatments formerly in use were losing their efficacy to new generations of parasites. The dog reacted poorly. Within a day he was listless save when scratching violently, shedding bushels, and by all appearances hating life. Of particular note: for the first few days he smelled like an accident at a chemical weapons lab, and his skin turned scarlet. Your mileage may vary, to be sure—some dog owners apparently swear by the stuff—but we will never subject Ravi to this stuff again. He’s starting to feel better, I’m cheered to report.

    BTW, Cole, could you use some more coin? Can PP donations be earmarked for LilyCare?

  63. 63
    CliosFanBoy ne woodrowfan says:

    what a sweetheart. deserves a MacArthur Grant for cuteness!!!!

  64. 64
    debit says:

    @Rand Careaga:

    BTW, Cole, could you use some more coin? Can PP donations be earmarked for LilyCare?

    Was just thinking the same thing.

  65. 65
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    Those eyes, those eyes. Lily is a cutie

  66. 66
    Sab says:

    Joann Fanric is a national chain based near Cleveland OH.

  67. 67
    skyweaver says:

    That face of Lily’s – so loving and warm. Glad for the update.

  68. 68
    Skepticat says:

    Thank you, Mary G, WereBear, Aleta, and Shell. I don’t want to step on JC’s good news with bad news, but here on a tiny island in the Bahamas, it’s nice to know there’s a support group out there that can identify with my … craziness. I’ll do my best to repay in kind, and I hope JC and Lily know how hard I’m pulling for them and all the animals out here. Oh, all right, people too. Some of them, anyway.

  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    Thank you for the update. Lily is wonderful.

    I’m having minor surgery next week so I have to see my hematologist. Today the pre -op letter came in the mail with the return address of the cancer care practice. My mom freaked out. I’m not sure if she believes me that my hematologist is not treating me for cancer. Anyway she must have been really stressed out about it all afternoon because she made cookies and organized all the kitchen cupboards.

  70. 70
    MomSense says:



  71. 71

    @MomSense: Mom has a worried! How is your friend who was sick?

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    At any rate, I know I am biased, but I still think Lily is perhaps one of the most adorable dogs on the planet

    On the evidence, I wouldn’t say you were wrong.

  73. 73
    MomSense says:


    Not well. I had my last visit. We’re at the just family stage. One of my other dear friends is at the end stages with her congestive heart failure. It’s going to be a sad summer.

  74. 74

    At any rate, it was a long day and everyone has been fed, pooped, and peed, so now it is time for the herd to nap. I’m tired. It’s been an exhausting year.

    Yes, yes it has. And is well with this part of the world.

  75. 75

    @MomSense: {{ }}. Did you see Kangana Ranaut’s Cannes look that I posted in the last thread. I was in a blue mood this evening. I find Indian wedding songs a good pick me up.
    From 2 States.

  76. 76
    Rand Careaga says:

    @debit: Coin sent. There didn’t appear to be a way to earmark it, but I’m going to assume, or hope, that the money ends up in a veterinarian’s pocket after services have been duly rendered.

  77. 77
    debit says:

    @Rand Careaga: You can send a note/instructions just before finalizing the transaction. I may or may not have suggested he buy treats and/or toys if he’s still good for medical funds. Or, you know, a side of beef for Lily’s breakfast.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    Oh thank you. I’ll check it out.

  79. 79
    MoxieM says:

    Aww, LadyBug on her bow. Just perfect for all that sweetness.

  80. 80
    Delia says:

    Lily looks beautiful. So glad she’s doing well.

  81. 81
    J R in WV says:

    Here’s an uplifting comment I wrote on a thread below, politics, but uplifting:

    Went to the local YMCA gym today for the first time. After swimming a little, got back into the mens locker room, recently remodeled and quite nice, has couches and such to hang out. Two older guys (remember, I’m an old retiree!) were apparently acquainted, one said “I don’t know if Trump is a good president, but if he can tweet and get 50 or 60 people shot dead there’s something wrong!”

    Then the other old conservative guy said “He cheated on his first wife, left her for a second wife, cheated on her with his third wife, cheated on her with a porn star while she was having his baby, and will be hosting National Prayer Day! There’s something bad wrong with that, too!”

    I wasn’t expecting that, actually. Glad to hear that locker room chat, not like Trump’s locker room chatter at all, gave me some hope!

  82. 82
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    Cole, now that Jo-Ann’s has you in their system, you will be getting coupons forever from them. I say this as a happy customer who wishes that the local one was closer to me.

  83. 83
    Tata says:

    Lily is delightful. What lovely eyes she has!

  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Scented candles, dog gas, roasting garlic….. A non working smelling system takes care of all of that. It really is amazing how many things you might just want to smell one more time. Even if you hated them when you could.
    But I will agree that most scented candles, $2/gal perfume, dog farts, cig smoke and a few other smells are not among the missed.

  85. 85
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    As a Hodgkin lymphoma survivor, your description of her progress is spot on! She is getting better! Bless her! And you. You wonderful curmudgeon. Buying ribbon for the nurse who makes the bows! How I wish you had married one of my sisters.

  86. 86
    Sab says:

    @Ruckus: Ruckus: Put my 93 y o dad in a really nice nursing home on Friday. He was furious. I cannot believe how relieved I was to have him safe and me out from under the responsibility.

    He has been less angry every day. Yesterday he got a whirlpool bath (couldn’t do that at home.)

    Brought him a tiny fridge yesterday. Tomorrow we might bring his cat for a visit (his cat hates my cats, who are mostly assholes). Also maybe a car ride.

    Thank you so much for your advice. I was really upset about doing it, and needed to hear from someone who’d been through the process.

    Geting old sucks, and getting old with ancient parents sucks a lot more.

    So heartfelt thanks.

  87. 87
    Joy in FL says:

    Lily is exquisite; perfect inside and out. I’m so glad she is doing ok. Thank you, John, for the update and photos.

  88. 88
    Juju says:

    That is a beautiful picture of a beautiful girl. I’m happy the news is such good news. She is a lucky girl in so many ways. I just wish some of my dogs could have had some similar news. I am envious.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    You are more than welcome.
    Us old farts can be a handful just because we can be stubborn as a 12 yr old jar of pickles. Being sick on top of that is an additional stress level.
    It isn’t that we aren’t capable of caring for someone, people at the home do it. But there is always the kids having taken over the role of parents problem. The old, old farts took care of you when you didn’t know how to for yourself and now that they can’t take care of themselves, they still look at you as if you shouldn’t be able to take care of them. It’s a role reversal that just doesn’t set well with most people. And from the caregiver side it’s hard because you are watching those people who cared for you, fail. Visit, talk, treat them like equals if you don’t already. That really does make it a lot easier. And they may just be able to return the favor, now that you aren’t changing their diaper.
    As always good luck with the old, old fart. Glad he’s doing better and out from under.

  90. 90
    JAFD says:

    Good morning from New Jersey, everyone !

    Sympathetic thoughts to Sab and his father, and to the folk losing beloved dogs.

    Craft stough: There seem to be three major big-box-store chains in the suburbs of America – Joann’s, Michaels & AC Moore.* In the city, tho – there’s a Michaels at 22nd & 6th, in the basement. Describing it as ‘always busy’ is like describig Ted Cruz as ‘a bit right of center’. At some point need to get some small crochet hooks (see for previous projects where I coulda used them) – were absolutely none in stock. So trying to get invite to visit friends in Burlington County, where the three competitors faceoff by Moorestown Mall, across sea of parkinglots

    My ‘Craft acrylic paints’ gripe: A decade or so, were a half-dozen competing brands – Apple Barrel, Delta, Martha Stewart, Plaid, Folkart, Color Traditions. Now the last of these is gone, and all but the penultimate have been bought out by Plaid Enterprises. Prices have gone up and selection has gone down.

    Was a gray damp depressing day today. Grumpy old man is grumpy. At least reservoirs are full in case of summer drought.

    * There’s obviously an Official Use Guide for their apostrophes. It’s too late for me to futz around looking it up.

  91. 91
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: p.s. good to see that Lily is doing better

  92. 92
    CaseyL says:

    @ruemara: Wow – that one cat has a tail that’s as long as its body, if not longer. A truly majestic plume!

    John, I love the Lily updates, and am thrilled that she’s doing so well.

  93. 93
    Aleta says:

    Humans are so weird.

    Next month, to mark the occasion of Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, Julien’s, the L.A.-based “auction house to the stars,” will be selling five cake slices from “iconic” British royal weddings past. The lot includes a slice of brandy-infused fruitcake from the 2011 marriage of Harry’s brother, William, to Kate Middleton (estimated price, six hundred to eight hundred dollars), and one from the wedding of the boys’ parents, Prince Charles and Diana (eight hundred to twelve hundred dollars), sold with a paper doily and an envelope, addressed to its original recipients, marked with Queen Elizabeth’s royal stamp. There is a slice from Charles’s wedding to his second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles; another from the 1986 wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson; and, at a relative bargain rate of three to five hundred dollars, one from the union of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973. In the years since these confections were baked, their layers of marzipan may have turned from yellow to a dingy ochre, but the cake itself, loaded with sugar and spirits and dried fruit, is otherwise impressively preserved.

    It was an eighteenth-century cookery writer named Elizabeth Raffald who first developed the formula to which each of these royal-wedding cakes more or less adhered. Since medieval times, all special occasions in England, from Christmas to christenings, had been celebrated with fruit cakes, which were optimally suited to an era before refrigeration. (As one modern-day food-safety specialist noted, “You are unlikely to see mould on a fruit cake for a very long time.”) Raffald’s innovation was to cover “Bride Cake,” as wedding cake was then called, in a layer of marzipan, followed by a bright white shell of the cement-like substance that came to be known as “royal” icing. This double coating made cakes that were good to look at but not necessarily to eat. Guests were left, one nineteenth-century baker remarked, with “a thick layer of white sugar which nobody cared about; a medium layer of almond paste, which everybody wished for, and did not always get; and an immense quantity of cake of which many only ate a few crumbs.”

    NYer I think

  94. 94
    sherparick says:

    Lily has the most beautiful eyes. Keep getting better Lily.

  95. 95
    Mark says:

    Love it, John. She’s a wonderful dog/companion. And you both deserve each other.

  96. 96
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Sadly there is not much that can be done about the gas but that is why we have fans and scented candles, amirite?

    John: between escaping death and having chemo and the prednisone dumping glucose into her system and making her eat like a horse there’s been a apocalyptic level assault on her gut microbes for the past few weeks–of course she’s gonna have gas. All the wrong bacterial are having a frigging field day in there.

    Get her some serious probiotic replacements and maybe some chlorophyll supplements and it’ll shift things back.

    Cuz the cutest dog ever does not deserve to be known as “that dog who melts my nose hair with her smell”. Love you guys.

  97. 97
    nelson says:

    If she’s not the most adorable, easily in the top five.

  98. 98
    Matt Smith says:

    Thanks for the update. I’m traveling with shitty internet access, but still tuning in for posts like this.

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