Why is it my health issues always seem to coincide with a beagle’s health issues? Who knows, but it’s time for an update on both. Let’s start with the important one…

The Doodlebutt ready for take off (to better health)

The Doodlebutt ready for take off (to better health)

Please keep Daphne in your thoughts (and prayers if that’s your thing). She goes in for surgery on Wednesday, January 24th (hey, at least we made it through December–though we learned about this in December). She needs a teeth cleaning, and a hernia repair. In the lab work to prepare for the surgery however, we learned she has early stage kidney disease. We’re hopeful this can be controlled with medication, but as you might imagine my heart sunk over the news. This beagle has been through so much! She seems happy and healthy, so I’m trying to stay focused on that. Also, for other beagle companions (or other jowly dog companions), we brought Daphne in originally because she had really horrifically bad breath. Turned out that while yes, she needs her teeth cleaned, she also had a bacterial infection in the folds of her jowls near her mouth. Since she drools a lot (around food!) this is apparently a common thing. I did not know that! Of course, Daphne is the only beagle (out of 7) I’ve ever had who has serious “jowls” and drools a lot.  At any rate, keep our girl in your thoughts!

Now for me…you may know (if you follow me on Facebook or read my earlier blog post) that I fell and broke my back last May. Compression fracture at T12. It’s been nearly 9 months and my back has not healed. It’s not terribly painful, but it’s exhausting, I slouch, I’ve gained a ton of weight, and by the end of the day of sitting, it is painful. Doctors have put me through a gazillion tests (former cancer patient + lawyer + good insurance = an abundance of caution!) to check my bone density and rule out that this is possibly cancer metastasized to my spine. Just another reminder that once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. Sigh. We’ve learned I have osteoporosis (a “side effect” of chemo), and I’m on bone strengthening meds for that (and calcium with the Vitamin D I was already taking). I’m also now wearing a back brace that looks like a Kevlar vest (in a special needs kind of way) and feels like a wine barrel around my body (you understand why that would be my reference, yes?). 

I'm bringing sexy back, don't you think?

I’m bringing sexy back, don’t you think?

Okay, well, I'm definitely bringing ponchos back!

Okay, well, I’m definitely bringing ponchos back!

That’s been going on for 3 1/2 weeks and I have to wear it for 6 weeks to 3 months. Based on my progress, I’m guessing I’ll be on the 3 month side of things. Not sure I can make ponchos fashionable through the spring, but that’s what I’m going with to cover my wine barrel.

Yep, I'm wearing a wine barrel under that sweatshirt.

Yep, I’m wearing a wine barrel under that sweatshirt.


I go back to the neurosurgeon at the end of the month for the results from the last test (nuclear medicine again! Remember Lurch from my first go round in nuclear medicine? No? Well, it was 9 years ago. But I remember him well and here’s a link if you want to read my original blog post on that. Apparently I used his real name in my blog post and only changed it to Lurch in the book. I had not remembered that until I just looked at the blog post!).

To deal with all of this, and because my doctors suggested I get out and walk as much as possible, Chris, Daphne, Percival and I have all become nature trail walkers.

I was told about an app called All Trails and it’s set us off on many new adventures which we’re all enjoying. The app will show you trails and provide maps for said trails near wherever you happen to be. Which happens to tie in nicely with some thoughts I’d been having since reading a book called “This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are” by Melody Warnick, which happens to tie in nicely with the third book that I’ve been ever-so-slowly working on, which happens to tie in nicely with what I want to discuss with you in my next blog post. Which will be soon. No, really. Soon.  (I’ll be inspired to blog sooner if there are comments here, because I totally understand if at this point, no one is reading this anymore, so it would be nice to know if anyone is out there.)

Here’s to your health! And to Daphne’s! And maybe mine.