Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, a long weekend of worrying about Ripley came to a sad and abrupt end. As you may know from a previous post, Ripley had surgery Thursday, August 21, to remove an intestinal mass. The surgery lasted almost four hours and Dr. Z described her findings as a 'nasty and massive tumor.' The tumor extended around Ripley's intestines and into her pancreas. She was slow to come out from the anesthesia and she was nauseous. I visited her after surgery, before she was transported to the local animal hospital for overnight observation. It was so hard to see her that way. I felt awful for putting her through the surgery, but I knew that was the best option to try and save her life.

I picked Ripely up the next morning and took her back to Dr. Z's clinic. She looked much, much better...responding to stimuli and being affectionate. She continued to progress the rest of the day on Friday. I visited her that afternoon. We then started trying to reintroduce her to soft, watered down food. She really wanted no part of any of the many offerings I tried to feed her. I left her there, knowing she would still continue to progress.

Saturday morning Dr. Z called and informed me that Ripely did not eat anything overnight and she wanted to insert a NG tube to get the vital calories and hydration to Ripely. I agreed and went in to visit Ripely. Still no eating...not even for me. Jeremy brought her some tuna, her favorite. At first she wanted nothing to do with the tuna, but then she took a couple of licks of the juice. We had never been so happy! But that is all she would want because she was so nauseous. We left her so Dr. Z could insert the NG tube. The rest of the day, I kept my cell phone nearby. However, I missed a call from Dr. Z around 9:30pm. She checked on Ripley and found she vomited several times and was very concerned that Ripley's incision in her intestines may be leaking.

I talked to Dr. Z again on Sunday morning, and after checking in on Ripley that morning, she had the same to report, Ripley seemed to be rapidly declining. She was still nauseous and very unhappy. We went to visit Ripley, and Dr. Z set out several options to find the problem. We decided to do minimally invasive test on Ripley to determine if the surgical site was leaking. Ripley had her NG tube still in her nose at that time, but she looked up at me when I walked in the room to see her. Her eyes were still beautiful green. I could tell she was unhappy and I hated that I had chosen to put her through this, but I felt it was all necessary to try and make her more comfortable in the long haul. Dr. Z left us alone after we made our decision. I cleaned Ripley's gunk out of her eyes and dusted the dandruff out of her fur. She was too preoccupied with trying to get better, to tend to such superfluous things. After lots of petting and kisses on her head, we left Ripley to Dr. Z's continued care.

Dr. Z called around 2:00pm and said the test was negative for any leaking but she wanted to transport Ripley to the Animal Hospital to determine if her conclusions were correct and to allow Ripley to be observed overnight. Not hearing anything, I called the Animal Hospital around 8:45pm, the vet on call, Dr. Dawes expressed concern for the texture of Ripley's abdomen. She found it very hard and tense. Her advice was to open Ripley back up to determine if there was a blockage or if the surgical site was leaking, or anything else. She advised that an ultrasound in the morning would tell us very little and if something is wrong internally, time is the enemy. I called Dr. Z and she agreed with the idea of exploratory surgery. I called Dr. Dawes back and authorized the second surgery...hoping that would fix Ripley.

At 12:20am still not having heard anything, I called the Animal Hospital to verify they have the correct phone number. They assured me they did and that they would call when Ripley was out of surgery. I prayed that this would be it and Ripley could come home and get better. At 1:38am, my cell phone rang. It was Dr. Dawes on speaker phone from the surgery suite. With the beeping of the heart monitor in the background, she told me once inside, she found that Ripley's pancreas was necrotic and abscessed and there was nothing that could be done surgically. She adivsed that if I decided on euthanasia, it would be easier on Ripley to do it while Ripley was on the table, and not to bring her out of anesthesia, and thereby avoid any pain. Jeremy was standing behind me as I sat on our stairwell talking to Dr. Dawes. I thought about saying no, so I could go see Ripley in the morning and tell her goodbye, but that would be totally selfish. I said "go ahead and do it now; it is what's best for her." Ripley would not be coming least not in the way we hoped.

It was such a difficult decision. But I find some peace in knowing, that we did everything we could possibly due to save her. The pathology report came in Tuesday. Turns out Ripley had high grade carcinoma. I said to Dr. Z, when she told me, "she didn't have much time anyway, correct?" She agreed.

I went to pick out Ripley's urn on Wednesday. I wanted to find one that matched Leo's. It's really sad that we just went through this with him, in May. A green marble urn caught my eye. I picked it up just to check the price. There it was...a name tag on the green urn that said "Ripley." It was meant to be to be hers.

All of our friends were very supportive during this difficult time, which we really appreciate. It's never easy to lose a pet, but it makes the heartache less painful when you hear kind words from those that care.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My crazy cousin Latishia is participating in the Susan G. Comen 3 day walk for the cure in Atlanta this September. She will be walking 20 miles per day, over the span of three days! Hopefully she will not be carrying JB.

She almost suckered me into walking as well, but I chose be lazy and donate money instead. You too can be lazy and donate to this great cause by going to her fund raising page. Come on people, she is walking 60 miles! That should at least be worth a $25 donation!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We had a 'ball' at the Black and White Ball, benefiting the Rape Crisis Center, last weekend. thaKing and I met our friends Susan, Mitch, Tonya, Matthew, and the other Susan. Supposedly, the other Susan's partner, Tom, was there, but I never saw him. Conveniently, thaKing filled in for picture time. The night was filled with drag queens and a wide array of people. The highlight, other than observing the shear amount of Maker's thaKing can consume, was this crazy hair demonstration starring Bradley and Mickey. I thought they were just two guys dressed like they were from an early 90's hairband and I learned they were part of the show. I feared for their victim, I mean client. By the way, we would like to thank Matthew and Tonya for inviting us to tag along. I can't wait till next year's ball!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I just found a great decorating idea, especially for people like me that don't exactly like all those paintings of flowers and children and dogs that I don't even know. Sorry to dis all your wall art, Mom. Works great for you, but not exactly me.

Wonderful Graffiti offers interior typography for walls, refrigerators, and anything else you want to stick letters to. Even better though, it appears you spent lots o' money on a custom painting/stencil, but is it's not that expensive. This would be a great idea for decorating a nursery with a favorite nursery rhyme. I am considering buying a 'K' monogram to put over our bed, similar to the picture below.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yesterday, I wore this really cute BCBG shirt that is somewhat flowing, but you cinch the belt that is attached, and tie in front. It could be maternity wear, but clearly is not. Anyway, a security guard at the courthouse, with a completely straight face asked, "when are you due?". I responded with the obvious "I'm not!" She explained that she heard I was pregnant. The only plausible conclusion is that there is another blond attorney/former prosecutor that is pregnant and she mixed us up. Nonetheless, I never ask anyone something like that! Even if the baby's head is crowning...I still DON'T ASK, because I don't want to risk making the same mistake. Needless to say, I may not wear that shirt again, and I dragged my tired fat body to the gym last night where I did major cardio and pumped a lot o' iron. I may go back tonight after Bunco and in the morning!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Me, thaKing, and LA ran in the Midsummer Night's Run this past Saturday. It was so much fun! I highly recommend running with the Nike+. When the Nike Lady said "1 kilometer completed" it was so great to know exactly how far I'd already ran and that I wasn't using that much effort yet. Also, she helped me keep my pace and not kill myself with running two fast, like my last race. However, near the end the Nike Lady told me there was only 464 feet remaining. That seemed impossible at that point. The finish line was in sight, but yet so far away. I walked for about two steps then thaKing passed me, running. I would have none of that so I took every last bit of energy I had to catch up and pass his ass. We finished with the same chip time, but technically I crossed over in front of him. He's a great husband...I think he let me pass him. This was my first 5K. My main goals were to 1. finish, 2. beat thaKing, 3. finish in under 30 min. I achieved all my goals but the last...I finished in 30.15! Oh well, maybe next year.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I don't recall ever being as excited about the Olympic games as I am now. China's communist government violates human rights and stifles basic freedoms....but you must admit, they have poured maajah mad money into the 2008 games! Other nations have constructed monolithic stadiums for when they played host to the games, however, China's architectural endeavors literally crashed computers during the planning phase. The Water Cube, referred to as the Water Cube for its translucent, bubbly design, is absolutely amazing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Please keep Ms. Ripley in your prayers. She has not been herself for quite sometime. After lots of testing, we finally found out what the problem was, yesterday. It is such a relief to at least know what's wrong. Ripley has a mass in her intestines and it may be cancerous. She is having surgery on August 21 to remove the mass, and hopefully, that will be the solution to all her problems. It is quite scary not knowing how old Ripley is, whether we should put her through this or not. We are guessing that she is 9 or 10 years old. Nonetheless, I want to keep her as comfortable as possible and I think the surgery is necessary to maintain that comfortable quality of life, or at least give her the best chance. With everything we have been through with our pets, I don't know why we have yet to purchase pet insurance.

This weekend thaKing and I traveled to Nashville to wish my OLD friend Darren, happy 30th birthday. We had a blast! I thought about taking his parents a host gift of moonshine and forgot to round up some homebrew. But no worries, they had their own 'shine that they purchased from the local Shriner's Club. I didn't know birthday parties could still be so fun at our age. Darren's parents promised to come see us for Keeneland. If they make it, all I have to say is, I hope we can keep up!