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Topic: Comfort dogs

Forum: Relationships, Emotional Crises, Anxiety, and Depression — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around breast cancer fears, diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Jun 25, 2013 06:15AM

sciencegal wrote:

Okay, I am just throwing this out there: does anyone else feel closer to their dog than to humans through this roller coaster journey?

I have a wonderful life and great support, but my little blind shelter dog Lewie (a white poodle mix) has been constantly by my side- whether I am sleeping on the couch after chemo or in the armchair after surgery, or posting like now- he is on the couch next to me with his head in my lap.

This little guy never leaves my side except when I go to work, then he pretty much just sleeps with his buddy (daddy's boy) on their memory foam bed until I get back. Yes, a bit spoiled, I admit it.

I am wondering if anyone else has a similar relationship with their "comfort dog"? He has helped me so much.

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 25, 2013 06:22AM jill47 wrote:

Sciencegal, great topic, I have to chime in because my 2 pekingese have been the best for me this whole last year. They are very calm lap dogs and can't jump on furniture w/out my help, so I don't worry too much about them jumping on me after surgery.  The best thing about dogs not matter the breed, mixed or pure, they intuitively know when we are sad, in pain and just need a buddy to be with.   I've brought my dogs to an Assisted Living facility where my DH gives a church service and they are very sweet and gentle with the residents.  I wish some of my human counterparts were as understanding as my dogs.  

5/12 Grade 2 DCIS, 2+cm extensive comedo necrosis. 0/4 nodes. 98% ER+/99% PR+. LCIS/ALH presented after NSBMX 7/12. TH/BSO 8/13
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Jun 25, 2013 06:30AM sciencegal wrote:

Oh how cute! I love pekingese dogs, they are adorable. What great little buddies. Thank you for sharing!

I hope you are healing well, with their help.

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 26, 2013 06:05AM sciencegal wrote:

I get a day to write at home with dogs in my lap-woohoo!

Hugs to all other dog lovers who are also going through treatment.

:)

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 26, 2013 07:57AM NatsFan wrote:

It's not just dogs - my cat also knew.  He was usually a very enthusiastic head bonker - one of those cats who loves to bonk the top of his head on your face, arm, chest, etc.  He bonked his head hard - sometimes it felt like a small fist hitting you!  He also loved jumping on the bed and sitting on my chest first thing in the morning.  Yet, after all my surgeries and during chemo, he avoided jumping on my chest, instead jumping up lightly beside me.  He also did very gentle head bonks during that time - just brushing the top of his head lightly against me instead of his usual ram-like head bonks.  Somehow he knew that he had to be gentle.

Once surgeries and chemo were over, he resumed his normal enthusiastic head bonking and jumping on my chest.  He died in March of lymphoma - I miss him. 

Mary Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/29/2008 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/3/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2008 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 10/8/2008 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 26, 2013 08:15AM sciencegal wrote:

Oh Mary I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. D@mned cancer- it affects our best little buddies too. Your post made me cry.

He sounds like he was an amazing friend and so inuitive.

((((((hugs))))))

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 27, 2013 05:45AM NatsFan wrote:

Science - thanks.  He was a good boy.  It was especially comforting to have him around because our 20 year old corgi died right after my second chemo tx, then our 20 year old Manx kitty died right after my third chemo tx.  It was a rough time all the way around.  We were down to the head bonking cat and the chihuahua - who was also very gentle during this time.  I slept in a recliner for several weeks after my DIEP flap surgery, and both the cat and the chihuahua spent many hours in that recliner with me, gently curled up next to me.  They were such a source of comfort, especially after the loss of the other two furkids. 

Mary Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/29/2008 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/3/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2008 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 10/8/2008 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 27, 2013 05:53AM slv58 wrote:

They definately know, don't they! My little shepooh has always slept on the bed with us, but usually down by the feet. After dx, she would curl up into my chest and every time I would switch sides, she waited until I was settled and gently jump over me and curl up again. It was so nice to feel her love and concern. Funny though,since I've had surgery and my cancer removed-she is back to sleeping by my feet! I often wonder if she could smell it.

Shari "my clouds are always silver" Chemotherapy 1/22/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 6/6/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Radiation Therapy 7/4/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/9/2015 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 4/21/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Jun 29, 2013 09:15AM sciencegal wrote:

Natsfan I am SO sorry for your losses. Furkids, I love it. Thanks for your stories. I am such a softie for animal stories, I just dote on my little guys (they aren't TOO spoiled).

slv that is great. Thank you for sharing. I have two poodle mixes adopted from the shelter so we aren't quite sure what they are, but it is thought that one is a shitzu-poo (sh!t-poo haha). Is that what yours is? or is a she-poo something different? I bet she is cute.

I always wonder if they can smell the cancer as well, or just pick up on our demeanor? And how awful we must smell to them when oozing chemo drugs, but they stoically stay by our side. Woman's best friend!

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 29, 2013 09:51AM jancie wrote:

Natsfan - I laughed at your head bonking cat - I have one that does the same to me and to one of my dogs.

Back when I was going through chemo I would have 2 dogs and 2 cats in bed with me all the time.  They watched over me.

However, it was my horse that amazed me the most.  She would head bonk me in my left chest each time she saw me and that was before I was diagnosed.  After chemo - she would no longer do this but she would rest her head on top of my head instead.  She seemed to understand that I couldn't get out there all of the time and it was very hit and miss.  I truly fought for her more than anything because she was orphaned at 2 months of age and she didn't need to go through another loss.

Animals/pets are more intuitive than we give them credit for.  They are truly a gift from God.

Never Alone - My TaTa Sisters are always with me! Dx 12/30/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 29, 2013 03:22PM bobogirl wrote:

Oh, Jancie, I love your horse.  And Natsfan!  I love the story of your sweet head-bonking fur baby.  I would miss him too.  I am so sorry for the losses of your fur children.

This is a great thread.  My dog, Bobo, is a rescue dog from the Bahamas.  He's very high-strung and rowdy.  He's four, but not slowing down at all.  Every night he goes to sleep -- in our bed -- at exactly 8 p.m.  If we're in the bed watching a movie, he wants to 'play' with me a little bit before he goes to sleep -- at least, that's what he used to do.  After my second surgery, he doesn't do it at all anymore.  He just walks over to me and gives me a kiss.  His kisses are like human kisses -- I hope you don't think this is gross!  It's just that he doesn't lick your face all over.  He puts his snout right up to your lips and bumps it, like a kiss.  :)

After my first surgery, he slept right against my side, guarding the area -- my children were two at the time -- and he put his head right along the area.  He seemed to be making sure I wouldn't get hurt.

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Jun 29, 2013 03:38PM IngridJ wrote:

Hi gals, great idea for a topic,
As I type my dog, standard poodle is curled up next to me. Has been extra doting, extra licky and caring....stares at me with complete understanding..awww
Is the same Sciencegal, has barely left my side since diagnosis. As am divorced, we have been sharing her between the two households, she was coming and going with the kids, but I have requested her stay with me...have no partner, so she has been it lately. Going through chemo so feeling fairly low.. Mmmmm probably do smell chemically yuk.. She doesn't seem to care.... Last one i see at night, first one in the morning...Must say, I have now extra appreciation for her and her love, for all our wonderful companions and their unconditional love and affection..
Horses get it too.. I remember as a child, having a horse who would blow ontop of my head if i was upset.....
Thanks

Dx 3/22/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 6/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 29, 2013 04:03PM BayouBabe wrote:

My two cats were stuck to me like glue after my surgery. I, not so jokingly, told my husband that they were like that "death cat" (it was on the news a while back, lived in a nursing home and always went and comforted whoever was going to die next). I also adopted a dog right in the middle of radiation treatments. Not my fault I had to drive by the humane society every day to get to radiation! All three of my fur babies are from the humane society. I may have rescued them, but they have saved me these last few months! Love them all so very much!

BRCA1+, multifocal, LVI Dx 10/10/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/13/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2013 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/4/2013 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 8/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/11/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/20/2014 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Jun 29, 2013 04:26PM IngridJ wrote:

BayouBabe
Glad you have three wonderful fur babies..
Lol on the cats..!! They just want to comfort you... Bless them !!! Yes, we think we're the smart ones...
It's them hey...:))

Dx 3/22/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 6/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 29, 2013 08:02PM sciencegal wrote:

Jancie that is a wonderful horse story. Thank you!

Bobogirl I love your protection dog and I dont think pup kisses are gross at all. I survived them from my buddy Lewie all through chemo! Shied away from humans but accepted his kisses haha.

Ingrid I LOVE standard poodles. They are the smartest. You are lucky to have such a wonderful pal. Mine are poo mixes and just midsized, but I love the standards, they are so elegant.
I'm sorry you are in chemo now, how many cycles? I had six of TCH. It went faster than I thought it would, is the only consolation I guess.

Bayoubabe- hilarious on the "death cats" but...NOT! You are stage one, you will be fine. They just wanted to comfort you. There was a death cat on "the big C" as well, I love how the brother stole it so it could not make its way to his sister's bed.

Thanks all for these stories. I have a white poodle buddy with his head on my lap as I type. He likes the stories too because I am laughing, not sad.

Please keep 'em coming, I love them!

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 29, 2013 08:08PM IngridJ wrote:

Hi Sciencegal,
Just 4 rounds for me.. Hasn't been too bad, I have, so far, tolerated it well... Just being bald is the worst....:( wasn't in the right head space to do cold caps when I started.. But now.... Wish I had.... Glad you've still got your crowning glory:) Only consolation is that my wig is a good one, looks close to real hair, but thicker and better...:)
My dog is smart, unfortunately has skin and eye issues, so we are both in the wars..
She isn't the most beauteous of standard poodles.. But has a heart of gold.. Hope yours and weekend are going well..

Dx 3/22/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 6/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 29, 2013 08:25PM sciencegal wrote:

Ingrid-It is what is in her heart that matters! Sorry about her eye issues. My Lewie is almost completely blind (he was when I adopted him) and gets eye drops every night. Then a treat of course. We had an "expensive but worth it" surgery on one of his eyes where the retina had not yet detached, and he can see some shapes now but not much else. still he is a happy dog and gets around our fenced property and house super well, then uses his "brother" as a guide dog when we go walking in less familiar places. My shi-poo has the skin issues. so I feel your pain.

I am glad you are doing okay on the chemo and only have four treatments, yay on that. Sorry about the hair, and I hope it grows back fast. My new growth in areas where I did lose it is about an inch and a half long in four months PFC. Seems to grow fairly fast.

The caps were hard to do but thank gosh for my friends. We could have lost grants and clients if anyone suspected that I was sick, so I had to do my best to hide my cancer from everyone except my good friends- and of course the girls on this site have been my lifeline and support group since I was first diagnosed. thank gosh for all of you!

:)

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 30, 2013 01:02PM sciencegal wrote:

It is over one hundred degrees today in California- my dogs are sacked out on their pillows under the air conditioner vent and have zero interest in going out into the yard. We are housebuddies today, for sure!

Please send stories about your animals (any kind) who help you through your cancer treatments, we all love reading them so much!!!

:)

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 30, 2013 01:41PM SheChirple wrote:

My black lab, Raven, has been at  my feet every since my first surgery.  She's always been quite close, but seems to be glued to me now. When I sit on the couch, she lays at my feet and I almost have to kick her out of the way just to get my feet on the floor.  Her little face is often set up on the edge of the couch, on me knee or anywhere else she can be close.  When I leave she heads to the door with me and is always right there when I come back.  Such a sweetie.

My dalmation, well, he's old and frail and can barely move himself. He's just a lump.  But he is forgiven due to his own health issues.

Gotta love 'em. Kiss

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body. Dx 10/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/28/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/23/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/14/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 5/24/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 6/9/2014 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 30, 2013 02:58PM Moderators wrote:

What a pleasure to read all of your posts, and hear about your comforting furkids! All we need now is pictures of them. If your pics are posted on Photobucket or Facebook or another site, you can post them as part of your posts, and/or in your member biography.  Smile

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jun 30, 2013 03:07PM IngridJ wrote:

Sciencegal and SheChirple,
Did a long post and it vanished.. Grrrrr...
But wanted to share a story re my dog; in day or so after I got out on hospital, we drove to nearby beach for lunch in cafe and walk. After lunch, kids wanted to take Coco to beach, I decided to get a ride back home whilst they walked with the dog. Got home, got ph call, coco broke free at the beach and tore back to the cafe looking for me..quite a way too...
Had to go and get her..
Sciencegal; hair seems like gold at the moment... More precious than gold....:)

Dx 3/22/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 6/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 30, 2013 07:17PM sciencegal wrote:

Thanks moderators, that is a good idea. I hadnt figured out how to do fancy things like that.

Shechirpie your raven sounds wonderful. I grew up with black labs- such wonderful patient dogs. My little brother was a hellion and our lab never even protested when he had to play pony, etcetera. I am so glad you have raven at your side, a loyal and steady companion for sure!



Ingrid what a lovely story about your coco. She certainly wanted to stay with you to take care of you! what a good girl. What type of dog is she?

Thank you both for sharing, it really warms my heart to hear about how sweet these furry friends are when we are in treatment.

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 30, 2013 08:05PM slickchickie17 wrote:

You girls are never going to believe this, but it is my very own true story. I owe my life to my German Shepherd, Capone. He is the one who found my cancer! He started shoving his nose under my right armpit sometime at the end of December 2012. I thought he was developing a love of deodorant & blew it off. By the end of January 2013, he was becoming more insistent about smelling my right armpit. One morning he did something unusual while we were doing our typical am cuddling-- he stepped on my right breast. Hard. That's when I felt the lump. I'm only 33 & easily could've been sent home from my gyn-ob with a wait-and-see approach. Once I told her about Capone's armpit fetish, she got serious & decided to send me for a mammogram. Now I'm still only 33, but I'm also BRCA1+ stage 3 IDC, facing double MX, radiation, removal of my ovaries & uterus & reconstruction. But without Capone, I would be facing all of those things with a stage IV diagnosis instead of the stage III one I face now. Thank God for dogs!!!

BRCA1, multifocal Dx 2/8/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/7/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/17/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Jun 30, 2013 08:18PM sciencegal wrote:

Oh my GOSH! That is a super story. Incredible. Capone is not just woman's best friend but a true lfesaver. Thank you for sharing!

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jun 30, 2013 08:52PM slickchickie17 wrote:

Sciencegal:
He sure is a lifesaver! My gyn-ob later told me that something clicked in her memory when I was describing to her how I found the lump & my dog's strange behavior. She remembered hearing another doctor tell a similar story years ago about one of his patients. She absolutely believes that Capone saved my life & has no doubt that he smelled the cancer. My doctors keep telling my story around the hospital, my friends keep telling their friends about it & now he is more popular than me around here! Lol

BRCA1, multifocal Dx 2/8/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/7/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/17/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Jul 1, 2013 05:55AM bobogirl wrote:

Good girl, Coco!

Good boy, Capone!!  :)

I think Capone deserves a special breakfast for life!  What shall he have... the most special grain-free wet food mixed in, and a roasted carrot for a snack!  That's what Bobo loves..

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Jul 1, 2013 07:08PM sciencegal wrote:

Oh I wish mine would eat carrots. If treats are too healthy I get "the look" and they just gingerly carry it away and bury it....

My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jul 1, 2013 07:21PM farmerlucy wrote:

Slickiechickie17 - That is THE most amazing story! Wow! OK to copy and paste your story to my facebook? You can say "no".  Wow! Give that boy a BIG bone! Dogs are amazing! Mine never left my side last year AND she never said the wrong thing! :)

Surgery 2/20/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/10/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/21/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/13/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 1, 2013 08:51PM slickchickie17 wrote:

Farmerlucydaisy-- you may absolutely re-post my story! Capone doesn't mind people talking about him, he's pretty sure that he's the most interesting guy in the room everywhere he goes...LOL
BTW-- I'm very glad that you have a sweet dog that never says the wrong thing...dogs are a girl's best friend!

BRCA1, multifocal Dx 2/8/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/7/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/17/2013 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Jul 2, 2013 05:49AM bobogirl wrote:

Farmer lucy -- my dog never says the wrong thing either!  :)

Laughing so much about the puppy who delicately buries a carrot... that is hilarious!  Bobo will eat a carrot if it is roasted with olive oil and a little maple syrup.  Basically, he wants to eat whatever the human children eat, even though he has allergies.. he is allergic to chicken, beef, rice, wheat, and all other grains!  And grass!

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Jul 2, 2013 07:34AM sciencegal wrote:

Oh my gosh bobogirl- kids with allergies are hard enough to manage but your dog- ouch!!
Your life is not simple is it???
I cook my pups wild rice and chicken with a few veggies like peas thrown in (not too many-picky eaters), to supplement their dry food and occasional cesars wet food, which is like puppy crack. They do backflips if I say that word (they should be on a cesars commcercial)
But your dog could not eat any of that- wow. And of course he begs, they can look Soooo pitiful, almost like they are crying, when they dont get a goodie under the table. I hope your kids can resist??
I think I overindulged my pups as well as myself while I was on my "poor me I deserve to eat this" chemo phase. I gained weight and fortunately they did not! Good furkids.



My friends saved my hair through chemo with Penguin Cold Caps. Thank you capping crew!! Dx 10/19/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 11/1/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Targeted Therapy 11/6/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/6/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/18/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Surgery 5/22/2013 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2013 Breast Surgery 9/25/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)

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