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Walking without Keeper . . . and a Keeper update

Rick C
September 28th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Keeper had a second operation last week to remove a wider area around the cancer mass, as well as a lymph node, the latter for biopsy.

On a preliminary basis, the surgeon believes Keeper will be in the 80% to 85% of canines who will have no further issues with this particular cancer episode, based on the smaller size of the mass, location and the fact the lymph node wasn't enlarged/inflamed.

So everyone can hope Keeper isn't 15% to 20% unlucky when the biopsy results come back. Hopefully we'll know before I leave for Africa on Tuesday and I can update the thread with, double hopefully, good news.

Earlier in September, Keeper had a mass removed from her throat/chest area with a biopsy revealing it was a Class 2 skin cancer.

However, with a gigantic scar running down her throat/chest, we elected to leave Keeper behind as Abby and I charged up an arbitrary hill/mountain in K-Country Sunday morning. I'd run the Melissa's 22 km race the day before in Banff so the human was still a little sore!!

Below, Abby, without Keeper, on the way higher . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0301-edit1.jpg

Below, Abby on the edge, Fall colours starting to come out in force west of Turner Valley, Alberta.

http://www.goldentales.ca/CSC_0406-edit1.jpg

Below, it was a hot walk on a deceptively cold morning . . . only about plus six celcius but pretty much straight up, hence the panting.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0375-edit3.jpg

Below, going home . . . .

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0389-edit3.jpg

And, if you're interested, the previous weekend, with Keeper under the knife and Abby on the limp from her earlier misadventure (an unauthorized dive into the forest) and Rick needing a semi-serious climb before Kilimanjaro this coming week, it was up, up, up into the mist and rain of Mt. Indefatigible's north summit, about 3,000 feet altitude gain in roughly 2.5 hours, from 5,600 feet at Upper Kananaskis Lake to roughly 8,700 feet . . . . only my second walk without Abby or Keeper in about 10 years (the first was a week before that with Abby seriously limping and my brother in town).

Below, a nice surprise, the larch pine already turning golden.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0067-edit1.jpg

Below, the view from the north summit. The south summit, across the valley, would have probably plunged me to my death on a slippery day like this!! I was wondering why there was no signage on this usually very popular trail but such is the frequency of bear encounters that the authorities don't want anyone to actually use it. I was alone in this place, encountering one chap near the bottom and then another fellow starting up as I was finishing. Upper Kananaskis Lake is in the background.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0124-edit1.jpg

No bears this day but, below, a very friendly and lonesome deer lass encountered on the way down:

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0177-edit1.jpg

The good news, this hike didn't tire me out. And on Tuesday, it's off to 19,340 ft Kilimanjaro, which likely WILL tire me out. Badly.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Frenchy
September 28th, 2008, 10:23 PM
On a preliminary basis, the surgeon believes Keeper will be in the 80% to 85% of canines who will have no further issues with this particular cancer episode


This is looking good Rick C ! I will :pray: for Keeper

The good news, this hike didn't tire me out. And on Tuesday, it's off to 19,340 ft Kilimanjaro, which likely WILL tire me out. Badly.



Will you be able to take any pics ? Good luck on mount Kilimanjaro , I'm sure you can do this , a friend of mine did and wasn't that much into shape :laughing:

Byrd
September 28th, 2008, 10:51 PM
Are you really climbing Mt Kilimanjaro?

Good vibes from Willow and I that Keeper is in the 80-85%.

growler~GateKeeper
September 29th, 2008, 01:36 AM
Love this one
Below, Abby on the edge, Fall colours starting to come out in force west of Turner Valley, Alberta

What a beautiful view & pic of Abby :lovestruck:

Loads of :goodvibes::fingerscr:pray::goodvibes: for Keeper

Musta been very strange going w/out Keeper this time & before without either dog :grouphug:

love the name Mt. Indefatigible :laughing:.
:goodvibes: for the Kilimanjaro trip - don't forget the pain killers & muscle relaxers :goodvibes:

rainbow
September 29th, 2008, 02:14 AM
I agree it must have felt strange to Abby going hiking without her best buddy. :D

Good luck for Keeper's biopsy results. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

Georgeous pics as always and I really love the "going home" one. :cloud9:

Love4himies
September 29th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Wonderful pics :lovestruck:

Glad to hear the surgeon is optimistic about Keeper's prognosis. :thumbs up :goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray: for a full recovery so Keeper can continue to accompany Abby on thier hikes.

jealma
September 29th, 2008, 08:34 AM
I do hope that the best outcome is the result. I always love the pictures you post here, but they did seem a little sad with just Abby in them since we are use to them being together. Thinking of you

chico2
September 29th, 2008, 08:39 AM
:pray:for Keeper and 85%:fingerscr
To me the mounts you are walking in Alberta would be enough to do me in:laughing:but to you Kilimanjaro will be no problem,sounds like a great adventure.

Diamondsmum
September 29th, 2008, 08:43 AM
lots of prayers & good vibes for keeper from us here too.

the pics are beauties! minus Keeper Abby must miss her :sad:

good luck with Kilimanjaro Were all rooting for ya.

Rick C
September 29th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Will you be able to take any pics ? Good luck on mount Kilimanjaro , I'm sure you can do this , a friend of mine did and wasn't that much into shape :laughing:

If you walk slowly enough, anyone can do Kilimanjaro. But altitude sickness can afflict the best athlete while leaving a granny without complications. Lots do it. Lots also fail. It's an adventure.

This is a New York Times interactive, if you're interested, with the author doing the same route and same trek company I'll be using.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/10/26/magazine/20071028_KILIMANJARO_GRAPHIC.html#step1

love the name Mt. Indefatigible .

Most of the mountains in the Kananaskis Range are named after World War I British battleships and battle cruisers that fought at the Battle Of Jutland in 1916. Names like Inflexible, Indomitable, Indefatigible, Black Prince, Galatea, Romulus, etc or names of key players like Beatty and King George.

for the Kilimanjaro trip - don't forget the pain killers & muscle relaxers

Don't worry, I got lotsa drugs!!!

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

ancientgirl
September 29th, 2008, 10:23 AM
Rick, I'm praying Keeper will be one of the lucky 80-85%. Please keep us updated. And good luck on your climb!

Chris21711
September 29th, 2008, 10:36 AM
Don't worry, I got lotsa drugs!!!

http://www.pic4ever.com/images/Ghelyon.gif

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Thanks to sweet Growler who sends me your pics 1 by 1 Rick, I get to see them all. :pray: for Keeper that God is in his court. Good Luck to you on your trip, I'm sure you will enjoy immensely.

I remember a song The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Sacha Distel (sp). Frenchy should be able to correct me on that :rolleyes:

growler~GateKeeper
September 30th, 2008, 01:10 AM
love the name Mt. Indefatigible .

Most of the mountains in the Kananaskis Range are named after World War I British battleships and battle cruisers that fought at the Battle Of Jutland in 1916. Names like Inflexible, Indomitable, Indefatigible, Black Prince, Galatea, Romulus, etc or names of key players like Beatty and King George.

for the Kilimanjaro trip - don't forget the pain killers & muscle relaxers

Don't worry, I got lotsa drugs!!!

:cool: Cool

:laughing: :thumbs up

And Chris your welcome as always :D

14+kitties
September 30th, 2008, 10:47 AM
:grouphug: and lots of :goodvibes: for Keeper. I hope and pray she will be one of the lucky ones.

The pics as usual are breathtaking! :thumbs up

And it goes without saying...... good luck on your upcoming climb and the runs before/after? Can't remember which one.

Winston
September 30th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Rick! Sending you lots of good luck for both your trip and Keepeer on the road to recovery! I guess it must have been a bit weird not having Abby and Keeper to walk with you!

Once again your pics are so wonderful and always a pleasure to look at!

Good luck on your trip!

:grouphug::grouphug: Abby and Keeper!

Cindy

Frenchy
September 30th, 2008, 12:52 PM
I remember a song The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Sacha Distel (sp). Frenchy should be able to correct me on that :rolleyes:

Sasha Distel Chris ? :laughing: I'm too hip to know his songs :cool:

:laughing:

Chris21711
September 30th, 2008, 01:15 PM
Sasha Distel Chris ? :laughing: I'm too hip to know his songs :cool:

:laughing:

But, but you are French http://www.pic4ever.com/images/prariedog1.gif

TeriM
October 1st, 2008, 03:08 AM
Wow, those pics are stunning :cloud9:. I'm glad the Keeper's surgery went well and I hope you get the good news we are all hoping for :fingerscr.

Winston
October 19th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Just checking in Rick to see how Keeper & Abby are doing and as well how your trip went! Hope all is well!

Cindy

Rick C
October 22nd, 2008, 12:44 PM
Just checking in Rick to see how Keeper & Abby are doing and as well how your trip went! Hope all is well!

Cindy

Thank you for asking.

Unfortunately, the news isn't as good as we'd hoped for Keeper.

When I was away, her biopsy results came back indicating the cancer had spread. She has had numerous tests since then and we are going to hear about her bone marrow results later today with a specialist. She has another lymph node that's about four times it's normal size that may have to come out for biopsy as well to see if its an infection or more cancer.

Keeper will have to do chemo. Just lining up the ducks right now. Keeper has a very shaved look from all of the tests. More later.

Made the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet about a week and a half ago and did run the half-marathon in Amsterdam on Sunday. I'll post some pictures in the pet-free photo zone in a day or two.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

14+kitties
October 22nd, 2008, 12:46 PM
Oh no! I was hoping for much better results for Keeper. :sad: She is such a sweetheart. Giant :grouphug: for her and you and your wife as well!! :fingerscr chemo helps.

Frenchy
October 22nd, 2008, 12:46 PM
Welcome back RickC and congrats for Kilimanjaro .....

I am so sorry for you and Keeper. :grouphug:

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2008, 12:49 PM
So sorry to hear it was not good news for Keeper :grouphug:.

Congrats on making it to the summit of Kilimanjaro:highfive:

ancientgirl
October 22nd, 2008, 12:55 PM
Rick, I'm sorry to hear the news. I'll keep Keeper in my prayers. Getting her treatment fast will hopefully keep anything from spreading.

:pray:

hazelrunpack
October 22nd, 2008, 01:19 PM
:goodvibes: for Keeper, Rick. We'll keep her in our thoughts and prayers. :grouphug:

And congratulations on conquering Kilimanjaro! :thumbs up

breeze
October 22nd, 2008, 01:21 PM
:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: for Keeper

:grouphug::grouphug: for you and your wife and for Abby

clm
October 22nd, 2008, 01:22 PM
I'm sorry about the test results for Keeper. I hope the chemo works well for her.

Cindy

growler~GateKeeper
October 23rd, 2008, 05:01 AM
I'm sorry about the cancer spreading :sad: :goodvibes: for the chemo
:grouphug: for Keeper, You, Mrs. C, Abby, Polly & Skyler

Congrats for Kilimanjaro :highfive:

diandpat
October 23rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
:goodvibes::goodvibes:for you, your family and Keeper, of course. Hopefully everything has been caught early enough and that she will sail thru the chemo and pick up where she left off :fingerscr

:highfive: on Kilimanjaro and the half marathon. I can't wait to see your pictures. No doubt they will be spectacular, as usual.

Dog Dancer
October 23rd, 2008, 11:51 AM
So sorry to hear that Keeper's news was not good. Prayers to you all that her Chemo goes well. Congratulations on Kilimanjaro and your marathon Rick, looking forward to the pics.

Melinda
October 23rd, 2008, 12:16 PM
congrats on your marathon! wishing Keeper all the best through further testing and the chemo, fingers and paws will be crossed here and prayers are being sent up.

rainbow
October 23rd, 2008, 05:35 PM
I'm very sorry to hear about Keeper. :grouphug: Hope you get favourable results today. :fingerscr:goodvibes:

Congrats on Kilimanjaro. :highfive:

cpietra16
October 24th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I am so sorry to hear the news about Keeper....:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:coming your way......:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvib es:

krdahmer
October 24th, 2008, 10:03 AM
:pray: & :goodvibes: for Keeper! :grouphug:

Rick C
October 24th, 2008, 03:08 PM
A more definitive update now that I've returned to civilization:

Keeper is in good spirits, looking like a patchwork quilt with all the shaving that has gone on for various tests. . . .

Of the six tests Keeper had around her cancer incident, only one came back a little dirty, hence the decision to embark on some chemo to be safe.

An ultrasound revealed, however, a lymph node between her stomach and liver had enlarged about four times normal size. This could be one of three things: 1) the same cancer spread to a more aggressive area, 2) a different cancer or 3) not cancer at all, perhaps just an infection.

We've given the go-ahead to remove that lymph node for examination. Operation on Tuesday. What the biopsy might reveal will then lead to a mild or more aggressive chemo regimen.

If the node is attached to the stomach and is cancerous, then the outlook would turn decidedly grim. Hopefully things are rosier than that.

So, we're a little in no man's land right now. Keep your paws crossed.

Keeper is getting thinner these days but that might simply be stress related to all her doctor appointments. We've upped her food intake. She used to be a bit of a porker and it was difficult keeping her weight down but not anymore.

While I was away, a starving cat now named Lulu - weighing only six pounds - washed up on the acreage. Carol searched far and wide for a former owner but no chip, earmarks or collar made a reunion impossible.

Lulu lived in the Grand Cherokee for a week and, after getting all her shots, was transported seven hours across the bounding prairie to our house in Viscount, Saskatchewan, where she is happily ensconsced with Jack, another rescue, and Don, Carol's brother. The two cats were instant friends which, I must say, is pretty unusual. Kudos to Carol.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

jessi76
October 24th, 2008, 03:16 PM
thanks for the update - definitely keeping all fingers and paws crossed for Keeper!

awww, would love to see pics of Lulu at some point. I have a kitty with the same name at home. My lulu is a giant beast though, not a wee 6lbs...

ancientgirl
October 24th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Rick, it sounds like she could very well not be as bad as perhaps it sounds? I'm hoping things go well and whatever she has will be gone with some treatments.

And Lulu is a lucky kitty to have wandered into your neck of the woods.

Smiley14
October 24th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the update, Rick! And congrats on your marathan by the way! Very cool!

Sounds like hopefully good news for Keeper! I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's not a cancerous node attached to the stomach.

growler~GateKeeper
October 25th, 2008, 03:06 AM
More :goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray: for this biopsy :goodvibes:

Lulu is one very lucky cat to have come across your doorstep :grouphug:

clm
October 25th, 2008, 07:54 AM
I so hope the biopsy comes back favorable. :pray:

Lulu is a lucky kitty. Congrats on the rescue and the happy result.:thumbs up

Cindy

Brandykins
October 27th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Aw so sorry to hear about Keeper - it must be so worrying for you. I do hope that it will be an infection. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for Keeper. Loki sends her best wishes to Keeper a swell, doggy hugs and kisses.

Those are awe inspiring photos - love them. Saw your other photos as well - they were stunning.

Hugs to Keeper, bless.

badger
October 27th, 2008, 06:06 PM
Poor Keeper, good luck tomorrow, all paws crossed here and a little :pray: to St. Francis.

Lucky Lulu.

Diamondsmum
October 27th, 2008, 07:07 PM
awwww definate prayers for Keeper Will keep all paws & fingers crossed

Rick C
October 27th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Poor Keeper, good luck tomorrow, all paws crossed here and a little :pray: to St. Francis.

Lucky Lulu.

Thanks for the wishes.

Here was Keeper yesterday, already patchy from previous procedures.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0010-edit1.jpg

But energetic on a walk yesterday:

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0091-edit1.jpg

. . . . . and looking forward to her favourite time of year, winter.

http://www.goldentales.ca/DSC_0119-edit1.jpg

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Diamondsmum
October 27th, 2008, 07:59 PM
awwwwwwwwww poor keeper all patchy! Still beautiful tho!

hazelrunpack
October 27th, 2008, 10:54 PM
Love the ears in that second shot!! :laughing: She's such a pretty girl, patchy or not.

Sending more :goodvibes: for the biopsy and keeping all fingers and :pawprint:s crossed!

Chris21711
October 28th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Thinking of Keeper today Rick and :pray: that all the Doggy Gods are in her corner.

rainbow
October 28th, 2008, 01:30 PM
Good luck with Keeper's operation today and for the biopsy results. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

I love the second pic of her. :lovestruck:

Glad to hear that Lulu came across Carol's path and is now in a loving forever home. :cloud9:

Smiley14
October 28th, 2008, 10:07 PM
I've been thinking of Keeper on and off all day today and hoping for the best! I LOVE that picture of her running from a few days ago! :lovestruck:

rainbow
October 30th, 2008, 05:19 AM
How is Keeper doing? :fingerscr :goodvibes:

14+kitties
October 30th, 2008, 08:39 AM
:fingerscr:goodvibes: for Keeper. She's like a pup in that second pic. :cloud9:

Rick C
October 30th, 2008, 11:06 AM
How is Keeper doing? :fingerscr :goodvibes:


She's home. Beat up a bit. She had an up and down night. I slept downstairs with her and let her out three times but she eventually settled down.

She'll probably have better days ahead. She has the cone on and a couple of socks to protect the incision.

I don't think we want her to have any more surgeries. Hopefully it's drugs from now on.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

ancientgirl
October 30th, 2008, 11:11 AM
Rick, I hope she doesn't need any more surgeries and the drugs keep her well.

:goodvibes::fingerscr

14+kitties
October 30th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Keeper will be in my thoughts. :goodvibes::fingerscr

diandpat
October 30th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I don't think we want her to have any more surgeries. Hopefully it's drugs from now on.
Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

:pray::pray: that there are no more surgeries either. It is so difficult on them. Hopefully just some drugs and she'll be good as new!

She is such a beauty. She will be running again in no time :fingerscr

Dog Dancer
October 30th, 2008, 12:48 PM
Praying for a speedy recovery for Keeper. Rick bless you and Carol for being such good parents to your pets. Keeper sure does look like a big puppy in the pics. Hope her surgeries are done now and it's all uphill in a good way!!

Diamondsmum
October 30th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Hugs to Keeper & you guys too.

I also have her in my prayers no more surguries

Gail P
October 30th, 2008, 02:04 PM
Stunning photos as always. :fingerscr :goodvibes: for Keeper :grouphug:

rainbow
October 30th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Wishing Keeper a speedy recovery and hope the chemo works well. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

Chris21711
October 30th, 2008, 07:40 PM
Hoping that Keeper gets back to her old self soon Rick, she is truly beautiful :pray:

growler~GateKeeper
October 31st, 2008, 12:05 AM
:goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray: :goodvibes: speedy recovery Keeper :goodvibes: