Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making a Difference

Its been a cancer-ridden month at work.  Two lymphoma diagnoses in as many days - one of which was in for her annual exam and vaccines.  As soon as I kneeled down and said my usual "Hello beautiful" to the dog, I KNEW.  I could see the enlarged lymph nodes before I even touched her.  My heart sank immediately.   

I took an aspirate, confirmed my suspicions, and discussed the diagnosis with the owner.  These are truly difficult, heart-wrenching talks.  This particular chat was difficult for more reasons than the obvious and I could feel myself getting teary-eyed.  We decided on pursuing treatment within our animal hospital instead of a referral to the oncologist.  

I've seen her every other week for over a month for rechecks and bloodwork.  I've changed her doses based on bloodwork, trying to reach that happy medium between treating her disease and not altering her internal organ function too much.  I think, THINK, we've reached a good point... as good as good can be I suppose given her disease.   I told her owner to keep up the good work and that I was really pleased with how she was doing and her owner responded with "its all thanks to you".  

I was speechless for a moment.  She may not know how much that small sentence meant, but it definitely stuck with me.  Its great to feel appreciated, but even better to feel like I am making a difference in hers and her pets life.  I asked her if it was okay to write about her girl in my blog and she let me share this picture: 

Please keep this girl (and her owner) in your thoughts and prayers.  She's a little sweetheart, isn't she?

Thursday, December 11, 2014


But not fun naked streaking... Running streaking! Today marks day 15 of the 36 day running streak - Thanksgiving to New Years. Its not a super impressive streak - compared to 5 years or more from some that I've heard. But I personally have never run 15 days in a row. Nor did I ever have the desire to run 15 consecutive days... but its a goal that I want to complete nonetheless. We have a facebook group that we've been posting in and shit-talking encouraging each other, which has kept us accountable.

The only issue with the 2+ week streak so far is this nagging sickness that I've been battling. It hasn't been lots of fun to run these past two weeks with this alternating thick congestion and faucet-like crap coming out of my nose. AWESOME. I haven't quite decided how I feel about exercising while feeling like junk, but I'm strong enough to be able to run without collapsing, so I figure I'm good - though maybe it is lingering because I haven't been resting enough? Last night I was attempting valiantly to order my brother something online - it needed to be done by 1 am because thats when the sale ended - I FELL ASLEEP TYPING. I woke up half sleeping on my laptop with an imprint of my phone on my face.

Oh... to be an adult.

Despite the gross flu/cold deal, running hasn't been too bad. Averaging anywhere from 1 to 8 miles so far daily - this weekend I want to do at least 10 on saturday or sunday, the weather is supposed to be a little more mild. I've even run AT NIGHT. OUTSIDE. I NEVER do that, but its been fun, though maybe not the safest choice - so I took Jazz with me and it was good for both of us.

Almost halfway through the streak and my legs are still holding up. This is a bigger deal to me because I never run more than 3 days a week - my knee has never been able to handle running consecutive days. No pain, feeling decently good - bodes well for next year!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Puppy Magic

I'd like to say work is all puppies and kittens and petting animals. It's really not. But sometimes, on those sunshine-y days, sometimes all it takes is a litter of puppies to make your day brighter.

This morning, my first appointment of the day was a litter of 3 week old puppies. Perfect, innocent puppies. And their mom was an equally sweet girl that clearly adored her babies. I love seeing how moms and babies interact, it could melt a Frozen heart (I've been called "ice princess" at work... I am not Elsa) - see what I did there? Anyone? Do you want to build a snowman? I digress. This cold medicine is making me loony.

I examined mom and she was looking pretty fantastic for dealing with quintuplets for 3 weeks. She gave me lots of doggy kisses and showed me where her babies were and didn't seem to mind when I picked them up to examine them as long as I kept them in her line of sight. She watched me like a hawk as I picked up each puppy, but she was fairly calm about the whole ordeal.

Puppies are quite hysterical. By three weeks, you can really start to see their personalities emerge. This litter had four males and one female. And mark my words - that little girl is going to get herself in TROUBLE. She is fearless and the only one of the pups to wander around the room, attempt to climb the wall, and nibble on her owner's sweatpants. She was vocal - she cried when I cut her nails like a little drama queen. Mom IMMEDIATELY tried to get near her to see the harm I was inflicted on her baby, so I kneeled down and let mom get a few licks in to make sure her baby was safe and sound.

Of course, puppy magic can't last an entire day. Eventually reality hits and we're faced with vomit, fractious cats, and bloody diarrhea... among other things. But to see a pile of brand new puppies just waiting to get a few snuggles and kisses in with you? You just have to savor those moments and smile for awhile.

Monday, December 1, 2014

SOAS Racing Team!

For the last 2 weeks I have been looking at my phone about every 15 minutes during business hours waiting to hear if I made the SOAS Racing Team as a brand ambassador. Their facebook update today said we would hear by today or tomorrow... which of course intensified my quickly becoming unhealthy email habit of "REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH".

During a particularly busy hour long stretch at work where I didn't even think about touching my phone and was running around like a crazy person, my phone rang and it was Dayle - "I MADE THE TEAM!" In that moment, I couldn't be more thrilled for her. Actually, honest-to-goodness overjoyed. I might've been screaming if I wasn't standing in the pharmacy behind the front desk... We talked before and said that regardless of what happened if either of us made the team, we were to be EXCITED about it and not be afraid of sharing it with the other. A second later, we hung up and I couldn't get to my email fast enough. Like, seriously, it wouldn't let me do it.


I knew I'd have an answer one way or another if I could eventually open my email without my phone freezing.

Minutes later (I kid you not), a new email from Stephanie Swanson popped up - "We would like to invite you to the team!"

After kissing and hugging the phone that I had just cursed into the deep depths of hell, a smile lit up my face and I did a crazy happy dance in the pharmacy. That is, until a client peeked in and I pretended like I was frantically wiping dog hair off my scrub top. My dance moves leave something to be desired... I'm not proud of that fact.

HOLY SHIT. In the back of my mind, I never really thought they would pick me. I mean I knew they'd be crazy not to, right? RIGHT?!? But honestly, I've only been really doing the triathlon thing for a year. The dabbling in years prior doesn't count - I didn't train for those races and usually signed up on a whim only a couple of weeks before. 2014 was the year... It opened up a new world for me, a new passion, something that not only helped me through difficult points in my life, but also gave me a focus and a network of people I never knew existed. Wait a sec, so there are other people out there that LIKE to run for hours for fun? That LIKE to spend endless time on a trainer in front of a TV watching movies? That LIKE to swim at 6 am, only to jump out of the pool and run in the park? WHO KNEW? I SURE DIDN'T!

I also realized that although I think I am a badass at times - there are people WAY MORE BADASS than myself. And slightly, marginally, just a tiny bit more intense about training and numbers and data and gear and technology... okay lets be honest, I actually know nothing about these things, but I want to learn if it makes me better.

For right now though, I did this... and I'm over-the-moon happy about it. One step in the direction I want to go...I get to be part of the SOAS racing team!

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and damn it, people like me. Thank you SOAS, I won't let you down! Dayle and I and the rest of the badass ladies are going to kill it next year!