Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I saw a bunch of people posting things that they were thankful for every day up until Thanksgiving and I thought it was a nice idea. We could definitely use some positive thoughts around here. Since I'm a slacker, I decided to just make a list once a week until Thanksgiving. So, this week I am thankful for:

1. Bear's Health
Bear joined our family just over two years ago in August 2011. As Bear started getting bigger we noticed that there was always a puddle of pee around him whenever he took a nap. The vet thought that it might be a growth spurt and things were growing at different rates, so we tried a medicine that would strengthen his little bladder muscles. It didn't work and it was getting worse. He was leaking all the time. This time when we went to the vet he suggested that Bear had an ectopic ureter, which is a really rare birth defect (usually seen in females of huskies and two other breeds) in which the ureter draining the kidneys extend past the bladder. He sent us to a specialist.

We found out that Bear's condition has a really negative impact on the dog's quality of life. It can lead to repeated kidney infections. Eventually all of the urine will causes burning on the dog's skin. We knew that medication didn't work and the only option was a surgery that was expensive (several thousand dollars) and only had a 50% chance of success. We were devastated. It was one of the saddest weeks that I can remember. My poor little Bear. He was only three months old and we didn't know what kind of life he would get to have. I couldn't even think about what we might have to do if the surgery didn't work.
Bear on the night before his CT scan. 
On November 1st, Bear went in for a CT scan and the surgeon found an 8 lb. mass in his stomach. At first we thought it was cancer, but it turned out to be one of Bear's kidneys. The doctor wanted to do surgery to remove it immediately, so on November 2nd Bear was in surgery for several hours to remove the bad kidney and see if it was possible to repair the other one. The next morning the surgeon called and said that Bear's other kidney was perfect, but that he was still leaking so he needed a second surgery. That one was a success! Bear came home a few days later almost as good as new! It's been two years since his surgery and he has never had a leak or an infection. We keep an eye on his diet and kidney function but the doctor says there's no reason to think that Bear won't have a normal, healthy life!

2. My sister B coming to visit!
On Saturday, my baby sister B is coming to stay with us for a week. I can't wait. I haven't seen her since July and that's probably the longest that we've ever been apart. I love all of my sisters equally - we're ridiculously close - but I think that B and I probably have the most in common. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with her this week. It will be such a nice distraction from everything that is going on right now.

3. The strongest women that I know
IF sucks, but I know that it would be a million times worse if I hadn't been so lucky to stumble upon a group of the most amazing women/friends that a person could ask for. This process can make you feel so isolated sometimes and I'm so grateful that I have met other people who understand what I'm going through, who don't judge me, and who help me to keep going when I feel like I can't take it anymore. Special thanks to Jaytee, Chickin, DoodMama, Acro, and Becky - thank you for picking me up when I was feeling down earlier this week.  There's a part in one of my current favorite songs that always make me think of my fellow IFers:
So when your hope's on fire
But you know your desire
Don't hold a glass over the flame
Don't let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road

I wish that none of us were on this road, but I'm so grateful that we have each other. It's an amazing feeling to know that someone is holding onto the hope for you when you're having trouble feeling it yourself.


  1. I seriously <3 you! That is one of my obsession songs right now and I will think of you and smile when I hear it (read: sing it very loudly in my car while I rock out). I am so happy to hear that Bear is doing so well after the scary start and I hope you have a great visit with your sister!

  2. Have a great visit with your sister! ILY

  3. I remember all that stuff with Bear. We all were so worried about him. Pets are furry children!

    Also, I LOVE YOU! <3

  4. Awww, <3!! Have so much fun with your sis! (Poor baby Bear...I'm so glad he's okay!)