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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 12 March 2007

Latest Update: Sunday, 18 March 2007 3:20 p.m.

Monday, 12 March 2007

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Over the weekend I noticed a growth in Duncan's mouth behind one of his teeth. I called first thing this morning for an appointment with the vet.  Bob took him over at 9. The vet called me this morning while Bob was still there to let me know they were doing emergency surgery to remove some of the tumor for a biopsy.

The vet called me at work at 2pm to let me know the news was not good. He was only able to take part of the tumor because the bleeding was so bad. He took enough to get a tissue sample to send off to the lab. There is a mostly good chance it is malignant. 

I called Bob from work to let him know what was going on then came on home. Needless to say I am an emotional wreck. The vet says that if he makes it through tonight without the tumor bleeding again he may have days, weeks, or months. We are bringing him home this afternoon at 6 from the vets. If he does start bleeding during the night we will have to rush him to the emergency vet to put him to sleep.

We have asked Eric, the vet, to sedate him to bring him home and we will keep him sedated through the night to make it less of a chance for the tumor to bust open again. 


Tuesday, 13 March 2007

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We made it through the night. I slept off and on, about an hour and half to two hours at time. Duncan moved around which made me wake up to check on him. He was still pretty groggy this morning but was able to walk out the door on his own. Last night when we brought him home he could not walk. We used a towel under his belly to hold him up like I used to do for Kerry.

Knowing I would get very little sleep I had planned to stay home from work today. Also, I needed to be here to take care of Duncan and help Bob since handling both dogs would be difficult. I also knew I would not be able to concentrate at work from worrying about how Duncan was doing. Duncan needed me at home today to reassure him everything was okay. When I am in the house he is sticking pretty close to me.

I took an hour or so nap this morning after we got up to let the dogs out and read the paper. Then I spent most of the morning sitting with Duncan either in the den or outside. He really likes lying outside in the yard. But, the temperatures today got into the low 80's which was much too warm for him to be laying in the sunshine. I may take him back outside after dinner for a little while.

Around mid-morning Gerald and his crew came back over to work on the bathrooms. They have finished the downstairs and are almost finished up here. I  now have outside electrical outlets on both the front and back of the house for my edger and blower. Before, I had to plug them in inside the house. They were supposed to do some work up here yesterday but I was not up to having them in the house with all the stuff going on with Duncan. 

After lunch I settled Duncan in Bob's office and penned Malcolm up in the den before taking off on a couple of errands. Since Duncan seemed to be stable I thought I might as well use my day off to get the shopping done for the new bathrooms I was supposed to do last night and tonight. First stop, Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I picked up shower curtains for both bathrooms, a new set of towels, and other things. Then on to Home Depot for the light bar.

As I said, it is blazing hot for March. I am sure we will pay for this down the road. But, what a great time for it to be mild weather with Duncan hobbling around.  Between the anesthesia and having his hips x rayed yesterday he is still a bit wobbly on his back legs. 


Wednesday, 14 March 2007

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Wonderful news. Duncan's growth is  not cancerous but is instead a plasmacytoma, the same thing we had taken off his back a couple of years ago. We still have some issues to deal with. Until the surgery heals over it could still hemorrhage. We also need to explore the best and least evasive way to stop the tumor from growing. And, his hips are pretty bad with arthritis and joint problems but overall he is doing well for 12 years old.

This morning he wanted to play ball. This afternoon when I got home from work he met me at the top of the stairs bright eyed and bouncing like usual. His back legs are still not real steady but he is walking much better. One of his routine things to do after I get home is to go out and jump up on the couch in Bob's place when I go to start dinner. Tonight, after I changed cloths Bob and I came down the hall and there was Duncan, up on the sofa. It was a beautiful sight to see he could jump up there.

I am working through lunch the rest of the week to make up my time from Monday. When I left this morning I had decided I would not go to the gym. The stress from the last few days has worn us both down. When Bob called me at work to let me know the good news I felt like a big boulder had been lifted from my shoulders.

It is still disgustingly hot and muggy for March.

I finished up another Hamish Macbeth, Death of a Bore during the weekend and week. Last night I started another J. A. Jance, Skeleton Canyon.

Gerald and his crew are finished with the bathrooms except for our shower. He needs to caulk and install new handles and shower head. He also has to fix the rotting post on the porch and the back stoop. The bathrooms look great. I still have to prime and paint the base and medicine cabinets.


Thursday, 15 March 2007

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When I got home tonight after a quick library and grocery store trip Duncan met me at the doors like he always did. You would never know he had surgery on Monday and could barely walk on Tuesday. I am still having to hand feed him from a plate using softened dog food in broth and hot dogs but he is eating. I noticed he turns his head to take the food from the plate in a side angle. i am assuming the right side of his mouth is either still sore and/or feels funny from where it is healing.

The warm, springlike weather will end tonight. We have a major rain event coming in tonight and tomorrow bringing cool temperatures. Today, it again made it into the mid 70's. Tonight it is to drop down to the low 50's and tomorrow be a high of the same with low's tomorrow going down into the 30's again.


Friday, 16 March 2007

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No update.


Saturday, 17 March 2007

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Happy St. Patrick's Day. I am back at my painting projects. This morning I moved the small stuff from our bedroom and large pieces of furniture to the middle of the floor. I also taped up the edges around the medicine cabinet mirror and sink base. After priming those I started on our bedroom. The walls are now finished. I used almost the same shade of blue so one coat will be enough. Next I will trim the baseboards and doors so they can start drying. Tonight we will have to sleep in the den again. I am using the same trim paint for the bathroom cabinets. I also need to paint the baseboards in the bathroom and the window.

Duncan acts like his old self again. I took them out for a quick playtime in the back yard before after lunch and he played ball as usual. Since his surgery I have upped his Previcox from half a table a day to half in the morning and half at dinner. He seems to be moving around a lot better. I may keep him on that dose since his hips are so bad.

It is a beautiful sunny day outside but cold and windy. High's today only in the mid 40's with 20 to 30 mph winds. Cold again tonight.


Sunday, 18 March 2007

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Not enough hours in the day. I had about half the baseboards and part of a window trimmed when I stopped about 4:14 yesterday afternoon. Last night we started watching a very old Masterpiece Theater from 1976, I Claudius. Excellent series, Bob and I did see it once back in the early 80's. Claudius is played by one of my favorite actors, Derek Jacobi. Watching this series twenty years later we are now recognizing many young actors and actresses we have seen in many British shows over the years that had early roles in this production.

I was up and at the painting again this morning by 8:30. I finish the baseboards and painted the bedroom and closet doors before starting on the bathroom cabinets. I  ran out of time before  I needed to leave for my folks house for lunch. We had already decided it would be too cold for golf. A visit with the folks and lunch is more important than finishing paint projects.

Back home, Bob helped me put wall plates back on and move furniture back in place. I still have a window and a half to complete, the trim in the bathroom, those cabinets, and a second coat on the doors. I also need to prime and paint the backside of the two cabinet doors. At least we can move back to the bedroom to sleep again. It will most likely be another week before we can get back in our bathroom.

The frustrating part to this painting project is lack of time. When I was working for the county I had boat loads of vacation. Being new to the Firm I have to be careful not to use my days up too quickly. Had I still be with the county I would have just taken a week off and go all this painting done at one time. I shall just have to be patient. The worst part is having my house look like a cyclone has gone through each room. Most of the excess stuff from our bedroom is in my office. Bob's workroom is serving as the paint supply room. At least the den and kitchen stay pretty much organized.

I worked half an hour past my Sunday quiting point. I try to wrap all work projects up by 3 and take the afternoon and evening off to rest up for work on Monday.


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