two month ampuversary. so much change, so much is the same.

I first want to say another word of thanks to the whole tripawd commuity. You all were able to refocus my sadness from last week with a few heartfelt words. I deserved a much stronger swift kick than I got from you.

That said, Sam did a great job of keeping my focus all weekend. We spent time in the garden, in the pool, in the grass and snuglging on the bed. Looking back two months, the day before his surgery, we spent time in the garden, in the pool, in the grass and snuggling on the bed.

As long as we stay focused on those things and continue to find creative adventures, we will keep giving cancer a strong swift kick, instead of the other way around.

Happy two months of new normal. Here is to as many happy months as we can get. (Flying Dutchman for dinner tomorrow is a great start).

HAHA! Have to add, I just convinced Sam he could push a door open that wasn’t latched. He pushed through it. Then he looked at me like “should I close it now?” Yes, Sam you can “close it”. So, he jumped up and pushed the door closed! He used to do that without my asking… it was just good manners to close a door he opened. But I hadn’t asked for it since surgery. One more thing to celebrate that is the same as always. ūüėÄ

Why I didn’t want to know…

Sam had chemo round 3 today. Handled it like a champ, per his usual self.

I had to work all day. In order to make the appointment I had to drop him really early. I asked the tech questions. She asked me questions. I told her I was really concerned about the chest film and let her know I wouldn’t be back until the end of my work day.

So, when the phone rang, I jumped out of my meeting to find out what was wrong. It was Dr. S, which was a nice surprise. I figured I wouldn’t get to chat with her until tomorrow. I cheerfully asked “how’s my good boy?” She says “well, …………………”

They found a spot on his lung.

It is small. So small, she cant be sure it is a met… but she cant be sure it isn’t.

But, he is on the best Protocol so we aren’t goon to change anything. Send him through two more rounds and then check again. Six weeks. Six weeks of not knowing anything and worrying about everything. Either, the spot is a blood vessel or my dog is dying.

Damn it.

I didn’t want to know.

Sam went on a new adventure to celebrate his mom’s birthday!

I tend to throw the word “adventure” around when it comes to Sam, so I think it is important to explain that I use that term in its full intended authenticity.¬†¬† Me and Sam are like peas and carrots who love to go to new places and look for new things. I think it is why we made it as a search team for so long.

yup, that is sam from earlier this year – he was out there swimming for over an hour while I sat on the shore.

We even go on vacation together. A girl and her dog in a truck and off we go, dad is usually invited but rarely can join us.  This summer we took two weeks to explore Yosemite and the eastern Sierra Рwe made it a goal to hike to and swim in a glacial lake every day.

So, it was quite a treat when DAD says “can you take Tuesday off so we can go to New Mexico for the holiday weekend?”¬†¬† um, what?¬† really? Sure!¬† Let’s go.

We have taken day trips since his surgery, but this was our first overnight trip and we decided to make it a trip to visit Sam’s friends who have been so supportive through this whole ordeal.¬†

We are 7 weeks post amp, two chemo treatments down, and this was a good week to head out.


Happy hiking dog. We don’t go far, but we go fast! (notice the pretty aspen leaves in the background).

First stop was in Deming to visit his Uncle Ken and Aunt Nancy who we have known for 9 of Sam’s 10 years.¬†¬† Then up to Sante Fe to see my brother and his lovely wife.¬† Together, we went out to the Jemez mountains because I wanted to see aspen leaves for my birthday.¬† We don’t get much color down here in southern Arizona, and it was time to see¬†some autumn leaves.¬† It was gorgeous.¬† We drove up to a picnic area and expected to sit in the sun for a while.¬† Sam had other plans.

He found a trail.

He decided to hike that trail.

So, we followed.  He was happy about it and I think I snapped my new favorite photo of him.

We didn’t go far as it was pretty steep and had lots of roots and rocks to navigate.¬† At one point he jumped over a 2 foot wall, just because it was in his way.¬† Yes, there was a trail to go around it.¬† But Sam decided to go over it.

We splashed in a creek, sniffed some rocks, and he ran ahead and waited.¬† Our new motto is we don’t go far, but where we go, we go fast!




hopping on sand is hard!

From Sante Fe, we moved north to see our bestest friends Deb and Fred and Millie.¬† Millie is a beautiful golden girl who Sam loves, and Deb… well, all dogs love Deb.

_We took a day trip up to¬†Great Sand Dunes National Park and tried to go for a hop on the sand.¬† Sam was game, but man… sand is hard to hop on.¬†¬†¬†We didn’t make it to the dunes, but we got a good picture of me and my dog part way out. Instead of continuing, we headed back over to some more aspen trees and Sam was ready to go.¬† So, we started hiking… and he kept going, and going…¬† it was a loop, so we stayed with him and took breaks when he needed them.

We went a whole 1/2 mile and he still had energy to spare.¬† Every time I think he can’t do something, he does it anyway.¬†¬† He is¬†our Sam and is up for anything.

Game on.¬† Let’s keep planning adventures!