Monday, April 9, 2012

My Dog Has Cancer

Blitzkrieg has cancer, lymphoma to be exact.

I want to die.

Blitzkrieg was snoring and snorting more heavily than usual. He was due for a routine vet check. Our vet didn’t find anything enlarged or unusual. We thought it was his seasonal allergies since mine are also working overtime with the early warm weather. While we checked out, Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

I’m so glad Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

 When you travel, you should take a friend. This is Bear. He is my first toy and best friend.

Two weeks later, we drop Blitzkrieg off at the vet for his grooming appointment. Later that day, we get a call from the groomer telling us one of Blitzkrieg’s broken teeth (from his abused like a punching bag days) is infected past the gum line. She asks if the vet can pull it. Of course. Maybe this is why Blitzkrieg was snoring heavier than usual?

We get a second call from the vet. Blitzkrieg’s tonsils are swollen. They wanted our permission to do a biopsy – absolutely!

We feel lucky Gahanna Animal Hospital made room on the veterinary side of the practice to treat Blitzkrieg when he originally came in for an appointment on the grooming side of the practice. We are grateful the veterinarian called us later that evening to explain what she found and discuss our fears.

The biopsy results came back. Lymphoma.

Husband and I sat on the sofa, held each other, and cried.

Blitzkrieg tried to comfort us.

That made us cry harder.

We haven’t stopped.

It's not fair it will end this way given the horrible 18 months that Blitzkrieg lived through in the beginning of his life. Blitzkrieg is missing an eye and teeth because he was hit and kicked. I couldn’t pick up a TV remote, book, or hairbrush without Blitzkrieg flinching and preparing for a smack. His behavior reminded me of abused children. He clearly wanted love but he watched my hands very closely just in case. It broke my heart. Every. Single. Time.

It is through sheer hard work, education, and training for the first three years we had Blitzkrieg that Husband and I have the happy go lucky confident goof ball you see on Condo Blues. Blitzkrieg doesn’t care about the remote control anymore unless it is taking the place of where he wants to rest his chin on my leg while I watch TV.

 Chobani sent me a rocket ship! 
Why is my rocket ship is full of Greek yogurt? 

Blitzkrieg still twists and turns when I pet him, not out of fear but to lean against my hand. Behaviorists say this is how dogs hug back. I have to spell the word brush because Blitzkrieg knows the word and gets excited. After a brushing, he earns treats. Blitzkrieg is the smartest dog I have ever known.

How many one eyed dogs do you know that do agility weave poles? 
Do you believe a dog professional told us, "you can't train a Pekingese"?

Husband, Blitzkrieg and I spent last Tuesday with a canine oncologist at Ohio State Veterinary Hospital. The OSU oncologist was impressed with how devoted we are to Blitzkrieg and the things we've done and the lengths we've gone to help him from his dark journey. They were equally impressed with Gahanna Animal Hospital and all they did for us when we came in for a routine grooming. I'm trying to remember we are lucky in that regard. Any later and we would have weeks left with Blitzkrieg and not very good ones at that.

Blitzkrieg is a good candidate for chemotherapy. We start treatments tomorrow. My husband and I are determined to give Blitzkrieg the best quality of life for as long as we can.

 See this motion blur peeps? That's why they call me Blitzkrieg!

Blitzkrieg will need six months of chemotherapy. OSU Vet Hospital doesn't have a payment plan. We do not have pet health insurance. We have to pay $300 up front each week. The total treatment cost will be around $3, 000 when we're finished with chemo.

It will take some financial juggling because my freelance income isn't as regular as my husband's. Before this we were hit with our human health insurance not covering a chunk of my three big kidney tests (they came back normal BTW) because we are close to the out of pocket limit.

I was surprised and grateful when friends asked me if they could contribute to Blitzkrieg’s care and give this little dog the best life possible in the time he has left. I worried if you would consider it being exploitative.

Also, I suck at asking people for money unless its work related or I’m raising money for someone else’s charity.

With prodding from blogging friends and thanks to Karen of EcoKaren, I created the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund donation page using GoFundMe. This is independent of my personal banking accounts and is transparent to donors. Transparency is very important to me because I think there is a special circle in Hell for people who misappropriate charitable donations. Or if there isn’t, there should be.

If you would like to help Blitzkrieg, you may make a donation using the button above or through the link Husband and I will use the money donated to pay for Blitzkrieg’s chemotherapy, medications, and doctor’s visits.

Husband and I will pay for Husband’s and my vet counseling appointments (How cool are they? OSU Vet Hospital has councilors to help the humans deal with a canine cancer diagnosis), our human medical bills, andor the indecent amount of ice cream we have been consuming since we got the news. We will also pay for any car rides to really awesome dog places like the beach ourselves. Blitzkrieg loves a good car ride and smelly places like a Lake Erie beach after a storm.

 I get to go all sorts of fun places because I learned how to be a good dog.

I am an affiliate and make a smell percentage from the following vendors. If you are already making a purchase, will you consider doing it through the links on my blog?

If you are a blogger, I am selling ads on Condo Blues or Lazy Budget Chef sidebar for $25 a month for a 125 x 125 size ad. Please email me at condoblues (AT) gmail [dot] com for details.

In this economy, I fully understand if you want to help Blitzkrieg but are not financially able. Feel free to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. There are donation widgets, Tweets, and Facebook widgets you can use on

Lymphonia is not environmental. Research is being conducted, but as of now, all they know some breeds are predisposed to it. Pekingese are not.

Every dog responds differently to chemo. OSU focuses on quality of life. Husband and I we are determined to do that too. We’re determined to this our tough little dog with the crappy beginning the best ending a dog could possibly have.

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Selynn said...

I'm so sorry to hear that! This must have been one heck of a roller coaster ride for you so far. I hate that helpless feeling when a pet gets sick because it's hard to know what they are feeling when they can't communicate the same. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking for you, your husband and Blitzkrieg and I will do what I can to send help your way. I'm really glad that you and hubby are taking him to a place that focuses on quality of life. I believe in the power of positive thinking and Blitzkrieg is a survivor so I hope he kicks cancer's ass. Please know that a lot of people are sending you all good thoughts through this difficult time.

emily said...


Kerrie said...

I'm so sorry, Lisa. I will be praying, and I'll use the links you provided above too.

Anonymous said...

Lisa -

we went to Gahanna Animal Hospital when Jedd had cancer. They are great and I'm so glad the caught it! Lymphoma in dogs is very treatable and I hope Blitzkrieg responds well; I know how much you both love and take care of him. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you guys!

Carolyn & Jason

Kristi said...

Makes me wanna cry. Hope that little Blitzkrieg recovers well! Love seeing his cute little face. Thanks for sharing. Love and prayers.

Mary said...

Y'all have my most heartfelt sympathy and best wishes. For all the entertainment and information you and Blitzkreig have given me, I'll be glad to help. You and Bliztkreig are like Dorothy and Toto of Blogland. Heck, if we lived closer I'd even treat you and Husband to some ice cream.

~Isabel said...

Praying that your furry baby will be healed....

....and spreading the word for financal help, too!

Soft hugs to you.....

Kristin - The Goat said...

I'm praying for you and your Condo Blues family. Cancer is hard on people and we can at least understand what is going on, I can't imagine what poor Blitzkrieg is going to be going through. My prayers, my prayers. You folks are going to need it. Good for you for putting up a donation page. :)

Carrie Phelps said...

The further I read, the harder I cried. I'm so sorry! This breaks my heart but it also is so wonderful Blitzrieg knows love after such horrible abuse. I'll never understand someone abusing an animal in any manner. I wish I was in a position to help, I wish you great luck.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Carrie, your comment WAS help. That goes for all of you here, and those who have emailed, Facebooked, and Tweeted me. Husband and I are wrecked emotionally. Not everyone understands who important Blitzkrieg is to us. Your love and support is just what we need. We are truly humbled.

Anonymous said...

You are all in my thoughts. My first dog was a rottie and she had a brain tumor. We did all we could and after surgery we were fortunate to have an additional 3 months with her. I'm hoping that Blitzkrieg continues to live an amazing life.
Sue Clarke

GardeniaPatti said...

Lisa, I didn't see this until today. You are in good hands at OSU. They were wonderful when we had to deal with Max's cancer scare. Our healing thoughts are coming your way.

Laura Kaeding said...

I am so sorry to hear about your poor little pooch. He has been through so much, but it sounds like he is getting the most love and the most care that is humanly possible. I will share your story, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Christina said...

I'm so sorry, Lisa. That's just awful news to receive, and cancer is never fair for people or pets.

You should make some of your awesome dog chew toys and sell those, too. Cosmo would gladly vouch for them being a toy that dogs are drawn to!

I'm hoping the treatment goes well and you can all enjoy some more great memories together.

Carol said...

I am heartbroken to hear that B has yet another battle ahead of him. Big prayers going up for little man and his parents!


Toni said...

I'm now crying...amazing how much animals teach us...*hugs*

Portland Vet Clinic said...

That is one touching thing to share. Thanks a lot. Really learned a lot from your informative blog. More power to you!

Unknown said...

Blitzkrieg sounds like an awesome member of your family! And I especially love the picture of him doing some agility moves - what a cool little dog with a giant heart! Hoping and praying that the treatments help him. I already can tell that Blitzkrieg will be helping you and your husband be comforted too. :)

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