Officially Back to Blogging for Animal Welfare

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After some time away from the blog, I am back.

To update, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in early March and underwent surgery immediately. About 75 percent of the rumor was removed and I’ve undergone chemo and radiation treatments and more.

On the one hand, I’ve been given a though diagnosis and a though possible outcome. But if by nothing more tHan massign determination, I will beat it.

My healthcare slogan is – “I’m a lean, mean, tumor-fighting machine.”

I’d like to thank my family for their support, in many ways. It has been an up and down ride and my vision – due to a partisan field-of-vision loss –  has been impacted.

But getting to the main theme today, I am going to continue my mission of speaking out for animals. I will continue to focus on topics such as the evils of puppy mills and greyhound racing and so much more.

I will also dive into more positive topics and even some humour on occasion to mix things up. And I’d like to bring in updates on my cancer battle, as I want to be an advocate for others battling cancers – for humans and animals.

Please follow the blog and hollow along on Twitter.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Cancer Log: Thus far, treatment progressing well

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I’ve thought a lot about a means of producing a diary or log of my experience in battling this brain tumor thing I’ve been handed. It is a glioblastoma, which is highly malignant.

I am undergoing radiation and chemo treatments and thus far, three weeks into the treatments,  I am experiencing very, very little to no ill affects.

I had been experiencing approximately a headache per day for awhile – post-surgery. My surgery occurred in early March. At first, I was needing to take a headache pill about once per day. Over the last three weeks, I’ve needed a headache pill on only one occasion.

My reading and writing abilities took a hit due to the tumor and right after the surgery, I struggled to get back to work as a writer. Again, over the last three weeks, my reading and writing have significantly improved.

The most problematic is the hole within my peripheral field of vision, on the left side. This makes it a bit more difficult to type and is still slowing me up on writing a bit.

The improvement in these skills was very welcome. I hope I’ll see more advancement in the weeks and months to come. But the vision hole will likely be more difficult to overcome.

One therapy to improve my reading skills, one that I developed on my own, was reading the newspaper comics page. Sounds strange or comical enough, but it worked. I started doing this around mid-March and at first I struggle to get through each section,

But slowly, I was able to speed up the time it took me to read through it each day. Now, I’m nearly all the way back to normal is this area. At times, I still have to stop for a moment to pick up a word or two.

Why do I think the comics have been more helpful? – Because the fonts vary and it takes a bit more focus to read each strip.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Back to Blogging – But Fighting Cancer

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I’ve been away from the Pack Mentality keyboard for a time, as I was diagnosed with – and immediately underwent surgery for – a brain rumor back in early March.

So while I’ve written for many, many years about canine cancer and health conditions in all animals, now I’m facing the crisis. I don’t know the outcome at this point, other than to state that I will beat this crisis with total determination – period.

My family has been great and fully supportive – from my wife to my brothers and kids. My friends, coworkers and neighbors have been great as well. This was out of the blue and as is the case for everyone in this situation, completely unexpected.

But through my family and friends and my work, I have much to live for – a ton to live for. Our band of rescue dogs have been a source of support and love.

If you spot a few more misspelled words here in this space, it is most likely due to visual problems brought on by the tumor. These issues do seem to be improving.

My plan is to jump back into blogging now and to be an an even more determined advocate for animals. So please come back often and join the battle to protect animals from abuse and neglect and to address issues that involve animals and human health.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

We’ve lost two family members to cancer

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My wife and I are sad to report that we’ve lost two family members to cancer. Thelma Lou was a terrier-beagle mix and Chester was a basset hound.

Chester, probably around 13 years old, passed away on Thursday, after battling mast cell tumors. We rescued him about eight years ago and adopted him out. After several years, he was returned to us and we decided he needed to be in our family.

A tumor was removed from under his armpit this summer. Later, smaller tumors developed all over his body and into his spleen. His treatments managed to keep him comfortable for some time. But over the last week, his condition worsened.

Thelma Lou was around 8. Over the summer, we found a lump on her side and at first it was believed to be an injury. But it continued to grow. We had her evaluated locally and at a specialty hospital. Both examinations should she had a hemangiosarcoma. The cancer had quickly spread into her lungs.

Earlier this month, we said our final goodbyes to her.

Thelma came to us from an area shelter, where the dogs had to be sent out because a cruelty case meant a number of other dogs had to be housed during an investigation.

Cancer is far too prevalent in canines. We’ve seen more than our share over the years in our family of rescues. I tend to believe poor breeding practices are a primary cause. I hope to soon begin more research in this area.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic