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Greta

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About Greta

  • Rank
    Empress Bee
  • Birthday January 29

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  • Gender
    Female

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  • Location
    A faux-adobe casa in a mile-high desert
  • Interests
    reading, hiking/walking, hanging out here, listening to my iPod
  • Occupation
    Keeping up with one amazing daughter and three crazy dogs.

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  1. They’ve already been mentioned but I’ll give an additional vote for Jane the Virgin, New Girl, and The Good Place. I’m going to look into some of the other suggestions. Great thread.
  2. And I’m crying now, which is lovely because you are all so lovely! I truly can’t thank you all enough for the kindness, the prayers, and the shared joy!
  3. Thank you all! I really do appreciate the warm welcome back. It's so nice to be here. My avatar pic is a quick pencil sketch that my daughter did of me quite a number of years ago now. Let's all just pretend that I still have the long, thick hair that I did when she drew that, okay? 🤣
  4. Hello, all of you dear wonderful people whom I have missed so much! Since it has been so very long, I wanted to check and let you know that I am still around, and doing exceptionally well considering my circumstances. For those who are new and don't know what I'm talking about, or don't remember the details, in August of 2018 I got a most unexpected diagnosis: lung cancer, stage 4, terminal. It was a complete shock because I was in pretty good health except for a mild but persistent cough. I'd never smoked a cigarette, been around second-hand smoke, or worked around volatile chemicals; and our home tested negative for radon. But by the time I experienced that first symptom, the cancer had already spread to my bones (vertebrae, hip, shoulder) and brain - multiple lesions in every part of my brain, so many they didn't bother to count. Over the course of just a few days, I went from planning vacations and home improvements and retirement to planning my funeral and writing goodbye letters to all my loved ones. My oncologist said that the average life expectancy after a diagnosis like mine was 12 months, but it could be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Now here we are, about 19 months later, and I'm doing better than we could have hoped. My first course of treatment was radiation to my brain, and then I started chemotherapy and immune therapy. The first four months or so I had to be on a fairly unpleasant chemo drug, but now I am on a milder one. I receive it and an immune therapy drug every three weeks, indefinitely. And the treatment is working! My last brain scan showed only one lesion left! Just one! And my last body scan showed that the tumors in my bones are all either stable or shrinking, and the big nasty one in my lung that started it all is shrinking. None of that is to say that I'm on my way to remission. Unfortunately, that is not something I can expect. My care is palliative, not curative, but it is giving me more time, and my quality of life is very good because I have had few complications or side-effects. And the complications and side-effects that I've had have been very tolerable, though I admit I can get grumpy and frustrated at times. When that happens, I try very hard to remind myself that at least I don't have to have a pleural catheter anymore - I hope that none of you even know what that means, just trust me, it isn't pretty! 😂 Truly, I have been so incredibly blessed and fortunate, in my life in general, and through this illness as well. My husband and I are closer than ever. My daughter is living at home, for which I am so glad, and attending her second year of university. My mother came and cared for me during the worst times, in the way that only a mother can. So many friends and family members have reached out to me in kindness and generosity. And Christ has been my rock and my comfort. My sanity, in fact. Though I have certainly done nothing to deserve any of this, I am blessed beyond measure. I know I am not the only board member here who is suffering with cancer or other illness, so I feel awkward that I've made this all about me. But I wanted to give you all and update, and I'm going to browse the boards and look for updates on all of you. I sincerely hope that those who are sick are finding healing and comfort, and that all of you are staying as protected and safe as possible in the midst of this pandemic. With much love, Greta
  5. I am sitting here bawling like a big baby, having read all of your messages of love and support and kindness. But not all tears are a bad thing. I am feeling so blessed to have such a network of wonderful people out there thinking about me and praying for me. Every single word you wrote is an absolute treasure to me. Thank you all so very much. ❤️❤️❤️
  6. Sending you love and gentle hugs as you navigate this impossibly hard time.   I hope that you can win as much quality time as possible...you bring so much light to the world.  If you ever need a place to rage or grieve or vent to someone who isn't there in the trenches, I would like to be here for you.   (((Greta)))

  7. That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it with us!
  8. I agree with you completely. We recently lost a very sweet, beloved dog to brain cancer. They deduced that it was brain cancer based on symptoms (and I saw two different vets for this to be more confident about the diagnosis). They also offered an MRI to be certain of the diagnosis, and treatment options to extend life. We decided instead to pass on both the MRI and the cancer treatment, and to put him on prednisone to reduce inflammation and make him as comfortable as possible for the time he had left. I won't lie, finances were part of that decision. His treatment was going to cost about what a year of my daughter's college expenses cost, and that was just unreasonable for us. But it wasn't just that. It was also a quality of life issue. We did not want to put him through the trauma of treatment. He got to spend his last few months at home with his family where he was happy, rather than frightened and uncomfortable in vets' offices. He passed away peacefully in his sleep here at home. We have no regrets about our decision. And the vets who treated him were all supportive and understanding of that decision. Different vets have different philosophies about this sort of thing, and that is of course understandable. But your vet needs to respect your decision. I hope that she will stop pressuring you, but if not, it might be time to look for a different vet. And a second opinion might put your husband's mind at ease too. Just a thought.
  9. Oh, I didn't even think about whether the shelter could still "list" her as available even while we still have her. Great suggestion, I will find out today. And I'll look into Petfinder too. Thank you!
  10. It is the city shelter, and it is a kill shelter, but they said they only euthanize in the event of either untreatable medical problems or behavior problems so extreme that adoption is not possible. Since she would be a *wonderful* dog in a situation where she's the only dog, I don't think she falls into that "adoption is not possible" category at all. So I think they could find her a better home, and I would certainly be open to the possibility of fostering her in the meantime. We've been keeping them separated except when supervised by at least two of us, and it seems to be working alright. (Though it's not something I would want to do for YEARS to come, it would be fine temporarily.) To be honest, my husband is such a big softy when it comes to dogs that I don't think he's up to the level of training required here. He would disagree, but that's my opinion. It's more like our dogs have him trained to give biscuits on command and do what they want! And under normal circumstances I would be willing to try (and I'm the one who is home all day, so it could work), but I've developed a medical condition that is probably going to be more ongoing and serious than I originally thought, and it looks like the next few months are going to be full of doctor's appointments and unpleasant outpatient procedures and me being in a generally weakened/distracted/worried state. Probably not the best time to have adopted any dog, but definitely not one with a behavioral problem. And if this is a common breed trait, then that makes me think I'm not up to training it out of her anyway. It's very hard to train against a dog's nature/instincts. I'm sure that professionals can do that, but I'm not sure I have either the time or the money that would require right now. The shelter said that we have 30 days to return her. So I could take that time to try to find her a better home. And I'm going to have to make it clear to my husband that it just isn't worth risking the safety, health, and lives of our other dogs.
  11. I've been all the things. Let's see . . . raised unitarian monotheist, became adamantly atheist by age 18, dabbled in polytheism but it didn't stick, back to atheist, softened to agnostic briefly before becoming pantheist, was comfortably pantheist for several years but then became trinitarian monotheist and honestly, sincerely thought I was done. But that doesn't seem to be sticking either and I'm finding myself more pantheist-leaning again. Penguin said, "I admit that I at times envy those who consider themselves content. I find that feeling elusive." You took the words right out of my mouth. I want very much to be a person of faith, but for me it's like trying to hold water in your hands. Eventually, no matter how hard I try, it just drips away, and I'm left empty. If I had to choose a label at the moment I think it would be pantheist Taoist, because that doesn't require any sort of dogma or doctrine, and my brain just can't seem to do dogma and doctrine. But I can't be an atheist either, because I've had experiences that can't be explained by a purely materialist universe. So pantheism suits. For now. Five years from now? Your guess is as good as mine!
  12. Thank you all so much for the replies. I did the psychological work of accepting that we have to take this dog back (couldn't actually do it yet because of some medical issues of my own, but could potentially do it today), and now my husband is fighting me on this, saying that she's trainable and we can't take her back to that place. ?
  13. I asked my husband, because he's been there. He said it's not a place you want to be in summer. Go in the spring or fall. And if you are really into mountain biking, four-wheeling, rafting, hiking, and/or rock climbing, then yes it is absolutely a great destination.
  14. Thank you, Pawz4me. I was hoping that you would reply because, though I don't remember the particulars of your background, I was thinking you had a lot of experience with dogs. What you said about the "honeymoon period" was something that I had wondered about. Our little chihuahua mix, for example, can be a bit feisty and ornery at times. But the first couple of weeks she was here you never would have guessed it! She was a perfect little angel. So I was thinking that if this is the new dog's behavior when she's timid and unsure and still trying to learn how things work here, she may end up completely unmanageable when she's more comfortable and confident. It really is too bad. I've never had to take a dog to the shelter before for any reason. It's going to be hard.
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