Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Roger Caras

Time sure has flown by since we received the news about Stoli. With the time, we also have experienced tons of emotions: shock, denial, anger, grief, sadness, depression and even happiness, yes I said, happiness. You see with lymphoma and the different treatment options we have for Stoli, Stoli can have good days and turn around and have a bad day. So it is like we are riding the roller coaster that never ends and I am not so sure I want it to because we all know what happens when the ride stops. :( He seems to be more lethargic in the mornings but by time early afternoon rolls around, he is ready for his walk and ready to do whatever "it" is that he does. :)

Lately, his biggest thing is to sit out in the yard and "stalk" the kitty next door. The kitty next door is, how do I say this gently....... a terror. Zipping in and out of the weeds and preying on little creatures around the lake. Stoli used to just sit and watch the kitty but now he wants to actually join in on the mischief. On Sunday night, there was quite a commotion going on around the lake. Apparently, the kitty had "something" trapped and Stoli wanted out of the fence and was barking up a storm (which he NEVER does) and was pawing at the fence to get out (again, which he NEVER does). All of the neighbors were standing on their decks laughing at the sight. Kevin and I just looked at each other, hugged and grinned. It was good to see Stoli with so much energy.

Even though he may not have a lot of time left with us, the quality of his life will be the greatest, if we have anything to do with it. Please continue to say prayers for our emotional strength. We sure do need them.

~ Elizabeth

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update on Stoli (with new notes)

Stoli enjoying laying in the backyard!

Many of you have e-mailed or called requesting an update on Stoli. Here is the latest:

We put him on prednisone yesterday which significantly reduced the size of his lymph nodes. He was able to drink and eat without any pain. I took Stoli for a walk last night and he seemed to enjoy it for the first time in about a week. In fact, he picked up on another dog's scent and it was hard for me to keep him from "walking" me. :) It really made me happy to see him acting like his old self again, regardless of how temporary it is.

I know our time is short with him so I am going to utilize all my free time with him. It is so tough to lose your dog when they give you so much unconditional love. Stoli has a way of making all of our family feel better, just by being....well Stoli.... and even though Kevin tried his best, Stoli definitely became a Mommy's boy! :) I will say that there are ways in which Stoli in his innocence is our "best friend," touchingly responsive to our moods and emotions. Isn't it funny how our pets (Stoli included) can teach us how to live fully in the present moment and enjoy the beautiful world that God has made.

Stoli drinking from Grand Lake.. He doesn't like the water AT ALL! :)

As for the chemo options, they are EXTREMELY expensive and we are looking into other options at this point and waiting on the pathologist's report before we make any further decisions. As stated in my last post, bottom line will be to keep him as comfortable and pain free as possible until his final days.

I have attached some pictures of our "fur baby" just so YOU know how beautiful he is.... :) Speaking of beautiful, I have a difficult time getting him to look directly at me when I have the camera in front of my face UNLESS I call him beautiful and then he just stares at me and lets me click away! :)

~ Elizabeth

NOTE: 07/25/08 update: We had a terrible night with Stoli. About 11:30 he woke me up and I thought he was going to be sick. He had been passing gas all night so I took him out and he did his business but then he kept burping like he was going to get sick. He was restless all night and had thick gooey saliva coming out of his mouth all night... He didn't want to lie on his bed but wanted to be in our bed all night so we let him. We had to put a big beach towel on the bed because of his drooling but hey we did what we had to do... needless to say we got very little sleep and our baby is resting peacefully this morning. I'm not sure if it was the combination of the new supplements we gave him or if the prednisone just isn't going to work for him... It is anyone's guess at this point..... continue to pray for us. This rollercoaster ride is difficult to ride.

07/26/08 update: Aaaaah, we ALL had a better night last night. A full night's sleep for everyone. Stoli was back to his "normal" self and was comfortable and snoring away! :) After a long day of crying myself silly yesterday, I got home and relaxed with Stoli.... Today we are preparing all of his natural foods for the upcoming week and making sure he has what he needs to keep him as healthy as possible. This really isn't a burden to us since we do this for ourselves. Let's just say it is an extra step for our fur baby! AND well worth it! :) I am not so naive to think that all days are going to be like last night and today but I am going to enjoy them, and take one day at a time. I truly am grateful for all the time I have had with Stoli. He is one amazing dog! :)

Thanks to all of you who have commented, called and kept us in your prayers. We definitely need the emotional strength! :) LOVE YOU!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hard To Swallow

Sometimes we receive news that is so devastating that it hits us in the gut so hard we can hardly breathe. Well, yesterday that news arrived.

We took Stoli, our beautiful dog, to the vet and were told he has lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. For our family and friends that we have told the first question they have asked is: is there a cure? Theoretically, yes but practically speaking no. Right now, it is best to focus on a realistic outcome which is the longest possible survival with the best quality of life for Stoli. Which is why we are going to take Stoli to see an oncologist on Wednesday morning to see what his best treatment options are. From what we have read, there is approximately a 75% chance of achieving remission regardless of protocol selected, thus giving us more time with Stoli. Bottom line here is we do not want him to suffer in any way.....

Please pray for our family to get through the next few weeks as we determine what action to take for Stoli and to give us strength. For those of you who have pets, you will completely understand our pain, grief and emotion. For those of you who don't, pray anyway! :)

We will keep you posted!

~ Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Peter 5:10 " But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

Before we built our new house, we lived in a town where we would hear the freight trains go by every few minutes. They were LOUD, sometimes they would shake the house (and we lived a mile away) and our dog Stoli would howl his big head off! :) But now we live on the lake and only get to hear a train every once in awhile.

Since my surgery, I have had plenty of "rest" time. I have had time to watch shows on TLC (which I absolutely LOVE). I also have had time to think deeply (uh-oh) of some of the areas in my life that I need to clean up. On the surface, I could clean up my closet and my dresser drawers. :) But inside, I need to have a closer walk with God. He is the one who gives me that inner peace that I crave each and every day and if I don't give him the "time of day" WELL why should I expect him to give me the time of day, let alone peace. :)

Also during my down time, I have learned a very valuable lesson. I AM NOT INVINCIBLE. I am not Wonder Woman (sorry friends) and I can't do it all. This has put me in a bit of a pickle, because you see it brings me to an internal battle/trial. I WANT to do it all, I want to be Wonder Woman! :)

You are probably asking what in the world does Freight Trains have to do with this post, well, let me tell you. Trials can come like a freight train, one freight car after another, after another. The one thing we must realize is this..... sooner or later the caboose WILL finally arrive and pass us. What is the old saying???? "THIS TOO SHALL PASS" and it will.

I believe God gives us trials so that we appreciate His power and love and that we learn to lean on Him and grow stronger in our faith. If life was always perfect, where is the blessing in it? We would never know His amazing gifts of lifting us up in our darkest hour. God will always give us fresh anointing daily to handle everything we may endure in this lifetime. We just have to have faith! :)

So let those freight trains come..... let them toot their horns and make all the noise they want because I know in my heart that the caboose is just around the bend.


Thursday, July 10, 2008


For those of you who have called, e-mailed, texted and have held me up in prayers, thank you so much for all of your support and love! Trust me I have needed to hear your encouraging words! I am not one to "rest" but that is all I have done for a full week now because I have no choice. I simply have no strength at this time and it appears it is going to take some time to regain it. :(

Never fear, out of this, I have learned valuable lessons. For instance:

1) I am not invincible (dang it!).

2) I CAN let friends and family help out. Thanks Pauline for cooking us dinner the other night. It meant a lot.

3) I am loved. :) Life is truly good.

Yesterday, I received the sweetest gift from an amazing couple:

And then the sweetest message ever which made me cry tears of happiness...... Thanks Tom & Tracy.... You are BEAUTIFUL, inside and out!

BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tracy... I know it is tomorrow but wanted to be the first to wish you a wonderful day! xoxoxoxo

This was Joel Osteen's message today and one I truly try to live by:

Today's Scripture"Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

You are God's representative in this earth. When you follow the Word of God and allow Him to work in your life, you are letting your light shine. When you are good to people and show them kindness, even when they don't deserve it, you are shining your light. When you smile and keep a good attitude, even when things don't go your way, you are setting an example so that people will glorify God in heaven. Notice this scripture says, "they will see your good works..." People aren't impressed by our knowledge or what we say, people are drawn to God by our good works.Ask the Lord to show you ways to share His goodness with others. Look for opportunities to let your light shine everywhere you go - at home, at work, in the grocery store, at the gym. There's always an opportunity to be an example of God's goodness. As you do, it will bring honor and glory to God; and when you honor Him, He always honors you. He will continue to pour out His abundant blessing in every area of your life.

Until later friends...

~ Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Update on Surgery

Perry and my KS GALS are the best... they sent me the most beautiful set of assorted roses today......

Sorry it took awhile to post an update but let's just say I had a minor set back and I couldn't post.... I am feeling a tad bit better.....not 100% yet but I suspect that it will take me a few weeks to get back to my "normal" self..... (whatever that is). :)
Surgery took on a different route once they got "in" there and took a look around, it also was a bit more complicated. Instead of the mass being on my ovary as they first thought, it was on my bowels. So they removed the mass and also my remaining fallopian tube. I initially thought I would be back at work on Monday but I had to scratch those plans as my body was not cooperating. :(

I had a really bad reaction to the anesthesia because I ballooned up REALLY big and if I were to post pictures none of you would even recognize me. Kevin won't even look at the photo because he says THAT ISN'T YOU! :(

Overall, I will be fine and I will be back to 100% soon.

I thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers during this past week. I can't even express how much it means to me......the e-mails, the phone calls, the text messages, the love and support... You ALL are the best....

I will try and keep you updated as I can.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I have got to quit reading other people's e-mails about the outcome of their surgeries.... it is giving me freakish dreams and I don't need to be worrying about my surgery. I have enough anxiety issues going on! Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh! :)