Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94
Friday, August 9
Here is the link to Rebecca Jex Photography
Here is a little update on Sydney- we took her to the LSU Veterinary Oncology clinic in mid July, just days after we got the news of her cancer. They ran bloodwork, biopsies, and aspirations of her organs. We decided the visit to LSU was necessary because they are able to do more intensive testing than our local vet in order to determine the severity of the cancer. We were very prepared for the worst and although we confirmed the bad news, it could have been worse news. She has malignant Mast Cell tumors, some external (how we discovered the cancer) and some internal. For most dogs, the underlying cause of the tumors is not known. Mast cell tumors have 3 grades, with grade I being the least aggressive and grade III being highly aggressive tumors. The bad news- she is Grade III. The tumors will eventually spread to her lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and bone marrow. As of now it's only in her lymph nodes, not good but better than being in her organs. Chemo was the only option at this stage and after 12 rounds, they told us it would just be slowing down the cancer and there is no way to cure it. She will experience pain as the tumors spread whether she does Chemo or not, basically it would just be prolonging the inevitable. So after much consideration we decided against Chemo. We don't want her to be in pain any longer than she has to be. I believe they told us she might have 4-6 months without Chemo and 6-12 months with Chemo. Zach said it best, in a human you would fight for every additional day, within reason, because they are developing relationships but with a dog it's just us being selfish because we want them here with us. I remember when Zach and I started dating they told Randa (his mom) she had 2 years to live due to the aggressiveness of her cancer....over the next 7 years she saw us graduate college, law school, and get married. So who knows the timeline for our sweet Syd, but to help fight the secondary effects of the tumor we are giving her prednisone, Benadryl, Pepcid, and a steroid 2x daily.
I am including so much info because they say this type of cancer is very common in dogs and Mast Cell tumors account for 20% of tumors found in dogs. So if your dog has a growth, always biopsy just in case!
Wednesday, August 7
I didn't go crazy on decor, and was really proud of myself for using supplies I already had with the exception of a few items. I think in all I spent $60 on the party (minus the food) which I am sure is a far cry from what I would have shelled out for a big party on the golf course. I also baked his cake and cupcakes because I am a sucker for homemade, I always felt so loved and special when mom would make my birthday cake!
Here are a few things I made, and if you know me well you know that is inevitable. Even small occasions require me to create something handmade. I was at the pool with a friend and she said she had everything for her son's party figured out...she just got on etsy, oriental trading, and placed a giant order and in a matter of 2 hours it was done. Although I am time poor and streched thin, I have never been able to order pre-made, hand-made party decor. It's like a chef ordering cupcakes from a bakery...just doesn't feel right. So I made the time.
So on to Austin's Up Up and Away Party, you guessed it...when you live in Natchez you gotta do a hot air balloon themed party.
|Hot air balloon bake floating through the clouds|
|The clouds and hotair balloon I made for the mantle. He loves Dr. Suess books so I had to throw this in.|
|Hot air balloon cookies and hotair balloon I made from twine, an outdoor lantern, and a square basket.|
We feasted over BBQ and cupcakes at our house. We had a blast talking, playing, and eating indoors while it rained cats and dogs outside. Another reason I am relieved we didn't do a large party, it was going to be the same day...OUTSIDE...behind my parents house on the golf course. It would have been a golf themed party since he is completely obsessed with "dolfers" (golfers) and "dolf tarts" (golf carts). It would have had a bounce house and tons of golf themed decor and it would have been TOTALLY RAINED OUT.
|Here is Austin arranging and rearranging his chairs, we had to add felt to the bottoms because he does this constantly at our house.|
|Austin was so excited to open his super fratty Fedora from Mrs. Anita Bickley! It's so cute and he loved wearing it at the party!|
|Seeing his bike for the first time|