Over the last two weeks, Sophie and I have had several blessings bestowed upon us in quick succession. We have so much to tell you!!
First, our friend Michelle at the Riedel & Cody Fund reached out on our behalf to a public relations firm they have been working with, Mind Over Media PR. The founders, Lisa and Jocelyn, called me and took the time to listen to our story. They are now working with their contacts in the media to generate interest in our cause! Sophie tells me all the time that she is ready for her close-up, and if everything goes as planned, we might be appearing on TV or giving interviews to share our story and inspire other parents of pets affected by cancer. "Winning!"
Second, Michelle heard that Sophie and I were still several hundred dollars short of our goal to finish Sophie's chemotherapy. So she went back to the board of directors at RCF, and they agreed to donate a whopping $1000 to Sophie's oncology bills! You might imagine there were some tears that day, and you would be right. In fact I'm tearing up again just thinking about that phone call. This incredible gift means we can discontinue our very successful ChipIn campaign, which has brought so many loving people, generous of heart and soul, into our lives. It means I can focus on standing by Sophie's side, focused 100% on her health, through the end of treatment without worrying about the cost. You all know how much that means.
But wait, there's more! I'll need to provide a little background now.
When I became acquainted with Kristie Sullens and Save-An-Angel just a few weeks ago, Kristie and I had a long talk about her dog, Angel, who is one of the few canine recipients of a bone marrow transplant and has been cancer-free for ten months. (It's an incredible story, and if you aren't yet familiar with Save-An-Angel, click on over as soon as you can.) I would be remiss in not exploring this option for Sophie, but the cost of treatment (about $16,000) seemed daunting, not to mention the emotional stress of the travel and recovery time involved for the procedure, which would be performed in North Carolina. Long story short, I decided it was not a wise option for Sophie and me, despite Kristie's insistance that she would help us every step of the way—you can read about the Save-An-Angel "BMT Pack" on their website.
After speaking with our oncologist, I arrived at what I considered to be a compromise that I could live with: Radiation. The treatment is referred to as "half-body radiation," and it takes place over the course of two treatments about one week apart. There is some setup involved and some anesthesia, as well as a strong dose of chemo. The side effects and recovery time can vary depending on the animal, and the cost is about $5,000.
Dr. Oberthaler and I feel that Sophie is a good candidate, especially as she has tolerated chemotherapy quite well. She is quite a sturdy dog for an eight year-old cancer patient! And with the momentum that YOU have helped us acquire, I don't want to give up now. I know we can raise the funds needed for radiation, and when we do, this treatment could give Sophie as much as two more years of quality life. That's long enough for her to finally see the ocean, to go on vacation with her mom, and maybe even find an affordable NYC apartment with a coveted backyard. The sky's the limit :)
There is some new business to attend to with this new goal. For instance, we want people to be able to donate through a non-profit organization, so I will be posting new information to the Ways To Help page of http://www.dare2care4sophie.com/ as soon as I am able. We also have a new Facebook page for the campaign, and Facebook users will soon be able to contribute via the popular "Causes" application on Facebook. We are so legit!
In medical news, Sophie and I were BOTH sick a couple of weeks ago. Sophie suffered the affects of toxicity from her last dose of adriamycin, and it cost us a visit to the hospital. I was able to bring her home that evening after receiving some fluids and medication for nausea. It would still be a few days before she was back to eating normally and feeling good, and in the meantime, I was weathering a nasty cold. It wasn't the best of circumstances, but we both benefitted from the extra rest and time together, and now we're feeling great. Sophie is back to her normal shenanigans, soared through her subsequent chemo appointment with flying colors, and I was able to complete three more races.
For those of you who are following the "Dancing Dog" part of this campaign, wherein I run races in a dog costume with a tutu to raise awareness about Sophie (and let's face it, have a really great time in the process), that makes 42.6 "tutu" miles to date. WHOAH.
You are now up to date! Please do continue to follow our campaign on the website, www.Dare2Care4Sophie.com, and our new Facebook page. We'll still continue to write blog entries and post videos to the Blog & Videos page, so there will always be something new to share.
We are BURSTING WITH GRATITUDE!
Jenny & Sophie