Protected: Appreciations, Gratitude, and What I Want!

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Protected: Appreciations, Gratitude, and What I Want!

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On Hiatus

This is one of those times when the sh*t just hits the fan and you gotta roll with it.  In a nutshell:

  1. Zack’s cancer has returned…aggressively
  2. I’ve decided to discontinue his chemotherapy and put him to sleep as soon as he starts to exhibit signs of physical pain/stress.  Right now things appear to primarily be cosmetic (lumps all over the place…and getting bigger)
  3. I took him and his friend Oscar to the beach today for one last “sand between the toes” experience…though if he’s still here, the weather cooperates, and I have the time – I may take him again this weekend
  4. The appraisal biz is BOOMING at the moment.  It’s hard to stay on top of things.  I’ve got inspections scheduled up the yin-yang tomorrow and still have 2 to research and it’s 4:45pm.  I’ll be working late for sure!
  5. I really worry that I’m going to get too caught up in appraisal work/money and not take the time to make a few more memories with Zack before I have to put him to sleep.
  6. My trip to Mexico over President’s Day weekend is looking questionable or at least uncomfortable.  I fear that Zack’s physical condition has the potiential of getting bad right around that time.   It will be difficult to leave him for a weekend if he’s still around.  And if he’s not around, it will be difficult too – but I suppose I’ll find the strength to make the best of it and celebrate his life.

When the Oncologist gave me the (very short) list of options I sat in the room with Zack and thought about things a lot.  I came to the conclusion that it was a battle that we couldn’t win.  We needed to face the facts and realize that no matter how much money or energy we put into battling Zack’s cancer, that the outcome would be the same…perhaps delayed by a few weeks.  That’s right, weeks.  He was in remission for about 4 months.  When they slip out of remission, you can sometimes get them back into remission – but typically for only about 1/2 the time of the original remission.  Not a pleasant thought. 

If I were to use a poker analogy – sometimes you can fire at the pot after the flop, but if you get called – you might be better off checking to your opponent on the turn – especially if you think your opponent is strong and you can’t get him off his hand.  When you’re beat, you’re beat.  Protect what little you have left, and pick another battle.  

 That’s exactly how I feel about this whole K9 Lymphoma experience.  We are literally “drawing dead”.  Throwing more money and chemicals at the problem will not change the outcome.  So I learn from the experience.  I keep what little I have and use it to fight the next battle.

Confidence is soaring…sort of…

Despite all the unfortunate circumstances I find myself in at the moment and the unfortunate circumstances of several close friends, my confidence is on the upswing.  I’ve been better about exercise, diet, and sleep lately.  I’ve been getting up earlier, gotten more done, and have just been generally a bit more motivated.  I finally got a library card.  I started a network marketing Meetup Group (via  I’ve been seeking Realtors and Attorneys as business contacts, with warm receptiveness from all.  I’ve been running and playing soccer…and though I’m sadly out of shape, I’ve had fun during those endeavors.  And I’ve got an offer for my Vespa…so the garage will be ready to take a 2nd car if neccessary…or to stick the Foosball table out there.  On top of that, Zack seems to be heading in the right direction as a result of his chemotherapy.   I wish there were a few more people in my extended friend/family network that were responding to their treatment as well as Zack seems to be.

On a completely different topic, but the one you most likely came here to read about, my Hold ‘Em game appears to be fairly solid at the moment (you knew I’d get to it eventually).  LOADS of success at the $5 buy-in short-handed tourney’s over the last few days.  The last 48 hours have been similar to Thursday’s success.  I’d guess that for the week I’ve cashed 70% of the time (meaning first or 2nd).  I’m proud of my hand selection pretty much across the board.  My pre-flop play has become much more solid.  No noticeable holes.  Generally my post flop is pretty good as well, however – I did make one possible slip-up today by calling a raise after the flop on a draw.  It later got too pricey for me and I folded after shipping off 1/2 of my chips.  I say “possible” slip-up because I called what was an overbet in hopes that it’d slow my opponent down and possibly buy me a free card later on.  No such luck as my opponent was in position and had a nice-sized stack.  Another big bet indicating that chasers weren’t welcomed and could call at their own risk.  I got the message, albeit a little late, and folded prior to seeing a river card.  I recovered nicely after that with what I hope is becoming habitually solid play, enough so to actually take 1st place in the tourney.

After the recent wins, I’ve started contemplating bigger buy-ins for the short-handed games.  The sweet spot for me within the short-term future would be consistent success at the $30 table.   If I remember right, a 1st place win at that level gets you $119 and 2nd gets you $61 or something.  The current rate of success at that level could answer a lot of prayers for me at the moment, but I refuse to jump the gun.  I’ll stick around the $5 buy-ins on Sunday if I play at all, and perhaps give the $10 tables a try this week.

Additionally, I think I’ve seen greater success at night.  I wonder if it’d be smarter to try to play 3 $10 tables simultaneously.  The skill level of opponents may be lower, I won’t run the risk of getting bored or distracted either.  It’s quite possible that the $30 table players are better skilled no matter what time of day and my success could be hampered.  Ahhh…things to consider, things to ponder!

Chemotherapy – Week 1

So far I’m in to this almost $1,500.  Another $4,000 and 24 weeks to go!!  The results look promising though.  Z seems healthy and alert…somewhat lazy immediately after giving him the meds, but that’s understandable.  Today was the first day I had to give him the toxic stuff.  Rubber gloves and salami were the tools to use.  I tried to get away without the glove by pouring the pill directly into the slice of salami and wrapping it.  It’d worked for the other 2 pills…but this one is bigger and it didn’t work.  I ended up having to don the glove and stuff the blue pill towards the back of his throat.  With only minor issues the task was done. 

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing V_2.0

Today I fired up the Facebook site and used the “Introductions” application to try to get some referrals.  I was going to try to develop my own Facebook app, but found this one to be fairly suitable to what I was trying to accomplish.  I launched a request to friends within my network to introduce me to Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Estate Attorneys, and Divorce Attorneys.  Fingers crossed that something materializes soon.

Z’s day at the vet

Not good news.  Teeth cleaning is “not in his immediate best interest”.  The blood work came back indicating that the Dr. should pursue Lymph Node examinations, testing for tumors, enlarged liver, and possible holes in his bones.  What that means today is more physical exams and X-Rays.  Fingers crossed that it’s treatable – the Dr said that dogs seem to respond well to Chemo when they’ve got Lymphoma.  He’s such a good dog, so affectionate, and so well-behaved.  I can’t stand the thought of him being so sick while he’s still so young.