Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thank You for Your Love and Support

Words can not express eloquently enough my gratitude to Jo for donating her CD earnings to Charlie's cancer fund and to all of you who bought music to support us.  I am also so incredibly touched by those of you who very generously made anonymous donations (you know who you are and you are truly amazing). Thank you from the bottom of Charlie's and my heart. 

Here is the game plan so you can know what you contributed to and know how much you are helping us out.

First of all Charlie had a very large tumor removed from his front left leg and the tumor was so large that in order to get the cleanest margins possible (meaning cutting enough tissue and skin away to try to get all the cancer) the Dr. had to be very aggressive which left a nice open wound that needed to heal before any additional treatments could proceed.  We have been in the healing process for the last month and a half. He started out with a large bandage over his leg like this
 and couldn't be left alone because he kept trying to eat the bandage off (and actually succeeded twice which was horrible and disgusting as he ate his skin) so we took him lots of places with us like to Home Depot

Then after about 3 plus weeks of the bandage it was time to remove it so that it could scab up (yuck) and he came home like this and could finally wear his cone so he wouldn't lick it (he couldn't wear the cone before because his neck was still healing).

Gross, right?  After weeks and weeks of waiting it went from above to this...

To eventually this...
 You can hardly see the sore :)

Now Charlie's leg is finally healed up and he is ready to start chemotherapy.  We have decided that radiation may not be the way to go with Charlie's cancer as the mast cell tumors that he grows may continue to appear and he will need additional tiny surgeries to remove them.  Radiation is more of a spot treatment method where as chemo treats his whole system.

As of now his plan is as follows:  For the next 4 weeks starting this Friday Jan. 11 Charlie will go in every Friday to receive Chemo. I will drop him off in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. It will be administered with an IV.  Some dogs get sick and other dogs don't get too sick from the chemo, we will just have to wait and see.  After his first 4 treatments he then starts on an every other week schedule and receives 4 more treatments over the course of 8 weeks. So grand total he has 8 chemo therapy appointments over the next 12 weeks.

I am now 36 week pregnant:) We will be trying to cram these 4 treatments in before Baby Girl makes her debut and if she comes early then I guess we will do our best to make it all happen.  I know we can get through all this at one time, I just have to take it one day at a time.

By the way, Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching School is amazing. They have the best staff, the best knowlege and the best doctors.  I love our surgeon Dr. Kendra Hearon, she is my new favorite person!!! She has saved Charlie's life and for that I will always love her very dearly.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friends Helping Charlie Pants

My dearest friend has done such a beautiful and thoughtful thing for me and Mr. Pants. She made a beautiful Christmas CD titled Merriest Christmas of piano music and arrangements and is donating all of the profits to help fund the cost of saving Charlie from cancer.  I am so deeply touched and feel so loved and lucky to have a friend like Jo.

If you would like to check out her post and buy the CD or make a donation to Charlie go HERE or read on...

Adult Version of a Pitiful Lemonade Stand by Jo Crabb

We met when I was a sophomore in college. It was love at first site. She was a vivacious, bombshell blonde with an intensely loud voice and an infectious laugh. We were in choir together but I was certain she'd never seen me. I figured she'd be vain or vapid and decided against approaching her. She'd be like everyone else, I thought, and judge me or feel sorry for me. At 4 months pregnant and only 18 years old, I knew better than to try to make friends. But one night at a small party my roommates were throwing, and despite my turned back and disenchanted expression, her none-to-keen boyfriend insisted that we meet. We awkwardly shook hands while I fumbled for words. I felt it my duty to release her from the terrible predicament of striking up a conversation with a stranger in my obviously delicate and odd state.

"Patrick has told me so much about you..." I muttered quickly, while avoiding eye contact.  
"Oh really? Well he's told me so much about YOU! I've heard your a fantastic musician. I think we have choir together, right?" She asked while looking me directly in the eye. "And I heard you snowboard. You should come to this snow event tomorrow up in Park City with me," completely ignoring the fact that I was a waddling faux pas. 

And just like that. We were best friends.

It's been ten years. She's loved me through pregnancy, adoption, marriage, thousands of miles of separation, a marathon, grad school, another pregnancy, twins, and all the other aspects of my life over this past decade. 

And I've loved her through marriage, a marathon, grad school, moving to D.C, trips to Europe, a house, another house, pregnancy, and...


Shortly after Leah turned 24 she began to have seizures. The seizures were debilitating and intense. She went to numerous medical specialists and they could not pin point the problem. But through a long, painful, and tedious process, Leah found a way to cope  -
and that's where Charlie comes in.

Charlie is Leah's seizure alert dog. Whenever Leah is going to have a seizure, Charlie gives her a 5 - 10 min warning of its onset by "freaking out". He will jump, bark, and even lick her face. This allows Leah enough time to get to a safe place and lie down or call for help. Charlie is an amazing dog. And how fitting for such an amazing girl?! 
Sadly, Charlie was recently diagnosed with cancer. He has gone through a major surgery to remove three cancerous tumors and will need to receive chemo and radiation therapy. These treatments are extremely expensive and while Leah has paid for the cost of the surgery, she cannot cover the cost of the treatments he needs to receive and the cost of having her baby (she is 7 months pregnant!) It's crucial Charlie is with Leah, especially at this important time, to ensure the safety of both Leah and her baby. 


I'm asking for your help. A few years ago I recorded a mediocre piano cd of Christmas music for close family and friends. I've put it up on CD Baby (here) where all the songs can be purchased and downloaded. All proceeds from the sale of these songs will be given to Leah to help cover the cost of Charlie's cancer treatments. I'm asking you to consider purchasing holiday music to support my best friend. If you'd rather avoid listening to my piano creations, I'm asking that you make a donation to my little Charlie Fund by clicking the "Donate" button right here on my blog (top right). 

Thank you for giving to a cause that has deep and personal meaning to me. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might also consider giving. 

I love you all.

Have a wonderful holiday season and the Merriest Christmas!


p.s. To read more about Charlie, see the blog Super Dog Charlie Pants here,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Charlie's Cancer Surgery

Charlie had his surgery yesterday.  They removed 3 larger tumors (his neck, front leg, and back leg), 3 smaller tumor-like looking bumps we asked to have removed, and his right lymph node on his neck. He had to stay the night at the Cancer Center.  It was heartbreaking, but not as heartbreaking as seeing him today. I was not prepared for how big his incisions would be.  The Dr. explained that the incisions are so big so they can get clean margins around the tumor to make sure they get all the cancer.  We wont know if they got all the cancer until next week.  Fingers crossed!!!

He is not very happy and I hope he will forgive me one day.  Sorry Charlie Pants.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Charlie Pants Has Cancer

I am so sad to report, but my precious seizure-alert service dog Charlie Pants has 3 different mast cell tumors.  We found out this past Monday while making an emergency trip to the vet for Charlie to get some stitches on his ear (he cut his ear on a rose bush and hit a vein while we were out walking).  While the vet was stitching him up we asked her to examine some weird looking lumps, one on his neck, one on his front leg, and one on his back leg.  The bumps on his legs looked like tiny blisters so we didn't think much of them and the one on his neck we were once told was a fatty tissue build-up, so we weren't that worried they were tumors.  The vet aspirated the lumps and informed us later that day (Monday) that indeed all three lumps are cancerous.  I burst into tears (being 6 1/2 months pregnant doesn't help with my ability to control my emotions) nor does the fact that Charlie is truly the love of my life.  He gives me a 5 to 10 minute warning before I have a seizure and if he dies at 7 years old I am gonna lose my best friend, my dearest companion, and my miracle dog.

We have been referred to Colorado State University's Veterinary School in Fort Collins, Colorado and we met with a team of Doctors yesterday to discuss our options. It is a fantastic place filled with loving and caring students and doctors.  So far this is what we know:  fortunately the cancer is currently localized in the 3 lumps so surgery is a good option, unfortunately some of the lumps are so big that they can't get all the cancer cells so Charlie will still need radiation and possibly chemotherapy.  The surgeons would like to operate tomorrow (Friday 11/9).  What a week!

Charlie at the Cancer Center

I am very overwhelmed with this.  We have a new baby coming in less than 3 months and the next 3 months are going to be spent taking Charlie to surgery, radiation everyday for 15 - 20 days, and possibly chemo.  Not to mention the high cost (we are looking at around $7,000-$10,000).

Does anyone have any success stories with Mast Cell Tumors and their dogs?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Wag: Fall Is in the Air

Hey readers, sorry I have been MIA for the last forever, I blame pregnancy :) What are you up to this beautiful weekend?  Today it feels like Fall, finally.  It is only like 70 degrees F outside which is such a treat from our consistent 90 degree weather.  I took Charlie for a long walk today, as I am thinking about doing a half marathon in October, which will make me about 25 weeks along and feeling quite round. So needless to say I need as much training as I can get.  Today wasn't earth shattering long but a nice 3.5 mile walk.

While walking I noticed the first signs of fall in my neighborhood

and giggled with excitement and ran home and decorated my house. I now have my homemade wheat wreath on the door (see how I made it here), pumpkins on the porch and table, and a creepy looking witch outside. A little premature some may say, yet I say nay.

So is it fall where you live?  Tell me your favorite thing to do with or without your pup in the fall. Maybe Charlie and I will have to go try it out.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

And We Are Back

Sorry for freezing the blog for a couple weeks, but now I am back. I have been painting up a storm making custom pet portraits for people. Let me know if you are interested. Get a custom oil portrait of your pet.  It is the perfect gift to remember your loving best friend forever. Contact me about pricing and to place an order


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Charlie Pants Loves the Sun

Charlie and I went to Arizona a couple of weeks ago for my Grandma's 90th Birthday. We stayed at the Wigwam Resort (a great dog friendly resort that I will post about tomorrow).  Here CP is laying with me at the pool getting a little warmth from the sun.

Did you know Charlie is a seizure-alert service dog for me? check it out here.

Happy 90th Grandma

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making Friends As an Adult

I wonder "How do adult women make friends if they are not in school and don't have babies?"

I am in a weird spot in my life.  I am 29 years old (creeping close to 30), married, no kiddos, own my own business so I don't meet work buddies, and I am looking for friends.  I don't really want to hang with all my young single friends cause they want to go to bars and pick up on men or women which I am over that stage and think Paul would be a bit ticked if I brought home someone I met at a bar :)

All my married friends have found a new friend and it is called an adorable bundle of soft skinned baby and sadly I have been dropped by the wayside.  And I admit, I don't really want to talk to them on the phone about how cute their baby is or how their baby pooped or peed or cried and it isn't cause I don't care, cause I get it that that is their life now, it is because I can't relate.  I have lost many a friends to the baby world and I can not wait to join them, but sadly my time has not come yet.

Plus I am an entrepreneur (I own a music teaching studio) and have a weird business schedule and most of my time to go and play is between the hours of 9 am-2 pm on weekdays or most weekends as Paul is busy working the real estate world.  So I ask dears friends who do you know that

1. Lives in Colorado in the North Denver/Boulder area
2. Is in a relationship so she doesn't want to go pick up on dates
3. Doesn't currently have any children although isn't opposed to having them in the future
3. Loves to be outdoors
4. Maybe owns a dog and wants to go hiking, biking, etc with Charlie, Jack and I
5. Can hang out during the day
6. Maybe prefers long walks on the beach, tickling etc although those are not requirements :)

I have seen a girl in my neighborhood that seems great and although we laugh and joke when we run into each other, I can't seem to get her to commit to do anything.  I feel like I am dating all over again.  Should I buy her flowers, maybe chocolate?

So dear readers I want to know if you can help me find some friends or at least let me know your thoughts on the matter.  Have a great Monday.

xoxo Leah and Charlie

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Blog Funk

I have been a really bad blogger lately and I am choosing to blame it on the weather :) It has been really sunny here and the last thing I want to do is sit inside starring at my computer screen and uploading photos.  Plus the mother-in-law was in town and we were busy shopping, movie watching and walking the pups.

For that I apologize, but I will not apologize for my beginning signs of a sun tan.

What have you been up to?  Is it sunny where you are? 

Charlie Pants has been loving his walks.  He still looks fat from his winter hibernation and we are working on that.  I cut back on his food and he is ticked at that. At about 9:30 pm every night he climbs on my lap, puts his front paws on my shoulders, and barks in my face.  When I ask him what he wants he jumps off my lap, runs in several circles and sprints to the kitchen pantry which houses the dog treats.  What a chubby little sucker.

Anyways we are all good here at the Stone house. How about you?

PS. Did you see that Boulder is listed as one of the top Healthy cities thanks to Sunset Magazine. Love that mag.

Here is CP being lazy on one of his walks/bike rides.  Did you know that I won this Madsen Cargo bike because of a blog contest. Well I did and you should check it out here, here, and here.  I sat in the back of the bucket today with Charlie while Paul peddled us to the library and the grocery store. It was a blast.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Charlie Goes to The Hunger Games

My awesome cousin and her husband scored us some tickets to the premiere of The Hunger Games yesterday evening! It was a real treat, Charlie even had his own reserved seat and was the talk of the crowd.

I really loved the books and found the movie to have been done fabulously. Great cinematography, although the beginning camera angles made me a bit motion sick, and superb acting. I now have a girl crush on Katniss.

At the premiere we got a giant chocolate covered pretzel, $10 worth of free concessions, and a hunger games pin. It was a really fun night. I think the producer of the movie did a great job of making what could have been a really violent movie not as bad as could have been. I don't think young kids should go but if your tween or teenager has already read the books they will know what they are getting themselves in for. I believe it could be a perfect platform for opening dialogue about teen violence and bullying and why it should never happen.

Go see the movie, have a great weekend, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Got a FREE Kindle Fire


I realize I am a little late to jump on the Kindle, Nook, IPad reader bandwagon, but hey when you get the opportunity to get something for free you just have to take it.

If you live in CO, AZ, or CA you too can get a Free Kindle Fire.  You have to open up a checking account at 1st Bank and pay three bills with bill pay, then you get a code in your email and order it online.  The whole process took about a month from setting up the account to getting it in the mail. But it did come, it is cool and yes it was free. 

From the website:
Offer valid only for customers residing in Colorado, Arizona, or Riverside County, CA. Offer valid for new personal checking accounts opened. Limit one gift award per household, per 24 month period. Limit one gift per account. The gift is redeemable online and a redemption code will be given if the account opened is in good standing, the customer enrolls for online banking, and (1) a direct deposit greater than $300 posts to the account, or (2) three bill payments are made from the account to corporate entities. Requirements (1) and (2) above must be met within 60 days of account opening and the code will be given within 90 days of account opening. Direct deposit must be payroll, pension, Social Security or other government benefits. Direct deposit or Bill Pay enrollment must be new to FirstBank. We reserve the right to substitute gifts offered at any time with an item of similar value. Limited time offer. The cost of the gift is considered interest and is subject to IRS and other tax reporting. The cost of the gift is considered a bonus that can be revoked if the account is closed within six months of opening. FirstBank employees are not eligible to receive the gift. iPod Touch© is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, Garmin, and Amazon are not participants in or sponsors of this promotion.