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Oct 28 2013

Happy 3 Year Ampuversary Charley!!!…and welcome back OS :(

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This post has taken me all day to write (and I apologize to everyone for having to wait so long for the news)….


I have started typing and then deleted everything and I’ve repeated this process multiple times.  I’ve given up on writing something enlightening and eloquent because I’m pissed off.  I hate freaking cancer!


Today is Charley’s 3 Year Ampuversary!  I am so proud of Charley for being the OS Warrior that he is and has been for over 3 years!  I’m so proud of his courage, strength, and resiliency!  I’m blessed to have been given an additional 1,095 precious days with Charley since his amputation!  I’m in awe of the lessons that Charley has taught me along this journey!  BUT…I am pissed that this freaking cancer has tried to ruin a day of celebration for Charley, for me, for Joe, for my family, for this community (Tripawds) and the other communities (Bone Cancer Dogs, Arte and Cancer group) that Charley is a big part of!


This afternoon, I received the dreaded phone call from Dr. Buss with the results of Charley’s FNA of his “lump”.  His 3cm hard lump near his amputation site is officially a sarcoma and as the pathologist worded it, “….strongly suspect an osteosarcoma.  The exhibited phenomorphism and noted mitotic figures are very suggestive of an aggressive behavior”.  After talking to Dr. Buss, surgery is still scheduled for Thursday morning with Dr. Jill Luther who amputated his leg.  Charley will spend the night Thursday at MVRC for pain management and we’ll bring him home on Friday afternoon.  Pending the histopathology from the tumor after it’s removed, Dr. Buss wants to try an oral chemo that has shown some good results.  Of course I can’t remember the name of the oral chemo for certain because I was still processing the OS return, but I think he said Lomustine (I’ll confirm in a later post).


This evening we celebrated Charley’s 3 Year Ampuversary (he doesn’t know that his cancer returned).  I made him his famous “meat cake” aka “3-Year Warrior Cake” with 2 pounds of ground sirloin ( mixed with 2 eggs & small container of cottage cheese), Philly cream cheese for the icing, and natural peanut butter for the writing.  Charley would have been delighted to eat the entire cake, but I only let him eat a piece (in addition to his dinner).  The cake is a bit crooked (I need a new spring-form pan), but Charley didn’t seem to mind!


3 Year Warrior cake

Here’s some pictures of Charley from this weekend and this afternoon!  He’s his typical happy Labby self and he doesn’t know his cancer is back!  All he knows is that he has a great life and his mommy and daddy love him very much!

Charley1 Charley4 Charley5


So far now, we’ll continue to pray for a miracle and hope for the best.

We’ll pray that Charley has a successful surgery this Thursday and a speedy recovery.

We’ll pray that Charley’s journey here is far from being finished and that he has plenty of lessons left to teach us.

We’re not finished fighting and either is Charley.  We will continue this battle with Charley as long as he wants to fight!


Thank you for all of your prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and kisses.  It is greatly appreciated and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support!


♥  Hugs from me and chocolate Labby kisses from Charley! xoxo 


♥  Here’s more pictures of our beautiful boy! 




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38 responses so far

38 Responses to “Happy 3 Year Ampuversary Charley!!!…and welcome back OS :(”

  1.   benny55on 28 Oct 2013 at 10:57 pm     Reply1

    There is NOTHING that dog can’t handle!! Look at that vibrant, happy boy! He has the happiest, most joyful mug in the land!

    As you said…and as you KNOW is true…Charley doesn’t care about,or ow avout, any stupid diagnosis. He knows he had a wonderful day today and he knows everyday with you is a celebration of the love and devotin you have for each other.

    I sure wish he didn’t have to have a surgeey, vut this couldn’t be as major as the amputation, that’s for sure. Use his recovery time to get centered and grounded and to do your research and come up with a plan.

    I kow I’ve been usi g this quote a lot from Shelby’s mom, bjt it’s just so trje and I don’t thik any of us can ever hear it enough. “When you start missi g nwat s’t gone, you lose what is still left.”

    Charley still has plenty of cake left ro eat! Charley, that is truly a fine cake fit for a King! And you are King around here! And you are kust so darn ha dsome with a very, very pretty “coat”… shiny.

    Thank you for inviting us to your pawty
    It’s a privilege and an honor!

    CO GRATULATINS CHARLEY! The entire tripawd community is giving you a standing ovation!! ENCORE! ENCORE!!!

    Look forward toyour homecoming pawty and more cake!! Your mom ks quite the cook!

    Love and healing hugs! And soaking up those choclate lab kisses!

    Saly and Happy Hannah

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 12:13 am     Reply2

      Thank you Sally and Happy Hannah!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  2.   rica55on 29 Oct 2013 at 12:22 am     Reply3

    Oh Ellen. I know this isn’t the news we were all hoping for. I’m so sorry this put a dark cloud over Charley’s ampuversary but I have to say good for you for celebrating it the way it should have been! He is truly a hero and I have no doubt he will continue to fight this. I don’t know if you know but we first amputated Jill’s toe which was where the initial tumor was. She got great margins and they told me she “should be fine”. Six months later I found a lump in that same leg. Needle biopsy said same thing “sarcoma, highly suspicious”. That’s when I amputated her leg. That lump did indeed come back as a met from the original OSA tumor in her toe. I know its a bit different from Charley’s journey as this was prior to her leg amputation and not three years out but I know what a kick in the gut it can feel like. You’ve handled this whole thing with dignity and grace that Charley would be proud of. You have an entire army of a community behind you and your family. I hope you can feel our arms around you.

    You go get em Charley! Happy ampuversary and many more to come!

    All our love,
    Erica and Jill

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:15 pm     Reply4

      Thank you Erica and Jill!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  3.   Doreen and The Brown Dogs +1on 29 Oct 2013 at 4:54 am     Reply5

    Dear Ellen,
    I have been following you and Charley’s story for some time now after having lost my lab to Osteo in 2011. I’ve watched you learn and grow from and love that little boy more and more each day. I’ve watched him live life and experience things most dogs don’t get to experience. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of life through his and your eyes as I follow. I don’t typically say much on your posts or blogs, I just watch, learn, laugh and often wish I had my little girl back to do some of the things you’ve done. For the first time in your writings, I must disagree with one statement. You stated that Charley doesn’t know his cancer is back…. I believe he does, he just choses not to let it affect him and his love of life. I believe Charley knows that he will be loved, well cared for, spoiled and taken care of with every ounce of your being, so he is not too worried about it. My guess is he is probably more worried about you than about himself. I learned a lot in the 15 short months I had with my Riley. I hope you continue to learn and grow and live life to the fullest with Charley for many years to come. I will enjoy cheering you both on from the sidelines.
    Much love and positive energy to Charley and your family <3

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:16 pm     Reply6

      Thank you Doreen! I sure hope Riley is looking out for Charley from up above!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  4.   Joanne Keenanon 29 Oct 2013 at 5:17 am     Reply7

    Ellen – It’s so true we were waiting for the update as anxiously as you were waiting for your vet’s call. It’s also true we learn so much from them about living in the moment. You and Charey are inspiring no matter what happens. The shock will subside as you get back to giving Charley the best care you can. I know you’ll be strong for Charley and he’ll reward you with love, loyalty and devotion. How wonderful is that?

    Thinking positive thoughts for the three of you.
    Joanne and Angel Summit

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:16 pm     Reply8

      Thank you Joanne and Angel Summit!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  5.   Nola's Mommyon 29 Oct 2013 at 5:37 am     Reply9

    As I said before, I am sending you HUGE hugs from me down here and from my Badass Angel Nola. I know how scared you are – as we ALL are – because Charley is such a special boy, but I have no doubt that he is going to keep surprising us, you just wait. I will be praying for him throughout his surgery and forever more because he has been such an amazing inspiration for so many and God will hopefully understand that we need him to stick around a lot longer to continue to inspire and encourage all of the OS parents out there.
    Please give Charley extra squeezes and smooches from me today…I need them as much as he does.
    Sending many positive thoughts!
    Heather & Badass Angel Nola

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:18 pm     Reply10

      Thank you Heather! Charley sends you lots of chocolate Labby kisses and I send you lots of hugs! I’d like to think that Badass Angel Nola is one of Charley’s Angels that will watch over him from up above!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  6.   chilidawgon 29 Oct 2013 at 5:41 am     Reply11

    Oh Ellen, I am so sorry that the news was not good 🙁 I wish we lived closer so I could give you a hug. You are right, Charley doesn’t know that his cancer is back. His face is so joyful in all of those pictures. Soak up all of that. Cancer sucks and it wants to take away our happiness, but we can’t let it. I learned from both Chili Dawg and Finchy to live in the moment and let each one count. Charley is going to do that. I know it’s hard, believe me, I know, but I also know you are going to give Charley the best care possible. And Charley knows that too.

    Hugs to you and Joe,

    Jenna & Spirits Chili Dawg & Finchy

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:20 pm     Reply12

      Thank you Jenna! I’d like to think that Chili Dawg and Finchy are Charley’s Angels and that they will watch over him from up above!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  7.   Eileen & angel FayeRayeon 29 Oct 2013 at 5:54 am     Reply13

    If all of us could be like Charley and live life to the fullest in the moment. The bad news is it’s back. The good news is it is at least in the same leg which was amputated. By this I mean he will still be able to be able to continue to be the happy triPaw, unlike my precious FayeRaye, who was a triPaw, and the Cancer came back later in her other leg.My prayers continue for you and Charley for a good Outcome, and may you be like Charley and enjoy the moment.
    Eileen and My sweet Angel FayeRaye

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:21 pm     Reply14

      Thank you Eileen and sweet Angel FayeRaye!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  8.   Micki & Angel Solaron 29 Oct 2013 at 8:10 am     Reply15

    Ellen, you’ve come so far and will continue to fight through this latest set back. Charlie is truly a warrior and will not give up because he’s learned that from you and Joe. You’ve made the most of those 1000+ days, and you’ll continue to do so now – for Charley. Sending lots of prayers for Charley, you and Joe.

    Many hugs
    Micki & Angel Solar

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:35 pm     Reply16

      Thank you Micki and Angel Solar!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  9.   fetchon3on 29 Oct 2013 at 8:23 am     Reply17

    &^%*!!!!!! That was my response. I’m angry cancer came in on his THIRD YEAR CELEBRATION. I’m pissed. I know you are too. Drat. Grrrrrr. He’s just a baby! WHY?! After three years?! Not right. Just not right! Let’s hope that histo report shows something else and that this surgery takes it all out. ALL OUT. I’ve been holding my breath for you and your pack. Not what any of us wanted to hear. What a blow.

    The good news is that he is beyond loved, beyond cared for, and has the best fighting squad behind him (usually after a tennis ball toss!). THAT is some cake! Can you imagine what it tastes like? Blah! But to our pups – oh, man, Jackson would be so lucky! I gotta bake that up sometime.

    Charley is going to do excellently in surgery and recovery. We’re all really curious how this procedure will go and how that lump will be excised and closed up. I know you’ll keep us posted.

    Congrats on THREE YEARS! We’re all behind you, supporting you.
    ~ Katy & Jackson

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:22 pm     Reply18

      Thank you Katy and Jackson!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  10.   KBon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:53 am     Reply19

    Charley and you are incredible warriors. I wish this could be a purely “congrats” comment, and that is a large part of what it is. Look at the smile on that boy’s face from this weekend. He is SO happy – you’re giving him an incredible life.

    I hope that all goes smoothly on Thurs. I will be thinking of you and Charley… Cancer sucks but Charlie may be the toughest fighter it has ever encountered. Thinking of you. My chocolate lab Shyla is sending all of you chocolate kisses.

    Love the cake!

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:22 pm     Reply20

      Thank you!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  11.   BarretsMomHeatheron 29 Oct 2013 at 10:02 am     Reply21

    Good luck – cancer sucks!! You guys are so inspirational! Thank you for sharing your story.

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:22 pm     Reply22

      Thank you!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  12.   maximutton 29 Oct 2013 at 10:14 am     Reply23

    Happy 3 Years Charley! I know there is some sad news along with the celebration, but I’m choosing to focus just on the celebration, because I know that’s what you’re doing! We’ll be sending positive thoughts to you on Thursday!! Stay strong handsome boy!!

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:23 pm     Reply24

      Thank you maximutt!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  13.   Cathieon 29 Oct 2013 at 1:47 pm     Reply25

    Happy Ampuversary to Charlie! He’s a beautiful boy and so lucky to have you for a dog-mom. I’m sorry that the biopsy came back with that diagnosis, but you two have had three more years of love. We’re pulling for you.

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:23 pm     Reply26

      Thank you Cathie!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  14.   Anita McDermotton 29 Oct 2013 at 3:04 pm     Reply27

    Continued prayers for an uneventful surgery and recovery. There are many Angels watching over him with paws crossed. He is a fighter. We all know that and so are you. Prayers and hugs.

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:36 pm     Reply28

      Thank you Anita!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  15.   Petraon 29 Oct 2013 at 3:46 pm     Reply29


    I’m so so sorry to hear that it has reared its ugly head again. My heart goes out to you, Ellen, and of course to our Suuuuperdooog.

    Well, let see it more as an hick-up, than a return. Charley will do his oral chemo, and shrink the cancer cells into damnation. It might be a trying time…it might be easier than we all thought…we just wait and send all the positive thoughts there are.

    All I know is that is that he’ll fight it all the way. He’s like Princess Roxie….she won’t give up…and neither will he.

    I’ll have a word with my baby-boy Dexter to see if he can’t give Charley’s guardian angel a pinch in his bum to pay extra attention these coming days.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers….**wiggles her fingers at the computer screen – positive thoughts…positive thoughts…positive thoughts**

    Hugs & slobber kisses from all of us

    ~ Roxie, Rohe, angel Dexter

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:38 pm     Reply30

      Thank you Petra and Princess Roxie! Tell Angel Dexter thanks too for alerting his guardian angel!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  16.   Donna and Angel Seluon 29 Oct 2013 at 5:36 pm     Reply31

    Dearest Charley,
    Wishing you a happy ampuversary. You have always been such an inspiration and source of hope to us and to so very many. In this difficult time (which you are blissfully unaware of), know that everyone is praying for you and your family. You are a true warrior. If only attitude and joie de vivre could beat this disease, you would have it gone in an instant. All our hopes and prayers are with you in this battle.
    From the Bridge, Angel Selu sends nose bumps and this: NOT TODAY AND NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT!
    Hugs and <3 s

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:39 pm     Reply32

      Thanks Donna and Angel Selu!!!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  17.   Jackie Bouchardon 29 Oct 2013 at 6:23 pm     Reply33

    If anypawdy can kick this cancer to the curb again, it’s Charley. His angels are pulling for him. Best of luck with the surgery on Thur. Keep us posted.

    And a HUGE congrats on 3 years. That’s amazing. He’s a hero, no matter what happens going forward – he’s already proved it! As you said, he doesn’t know anything except that he’s got a wonderful life full of love. Hopefully it stays that way for a long long time to come!

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:40 pm     Reply34

      Thank you Jackie! I know that Charley’s Angel Abby is watching over Charley from up above!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  18.   Joannon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:21 pm     Reply35

    UGH!!!!!! I am so pissed!!! I can’t believe this!!!! BUT, have no fear–cancer cannot keep a good Lab down!! Just look at my Nyke <3. Mega prayers for Charley's successful surgery and some more ass-kicking!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK, CHARLEY <3 <3 <3

    •   Charley's Momon 29 Oct 2013 at 8:41 pm     Reply36

      Thank you Joann! Nyke, please put in a good word for Charley!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

  19.   Chrison 30 Oct 2013 at 4:54 am     Reply37

    I am so sorry the news wasn’t better. I have written so many words here and deleted them as there are no words only tears.
    Charlie beat it once and he can again. Good thoughts for Thursday and quick recovery.

    No human or animal should ever have to fight this beast once, let alone twice.

    Thinking of you.


    •   Charley's Momon 30 Oct 2013 at 7:33 pm     Reply38

      Thank you Chris!
      Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
      Ellen and Charley xoxo

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