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Sunday Morning Coffee Chat


It’s sunny and 65 degrees here in Charlotte this morning. I’ve got the windows open, the birds are chirping and Sullie and Zoey are having fun going in and out of the doggie door. My fiance is still sleeping because he worked from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. on Saturday (not by choice but he ended up having to help out in the restaurant for both lunch and dinner after teaching his morning classes) but I’m enjoying the quiet and being cozied up on the couch with coffee and my laptop. I’ve said it about a million times but after teaching every Sunday morning for four years, I am loving Sunday mornings at home. It’s definitely the most relaxing day of the week.

Let’s have a quick coffee chat and catch up.


If we were chatting over coffee I would be doing the happy dance over my little herb garden. It rained all week last week (like every single day and we didn’t see the sun for 5 days) but all that rain did my herbs good! Look at how much they’ve grown in just the two weeks since I planted them! The only one that’s looking like a failure is the cilantro but I’m not surprised. I’ve enjoyed using the fresh herbs while cooking. Now I need to read up on how to best harvest the herbs and keep the plants pruned for maximum herb production. 🙂

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If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you how much fun I’ve had with the 2016 Ultimate Plank Challenge on Instagram. We are 22 days in and have a great, committed group of participants. It’s been awesome to follow all the check ins every day. They’ve been so consistent and committed and I can’t wait to see what their final plank times are on the last day of the challenge!


If we were chatting over coffee, I would probably be tearful as I shared some news on Sullie. Two weeks ago I discovered some new lumps and bumps on her when we were rubbing her belly. I wanted to have her existing lumps checked as well as the new ones so I made an appointment with the vet.

She took samples from four different places on Sullie. The two that she’s had for years (the big lump on her right paw that you can always see and a fatty deposit on her belly) both looked normal under the microscope. The two new spots (one on her chest, one on her upper abdomen) came with not so good news. They are mast cell tumors and she’s having surgery on Wednesday to have them removed. Once they remove the tumors they will send them off to a lab where we will learn the grade and stage of the tumors. From there we will know what the best course of treatment is.

I am trying not to completely lose it until we get more information but I am so worried. Mostly because she has two of them and it automatically puts her into the Stage III category. The good news is that her blood work came back completely normal so she’s a good candidate for anesthesia and surgery.

Please send us  your prayers and love this week. We’ll need them.

What would you share over coffee? What’s going on with you right now? 

Does anyone have experience with mast cell tumors? 

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Georgina May 22, 2016, 11:06 am

    One our pugs (12 in July!) has had quite a few mast cell tumors over the years. I think the first one when he was about 8. From what we were told it is normal to have multiple and for them to re-occur….all have been benign. Sending you & Sullie positive thoughts and love!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:17 pm

      Hey Georgina, I appreciate this comment. I am hoping for the same outcome. Our vet said it was, “interesting” that she had two so it made me really nervous. Praying for the best for sweet Sullie.

  • 3
    Amanda May 22, 2016, 11:14 am

    Sending good thoughts and prayers for you and Sullie girl! As the owner of a senior dog, I know how stressful these things can be. I hope it turns out to be no big deal.

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:16 pm

      Thank you Amanda!

  • 5
    maya May 22, 2016, 11:34 am

    So sorry to hear about Sullie’s health trouble. But you needn’t worry too much, they are reasonably common in orange dogs, I’ve been told. I had an Australian cattle dog who was prone to skin tumors, and she got a mast cell one at some point, actually it was even left by accident when some other lumps were removed, and removed after another year, and she was fine, lived until ripe old age of 17. She had another tumor later, in her ankle, and after surgery I took her to radiotherapy and she lived almost 5 years after that. So I hope Sullie does as well if not better than my Maggie did. Dogs are very resilient. xo

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:15 pm

      Maya – thanks so much for the positive and encouraging share. I am keeping my hopes up that we can get rid of these tumors and have her back to normal for as long as possible. <3

  • 7
    Caitlin W May 22, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Prayers for your sweet pup and that you receive some positive news next week!! I’ve followed your blog for maybe 4 years or so now and know how much you love Sullie!

    • 8
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:15 pm

      Hey Caitlin, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your long-term readership and taking a moment to comment. It means so much! xo

  • 9
    Rebecca Strength and Sunshine May 22, 2016, 1:01 pm

    🙁 Sending you best love and strength, my friend! xoxo

    • 10
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:14 pm

      Thanks so much Rebecca!

  • 11
    Chrissie May 22, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Poor Sullie! I know mast cell tumors are pretty common, but thankfully Jackson has never had any. Hopefully they’ll turn out to be relatively harmless!

    • 12
      Jen DeCurtins May 22, 2016, 1:14 pm

      Thanks Chrissie, my fingers are crossed. <3

  • 13
    Amber May 22, 2016, 2:16 pm

    Oh goodness -thinking of you and Sullie! xoxo

  • 14
    JennyV May 22, 2016, 3:09 pm

    Of course, we will pray for healing for Sullie. Our girls send their well wishes,too! From reading your blog since at least 2010, I know the love, joy, and “sameness” that Sullie has provided you. There’s such comfort in having a pup by your side through all of life’s changes. A constant and unconditional love!

  • 15
    Stacie Smith May 22, 2016, 3:34 pm

    Jen, I am sorry to find out about Sullie. Pets are like members of the family. I would feel the same way if something happened to my cat. I will pray for calm and wisdom for the doctors and peace for you.

  • 16
    Amanda May 22, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Sending all my thoughts, prayers and love your way! I don’t have any experience personally, but my parents had a lab that got fatty tumors when she was older. She lived happily for many years after they discovered them. 💕🐶

  • 17
    Donna May 22, 2016, 7:59 pm

    Sending all my love and thoughts for beautiful Sullie. She is such a special part of your life so make every day count with her. Positive thoughts for a good outcome. We had our gorgeous Tash with us for 15.5 years. There’s nothing better than coming home to puppy kisses and cuddles x

  • 18
    Jenn May 22, 2016, 8:19 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sullie – keeping you and your beautiful fur family in my thoughts!

  • 19
    Karen May 22, 2016, 9:59 pm

    My eyes welled with tears when I read this. Both for you and Sullie. I know sullied will be fine, but it’s a worry anyway, and stressful for you. I don’t own a dog but the live you have for yours is so obvious, and I must say I love seeing your posts when they are included! Prayers are being sent. All will be well.

    • 20
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:29 pm

      Hey Karen – thanks so much for this comment. I appreciate your kind words and thoughtfulness. She’s so special to me. <3

  • 21
    Marisa May 22, 2016, 10:15 pm

    I’m so sorry about Sullie. I’ll keep her in my thoughts.

    • 22
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:29 pm

      Thank you Marisa. I really appreciate it.

  • 23
    Colleen May 23, 2016, 2:34 am

    Positive prayers and vibes to you and your pup! I’m sure she’ll be fine, she’s such a healthy and active dog, they’re sure to be benign! xoxo

    • 24
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:29 pm

      fingers and toes crossed and all the prayers being sent. <3

  • 25
    Ashley May 23, 2016, 7:06 am

    Thinking of you guys & your sweet Sullie. Positive vibes your way!

    • 26
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:29 pm

      Thank you so much Ashley.

  • 27
    Emily My Healthyish Life May 23, 2016, 8:17 am

    Jen, I’m so sorry to hear about Sullie. Anything related to dogs and poor health makes me so upset. You both are in my thoughts!

    • 28
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:27 pm

      Thanks Emily. I know, it’s a really sad thing to deal with when dogs are sick or hurting.

  • 29
    Kate May 23, 2016, 8:29 am

    Hi Jen! Anytime something happens to our pups, it is the worst feeling! They found a mast cell tumor on my boxer’s ear in Dec 2014 (she was 4). They actually had to amputate her ear but now she is happy and healthy! The tumor was a grade 2 but they got good margins when they amputated. She’s going to be 6 this year and her friends don’t care that she only has one ear :o) Sending you positive vibes! I know it is scary but dogs are so resilient and strong!!

    • 30
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:28 pm

      Hey Kate – I read that they’re super common in boxers and retrievers. I’m super happy to hear that your girl is okay and loving life with one ear! 🙂

  • 31
    Erin May 23, 2016, 9:10 am

    So sorry to hear about Sullie, Jen. What a worry. I have been reading your blog for 5+ years and know how much you love her. Y’all are so lucky to have each other! Sending lots of puppy prayers your way.

    • 32
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:28 pm

      Erin – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment and well wishes. Thank you so much.

  • 33
    Hilary May 23, 2016, 12:04 pm

    So sorry to hear about Sullie! I can’t imagine trying not to worry about her, but so great she has normal blood work! I am praying for her!

    • 34
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:27 pm

      Thank you Hilary! It means a lot.

  • 35
    ACKTIVE LIFE May 23, 2016, 12:24 pm

    Saying prayers for Sullie…Hoping that everything comes back okay! Lucy and I are sending her a big puppy hug! XOXO

    • 36
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:26 pm

      thanks friend! <3

  • 37
    Tara May 23, 2016, 1:07 pm

    oh wow. sending you lots of love and prayers.

  • 38
    Julie May 23, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Will def keep Sullie in my prayers. Dogs are absolutely members of our families so it’s completely understandable that you’d be very worried. Sending lots of positive thoughts & prayers!

    • 39
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much Julie. <3

  • 40
    Amy K May 23, 2016, 11:30 pm

    Blessings to you and your pups, I totally understand how you feel. I love my pets so much, we get them for keeps. They are so unconditional and happy to see us no matter how many times we walk through the door. I’ll add too, that they are resilient, Sullie looks happy and healthy! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and I really appreciate all that you share.

    • 41
      Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:24 pm

      Hey Amy – thanks so much. She’s such an important part of my life. Yes, she’s still super strong and happy so I’m praying for the best. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  • 42
    Laura B. May 24, 2016, 3:26 pm

    My English Pointer has had mast cell tumors removed twice now, the second time was just last month (3 tumors). Recovery seemed more rough the second time too, maybe because he was older or because there were more spots. My advice is to make sure you don’t remove the stitches too soon! We were told 10-14 days and we had some removed at 10 days and we ended up having to go to an emergency vet to get restitched and start the 14 days all over again. 🙁 Good luck to you and Sullie!

    • 43
      Laura B. May 24, 2016, 3:30 pm

      Oh, and the tumors came back with clean margins so we don’t need to do anything else for now! My dog is 8 and I know he will be chasing squirrels for many more years. 🙂

      • 44
        Jen DeCurtins May 24, 2016, 4:22 pm

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is appreciated and comforting! Hope your pup continues to do well!

  • 45
    Jackie May 24, 2016, 11:15 pm

    Hi Jen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your frightening news about sullie. Really hoping that it all turns out to be nothing of concern. I’ll be anxious to hear how the biopsy goes.

    • 46
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:35 pm

      Thank you Jackie! The tumors were surgically removed yesterday and we will get results back from the lab in the next 3-5 days.

  • 47
    Laura May 25, 2016, 3:33 am

    Sending lots of love to you & Sullie. It’s so hard when a furry family member is ill, especially waiting to find out how to help them. Hopefully you’ll get some good news soon. xx

    • 48
      Jen DeCurtins May 26, 2016, 3:33 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words and well wishes. We are praying for a speedy recovery and good news from pathology.

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