Had everything gone to plan my wife Janell, our 7 year old Bull Terrier mix Skyla and I (Stu) would be riding through Central America right about now. What went wrong? Skyla was diagnosed with cancer (Lymphoma) in October 2013 only weeks after booking our flights to Dallas. We were rapidly packing up our life in Sydney in preparation for a two year motorbike adventure across four and half continents.
Without treatment Skyla had only months to live. The news of lymphona was devastating and placed a major obstacle in our plans to travel around the world as a family. The tears and disheartened feelings were short lived as we turned to the internet for options to extend her quality and length of life. A Google search resulted in an article about a border collie called Muffin that had undergone a Bone Marrow Transplant as a potential cure in recent years. We approached the lovely team at Dee Why Veterinary Hospital AMS who were more than happy to help us pursue this option and put us in contact with the talented team of vets (Alex, Angela, Catherine and Sandra) at the Sydney Animal Referral Hospital (ARH). Skyla’s chemotherapy treatment commenced asap. Skyla is extremely lucky to be able to undergo this treatment, it’s very new and Skyla will be only the 5th dog in Australia to undergo the treatment and one of only tens around the world. While she is always excited to see the vets at ARH, happily wandering into the consultation room and accepting copious amounts of treats, she is always very keen to leave at the end of an appointment after the necessary prodding and poking. Everyone at ARH knows her as the “noisy staffy” as she expresses her excitement at leaving the facility. We like to think that in some way she knows that we are doing the right thing by her. So, we got this news about 3 months before our planned departure date, and with a treatment schedule of over 5 months, we rebooked our flights for late February and started concentrating on Skyla's recovery. The plan now is to finish the treatment at the end of January and see all three of us happy and healthy boarding a Qantas flight to Dallas at the end of February 2014. We won't know if the treatment is successful in removing the cancer forever, we'll only know that every day we have with her is a day we wouldn't otherwise have had. Now that we are again so close to our departure date the three of us are getting back on track and planning this amazing adventure across 72 countries (over 1/3 of the world’s countries), spanning almost 5 continents on motorbikes. Two highlights of the trip will be following the Football World Cup in Brazil in June/July 2014 and also the Centenary Anniversary of Gallipoli in Turkey in April 2015. If you'd like to be a part of this journey;
visit our website | ThePackTrack.com,
like our Facebook page | Facebook.com/ThePackTrack,
subscribe to our YouTube channel | YouTube.com/ThePackTrack, or
follow us on Twitter | Twitter.com/ThePackTrack.
Its going to be one hell of a ride. We'll be updating our site and social media on a weekly basis (pending Internet connectivity) and be submitting articles to the Rock-itt magazine on a monthly basis so you'll always have new content to read and follow. Next month we’ll have landed in Dallas and be kitting up for the journey.