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steve77

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Posts: 4
 #1 
Hello, I found this site from the Tufts support website and came here hoping to find some help. Two days ago I got the news that Tikaani, my 12 year old Siberian Husky has cancer. Although they don't have an exact diagnosis yet, the vet seems pretty sure that it is hemangiosarcoma. They did a chest radiograph and abdominal ultrasound, and found a mass on his liver, another on his spleen, and nodules in his lungs. I took him to the vet originally because he was bleeding from somewhere around his anus. They found a very small growth that was seeping blood. They removed that in surgery and sent the tissue out for analysis. So I'm expecting a definitive diagnosis early next week. 

But I am expecting the worst and am having a very hard time dealing with it. If true then they tell me he may have only weeks left. I've read up some on the disease and I understand what is likely to happen. But now that he's home from the hospital I just can't get my head around it. He's the same dog as he was on Monday. He's slowed down with age obviously, he has some hip displasia, but he appears generally healthy and strong. He's the same as he was but now I'm different because of what I know.

I have two other dogs, Sinai and Zouzou, both girls around 3 years old. I love them both but Tikaani will always be special. Other than the dogs, I live alone and don't really have friends in the area. And I just don't know how I'm going to be able to get through this. I cry all the time, I haven't slept much, I don't know what to do with myself, I have to try to keep busy doing whatever I can think of. I go stand outside, I come back inside, I sit at the computer, I get up to do laundry, whatever I can do to just... I don't even know.

I've read through some of the threads here, they are so heartbreaking. They make me feel even worse. I guess everyone here has gone through this in some form or other, I'm just hoping that someone can tell me what to do. How to get from one day to the next when I feel so broken. And if I feel like this now what happens when the end does come?
Bodelli

Registered:
Posts: 12
 #2 

Hello Steve,

Death comes to every live creature and it will happen.  It sucks, it hurts and you will feel miserable and broken for quite some time.  I am sorry to hear about your dog.  I lost mine over 2 weeks ago due to Osteosarcoma.  You can read my previous comments if you click on my profile I believe.  He was my best friend. 

The first week was absolutely horrible.  After that things got better for me either day by day or week by week.  I am now at peace with losing my boy.  I love him...I'll always love him.  I 2nd guessed my decision in the beginning but I feel honestly now that my decision help him avoid the pain associated with death.  Whether you choose that route is up to you.  I didn't want to see my boy suffer.  He was very close to the point of not getting up on his feet any longer and I made the decision based off of prior experience and what I felt was best in my heart and head.  It was one, if not the most painful decision I made in my life.  But once again you won't always feel horrible.  I'll always miss him.  There will be days where I shed tears thinking about the experience of euthanasia and there will be days filled with happy memories of us being together.  I choose to remember the latter on most days than not. 

I know that he wasn't ready to die.  Most people or creatures are not ready to die...but as I mentioned it came to a choice.  He was going downhill quickly.  In a matter of days he went from walking around the block to barely getting up and needing help to get up.  You'll read a lot about "you'll know when it's time".  Knowing when it's time is completely an opinion of your pet's health and whether or not they are suffering or not.  I didn't know when it was time.  I used my best educated opinion and went with the decision.  The day of and the next few days after felt like a nightmare where things won't get better.  The pain now for me at least has been mostly replaced by love and the gratefulness of the time that I was able to spend with him.  I wouldn't change it for the world and I expect that he wouldn't either. 

My best advice right now it just enjoy the time that you have left.  I made the most of my time with my boy and he knows that.  After I got the diagnosis of cancer he was good for about 3 weeks on painkillers.  After that it got to the point after about 5 days where I choose to make the decision.  Nobody knows how much time you will have but my point is to enjoy the time that you still have left.  It is normal to have the emotions that you are feeling but try to make the most out of it.  People here have all went or are going through the same thing.  You are not alone with how you feel.  Posting my feelings definitely help cope with the sadness that followed. 


steve77

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #3 
Bodelli-

Thank you very much for your reply. I did read through the thread you started and of course that just made me break down again. I'm sure you did the right thing to the best of your ability to figure it out and that's all any of us can do. In my case, they think Tikaani has Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissues. The tumors tend to be very vascular so what seems to be most likely, according to talking to the doctor, is that eventually one of the masses will burst and he will start bleeding internally. Apparently many of the dogs that suffer from this disease don't really show any symptoms until very close to the end.

So I just feel like I'm waiting for the axe to fall and there may not be much if any warning. The doctor did seem to suggest euthanasia, I think mainly to make it easier for me, but I can't do that when he doesn't appear to be suffering at all. At this point the shock has started to wear off but the confusion hasn't. I'm arriving at the conclusion that I need to explore every option that I can find. Even if there is little or no hope at least I can feel like I'm doing something.

And I know that at his age there wouldn't be that much time left, but I was hoping for another year or two. I've been working from home since he was a little over a year old so we've been together almost 24 hours a day for the last 10+ years. So many decisions that I've made in that time have been because of him. I moved from DC to Maine because of him. I bought a house because of him. I feel like my whole life for the last 10 years has revolved around him and and I can't imagine being without him.

Thank you again and if nothing else comes of this I think it has already made me more sensitive to the pain of others. I'm so sorry that you had to go through what you did, but like you say, you were lucky to have him all those years and I'm sure he was very lucky to have you.
Joy_S

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #4 
I was researching pet loss groups and came across this one and somehow saw your letter, My Best Friend has Cancer. Your letter touched my heart and i have info , advice, and resources to share with you. It took me hours to figure out where i had gone to see your letter and what group, then i remembered my verification email so i found it, however, now that its alil after 6am and i still am trying to get to bed, I’m going to send the info later today so please keep your letter up so i can contact you, this is helpful info. I lost my Lab to cancer and want to share what i wish i had known about when I found out the awful news that’s he had cancer and then the time i was his at home nurse bc this stuff woulda been wonderful to have.Ill tell u one thing now and the rest later today. I found out about CANINE CANCER AWARENESS, THEY WILL HELP FINANCIALLY WITH THE DR BILLS since this stuff is very expensive and is often all of a sudden with no way to pre-plan or save up. This org. Seems to be awesome,lets see if i can copy and paste, fingers crossed.....

http://caninecancerawareness.org/http://caninecancerawareness.org/

Check this out for now (that link above) and ill send you more things like a great book of what to expect, home remedies info,list of medicines that help etc...

As i said, youre the reason i joined the group, I hated that i coulda used all this great info with my Trygg but could not bc I found it when it was too late...☹️ Thats why I want to share it with you and hopefully it will help you and your precious doggie. Im going to bed now but can send more resources when i get settled later today. Happy Friday!❤️ Joy Stulley
steve77

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #5 
Hello Joy. Thank you for posting that link, it looks like they have a lot of information on that site. I saved it and will be looking through it this weekend. I’m sorry that you didn’t come across the information that would have helped you until it was too late and it’s great that you’re sharing it here.
Joy_S

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #6 
I'm so glad u think it will be helpful. Here is the book I think would greatly help- Dog Cancer Survival Guide, by Demian Dressler and Susan Ettinger. Another book may help is Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs by Shawn Messonnier, Dvm . Check out online groups for dogs w cancer, some hv great ideas that help like special cooked foods that's part of holistic treatment. My Lab was losing muscle mass in his back legs that eventually made it where he could no longer stand up. There are rehab facilities that have underwater treadmills for the dogs and that does help build up their strength, our appointment for 1st treadmill visit was on the day he woke up and could no longer stand so again, we missed out there. Anywaz I truly hope this info helps you and I'll send more when I can. My heart goes out to you and your doggie.🤗♥️🐾
TazDad

Registered:
Posts: 26
 #7 
Steve77, I among the others here, certainly share your pain. Go back and read my story on the lost of my little snorki, Taz. Briefly, I took him into the vet's clinic this past February for something unrelated to cancer. The vet upon checking him over discovered that one of his lymph nodes was really enlarged and wanted to do a test. Sure enough, a week later they wanted to see him and me back. I couldn't believe what she said, and really thought I misheard her. "Taz has lymphoma of his lymph nodes. This is terminal cancer and he will be dead in about three weeks." Shocked is not the word. She said I could try cemo, but it would be expensive and only extend his quality of life for three to six months at best. Well, I had to at least try. I don't know if I made the right decision or not, but I wasn't really to lose him yet when he was in no obvious pain or misery. Still, I knew this was only temporary and the end would come. Sure enough, middle of July he started showing symptoms and I could tell the end was near. He made it two more weeks and died with me petting him on a Sunday afternoon. Looking back, I should have taken him to the vet that previous Friday, but I thought I could squeeze the weekend out. No, late Saturday afternoon he couldn't walk and looked terrible. I can only blame myself for putting him through those last few days for my own selfishness. Anyway, in time, things get better after seven months now, but it's been a rough trip for me. I still miss him and talk to him every day. You said you don't know what to do? You're already doing it. Just love and support him while you can. He'll know, and love you for it...
steve77

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #8 
Joy - thank you for the book recommendation. I just bought the e-version and will read it. I've been trying to find as much information on possible treatments for this type of cancer and maybe there will be something in there.

Tazdad - I read your posts about losing Taz, these stories are all heartbreaking and are very hard for me to read. I would like to stay positive but it's so easy for some random thought to enter my mind and then I fall apart. That happens when I read the other stories too. I guess there is no way to avoid this pain.
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