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How Can I Let Go? Not Bouncing Back After Fibrosarcoma Surgery/diagnos


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Our beautiful 10-year old boy, Deacon, had emergency surgery to remove his spleen and a large mass 2.5 weeks ago. The mass weighed 5 lbs and had metastasized to his liver (unable to remove this) and the diagnosis was fibrosarcoma. Many of you have seen my other thread about all of this, but I am posting here because our hearts are being torn apart as we face a daily decision on whether to continue his treatments or let him go.

 

We have been hand-feeding Deacon with a syringe since his surgery. For the first 2 weeks, he would sometimes take other food (rotisserie chicken, eggs, ground beef, etc.) - but for the past 4 days he hasn't eaten a thing other than what we force on him. He is on Cerenia, Prevacid, Pepcid and Mirtazapine and continues to drink water (obsessively) and try to eat grass obsessively. We also have him on an antibiotic (mixed into his food, I tasted it first and it's not bitter) because he has a swollen lymph node that might be an infection (no vet visit for this). He has also started vomiting 1-2 times per day (keeping food in him helps with this). We now feed him every 3-4 hours (at least) and he is becoming more resistant to this.

 

I feel like we are torturing him. But he is still getting up and moving around on his own, still drinking and eliminating. One of us stays in our guest room with him every night so we can let him out whenever he wants, monitor him, feed him at 3 AM, etc. He will still climb into bed with us when we coax him and he still roaches occasionally.

 

I just don't know what to do. I don't want to wait until he can't get up anymore, until he is having accidents, until he stops drinking, etc. - but letting go when he is still able to do these things is equally as hard. We know he will not recover, we were just hoping he would feel better and be able to enjoy a little more time. Each time we start a new med, we tell ourselves it'll be a few days to see if he bounces back...but instead, he seems to get a tiny bit worse each day.

 

I hate feeling like we are playing God with his life, but the thought of him only suffering through these hours is equally as difficult. He is stoic, of course, and such a gentle guy. How can we judge his suffering?

 

We are trying to remain positive, for us and for him. The hospice vet came last Wednesday and his face looked so grim. I called him last night about the lymph node and as we chatted he told me that if he didn't bounce back a little by mid-week (mainly with the eating), we should seriously consider euthanasia.

 

Any advice, stories or perspectives would be very appreciated.

Edited by Sundrop
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The tentacles of fibrosarcoma have spread and are slowly stealing your boy's life. It is only natural for you to want to hold on to him. You are not playing God. You gave him a chance with the surgery.

You give him love with the care you give him at home. His time to leave is fast approaching and you are powerless to prevent it.

 

Your hospice vet speaks from experience.

 

By posing your question here I think you already know your answers. As corny as it sounds, for each of my previous hounds (and there were a lot of you look below my siggy) I had a feeling come over me that it was time. Possum survived one cancer but succumbed to another too quickly. I took PUdge to the vet thinking I had another week or 2 and we returned home. She got out of the car then turned and put her paw on the door jamb. Mom, take me back to the vet because it truly is time to let me go. And we did.

 

:grouphug

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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I am so sorry you and your boy are going through. It is a very difficult decision and our hearts go out to you. There are times when we have to put our feelings aside and think about them. We did this our CHarlie as we knew there was nothing more we could do and it broke us to make the decision and I remember it like it was yesterday when and where I made the decision.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Lots of hugs to your pupper and all your family.

 

 

Nearly every time I have said goodbye to a pet, I have wondered beforehand if perhaps it was a little sooner than necessary. And nearly every time, I have felt afterwards that perhaps I was a day or three late.

 

 

The "when" is a miserable decision to have to make. My heart goes out to you.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I am so very sorry. So many of us have been there. I don't think that Aston ever gave me a sign. I didn't want to wait for him to, since I knew what horrible things he had bounced back from, and I didn't want to wait to see what would finally break him. As Kyle said -- it broke me to make the decision for him; it was in a split second that Sunday morning that I saw the delicate balance between how we could treat + how his body could manage waver past what I promised Aston, and then I put my head down and followed through with taking him directly to the vet. I could have probably eked out a few more days or even weeks, but I never did know if I managed to get him pain-free. He was so stoic. Once I knew that the scale was leaning more toward him being here for me, and not necessarily for him, it was done.

In tears with you. I am so sorry. Do follow your heart, as you know your boy best. We are here with you.

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I've had to make this decision so many times and it never gets any easier. For me, it boils down to quality of life. When my pups get to the point where there is no joy left, when they can't eat, play with their toys, enjoy a walk or enjoy their favorite treats then I make the decision. It's such a personal decision and I'm so sorry you are facing having to make it. My prayers for all of you.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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I've also had to make that dreadful decision and mine was very similar. When Bailey no longer could keep food down, I made the decision to let her go.

 

She could still go on walks and play, but she couldn't eat. Many people say their pup gives them a sign, but Bailey never did. I have pics of her 5 days earlier running and playing in the snow. And she went on a walk that morning. We picked her up at the vets after an ultrasound and we got the news she had cancerous tumours in her stomach. The vet said that Bailey and DH were ready, but clearly I was not. We took her home and I spent every minute with her agonizing over it. Finally, the next day I decided that since there wasn't anything more I could do, that no matter how much I loved her I could not make her well, so it was time. I don't know if she was in pain, but I wasn't going to take any chances. That was way back in December 2009 and I'm shedding tears as I write this because I know how difficult it is.

 

If it were me, I would let him go. It's terminal, you've done all you can and he can't or doesn't want to eat. Many of us here agree that it's better a day too soon, rather than a day too late. Many people have wondered if it was too soon, while others who waited felt a lot of guilt if their pup suffered. If his quality of life is poor because he can't eat, you won't be able to change that no matter how much you love him.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Only you can decide, and it never gets easier. I was in a similar situation with Molly two years ago. She had a different type of cancer, I have blanked on the name, but it was pretty aggressive. The ultra sound showed a mass on her spleen (vet could feel it as well) but wasn't clear on whether or not it had spread, so I opted to remove the spleen and see if that could give her some quality time. Unfortunately, during the surgery, they could see that it had spread to the liver and the closest lymph node. Chemo was an option, but unlike most dogs, it really hit her hard, so I stopped after one session. She was weak after the surgery but seemed to feel better, for a few weeks. About 6 weeks after the surgery, she started refusing food, and I was sure the cancer was spreading. To me, refusing to eat for more than a few days is one of the things I look for in making my decision. I decided to let her go before she got worse, although with her, I didn't see a clear sign, like I had with some of my others. Keeping her around longer would have been only for me. Sorry this is a bit long, but I wanted to explain my thinking.

 

:bighug

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Thank you all so very much. This morning, right after posting this, we fed him a syringe of food and rather than making him feel better, it made him very nauseated. I have noticed over the past few days that he drools a lot after we feed him, and today it is very bad. He doesn't even want to go outside and when we asked if he wanted to go for a walk, his most favorite thing in the world, he didn't even lift his head.

 

We called hospice...they are coming at 6:00 today and we will let him go. I am sitting on the floor with him as I type this as he sleeps. I am glad we have the option to do this at home, in his favorite spot, surrounded by the people who love him so much. Our goal is to remain as calm as possible so he will not be scared. We want him to just sleep and to end his misery. He deserves better than this.

 

Thank you again. I can't tell you how much it means to have a community of people who love their pups as much as we do and who understand how agonizing this is.

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I am so sorry. I, and so many of us, have been in your shoes and it is awful. As someone else wrote on this forum, you are taking his pain and making it your own. My heart breaks for you. He knows he is loved, which is what all of us really want. Wishing you peace.

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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I'm so sad for you, but you are doing the right and loving thing for Dean. I don't want to scare you and make you feel worse than you already do , but please watch him carefully every minute these last hours for signs that he is worsening and may need to let go sooner. I thought I could wait until the next morning when my Beanie, who had lymphoma, was showing signs like your boy, that I had to let her go. The symptoms however progressed so rapidly that next hour that I ended up rushing her to the e-vet that night to let her go. Her last hours were agonizing for her and something that will always be with me.

My thoughts will be with you and Dean today.

:grouphug

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Will be with you in spirit.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest AimeeBee

I'm sorry your boy has to leave. Seconding Saharasmom -- cancer is so horribly unfair.

 

Prayers for a peaceful journey for Deacon as well as for comfort and healing to your family. :grouphug

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Prayers for a peaceful journey, I too have been there, you have done everything possible, now its time to let go with love, so very sorry, no words can help ease the pain.

med_gallery_14228_2915_582.jpg
Roberta & Michael with Furkids- Flower (Shasta Flowers 6/7/06) & Rascal the kitty - Missing our sweet angels - Max(M's Mad Max) 10/12/02 - 12/3/15, Sara (Sara Raves 6/30/01 - 4/13/12) Queenie & Pandora the kitties - gone but never forgotten

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It's after 6pm now. :grouphug Thinking of your family and Deacon. :grouphug

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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