Heartbroken - Don't know what to do . . .

cinnaboncinnabon Posts: 80Registered Users
My beloved 15-year old Cairn Terrier, Kansas, was diagnosed with cancer (Lymphoma) on December 15th. I had come home from work and found him totally blind and disoriented/could barely walk. I took him to the emergency vet and then his regular vet who put him on steroid therapy (I realize this treatment is buying me just a little more time with him).

The treatment worked and he was doing better - mostly sleeping but comfortable and eating well. Until Christmas day when he went into a a coma like state. I couldn't get him to do much but go outside to eliminate. But by some miracle, by the next morning, he was back up and drinking and eating again and back into a normal routine.

I'm so torn - I can't let him go. I've made two appointments to have him euthanized and I cancelled both times. How do I let him go?

Comments

  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I'm so sorry. I don't know how you make that decision.
  • MoppyTMoppyT Posts: 998Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I'm so sorry to hear about Kansas. I'm in a very similar situation with my 13 yr old aussie girl. We've got her on steroids and antihistamines (she has mastocytoma) to dull the cancer growth, but it's really just to keep her comfy for what time she has left.

    I've experienced the same thing with a suddenly terrible day: she can barely get up, her eyes look dull, she eats her food, but with little interest... and I'm thinking well, this is it, I should make that appointment now. But then she's fine the next day. Happy, sassy, attentive, eating, following me around, etc. I don't want to prolong her suffering (I was a vet tech a million years ago and saw way too much of that), but she is having far more good days than bad right now.

    And that's my metric. If the bad days start to outweigh the good days, or even increase to an unacceptable level, it will be time to let her go. And it's going to be like I lost a part of myself. The time we have with them is never enough.

    Good luck to you, and scritches to Kansas.
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,231Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    {{{Cinnabon}}} :sad:
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  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm so sorry. I had a similar experience with my 10 year old cattle dog mix, he started to have issues with his paws and finally after some additional testing it was found he was in advanced liver failure.meds might buy him a few weeks but not restore quality of life which was quickly deteriorating.

    I was 6 months pregnant and having to carry him because he couldn't walk. After finally coming to the heart decision that he was in so much pain and it was inevitable he would die suffering I took him to vet and stayed with him to the end


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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users Curl Novice
    I'm so sorry. I think you'll just know when the time is right.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • KuLaidejuisceKuLaidejuisce Posts: 142Registered Users
    I'm so sorry to hear what ur going thru..
    Maybe it would make u & kansas more comfortable to be at home together until his time is up. My doggie is still a pup, but I understand pain for them. I don't think they want us to "put them out of their misery" when they're happiest being our best friends, despite what kind of weather we may be having. Something in ur heart (and his) will tell u what is best. Be strong.

    Love & blessings from a someone who loves her furry family.

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  • cinnaboncinnabon Posts: 80Registered Users
    Thanks for all of your kind and thoughtful words. My heart goes out to those of you who have or are experiencing the loss of your furry friends, too.
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,573Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I have been in your shoes and it hurts. :cry: It's so hard to let them go, but I think you really will know when it's time--if you listen to your heart. Some people ignore the feeling when they know it's time, and drag the poor baby's pain on. But it sounds like you are open and listening, so you'll know. ((hugs))

    I agree that the time is usually when the bad days outnumber the good ones. My Samson was going downhill fast, had a rough few days, I knew the time was right (although hubby and son denied it). We waited through the weekend because he had a good Saturday-- eating, enjoying the outdoors. But Sunday he was starting to suffer, of course everybody was closed. We went in first thing Monday morning.

    Sometimes they have a few good days before the end. I've seen people do the same, like they perk up to say goodbye and enjoy their final days.

    ((hugs)) to you and MoppyT. I wish you both peace and that you will know the right time. And that you can enjoy the good days until then. :grommit:
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've been in your shoes, and I'm in them again right now, with my 13.5 year old Portie, Splash. I won't be setting up any euthanasia appointments ahead of time. Vets will fit you in for such a thing when you feel the time is right. In fact, I just showed up at the vet office with my elderly Pug, Maia, when it was her time...they took her right away, no waiting.

    You will know when it's time. You love your boy and don't want him to suffer, and he will let you know when he's suffering and no longer getting enjoyment out of life.

    I wish you peace with your decision. It's so hard to lose our beloved pets, and it seems like we go through this over and over in our lives. It's the price we pay for loving creatures who don't live as long as we do. I know I'll cry my eyes out when I lose Splashy, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on having her in my life. It's worth the pain.

    I'm sorry.
  • GretchenGretchen Administrator Posts: 10,840Moderators Curl Virtuoso
    So sorry, Cinnabon, and everyone else. What an awful thing to have to go through.

    Gretchen
    NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
    3A

    You are beautiful!
  • sew and sewsew and sew Posts: 3,443Registered Users
    CurliLocks wrote: »
    :cry: It's so hard to let them go, but I think you really will know when it's time--if you listen to your heart.

    Agreed. One of the things that helped me let go of my family's doberman was petting him while all he could do was lay there...strongly feeling that if he was intelligent enough to comprehend unconsciousness, he would opt for it. He was merely hanging on, and everything about his body language sent that message. So we hung out for one last time and I realized he was already gone. 'Our times' were at that point, even while he was alive in that moment, already only existing in memory. This sounds a little flaky as I write it (never put it into words before), but realizing that was part of knowing it was the time.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • HropkeyHropkey Posts: 572Registered Users
    I feel for you. With our ten year old German shepherd we found out very late that he had severe stomach cancer and we had to put him down, but those last few months were hard, especially with such an incredibly intelligent, sweet dog. I think for now just make sure he's happy and as comfortable as possible. The day before we had to put our dog down my grandparents came over and he was the sweet, energetic dog we knew and loved after a long string of bad days. I think he knew his time was coming to a close; he was saying goodbye.
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  • curlylew66curlylew66 Posts: 1,685Registered Users
    I've been in your shoes, and I'm in them again right now, with my 13.5 year old Portie, Splash. I won't be setting up any euthanasia appointments ahead of time. Vets will fit you in for such a thing when you feel the time is right. In fact, I just showed up at the vet office with my elderly Pug, Maia, when it was her time...they took her right away, no waiting.

    You will know when it's time. You love your boy and don't want him to suffer, and he will let you know when he's suffering and no longer getting enjoyment out of life.

    I wish you peace with your decision. It's so hard to lose our beloved pets, and it seems like we go through this over and over in our lives. It's the price we pay for loving creatures who don't live as long as we do. I know I'll cry my eyes out when I lose Splashy, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on having her in my life. It's worth the pain.

    I'm sorry.

    +1 Sending you hugs....
  • munchkinmunchkin Posts: 2,909Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We went through the same thing with a cat just before Thanksgiving. It was so hard to get to the point where we knew we had to make the decision. I had a very hard time dealing with all of it -- is it time? how do you know for sure? We put it off a couple times too. My heart goes out to you.
    3b/c
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Posts: 2,098Registered Users
    I'm so sorry! I lost my 6yo bloodhound to cancer in April. It sucks.
    The question I asked myself "am I keeping him around for me or for him?" He didn't want to hurt, be sick, etc. He wanted to enjoy life. When he wasn't, it was time. It's not easy to do!
    Like someone mentioned, very sick dogs can have a good day right before the end. This even happened to my vet. But it's important to remember that the animal is sick and will be very sick again in a few hours or so.
    He lived a very long life and was loved. You gave him a good life. A dog can't ask for anything else.
  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 7,169Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I really feel for you cinnabon (and moppyt and rcw). We went through the same thing back in August and it was the pits. Like others have said - you do know when it's time even though it feels so absolutely dreadful. Like curlilocks experienced, our boy went downhill quickly over a weekend and by Monday there was no doubt in our minds.
    Thinking of you all.
    3b in South Australia.
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If its any consolation , for me the worst was making the decision and the appointment, though I'm glad I stayed with him. Once he was gone there was relief that he was not suffering ( though I still miss him). But no regret that it wasn't the best for him.


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  • LAwomanLAwoman Posts: 2,949Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    No great words of wisdom but just wanted to say that I'm so sorry you are going through this with your little friend. I've been there before with my old kitty, Misty, and it's so heartbreaking. But like spider said, after it was over I was sad but relieved she wasn't in pain any longer.

    (((((hugs)))) for you and your buddy during this incredibly tough time.
  • snickdogsnickdog Posts: 22Registered Users
    Argh. I'm so sorry, Cinnabon...as some of the others here, I've recently been in the same situation, having to help my 15 year old spaniel, Snick cross over the bridge this past summer.

    As already said, you will KNOW when it's time. I always told Snick that when his bum stopped wiggling, then I'd help him leave painlessly -- it was the hardest promise I've ever had to keep. But after years of off and on medical issues, the happiest dog in the world finally stopped wagging, and it was time.

    You will know, he will tell you. Try to make his passing peaceful for both of you -- we had the vet come to our home to perform the euthanasia, and Snick passed in my lap. While I was hugging him, my daughter and her boyfriend were giving him scritches so he was surrounded by people he loved. After he passed, the rest of the crew was allowed to sniff him so they could understand that he was gone (it helps them with the grieving process).

    There isn't a day that goes by when I don't miss "the heartbeat at my feet," (from the Wharton quote regarding her spaniel)... but it gets easier every day. I'm glad I waited until he "told" me he was ready, though... and he's the only one who can tell you, no one else...

    {hugs} and prayers heading out your way...
    jo

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  • CanItBeChristineCanItBeChristine Posts: 6,343Registered Users
    I'm so sorry. My beloved Westie was almost 16 when she was put-down. My mom had it done when she was away with her because the vet told her she was suddenly full of cancer and there was nothing to be done to help her.

    My mom was grateful I wasn't around to witness it :(

    It's so sad and hard and they are such important parts of our families.

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