Friday, August 17, 2012

With a heavy heart : (


Sadly I am posting that Sunday, August 12, 2012 was Roxy's last day.
Her spiral downhill was rapid and the tough decision to put her to rest was made.
On our last morning we went out for our morning walk and it was very apparent that Roxy did not want to be here anymore. She was extremely bloated and when she  got out of the wagon she tried to urinate, she squatted down but nothing came out. I tried to help her walk a couple more steps and she really resisted. I was able to get her to void some, but it was a small volume. I knew that this was the day. My best guess is that her brain was not talking to her organs the way it should or that the feelings that tell us what to do were diminished. Keep in mind all of her movements were fully assisted.

She had a wonderful day at the park with ice cream and then a bone in ribeye steak for dinner. Then some beef carpaccio and some tasty pastas. We had the people from Choice Home Vet come over and administer the medicine at 7pm. Her last moments were licking ice cream out of  my hand. She then fell asleep and she felt at complete peace. She had a light snore, and it occurred to me that she probably hadn't slept soundly in a very long time.  She felt really happy and at peace. As bad as it was, it was a wonderful moment. She went out happy and content.

The problem wasn't that she couldn't urinate, the problem was that her body was shutting down piece by piece. Her left legs did not know what they were doing, and as hard as she tried, her body was not working. Her sleep was restless and thrashing.

I feel horribly guilty, racking my brain for something else I could have done. It has been confirmed by
her veterinarians that there was nothing that we could have done for a different outcome.
Wednesday I went for a run and about halfway through the run I felt beautiful Roxy running along my side. The happy excited running girl she used to be. The odd thing is that when I left the park I no longer felt her along my side. Roxy stayed at the park : )

Roxy's love stays with me and she worked really hard through these personal struggles. I found a blog that talks about when a dog no longer enjoys their quality of life.   I read this article after she was gone, but it shed some clarity on whether Roxy was enjoying her life as a dog should. She was still content laying her head on my lap, but the physical struggles were hard and I felt that she was very tired from the simple task of (fully assisted) getting out of bed to the sofa. I was fearful that her brain was shutting organs down as well as her  motor function. I am not sure if it was fear or premonition that something global was going to go really bad and she wouldn't have the luxury of having some last moments of enjoyment.

These decisions are extremely  difficult and very personal. We all have our own comfort levels of what we feel is right, and when that decision should be made. We all do our best with what we have.


Sara said...

Words can't describe how I felt when I read your post. The decisions you made for Roxy clearly show what a wonderful and caring bond you had with him.

I remember someone telling me that also lost their dog to a brain tumor that because they fought so hard to find a treatment they wondered if they should of done more or looked for a new treatment. The conclusion they came to was that they made their decisions out of love for their dog and were able to give him a better quality of life (for whatever amount of time) than if they had opted for no treatment at all.

Much love,

AnneM822 said...

Sara, Thank you for your kind words. This is such a sad time for me. I miss Roxy with every cell of my body. I know it was time, but there is always doubt. The sadness is overwhelming.

Cheryl said...

My dog has GME and I almost went the cyberknife route. I am curious if you had a spinal tap test done prior to the surgery? I found that oncologists, neurologists and radiologists all have a different approach. Prior to the cyberknife, my neurologist made an urgent call to me to cancel the treatment because her spinal tap showed infectious and inflammatory agents so we pretty much had no choice but to go the drug route which is working out so far.

I am so very sorry for your loss. This is such a tough and horrible disease to treat. I had no idea Roxy died, I came back to visit your blog and was shocked about the outcome.

I am aware of the cost of the treatment so I know that you did everything possible and more to save her. She was lucky to have you.

AnneM822 said...

Hi Cheryl,
I am sorry your dog is not well. I know what a heartbreak it is. We never had the spinal tap done as the initial MRI showed the tumor. The second MRI showed the tumor had shrunk but that there was another issue that was brain swelling thought to be caused by the cyberknife. The steroids did not seem to work on this secondary injury and she declined quite quickly from the onset of the symptoms of this secondary brain injury. There was nothing medically, emotionally, or financially that was going to turn this around.
Roxy is often in my thoughts and I miss her very much. I wish you the best with your pup. I hope the medication will keep him/her happy and comfortable for a very long time.
With love,

coolfx89 said...
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Layne Adams said...
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