how to deal with illness of my dogs? How to decide what is best?

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how to deal with illness of my dogs? How to decide what is best?

Post by Luka's Chili Pepper on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:14 am

At this time, 2 out of 3 of my dogs have cancer since almost 6 months. Luka has T-cell lymphoma but is currently doing well after 4 courses of chemo. Pepper has B-cell lymphoma and was doing very well untill 6 weeks ago when the vet found another tumor in his bladder wich has nothing to do with te first, but triggered the lymphoma to become active again. We succeeded to bring him back in remission, and he was doing well again, but now the poor love got acute pancreatitis last week. Twice we made the decision to have him put to sleep because he was in pain and did not seem to enjoy anything anymore. But twice he got better after making that decision, started wagging his tail again, enjoyed eating, walking around in the garden, ... He seemed to have joy again and so twice we cancelled. I found it very difficult to decide what was best for Pepper, because off course, if he gets through this pancreatitis, he stil has lymphoma and bladder cancer and will have problems because of that eventually. So should we have stopped here and avoid what's to come??? Anyway, because he was wagging and eating and everything, I just couldn't make that decision for him. I think now that your dog tells you when its his time and when not. I follow his lead. It was a difficult week with ups and downs, we had to care for him 24hrs a day, but he still enjoys our company and gives no signs of wanting to go. We are hopefull that the pancreatitis is beaten in the mean time.
What is getting very hard though, is that I can not spend a day without worries for months now. I feel like I'm not dealing well with this situation. At times I'm not dealing with it at all! It's totally eating me. I feel like I am missing out on enjoying my dogs because I am so sad about them being ill... How do you all deal with this kind of situation?

Luka's Chili Pepper

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Re: how to deal with illness of my dogs? How to decide what is best?

Post by DarlaVera on Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:51 am

I empathize completely with your situation.  My dog was diagnosed with lymphoma on August 14th.  For crazy reasons (not enough cells in sample and inconclusive) we were unable to determine the phenotype until much later and she did end up with T-cell variety.  UW assured me that they would follow the same protocal whether B- or T-cell and therefore there really wasn't a need for determining phenotype.  In hindsight, I feel this was a mistake, but hindsight is always 20-20.  She began chemotherapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison veterinary school but after 4 weeks, it was deemed ineffective.  This was followed with a variety of rescue protocals (single-agent doxyrubicin, Tanovea, and CCNU).... but she never entered complete remission and last Monday I had to choose to end her suffering and enter mine. It was by far the most difficult thing I've ever done and I grieve deeply (see post from 10/12).  Anyway, in answer to your post, I don't think there is a pat way to deal with this situation.  For me, learning and learning and learning of options seemed to help.  "The Cancer Survival Book" by Dr. Dressler was a great resource for me (and available at my library) and became my bible.  As long as I had a line-up of options should the current treatment fail, I felt safer.  Unfortunately, I was unable to try everything that I wanted to.  Time simply ran out.  

I would encourage you to check into holistic options such as ozone therapy (which was going to be my next trial..google Dr. Becker interview ozone/hyperbaric ), diet, Apocaps tablets, etc..  Ketopet Sanctuary in Houston (?) Texas is amazing (can be googled) and the owner is amazing.  Unfortunately for me, my pup was struggling with eating and diet remedies were impossible.

Vera definitely had her good and bad days but until last weekend, the bad were not so bad and the good were amazing.  When the lymphoma entered her lungs and compromised her breathing last weekend, I realized it was time.  She had been put in an oxygen chamber overnight at UW hospital and although I could have tried another protocal, she would have had to remain in the chamber until it kicked in...IF it kicked in...and risked the chance of dying in that chamber.  

So I agree with you.  As long as they can enjoy the things they love without undo suffering, why discontinue life?  But it is a grief process nonetheless, for everytime they have a challenge, you wonder if this is "it".

My heart goes out to you and I pray that you find comfort.  Been there, done that, and it is a living hell at times.

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Re: how to deal with illness of my dogs? How to decide what is best?

Post by RodneyB on Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:41 pm

I finally made the decision for my Frankie on Monday... the only opening for a home visit was the next day. I can't tell you how hard that decision was. Its been one day, and although I miss him so very much, I know that his life was never going to get better. He was on painkillers for years as his rear hips got worse and worse. In the end, I finally realized the suffering he was in, and today... just one day after he's gone... I know that I couldn't have watched him suffer one more day. It was a very long and drawn out decline, and it was easy to say that he was still with us and today was no worse than yesterday. The guilt I feel now is that I kept him around for too long for my own selfish reasons, and he's been ready to go for some time... I just couldn't or wouldn't hear him telling me that.
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