You know, they don’t tell you about this part of being a pet parent. You may be well-versed in the concept of life and death, but when you spot that tiny black and white blob of fur and ears, you don’t think about how she’s gonna go.
I’ll skip the details and just share the specifics.
We took her back to the emergency vet last night, this time a different one. Her abdomen was still distended and hard, and she hadn’t had a bowel movement in over 24 hours.
Diagnosis: she has a 6cm mass on her spleen and an 8cm mass on her liver, as well as multiple other masses throughout all lobes of her liver.
The options suck.
Surgery is no good because while they can remove the spleen, they can’t do anything with the liver since it’s all over the liver. I even asked about liver transplants, but that’s not an option for dogs.
Chemotherapy may not improve her quality of life since she’s already feeling bad and side effects can be miserable. It would also depend on the type of mass as some are not responsive to chemo, including the type they suspect she has.
So supportive care is the best option in terms of doing something…and that’s basically like hospice for dogs. The other option, of course, is putting her down, which is in unfathomable right now.
I hate this so much. I wasn’t this emotionally wrecked at any point during my cancer diagnosis and treatment. No lie. I dove into all that head first, but this? I want to run away to a land where cancer in dogs doesn’t exist.
I don’t know what to do. Logically, I know what the most humane thing to do is. Illogically, I’m wondering if she’d want the opportunity to kick cancer’s ass like her momma did. I’m wanting to selfishly eke out more time with her because I’m not ready for this.
Some may be thinking, “She’s just a dog!” Then stop reading. She may be a dog, but to two people who can’t have children, she’s their child. We’ve raised her for more than 12 years. She’s our baby.
Having to make a choice regarding the life or death of a loved one is absolutely agonizing. I would rather go through everything I went through with breast cancer again than have to go through this. I’m not even kidding. This is so hard.
Anyway, she’s pretty lethargic from the comfort meds. She’s not the same Daisy right now, and she probably won’t be again, I know that. Brad’s been at work all day, so he hasn’t seen her yet today. Just keep us in your thoughts as we make literally the most awful decision of our lives.