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Very bad news...

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by mmcginty, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. mmcginty

    mmcginty Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 11, 2011
    Labs came back today on aspirate from a small mass on Jake's abdomen near his hind legs... he has lymphoma. Vet said prednisone could keep him comfortable for 1 - 6 months. Vet said we should have a conversation about chemo, I don't know if I want to put him through that.

    I just want to pick him up and hold him all day long... but he doesn't really like that too much... I want to treat him as normally as I can, and spend the time we have left doing the things he loves the most, the beach, the dog park

    I have no idea how I'm going to make it through this. Just trying to keep it together is all I can focus on. I'm "in" a work meeting at the moment because my attendance is required, but it's a facade, like a crash test dummy... or a deer in the headlights, the semi is coming but nowhere to run...

    I almost wish my heart would stop beating when his does... in a way, it will... it might as well, it's already broken.
  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

    Aug 28, 2011
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    I am so sorry to hear of Jake’s cancer diagnosis. I understand your reluctance to go through chemotherapy.

    How old is he? My Laddie was 13 and when got his cancer diagnosis I just made him comfortable with pain relief. They said only a few months. He lasted 9 months.

    I would be a basket case if I had to go to a meeting just learning of the diagnosis. Please take care and post when ever you need to. We are here for you what ever the future brings...

    Nothing saddens us more than knowing our time is limited with our beloved shelties.
  3. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

    Oct 31, 2009
    I do understand your pain. I went through this last year with my beloved Brooke who was suddenly diagnosed with a type of cancer that causes internal bleeding. I do not have direct experience with lymphoma so hopefully others will add their wisdom. But I can tell you, making their life as good as it can be is rewarding, and a measure of grace in its own way. For instance, Brooke was so unhappy being left at home when we walked the young 'uns, so we borrowed a pet stroller and took her out in it every day. It made her so happy and therefore made us feel a bit better.

    I did try not to just hang onto her and bawl because that would only have scared her.

    I'm truly sorry you are up against this now in the midst of family caregiving also. Jake probably doesn't really know he's ill at this point so hang onto every good moment that you can.

    One thing to consider; most dogs do tolerate chemo much better than people - it's not the horrible scenario of nausea, hair loss etc, so you may want to explore this with your vet.
  4. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I am so very sorry for your diagnosis on Jake. Having just gone through this last year with my boy Riley I totally understand what your going through.
    After the initial shock I got so much support from everyone here, it helped me through the darkest days.
    It really is harder on us than them, they don't know they're sick...I tried to be as upbeat as I could with my boy because he wouldn't have understood if I was sad.
    I did get a dog stroller for him and seeing him enjoying himself while I walked my other two at least gave me something to be happy about. I really wanted his remaining time to be spent doing things he loved.
    We're all here for you so please post whenever you need to.
  5. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    It is so sad to hear how many of us have gotten the cancer Dx....
    Gavin DID go through radiation for his at 10 years old and he is still going strong at 14.
    chemo is generally very well tolerated in dogs (not at all like it is in humans), so I would talk to your vet about it.
    Radiation was not a walk in the park (the burns were pretty nasty, and I was nurse for over a month) and is a lot more $$ than chemo, but his type of cancer does not respond to chemo :(

    As soon as Gavin was done with radiation and all healed, we took a short trip up the coast of CA and OR, hitting dozens of beaches for Gavin to play on. He had sooo much fun :) warms my heart just thinking of it. He is mobility limited now, and I am soo glad we did as much stuff like that while we could and he was a good traveler (he still is a good traveler, but it is a lot more work for me and accessibility is an issue).

    Give Jake a belly rub from me and Gavin...
    Caro, ghggp, Darren and 5 others like this.
  6. Hanne

    Hanne Premium Member

    Nov 13, 2014
    Yes, totally agree with Lisa - We will be here

    When I just being reminded of Brooke and Riley
    it still hurts the heart and pulls back tears.
  7. Darren

    Darren Premium Member

    Nov 1, 2019
    I'm so sorry to hear about Jake. It is one of the hardest things anyone can go through. As tough as it may seem you need to stay strong for Jake and give him the best possible time he can have.
    I understand what you are feeling. I went to the vet with my Harley as he was not eating very well. With in 24hrs I was told he had cancer and he had 2 to 4 weeks left. Harley lasted 6 months, 5 of which he was acting mainly normal. I gave him the best 6 months of his life and not only did it give him the best time, it helps me looking back now knowing I did everything I could.

    Take little steps and try to get over one obstacle at a time. If you try to deal with everything in one go it will get ontop of you. We are all here for you as well when things get hard or you need help.
  8. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

    Aug 28, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I am so, so sorry that you've received this news.

    I think your plan to treat him as normally as possible, and to take him to his favorite places as much as you can, is a great one. Take it one day at a time; every day that he is feeling good and enjoying life is a GREAT DAY and deserves to be celebrated.

    This is going to be hard on you; I can't lie about that. But I hope very much that you can take comfort in knowing that you are working hard to give Jake as many awesome days as you possibly can.
  9. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    I'm so sorry to hear about Jake. Many of us can relate, and you've gotten some great suggestions here. The most important thing to remember is that Jake doesn't know he's sick. This will be harder on you. We are here to support and help as you walk this terribly difficult path. Sending you comfort, and gentle pats to your boy.
  10. mmcginty

    mmcginty Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 11, 2011
    Thanks, everyone, your kindness means a lot to me. He is already benefiting from the prednisone, his appetite picked up quite a bit. I've always treasured every minute I get with him. That they will go away too soon is part of the deal -- the worst part, but part none-the-less. We're going to spend the weekend at the beach, he loves to chase the gulls. I usually don't let him because a.) leash laws and b.) sometimes he forgets he's a Sheltie and follows them into the water. But now he has a life vest (I bought into a sailboat partnership last year) we can pull out all the stops.

    It occurs to me that a fair part of his life has been constrained by my fear of losing him. I'm going to try to correct that at least some.

    I'll try to respond individually over the next day or two... He turned 10 last September.

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