Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Honda as an escape pod.

If you're looking for a parking lot in which to sit pensively in your car, might I suggest the emergency vet?

That parking lot is filled with people sitting in their cars, looking rather shell-shocked. Some are trying to get their act together to go inside the clinic. Others are taking a brief respite from the clinic, making phone calls and surveying the normal world. And others, like me, are trying to decide whether to lose their shit, or just drive off into the sunset. Except they don't know where they would drive to. And they are probably too tired to turn on the ignition, anyway.

We were back at the emergency vet twice today. Lady Doodle needed more pain meds. She now has a lovely patch, like she's trying to quit smoking.

Except that it's evidently super hard-core and I had to sign a release promising that I wouldn't slap it on myself and that I would dispose of it properly and not, like, try to get a toddler to lick it.

So, that was the first trip. The second was for a look-see with a surgeon. The first surgeon said the tumor wasn't a good candidate for "debulking" - because at this point, we've all accepted that there's no clean removal. So, this look-see was with a second surgeon who wouldn't make a decision based on the films alone.

After a 3-minute eyeballing, the verdict was in. Surgery would require removing too much of her palate. It's a no-go.

So, for those keeping score at home ... there's no chemo for this type of cancer. Radiation so close to her eyes might make her go blind. And surgery would basically make her sinuses collapse and fall into her intestines.

Hence my sitting in the car in the emergency vet parking lot.

Now, we do have an appointment with the holistic vet who treated the Geriatric Poodle. Miraculously, this vet had a cancellation tomorrow, and we're in. So, that's positive. We have a plan!

I'm beyond exhausted. And the idea of justifying Reiki or acupuncture or Chinese herbs to my meat-and-potatoes husband makes me want to drink about 27 bottles of wine. Or beer, if that would be easier to relate to.

Instead, I have to come up with a way to explain that these are our options - our only options. And I need to find words that don't make either of our hearts explode.


itsjustme said...

Dear cha cha,

I am so very sorry. My prayers are with you. I know that what you are going through and the options you have suck.

When Sabrina had her stroke and I worked for 7 months to try to save her while I covered the furniture to prevent "leakage," I learned a couple of things. I will repeat them on the off chance that they help you.

1. vet advice at one point: think of the 3 things your dog loves the most. When she's lost 2 of them, it is probably time.

1b. when the vet says, we've done everything, well there is stem cell research out of California, that translates as you've spent thousands of dollars but that's just the beginning if you keep going.

2. I realized that no matter when I decided to pull the plug as it were, I had made sure that Sabrina had a GREAT life, short or long, and it ended with her in my arms. Truthfully.... we should be so lucky.

3. As much as I loved Sabrina and as much as I wanted to be sure that I did everything I could to save her; I spent a lot of money that I'm not sure I actually had. And in the end, she would have loved me no matter what. Make wise decisions; She'll love you no matter what.

4. it's never too early for wine, or liquor or whatever.

5. You are a good mama. She knows that.

ilyanna said...

nothing to say. Just sending hugs to you and your guy.

Kelley said...

Oh, Cha-Cha...no words, just lots of hugs from me to you and your guy and your doggies. I think Lady Doodle has been so, so lucky to have someone love her as much as you do!

Anonymous said...

Oh, honey.

Laura said...

Oh no. I am so so sorry. As someone who has been to dog Orthopedic Surgeons, dog Opthamologists, and a dog acupuncturist, I understand wanting to do everything you can. Me and my herd are sending warmest thoughts your way. Wine, beer, shots, and copious amounts of desserts are all 100% recommended.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I'm so sorry.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh the little sweetie, no!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh the little sweetie, no!

Trixie Bang Bang said...

Did your vet explore the laser surgery for debulking? Do they do that? We have a vet that did that when my cat had a tumor in his asshole, they couldn't remove the whole thing (same problem as the palette), but it was debulked with a laser. Of course he still only made it a few months longer because of the type of tumor he had, but it sure did help in the meantime - and it wasn't horribly expensive (compared to vet procedures - it was hundreds, not thousands). Just a thought if that isn't a method you've explored.
It's hard when pets are sick.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Cha-cha, I am so very sorry...
If you were in western WA, north of Seattle -- and if it could possibly help -- I would send you to an old school chum who does Reiki on pets.

The thought of you sitting in that car alone makes me tear up. For what it's worth, there's plenty of love flowing to you through the blogisphere. ♥

"itsjustme" had some wonderful advice and words of comfort.

Jenny Hart Boren said...

I completely agree with everything Itsjustme wrote. Read it again! Yes, you can definitely spend every last dime you have to keep your sweetheart alive a little longer, but that's about your fears, not hers. I completely understand, but honey: we humans are our pets' stewards on earth. When we take on the responsibility of a pet, we accept that they will die before we do. We accept that we must be kind enough to put our own fears of bereavement aside, if they are suffering. I believe that if pets could sign a DNR, they would. She loves you and trusts you to do the right thing--even if that means providing her a way out of suffering. Your vet will happily help you. It's SO hard, but it's right. Sending you a tight, tight, tight hug, my dear. You can do this.