(This post was written two months before publishing. I still haven’t been able to edit it, and felt it was still necessary to share since we know so many others are daily experiencing this same overly difficult situation. It’s still the goal to share updates that help with perspective….)
May 15, 2010.
As I write this, we are about 2 hours away from Sadie’s favorite vet being kind enough to visit us at home to we may put her to sleep. Euthanasia is the correct term here, and part of me feels it is plain and simple murder. I’m going to write this now, but not publish it for quite some time. I hope to have some perspective as the days and weeks following pass.
It started weeks ago with basic digestive trouble. After one test after another was inconclusive and yielded no positive results, we kept hoping it was something small, and simple, and even just plain silly we had overlooked and this would all get better real fast, but we were also beginning to brace ourselves for this going bad. When the health of an 11 year-old dog declines for any reason, you have to be aware it may be a big deal.
Almost two weeks ago we got the bad news that the masses in her intestines looked cancerous. Tests were done but inconclusive. The oncologist agreed all signs pointed to cancer, but they didn’t have the physical proof to officially call it. The option was exploratory surgery.
Plain and simple, Sadie has not been eating. We’ve been lucky to get a few bites of anything in her in any given day. She’s lost muscle and her abdomen has backed up with retaining water. She’s not feeling well. We’ve known we’d need to pick the time and place to say goodbye, but are even now clueless as to when just the right moment is. We don’t want her to suffer, which we know she already has with the starvation, but we absolutely don’t want to ever say goodbye, so anytime it too early. In short, we’re screwed, and she is the one dying. This whole thing is an emotional mess. Being torn between ‘doing the right thing’ and not wanting to do it at all, ever, really just sucks.
We were told we’d ‘know when the time is right’, and I can say we know it is now just as long as we don’t let an ounce of emotion into the decision… which is impossible, so leaves us with doubts. My goal with sharing this now is to hopefully come around in a few weeks with some less emotional perspective and ideally help others struggling with this same impasse. Right now I don’t even know if that will be at all possible.
Here’s where we are now. Sadie is sick and slowly starving. This has been progressing for weeks, and we’re at the point where the last thing she ate was a bit of chicken 3 nights ago (and I’m talking about 5 bites), and some raw egg yolk yesterday. She can still get up and walk around the house, but limits it to one room to the other before laying down again. The stairs stopped being an option yesterday. It can easily be argued we’ve waited too long, and at the same time we think maybe another day or two would be better, but fear we’d then witness some truly anguishing pain and discomfort for her, and can’t bare to let that happen.