To cut to the chase, my dog has cancer. She has a tumor (nasal carcinoma) in her nasal cavity running from behind the canine teeth to her sinuses on the left side. Today was day one of radiation treatment but before I go into that, let’s try to get some of the emotions out that will prevent the rest of this blog from being useful. My wife and I are sad. I am angry. I feel we never once hesitated to go to a vet or vet specialist when caring for Nunya over the last 12 years. How could something so big get missed? I feel like I let Nunya down in my decision making and now she is paying the cost. I think Ali and I are both confused and fearful. Did we do the right thing by trying to prolong her life or are we making her suffer because we will miss her so much? Is there a magic moment when you know it is time to euthanize your friend of 11 years?
I found Nunya at the pound in Waco, Tx where I was studying bioinformatics and trying to find my beautiful wife Alison. I remember the day vividly for 2 reasons, the first, because I was looking for a three legged dog and they only had one who just dragged his gimp leg. And the more important reason was just a magical feeling when I saw Nunya. She would be my dog.
Fate or dumb luck, I do not know, but Nunya helped me navigate the waters in my younger years. Always staying close, always staying loyal and always up for a 2am Jeep ride. There is no better time in a man’s life to have such a faithful companion than when he is just starting to go out on his own. She followed me through every stupid decision, good day or bad day, because she believed in me (or my ability to hunt and gather from Walmart.)
I have so many great memories of her loyalty from standing guard after surgery, to sleeping beside me on a concrete floor, to even trying to protect me from the loud UPS guy, the list is endless.
She really became part of my identity and I strongly feel had influence on meeting and marrying my wife. For that alone, I owe her the treatment.
Whew, now that part is over, one more note: I mention cost below. This might vary from place to place. Paying this amount of money for a pet is a personal choice and may not be the right decision for everyone. My goal is to be as honest about the experience as possible to help inform anyone else dealing with the same issue. After this experience, I would recommend people who want their animal to have this kind of care investigate pet insurance. I am fully aware that the care she is receiving is not normal and while I personally do not agree, I respect other peoples’ opinion that a dog or cat with cancer should just be put down. Only time will tell if I will change my mind after this experience.
The ordeal started about 4 weeks ago with some bloody sneezes. We took her to her local vet who did about $400 in lab work and x-rays and sent us home with some pills. The thought was that the problem stemmed from allergies. This plan actually worked for the next three weeks and she was incident free until ‘bloody night’. Nunya is really good about notifying us of a problem. She came right over to Ali and I, then gently put her paw out and sneezed blood on us. On one of the sneezes a chunk of tissue flew out (1/4 the size of an eraser). At that point we were out the door and at the doggy ER (because of course this happened at midnight). Very little help… $400 later we are referred to a specialist for her first CT scan (view the scan). Scan happened, they found a huge tumor but couldn’t give us any info until after the results from the 20-25 biopsy sites (ouch). For anyone who gets to this point with their animal – skip the specialist and go to the super specialist. They will have to redo all the blood work and CT scans. The blood work cost $300-400 and the CT scans cost $750-1250. The whole biopsy ordeal at the first specialist vet was $2,000 for blood work, CT, scope, and biopsy.
Almost immediately after the blood night incident, she started having problems breathing and sleeping since her nose was blocked and most of the air needed to go through her mouth. She started sneezing, coughing and a weird panic breathing thing. We found the best solution to calm this down was neosynephrine sprayed in the nose, back rubs, and car rides. For some reason, when she is in the car she breathes out of her mouth normally.
That was a horrible week of waiting but we finally got the news this last Monday (week later) that it was time to see the oncology team at Texas A & M.
Downside, they didn’t have an appointment available until the 15th which was weeks away. Well that was unacceptable. Nunya needed care weeks ago. So we started searching for loopholes and found out from the great staff there that if the dog goes to the A&M ER, they can get fast tracked to seeing a specialist. We were in the car and on the way to College Station within an hour. Nunya was admitted through the ER and stayed overnight for diagnosing. They determined that her tumor was advanced enough that we should start on treatment soon.
I cannot speak highly enough of the Doctors, interns and students at Texas A&M Small Animal Clinic. Before starting treatment, we spent at least 45 minutes to 1 hour discussing the process and the potential side effects of the procedure. The quick run down of the scary: hair falls out and then grows back strange, radiation burns, super radiation burns where chunks of the skin can open up and potentially require surgery to close, voids in skull from the where the cancer destroyed bone that will not grow back – the voids can get infected and require a lifetime of antibiotics and potential surgery, blindness, loss of smell, and death.
Several appointments, lab tests and horrible haircuts for ultra sounds later, we are back at where I started, Day 1 of radiation. Nunya will receive 20 weekday treatments of radiation using a precise plan calculated by the Doctor – I believe it is called Tomotherapy. This treatment required a $4000 deposit, with the remaining $4000 to be paid at the completion of treatment. Each day, she gets dropped of in the morning, put under anesthesia, zapped by radiation machine and then woken back up. We have the option to leave her overnight or to pick her up and bring her home. We opted to bring her home, which I think was the right choice for us. Finding the right balance between the stress of an overnight stay and a 1.5 hour car ride will be a challenge. Nunya is very much a homebody so we know she will be more comfortable with us at home, but we don’t want to put her through any unnecessary stress of traveling if she is not feeling well.
We did not discuss chemotherapy as a treatment option and I think we were past the point for a surgical extraction. So our options: 2 months of painful nose destruction and death or Radiation that does not sound fun but could prolong her life up to 19 months (we are pushing for two years). We did discuss changing Nunya’s diet and it was decided that it was best to leave well enough alone (they were familiar with the same low carb diet recommendations seen online).
TomoTherapy: Radiation Treatment
After Day 1:
Her demeanor seemed a lot better today. She was generally happy and walking around even with the catheter and 50 percent of her hind leg covered with the stretchy medical tape. You could tell that her mouth was sore. Eating was a real problem. Anything that required the use of her tongue to grab was impossible. We tried a few things when the dog food would not go down and eventually ended up hand serving her bacon, ground meat, and green beans. Probably not the healthiest but it was the only thing we could get down.
She really hates her pain medicine, Tramadol. It must taste horrible. We have shoved it in everything and cannot mask the taste. It tastes so bad that Nunya will not eat the food we tried to shove it in again (I think this is how we killed her favorite snack of cheese). We have resorted to using a pill shooter to get it down her throat. The experience is horrible.
Tonight we also had to rinse the newly put in catheter; which was really simple compared to the Tramadol. Nunya really didn’t seem bothered by it.
She slept most of the night without moving or coughing too much. So day 1 was an overall win.
Day 2-5: The first week of radiation therapy was mostly uneventful. There were few side effects, and we noticed an immediate improvement in Nunya’s breathing. The only side effects we found were her being lethargic (normal for her after anesthesia) and a reduced appetite. We felt that her appetite was reduced more due to discomfort and just not feeling good after anesthesia more than anything. We started cooking beef, chicken and broccoli for her and she seems happy. The improvement in breathing came after treatment day 3; which was really unexpected. I am not sure if they were zapping the right places or the swelling in her nose was going down but she really looks and sounds a lot better. She had a vascular port put in her neck so they would stop poking at her legs. She really doesn’t seem to mind the stitches but the giant life preserver she has to wear is ridiculous to her. It does beat the cone type anti scratch collar though.
The port is huge under her skin. Looks like a Frankenstein bolt on the right side of her neck. We don’t know the cost of the port yet. She can no longer wear a standard collar with it so we looked for a harness for her. Petco had the best option in soft harnesses ($22).
Day 6-13: The Glory Days. She looks wonderful. No loss of hair and appetite back to normal. We had a great three day weekend with her and it felt like all was normal. There was more sneezing this week, and it got pretty gross. The vet had warned us that she would start to cough and sneeze out some of the tumor and mucus that was in her nose. She sure did, and it got everywhere. We recommend putting down old sheets or towels on your furniture, in your car, or wherever else the dog normally goes. As strange as it sounds, the gross coming out almost felt like a victory and that we were winning in some kind of disgusting way.
Day 14-15: Radiation sucks. The burns just appeared out of nowhere. I thought it would be a gradual thing where she lost the hair first then get a sunburn then blisters. Nope… it went straight to horrible red and yellow blisters below both eyes. We are trying to stick to her medication schedule as closely as possible but you can tell she is in pain. She is shaking and just sitting and staring at random walls. We alternate between to different creams, Silver Sulfadiazine ($20) and Xclair ‘Radiation Dermatitis Symptom Relief’ cream ($80) that are supposed to bring relief to the burn areas. She is being really great about us sticking our fingers in her oozing burns and waits at least 5 minutes before sneaking off and rubbing it off.
She is having a problem eating dry food again. We assume this is because she has similar burns in her mouth. We switched her to canned science diet and that seemed to do the trick.
Emotionally this period has been the roughest, as seeing the visible damages from the radiation treatment on your dog is hard to take. It makes us at times question whether we’ve made the right decision in going forward with her treatment. We still feel that we are doing the right thing and are hoping that the final outcome will be a much increased lifespan and good quality of life. It is just hard knowing you are putting your pet through pain and not being able to explain to them why you are doing so.
Day 16-19: Still bad. The radiation burns have gotten much worse. The area of exposed raw skin has greatly increased and is now under both eyes. Hair has completely fallen out in two large areas. The skin is pink and irritated, and looks painful. We are still putting on the creams religiously to help soothe the skin. After a few days of doing this the skin still looked bad, so they also prescribed an antibiotic to take as well. The poor dog is on so many medications right now.
Some new behaviors have started as well. Nunya has been housebroken for well over a decade and has not had an accident inside in many years. But, over the past two days she has used the bathroom inside twice. One time she peed in the car on the way to the vet office. The next day she peed in our house. Neither time did she make us aware that she had to go outside, which is what she normally does. We are not sure if she did this because her schedule is off with the early morning vet visits and that threw her, or if it is medication related and holding her bladder is harder, or if she is doing this out of nerves (she hates going to the vet) or spite.
She is still in pain too. When she is picked up from the vet, she whines for about an hour. Once she gets home she will just sit around and stare at nothing. Her appetite is also reduced again. We give her an anti-nausea medicine but that doesn’t make her eat more. She will lick at the liquid in her dog food but just picks at the solid parts. She will eat some meat and vegetables if we hand feed her. Mostly she just lays around and sleeps. We are very much looking forward to the last day of radiation treatment.
DAY 20: WOOHOO! The tomotherapy is now complete! They sent Nunya home with a certificate of completion and a nice bandanna around her neck. The consult with the Dr was overall positive with a lot of warnings. The worst news is we don’t really know if it worked yet. The radiation will continue to shrink the tumor for the next week (hopefully). The downside to that, is the acute side effects can begin after treatment stops. Poor Nunya is already sore.
They suggested leaving the port in her neck forever, which means she cannot wear here NunStrong collar.
We go back in 2 weeks to do a quick check up (no ct scan yet). Exact notes from the Doctor:
Congratulations to you and Nunya for completing her TomoTherapy! As we discussed previously, acute side effects after radiation can begin soon after treatment, and may last for several weeks after treatment is completed. Short-term effects frequently resemble a very bad sunburn or “road rash”. You may see hair loss, change in skin and hair color in that area, or ulceration of the skin. You are already witnessing the the radiation dermatitis syndrome underneath both of Nunya’s eyes. Continue to apply the creams and give the antibiotic to prevent infection. Indication of infection would be green, white, or yellow discharge from underneath her eyes. Nunya may appear sensitive or painful around her left eye, nose, and mouth.
Long-term changes are also possible and may affect the bone and lymphatic structures, although this is decreased with definitive radiation protocols (as Nunya had) when compared to ‘palliative’ radiation. Some longer term effects might include the slight possibility that the mineral in the bone in the area can be replaced by fibrous tissue and become soft and predisposed to fractures. Nunya will also always be predisposed to rhinitis (infection of the nasal tissues) for the rest of her life, since the tissue in her nose will never be completely normal anatomically again after the tumor destruction and the radiation effects—so she may need intermittent antibiotic treatment. The majority of the ‘acute’ radiation side effects should be resolved, however, in about 4-6 weeks after completion of therapy.
Nunya is a very sweet dog and a wonderful patient! Thank you so much for entrusting Nunya in our care!
After the TomoTherapy:
11/05/2012 – 4 Days Post Tomotherapy: The burned area on her face has continued to grow (as expected). Nunya has tried to scratch at her face but we are doing our best to keep that down. I am betting we have to go to the anti-scratch cone or the ring within the next couple of days. It is a little more crusty than before – not sure if this is a negative or a positive.
We did have an amazing weekend with her. While she still hyperventilates if we try to walk, we was pretty active and went on a couple of car rides with Ali and helped with some steam cleaning.
11/16/2012 – The burns are starting to look a little better. Most of the scabs are gone and the flesh looks a lot less red. Her appetite is back and she has finished her antibiotic. She hasn’t needed the Tramadol in a few days. The one negative during this period – she seems to be more congested and sneezing a lot more. So far, the sneezes have not contained any blood. We are looking forward to her check up on Monday.
11/19/2012 – Nunya had her two week check-up today. The vet said she looked good and overall gave a good report. Our main concern had been her constant sneezing and hyperventilating. These were symptoms that started just before the cancer diagnosis. The vet said she was not very concerned about the sneezing/hyperventilating though. She said it was most likely due to post-nasal drip, which is an effect of the radiation. We should monitor Nunya and if the symptoms majorly worsen, or if she starts bleeding from the nose or mouth, we should let them know. Otherwise she should be fine. We still don’t know how much her tumor was reduced by. That answer will come in about two months at her next check-up, when they will do another scan on her.
The next step will be to start chemotherapy on her. This will consist of a daily pill regimen that will include the chemo pill (Cyclophosphamide), a diuretic pill (Furosemide), and an anti-inflammation medication. The vet says that Nunya shouldn’t have any noticeable side effects, other than increased thirst and urination. The chemo treatment is something that Nunya will likely be on long-term. The vet said most dogs who go on it will be on it for about a year to forever. That was not fun to hear, but if it increases her lifespan and helps prevent the cancer from coming back we are game. There are no guarantees of how effective her treatment will be in the long term, but it is the best chance for her so we will do it. The chemo pills need special handling and require gloves to administer. I am pretty sure Nunya will love that.
Update later in the day – We were called by the vet later on in the afternoon to go over a blood test finding from earlier in the day. Nunya’s liver levels were significantly increased from her readings about a month ago. The vet did not have an explanation for why this occurred, so wants to do an ultrasound to see what might be going on. The chemotherapy treatments will be delayed until this new problem is sorted out first.
11/22/2012 – Results but no answers. After an ultrasound (~$500) and a really bad hair cut, we learned that her liver looks good (which is great news). But we don’t have an explanation for the previous blood work results. We are waiting a week and then bringing her to the local vet for another round of blood tests. Nunya handled the ultrasound like a champ. She was a little groggy afterward but was active and hungry by 5pm.
11/30/2012 – Two more weeks. Nunya had her second blood test done on Wednesday and we got the results today. Liver functions are looking a lot better but still not where they need to be. It was recommended that we delay chemo and have her tested again in two weeks. Overall, she seems to be doing well. Sneezing a lot still but no blood and less snot.
We did have two positive events happen this week:
1. We passed the ‘She has two months to live’ point, which is how long her life was estimated to be had we not pursued treatment. While this marker was always an estimate, it was an important marker for us in evaluating if we did the right thing with her tomotherapy treatments.
2. She smelled the cable man. Seems silly but small victories still count. Internet was being flaky and Comcast had to come out to test the line. Nunya was closed off in my office with me while the guy was working. Nunya’s hearing is not what it was 5 years ago, so it was not expected that she reacted to the knock on the door or the noise of the man walking up and down the hall. To my surprise, she lifted her head and started audibly sniffing and immediately knew someone was in the house (got the full bark alert). This observation came as a huge relief because one of our concerns with the treatment was that Nunya’s sense of smell might be diminished. *I should note that the hygiene of the repair man was great – we could not detect any smells coming from him.
12/08/2012 – So far so good. There really has not been much change in the last week. Nunya has been in a really good mood and has had a great appetite. She still is sneezing and doing the strange reverse sneezing occasionally but the regularity has been pretty much consistent. She has lost more hair around her nose and a spot on her head. We have not seen her scratching so we are not really sure why we still see the increase in hair loss. But there is a positive on the hair front – some of the ‘first loss’ areas are starting to grow back thin amounts of white hair. Next week is the follow up blood test. She is still on the liver medication, taking both Ursodial and Denosyl to help improve her liver functions. We also put Aquaphor cream on her exposed skin patches to help heal the dry skin.
12/18/2012 – Still doing well. Nunya had to have another blood test last week to check her liver levels again. The results came back showing more improvement, and her levels are close to normal. The oncologist said that she can start on her chemotherapy medications now. The meds were ordered and should arrive in about 3-5 days. She will then need to have her blood re-tested in about two weeks, and a follow up visit with the oncologist in six weeks. Nunya has been doing well otherwise and seems to feel good. Some hair is growing back sporadically in her radiation burn patches as well. We have even started taking her on short walks outside, and she is able to walk around without sneezing/hyperventilating.
12/29/2012 – We had a great Christmas with Nunya. She has been doing well. Still sneezing and reverse sneezing occasionally. She has been feeling up to daily walks around the neighborhood. We are still waiting on one of the chemo drugs, but we anticipate her starting the combination of pills this week. Her bald spots are filling in quickly with golden blonde hair (even in the places that were white hair before). The doctors told us that it was a possibility that if the hair came back it would be different.
1/1/2013 – First dose of chemo. Nunya had her first chemotherapy medication today. She takes Cyclophosphamide and Furosemide once daily. The directions say to give it in the morning as it will cause frequent urination. Nunya lets herself outside through a doggy door, so hopefully that will not be an issue for her. The Cyclophosphamide directions say to wear gloves when handling the medication. Kind of an unnerving warning. Nunya took both meds like a champ, however seemed to have a hard time getting the Cyclophosphamide down. It is a bigger pill, so we’re not sure if it is hard to swallow or if it tastes bad. Hopefully taste will not be a deterrent because she will be on these for the foreseeable future.
1/6/2013 – A week in. Almost a week after the first dose and all seems to be going welling. Urination has increased and sleeping a little bit more. Hard to tell if it is the cold outside and the warm bed sucking her in and not the medicine (I am guilty of spending a lot of time in bed with her this weekend.)
1/13/2013 – Another week. Nothing major to report. We have another blood test scheduled this week to see if the chemotherapy medication is bothering her liver. I believe we head back to College Station in two weeks to have the nose scanned – we are both a little nervous and anxious about that test.
1/16/2013 – Blood test results came back and the Veterinarians at Texas A&M said that they looked good. Liver functions are still looking improved. Nunya is to stay on all current meds and her next appointment will be the big CT scan on Feb 12th.
2/2/2013 – TODAY is Nunya’s 13th birthday and we are extremely happy to have her here with us. Today has been filled with treats and Ringos.
2/12/2013 – Great news today! Nunya had her first CT scan since finishing the tomotherapy treatment and the scan shows that her cancer is gone! There were no detectable tumors to be found on the scans. There is the possibility that tiny cancer cells or tumors still exist, however Nunya is considered in remission. We were so happy to get this news.
Nunya will continue to take her chemotherapy meds for the foreseeable future, and probably the rest of her life. This is to help prevent new cancer growth or spreading. She seems to tolerate the meds well so this is not a problem. Another blood test was done to see if she needs to stay on her liver medications. We should find out those results soon. The doctor discussed Nunya’s sneezing and reverse sneezing and said that that will likely continue for her lifespan, but that it is nothing to worry about unless she starts sneezing blood again. The scans showed how some of the small bones in her nose got dramatically reduced by the radiation treatments. This means that she probably doesn’t filter air as well when breathing as she used to, causing the reverse sneezing. This could make her more susceptible to infections, so we will just have to keep an eye on it and act quickly if we suspect she has any type of infection. We also need to have regular vet exams done every three months, then have CT scans every six months to monitor her progress and make sure the cancer is staying away.
Overall though this was the best possible outcome, and was the news we were hoping for. We had already thought that going through with the treatment was worth it but this helped reinforce to us that we did the right thing for Nunya, given her particular case.
3/9/2013 – Just a quick update to say Nunya is doing well! Thanks @bobirakova for your kind words and input!
4/6/2013 – We are extremely happy to say that Nunya had another good month. The tree pollen gave her a little bit of issue about a week ago. I think it is again due to the lack of ‘filtering’ structure in her nose. She would sneeze then start licking at her nose until we wiped it – little gross.
5/5/2013 – We are still very pleased with her health. Still sneezing regularly but nothing that slows her down. She has an appointment on the 15th at Texas A&M. We are hopeful that all will go well and that they might have a suggestion for the sneezing.
5/15/2013 – We had been worried about Nunya recently. Over the past week she has seemed like she was having more difficulty breathing, and you could hear a wheezing sound and a congestion sound when she breathed. She was sneezing more than usual, and was snoring heavily when sleeping. We were scared that maybe there was a blockage or tumor growing back. We took her for a follow up appointment at A&M and they examined her and took radiographs. The doctors suspect that Nunya just has rhinitis flaring up. Rhinitis is basically an inflammation in the nasal passage that can cause the congestion and post nasal drip that she has been experiencing. They put her on antibiotics (Amoxicillin/Clavulanate) for two weeks to see if that improves her symptoms. Hopefully this will take care of her breathing issues and all will go back to being well again. The vet suggested we do another CT scan in another three months, and we can do it even sooner if her breathing problems do not improve with the medication. The scans and blood work look good for now, so we are hoping we are just dealing with an inflammation or infection that will clear up soon.
6/15/2013 – We are still battling the congestion. Nunya seems to not mind so much and is at full activity. She has been taking an antibiotic for about four weeks now. The cancer side continues to produce blood snot and the non-cancer affected side is crusting up with snot. She has been a trooper while we have had to clean up her nose with tissues. She seems to have some difficulty breathing due to congestion at times. We give her an antihistamine to help, but that tends to make her sleepy. We will be calling the vet on Monday to see if they can recommend anything else to help with the congestion.
6/21/2013 – Received some bad news. I started a new page.
Doggy Cancer Database:
More like Dog Cancer Spreadsheet for now but please feel free to add any information about your experiences.
Things we learned with our dog cancer experience:
- When dogs are nauseous they lick their lips a lot. We were prescribed Ondansetron for that.
- Staring at wall = pain.
- When they shake – it means pain, not scared or cold.
- TomoTherapy cost $8000 for the 20 treatments. Texas A&M kept the amount exactly to what we were quoted. This figure does not include follow up visits.
Things we tried during our dog’s cancer experience:
- ThunderShirt – It is a silly looking vest but I swear she likes it and we get a better response with it on during tough situations. It has also been an easy way to visualize the loss of weight. This win is embarrassing to admit and is completely credited to Ali.
- Pill Shooter – Horrible device that you shove down the throat to get pills down. It is an unfortunate necessity. Jen really helped us out with this recommendation. We learned you can get almost all medicine in suspension but it is still a must have to keep around.
- MagicBox – It started as a joke after we got a new dishwasher but has been a keeper. Nunya has always been an inside dog and never really had a dog house besides her crate. We cut a hole, inserted dog bed, heating blanket and extra pillows and turned it into a safe zone. She seems to feel secure in it and will normally crawl in after being doped up with her pain meds.
- Heated Everything – Heating pads, blankets, mattress pads – she will seek it out and pick to lay there first every time.
- Heat Robot – Thanks to Lego Mindstorm, we can override the safety features built in the heating blankets. Mindstorm pushes the heat button every 3.5 hours so the blanket is always warm.
- Safe Zone / Safe Foods – We reserved special places that were medicine free hideouts and we don’t put pills in specific foods. As her sense of smell has increased, she can detect the pills in almost anything and she won’t go near it again. As a result, daily food and specific treats (rewards) became safe zones.
- Making her sleep by us – After we built box fort with auto heater she would tend to not make the jump to the bed, however it was hard for us to decide and stay ahead of the pain management.
- Pumpkin helps settle stomach – We haven’t tried this yet but recently heard if from the vet. (k-weezy on Reddit gave us the first heads up)
- Walgreens Prescription Savings Club Family Membership will cover pets too. We learned about this after the fact but might be something to check out. They claim it is risk free (and claim to refund membership if you do not save). They only have the drugs common to humans and canines.
Other tricks we discovered were to ask for her pain medication, Tramadol, to be made into a liquid format. The vet pharmacy was able to do so, and it makes it so much easier to give the medicine to her. She still does not like the taste, but as a liquid it goes down much quicker and is over with fast. Staying on schedule with her medications is important to offer her the best pain management we can.
One thing we didn’t realize when we began the treatment regimen was how hard it would be on the people. Obviously the dog takes the brunt of the pain and stress, but it is not easy for us either. Dropping Nunya off is a heartbreak each day, as she knows what is coming and she doesn’t want to go with the vet techs. She will try to climb into our laps so they don’t take her. She trusts us to protect her, so it is hard to pick her up and hand her away knowing she will be in pain later. We know we are doing it to help her, but wish we could communicate it to her better. In the evenings it is hard to see her in pain too. We do what we can to make her comfortable, and often that involves a lot of hands-on time and attention to her. We don’t want to leave her alone at the house for a long time, so spend most our time hanging around home to stay close. Also, she knows when we pull out the bottle to give her pain medication, and she will run away from us (something she has never done before). Our emotional stress is minimal compared to her experience, however it is also something to be noted.
Thank You For Your Support
We appreciate all of the kind thoughts and gestures. Please feel free to email us at Thomas at this domain (<myfirstname>@<myfirstname><mylastname>.com).