We are entering the final chapter of the experience with Nunya’s nasal tumor. Nunya and Alison met with the staff at Texas A&M in an emergency appointment due to her labored breathing. Nunya was unable to get any sleep at all last night, and it was obvious she was uncomfortable. Two options were presented, the first being another round of radiation/tomotherapy that would consist of 10 sessions for $3-4,000 that should open up her breathing. We were warned that she has already received a lifetime time dosage of radiation and that most likely the burns would be severe and she could have massive destruction of the remaining structure in her nose. Option two is pain management with Tramadol until plans were in place to put her to sleep.
At the end of option one, we would most likely see the regrowth of the tumor at the same rate. So, while Alison and I have always believed that we would do anything to extend her life, we feel this treatment option is not prolonging her life in a positive fashion. After experiencing the burns after the first course of tomotherapy, we feel that having severe radiation burns does not seem to be worth the extra week and a half to two weeks. It has been made clear that the 10 day treatment is not a cure. Having her undergo anesthesia everyday for ten days was also an increased risk due to her breathing problems. The best case scenario would be improved breathing, reduced tumor, and a couple of extra months of life, at the same time still having the physical side effects from radiation. The potential benefits just do not seem worth the risk or the pain she would have to go through.
So here we are a few hours later, after trying to get her to sleep with tramadol and only having luck if we physically hold her mouth open. We have scheduled her euthanasia for tomorrow around 12pm. We have less than 24hrs. This is a hard reality to accept, but after seeing her discomfort and breathing difficulties over the past couple of days we know that there are no more good options. We are going to do our best to spoil her and love on her in the time we have remaining. It is hard for us, but we believe is the right thing to do by her.
We would like to thank everyone for the supportive messages and condolences we have received after Nunya’s passing. It really means a lot to us to see the impact Nunya’s story had. We miss her very much and it has been hard adjusting to not having her around. We logically know we made the right decision that the end had come for her, but emotionally it is easy to second guess ourselves.
We will be writing a final update in the near future that describes in detail Nunya’s final days, the symptoms she experienced that made us realize the end was here, and even the details of her passing. Right now though the feelings are still too fresh and we want to be able to objectively write down our own experience, so we will take some time to gather our thoughts. We want this blog to continue to be as informative as possible for others facing unfortunate similar situations.
The last week has been rough but we really appreciate all the kind messages we received. It seems that I have been rehashing the events and the decisions on a daily bases. One of the hardest challenges has been removing Nunya’s items from the house. This is something that we have not wanted to rush yet we know one day soon we will need to separate ourselves from all her beds, chewies and toys.
Part of this separation process includes moving Nunya’s journal off of my blog. Alison and I want to be very careful moving this information. We have set up and started to build NunyaTheDog.com and we hope to continue the conversation there. While Nunya’s journey is over, we hope that others will share their experiences and potentially gain insight from ours.
As time passes I am trying to separate Nunya from my tech blog as it has been a challenge keeping motivated. I have moved all her cancer content to a new webpage (including the final blog entry on her journey). Ali and I are still dedicated to sharing the information we have learned through the process and are very thankful to everyone who has read along.