Goodnight, Harley

Said goodbye to Boomer’s uncle tonight. He doesn’t look like this any more. His body is a mishmash of bone & bloating; the cancer started as an inch wide mass on his nutsack in September & now it’s in his liver & kidneys. He’s not in excessive pain but he can’t breath & he’s exhausted. He got up for me & I snuck him some turkey meat but he didn’t smile once tonight. Hopefully my dad takes him for his final vet visit in a few days because it sucks seeing this gentle giant this way.

I explained the situation to my 4 year old nephew, who is old enough to learn about this stuff. Payton got it. He insisted we go & talk to Harley some more. I had to tell him to stop touching the swollen areas, stop trying to get Harley to stand up, but he was sad, & as we walked back to his room he discussed the implications of Harley’s departure. I know he’ll think more on it.
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Chie’s Last Day

IMAG3387_1When Chie rallied due to feeding adjustments (see previous post), it became obvious that once the nausea was fixed, the real problem was pain. Her back could never really straighten or relax because of the huge mass on her side, she couldn’t breath when she lay down, & she was exhausted when standing. She had to pee every 1-1.5 hours & she had difficulty even on the one step up to enter the house.

Keeping her interested in food was a struggle. Her favorite meal, in the last week, was oatmeal with cooked chunks of chicken thigh, but sometimes I’d have to coax her to eat a hot dog, or steak. Sometimes she just didn’t want to eat & it wasn’t nausea, so it must have been pain.

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Chie Rallies

Chie is worried about MadelineI’ve mentioned in previous posts that Chie is dying of a frighteningly fast-growing sarcoma. I discovered it in October 2015 & it was about the size of my palm of my hand. It was probably operable then. By the time the aspiration & then biopsy came back, proper excision would have involved removing practically most of Chie’s right abdominal wall, rendering it basically inoperable without extensive chemo which I couldn’t afford (surgery $4500, chemo $600 every 3 weeks, indefinitely).

We tried 2 different kinds of chemo, but neither had much effect. So we’ve just been focusing on her quality of life. The sarcoma has grown prodigiously; she is grossly deformed around her mid section & I can imagine in constant discomfort. Lying down & getting back up is a struggle for her. Often I have to help boost her up. She has Rimadyl for the aches, but lately her nausea has been the main issue, so I have discontinued the Rimadyl. I want her eat.

She’d begun refusing meals a week ago. The sarcoma must be pressing up against her innards, making everything difficult. Can’t be helped. And she was nauseous all the time. Constantly her mouth would be wet with drool while she panted.
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Chie’s having good & bad days now. I have her on Rimadyl to help with her discomfort, & iron pills because she’s anemic. Right now it’s a race between pain & exhaustion. She’s been isolating herself a lot, so I know it’s bothering her.
Her birthday is in 6 days; she’ll be 8. We’re definitely going to make it to her birthday. I don’t know if we’re going to make it to mine. But I’ll be hiring a vet to come to the house so she can have the shot out under the shower tree in the front yard. She loves the front yard.
I’m ready for this. Or, at least, I have a plan. That’s my job: to have a plan.