Saturday, July 21, 2007
We went to our vet appointment today and had the X-Rays done. The good doctor came in and first put up the initial X-ray, then today's for comparison, right next to it.
It's official; it's osteosarcoma, and it has very obviously spread and will continue to do so. This malignant, terrible disease is the reason my dog was fine three weeks ago, and can't even navigate stairs now. Nor will he ever be able to do so again.
There will be no more walks around the neighborhood, only hopping around in the yard for brief interludes of sunshine and breezes. There will be no more greyhound "meet-and-greets" because the travel to and from and the time standing will be too hard on him.
Fire will be sleeping downstairs from here on out, because I cannot allow him to come up the stairs for fear of fractures not only in the cancerous leg, but in the good leg from stress alone.
Fire is not going to get better; he is going to deteriorate.
I didn't cry in the vet clinic this morning as the Vet gave me the diaagnosis and the options. Before I could start I blinked the tears away and focused on the facts, knowing that there would be plenty of time for tears later. Like now, as I write this.
These are the options in the order presented.
1. Euthanasia. No. Not yet. The vet agreed.
2. Do nothing. Live with it, and treat the pain. Watch his weight, his appetite, his attitude, whether the pain is controlled or if he is suffering inordinately. Wait.
3. Radiatian treatment at the U of M. "It's not inexpensive, but you'll have to call there to find out." They use this to control pain and delay the spread of the cancer, but it also thus delays the inevitable, because it is not a cure. The cost is around $3,000 to $5,000
4. Amputation and Radiation treatment. Again, delaying the inevitable. And he didn't say it, but amputating a liimb on a greyhound, well, you just can't do that to a greyhound.
We are treating for pain. In addition to the 75 mg of Rimadyl twice daily, we are adding a narcotic, Tramadol, at a lower dose to be increased if needed. I think we have one months' supply of both pain meds.
The bill for today:
Medical progress exam.....$21.00
Total after 5% discount $143.72
The time we have left......Priceless
If you have interest in helping to cover Fire's bills, please click here. I don't know how much time he has left but my guess is that we really won't need any more trips to the vet, but the last one. And I don't know how long that will be, so for now, I'm just going to enjoy the time my greyhound has left and pray I have the courage to make the decision when the time comes.