March 25th 2008 5:42 pm
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“Goodbye my Sweet Prince”
by Karen Hukill
Now I lay you down to sleep,
with a heavy heart and eyes that weep.
Cancer is a horrible, dreadful disease,
I felt so helpless - but your pain I must ease.
God gave me the decision, the right and the power,
To end your great suffering on that fateful hour.
This decision was not so easy for me,
Your love and companionship was really a need.
You were always so special - my very best friend.
We fought the tough battle clear to the end.
My heart and my soul literally ache for you,
But ending your pain is what I must do.
In the twinkle of an eye, you were in the presence of the Lord,
As your soul ripped through mine, I lost my True North.
This, my most selfless act, was a sign of my love,
With the hope and the faith that you'd be happy above.
My grief is extraordinary - My loss is profound.
Mere words cannot tell of the courage I found
To help you join your friends at the Bridge
Your peace and your freedom was all I could give.
I pray every day that you've gone to the place
with snow dancing lessons and bunnies to chase.
Your welfare and happiness were so important to me,
And it took every ounce of my love to let you be free.
With kisses and cuddles and a soft gentle wooo,
Rest well my Sweet Prince - for I dearly love you.
October 2nd 2007 5:30 pm
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I recently posted to a number of malamute groups requesting information or experiences with Bone Cancer.
Kody had a biopsy last month to test for bone cancer - and I am very happy to report that the 3 samples they took did not show any signs of cancer.
He started limping on and off about 3 months ago (there was no trauma or event that I was aware of). I took him in and the vet palpated what seemed to be his entire body and his left front leg was x-ray'd as he demonstrated minimal sensitivity there.
Before the x-ray results were available the vet warned that his symptoms (I was shocked thinking what? An on and off limp leads to cancer?!?!?!) were consistent with bone cancer.
The x-rays revealed that Kody had a broken leg. He has a 1/4 inch gap in the smaller of the two front leg bones right in the middle of his leg. Further up, his joint bones looked a little patchy. The vet indicated she had reviewed his pictures with several of the other vets and that they agreed that his results were not consistent with bone cancer to my extreme happiness (I have lost my father and aunt to cancer in the last two years). I questioned how I could have missed this break (I'm not a bad dog mom) and she said that it looked old and had regrown some of his bone. She suggested that I splint (cast for the large breeds) his leg and that the stability would help it fully heal.
I went back to the vet 4 days later as he had chewed through his splint and it needed to be re-wrapped.
His normal vet wasn't in but a familiar vet was so we saw her. She asked all kinds of questions and said she wanted to review his x-rays. Upon her review she elicited the orthopedic vets (who was in the office for a surgery that day) opinion and they came to talk to me.
Both reviewed the x-rays with me and expressed thier concern that the changes in his bone were in fact bone cancer. Floored, I was told that the only way to tell for sure was for Kody to have a bone biopsy. The only way I could know for sure was to do this and to not know and have cancer eating him was enough for me to agree.
It took about a week and a half for the results to come back. We were over the moon. There was debate as to what was causing his limp but not bone cancer was all I could hear.
He went into the vet to have the staples from his biopsy removed about a week after that. The orthopedic and the vet spoke with me. They think that it may still be bone cancer. They want to do more tests and try to figure it out.
After the splint (pretty traumatic) and biopsy (very traumatic) I'm letting Kody be a sometimes limping dog for a month. He is enjoying beach trips and easy hikes and I'll probably bring him in for more x-rays but no more traumatic treatments.
I learned a lot about bone cancer through this experience. It is a very scary diagnosis with a worse prognosis. I'm still interested in learning about pallative treatments, holistic and/or alternative preferably. Amputation is the primary treatment, which isn't an option on my 10 yr. old 125 lb. pup. The treatments of amputation, chemotherapy and radiation are severe and I don't want to put him through any of that. So if it ends up that we've got cancer to fight I'm going to make him as happy and comfortable as possible.
I learned about the kindness of others as well. Thanks to all who have responded to my postings - your words of support mean more than I can express in a few words.
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