Posted by: Adrianna | August 8, 2010

The end 8/7/10

First let me say thank you to everyone for your support.  I thought this blog would detail his diagnosis and successive battles, not a rocky road with a steep decline. Rocky as it was, so many of you have reached out to us every step of the way and I will aways remember and be grateful.

Elliott was still not eating, he didn’t want anything I brought.  When he saw me he tried to get up and he could only get his front legs up and I saw he’d peed on himself without bothering to move.  He was too anxious in the ICU so they’d put him back in cardio where he’d calmed down a little.

I had the choice to give Elspar (rescue chemo drug) +/- give more time & put a feeding tube the next day (he was so many days without eating now) +/-  add on another antibiotic … I just didn’t see hope.  If he rallied with the Elspar he had more chemo treatments ahead with harsher drugs that don’t work as well, and he’s been so sensitive to chemo in the past.  I was torn; I didn’t want to euthanize him for a crisis we might get past, but on the other hand he’d not enjoyed anything for days — not food (he was very into food his whole life), not walks (he was so weak), and even spending time with me only allowed him a little less anxiety so he could sleep. He was on pain meds, steroids, big-gun antibiotics, anti-emetics, GI protectants, anti-ulcer medications … we tried everything.

Then there was the twitching.  After I started thinking more about it, I realized that it must mean his cancer is in his brain.  I went over all the possible causes; it could have been something else (infectious disease) in his brain but even that, in an immuno-compromised dog, was a death sentence. He was twitching more frequently, mostly in his neck and shoulders and forelegs, but sometimes his whole body would jolt.

The internist spoke to me for a long time about all of this, and I decided to let him go.  When I thought of just trying something else, just waiting a little longer, my heart leapt because I didn’t want to lose him.  But he was so lethargic, sometimes whining, and he smelled like pee and hadn’t even taken a sip of water in days.

The internist got me a syringe of propofol (sedative) and left us in the dark in the cardio room.  I attached it to his IV extension, so as not to disturb him, and we lay in the dark together.  He laid on his side and tried to rest but his breathing was a little fast and, although I avoided sobbing (he gets so stressed when I’m upset), I think my grief was making him anxious.  He was twitching a lot too.  I gave him the propofol as we lay there and he fell asleep.  The internist came in and finished the euthanasia, and finally I could cry as hard as I needed to and cling to him and hug him tight.

He is a big dog and there was a perfect spot, just ahead of his shoulder blade on the side of his neck, where my head fit perfectly. I couldn’t lay there so much while he was alive because it would put pressure on his neck so it was reserved for brief hugs. Yesterday I rested my head there for a long time, holding his fur, and I can’t tell you how perfect it felt to hold him, and how much it hurts to know I will never feel that again.

For 12 years — for really my whole adult (post-college) life — he has been the center of my world and the guiding force in my life, even determining where I lived & what hours I kept.   I truly don’t know how to live life without him.  I think of it and I feel a shock and my stomach drops and flutters like it did when I was frightened as a child.  I woke up this morning with such a feeling of panic.  I didn’t know what to do with myself so I did what I have done every morning for 12 years, I put on some clothes and went for a walk.  But this time I was all alone and all the days stretched ahead look the same.

I love him so, so much.  I am in so much pain I can barely breathe.

I want to show you pictures, I want to tell you more but I can’t bear it.  Please look back here in a week or so to see him one last time, I want to know that people will see him and hear about him as a healthy dog.

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Responses

  1. many, many tears for him and for you. i am so sorry 😦

  2. ((((J-)))) Run free, Elliott. You are so loved.

  3. Oh – Right now I can only cry along with you – so much love for our special beings – and it rips us apart when we have to say good bye. Elliott and you shared such a special life together. I am sooo sad that this day had to be! Sending you all my love!

  4. J-, you were right. And Elliott loves you still. Always.

  5. Tears are falling as fast as I can blink them away. I hurt for you, as do all who care so much. Know that you are being held tightly tonight in hearts, thoughts and prayers around the world. You do not grieve alone… and he will not be forgotten.

    My deepest, most profound sympathies.
    (((J–)))

  6. J–, you did right by Elliot. You two shared 12+ years together. He loved you and he knew how much you loved him. We always want more years and we forget to look back and be so thankful for the years given. Treasure those years and all those memories. I know you will have “moments”….release is gut wrenching sobs. Many of us know the emptiness you feel….the void in your life…..it is so painful and I truly feel for you.

    I am thankful you were there with him…that he didn’t leave in one of those few short times you were not with him.

    “Yes, I could’ve missed the pain, but I’d of had to miss the “dance” .

    You and Elliot shared one beautiful dance together. You will always have that bridge of love. My deepest sympathy.

  7. Oh I’m so sorry Elliott is gone. When I read about the scrambled eggs yesterday morning, I thought, ah, things will be okay now.

    Elliott will always be with you.

    Wishing you were close enough to hug and share tears with……

  8. cancer sucks so bad. it takes everyone before their time. i’m so sorry. we were all pulling for you to win this fight. i know it’s hardest for the ones left behind. elliott is now flying free, whole, happy, hungry, and safe. (((J–)))

  9. so very sad to read this. my heart hurts.
    Peace dear Elliott.

  10. Jess, Love and hugs. Just think of him running and playing now. Love always.

  11. been hoping for an update, jess.
    hope you are taking care of yourself and doing okay. i know the grief is overwhelming but can you let us know you’re okay? (((Hugs)))


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