Tuesday, April 6, 2010


A visit to the vet for X-Rays confirmed what I already knew in my heart – Helen has bone cancer.

When she started limping a few weeks ago, I was a little concerned so I googled “limping greyhound” and read all about osteosarcoma. I tried not to think the worse and took her to see the vet. At that point, Dr M said the limp was “worrisome” but did not make the official diagnosis, and we decided to treat Helen with pain and arthritis meds (in case it was just a fracture or tear or something “minor”), and I’d continue to keep close a watch on her. Things were pretty bad after the appointment (and I cried whenever I’d take her on a bathroom walk), but after a few days she seemed to have more energy and was limping a lot less. Good, I thought, maybe she’s ok. But the limp came back last week, so I talked to the vet and we agreed it was time to X-Ray.

Her left front leg definitely shows an area of deterioration and we got the official diagnosis just about an hour ago.

So, what’s next? I will continue to give her the medication & up the dosage. I want to make the last days/weeks/months of her life as comfortable as possible. That being said, I’d leaning on the side of not wanting her to suffer just so we can have her around for a few more days/weeks/months. (And it really is that up in the air. Usually when osteosarcoma is diagnosed, they live for a few more months (untreated by amputation and/or chemotherapy). But there’s no rulebook, and the vet said Helen could have been silently suffering for several months already. As I’m typing this, I haven’t even talked to the Mr. yet. We obviously have a lot to talk about. I’ve never dealt with the decision of when to put a pet “to sleep”, and it is something I need to think long and hard about. It’s especially hard knowing that the Mr. will only be home for a week before he goes to Europe for 2 weeks, but I don’t know if it’s too premature to plan for “it” to coincide with all that. 

I am not quite ready to eulogize my sweet Helen yet. That will come after the shock of all this has worn off and we have decided what to do.


alexis said...

my heart is broken. i cant imagine how you must be feeling. let me know if there is anything i can do. lets get drunk soon and cry about how unfair this shit is. name the place.

theblondemule said...

Oh, Katie. I'm so sorry. Like Alexis, I'm here for whatever you need -drinks, crying buddy, etc.


jessica said...

it's not fair. dogs shouldn't have to suffer. in turn making us suffer. i'm really sorry Katie. really, really sorry.
Helen, or any dog doesn't deserve this.
and...what Alexis and Kim said.

mandy said...

Oh Katie, How awful. I'm so sorry.