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.