I know that our blog friends on my Facebook have probably already this on my personal blog, but to be honest I'm just not up to writing the story out again. So I'm cheating and stealing the post from the other blog since several of you have written asking what happened. I'm sorry for the shortcut.
Thanks for all the support and love this week...love you guys.
Well, the day I get on here rambling about how great my life was going quickly became hell on earth last night. I don't even know where to start and I need to be posting on the Brat's blog but I'm just not up to it yet. Plus I'm angry. I don't know who exactly I'm angry at, but I am. It's not fair. Why did this have to happen? Why do I continue to adopt more and more dogs, therefore putting me in this position again and again and again?
Tucker was fine when I got home, running around with the others, ate dinner, etc. Not more than two hours later I noticed he was having a hard time walking and was hesitant to lie down. Thinking he had gotten knocked around or something with his bad hips, I gave him a pain pill and decided to take him to Whataburger so I could be sure he would eat something. He had a hard time getting in the car, but still had his head stuck out the window enjoying the breeze. We picked up a burger and sat in the parking lot while he ate it, seemed to be fine.
Once we got home it became evident he was having a lot of abdomen discomfort. Deciding that something was definitely wrong, we headed for the emergency vet where they started with abdomen xrays and needle aspiration of what appeared to be a large tumor showing up on the xray. Between the xrays and needle it was apparent he was bleeding quite heavily internally, but there was no way to tell from exactly where. The emergency doctor came in to talk to me about the options, I'm standing there listening to him and he basically gives me what he sees as the scenarios. This guy has been doing this for years, I've seen him the numerous other times I've been there, I trust his advice.
1. The mass we are seeing on the xray has ruptured, causing the bleeding. This could be attached to the spleen or the liver and appropriate surgery would have to be done to remove the damaged areas. Prognosis is pretty good but of course long term would depend if tumor was malignant.
2. Same as above, but once we start poking around in there we notice that there are other tumors/nodules in other organs. He recommends at this point that I consider euthanization because there just isn't anything more that could be done. He could come home and live a few days, a few weeks, but would probably be in rapidly declining health.
3. Go without surgery but chances are great he would go into organ failure in a matter of hours or days.
So I'm trying not to both vomit and pass out at the same time while hearing this and this is where I'm going to veer off the story for a minute.
As you're standing there holding the fate of what is essentially your child, you are then presented with the "estimate" of services. $4,600 and this would cover the surgery and care until 8 am, when I would then have to transfer him to the regular vet for continued care. (This place is only open nights) Now, I live a decent life, not extravagant but don't really want for a lot..I can't describe the horrible feeling it is to be faced with what is essentially a life changing decision that does partially have to be based on money. That's a horrible, horrible feeling. It makes me wonder how many animals aren't given a second chance because of the cost and people just don't have the option. It's just wrong. Absolutely wrong.
Rant over. Kind of.
Faced with the estimate and a "do not resuscitate" order form I can't help but wonder what the hell has happened. Six hours ago I had a happy, healthy acting dog and now I'm looking at essentially having to make the decision to end his life. I can't believe it. So I sign all the paperwork and give them the go ahead because what else am I supposed to do? I'm not taking him home to die a slow painful death. I have to at least give him a chance of some kind. I feel helpless and hopeless and sick.
First they do chest xrays to make sure there's not another tumor. If these came back negative they wouldn't perform surgery as it had already spread too far. They come back clear, I'm feeling a little bit of hope at this point. Maybe it hasn't spread, maybe it's just this one mass and can easily be removed and all will be ok again. Blood work comes back fine, he's clotting great and no red flags so he can go under anesthesia. A little more hope.
We are able to go to the back to visit with him for a few minutes because it's just a total unknown if he will come out of surgery. He seems scared and lost in the cage, he's hooked up to an iv and heart monitor and I'm starting to panic. I didn't want this to be the last time I saw him but there just wasn't anything I could do. Horrid feeling.
Surgery started and within 20 minutes they asked us to come to the operating room to talk about what they had found. He had essentially a tennis ball sized mass in his spleen that ruptured, this was the cause of all the blood. While this could be removed and the area sutured, they found other tumors and nodules throughout his liver and abdomen. There just wasn't anything I felt I could do. The selfish part of me wanted to say remove what you can and I'll hold on to him as long as I can, anything to keep him alive. If this had been years ago, before Thrawn, that is what I probably would have done. After going through the last two years of Thrawn's life and the gift of hindsight, I just couldn't do it to Tucker.
They said they could close the surgery and wake him so I could say goodbye, but I just didn't think it was best for him. He would be confused and probably in pain and it just wasn't worth it. I said my goodbyes to him while he was unconscious on the operating table and it is a picture I will never, ever forget. I couldn't believe my little old man, my Tucker-Doodle Bug, was going to be gone in a matter of minutes. It's just not fair.
The next thirty minutes are a blur, I vaguely remember picking out his urn and making his final arrangements. I know I should be thankful, he lead a happy and healthy life up to the very end. He didn't suffer. We didn't go through a long drawn out and painful process. All that and I really don't feel better. I feel selfish and angry and bitter and hostile about why he's gone when I honestly thought we still had a couple more years together. Dakota went so early and although Tucker was 12, I just didn't think it was going to be his time anytime soon.
The first thing I said to Sandi when she got to the ER last night was that this was it. I have the Pack now, but once they are gone I'm not doing this again. I'll foster but no more adoptions, it's horrible pain and I just can't continue to deal with it. Then I got home and crawled into bed, Bear curled up against my stomach with his head on the pillow and I wrapped my arms around him. I realized that nothing else could have made me feel better at that very moment. The hole left behind in the Pack is huge and can never be filled, but hopefully I can get to the point where I can help another dog again. I just don't know. -Maryann