After being given the all clear on mast cell cancer, which came after a number of surgeries, radiation and chemo, 6 months into recovery our dog was diagnosed with the cancer throughout her vital organs. It happened so quickly. She was fine the week before, but all of the sudden was showing less energy, not eating and not drinking.

She spent the last few nights of her life at the icu, which I feel terrible about. We went to say goodbye Saturday and, she perked up and was so happy to see us. It made my and makes me doubt our decision. What if she wanted us to bring her home to die there? What if she had a few more good days left?

I know I am probably all over the place, but I feel so terrible. She was the dog that brought my wife and I together. She was honestly my best friend. She was so much of what I thought about, so many of my words were either to her or about her. I feel so awful. I can't stop crying. I just keep second guessing a decision that we made (there was no possibility we were told she would last more than a week or two, likely in some pain without chemo, or with chemo a month or two that wouldn't be good months).

I feel so empty. I feel so sad. I am having trouble eating and sleeping and focusing.

Is there anything anyone can recommend to feel better without feeling like I am forgetting her or her memory?
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry for the loss of your girl.........was her name Bella?

Mast cell tumors suck, i lost 2 babies in 2015 due to the tumors spreading to internal organs in my pets bodies. Daizy hers spread to her liver, and Munki hers spread to her lungs....with both of them, it did come on pretty quick, but i do have to mention when the 1st tumor was removed Munki did live 4 1/2 years longer until it spread to her lungs....which it did sooooo quickly for Daizy she had 29 months of survival after the intial removal, but had dirty margins so the cancer was always lurking in her body.....then another tumor appeared, and more and more......
Daizy lasted well over one month from the last diagnosis....and the vet said "she is at the end of her life" words anyone wants to hear, painfully true, she stopped eating for days on end and was in the ICU with no hopes of recovery.

You are feeling pain for your girl, she is family and it will take a long time to grieve. We think of them when we first wake up and going to bed and thousands of times thru out the day. I am sure you will go thru guilt, we all do...with the could haves and should haves, that is normal.

I take time to "talk" to my babies, every single day....i have so many memories, fur packets, paw prints on the ceramic clay, so many pictures, even one on Munki's tooth that she lost, i have this saved in a lil' baggie, i even have their ashes in a small necklace that i wear each day. I keep their memory living on.

I do know that with talking with all of the vets, at least 3 of them, they all said the same thing, it was time.....and you can tell by looking at your precious baby whether they are in pain or not. And yes, i think they always seem "happy" to see us, they have no worries, but after seeing the test results and pets "not eating"...I know there is something more going on.

Please keep posting and talking about your girl, and please know you are not alone...



Quote 0 0
Thank you Cam. Yes, her name was Bella. 

It has spread to her lungs. She already wasn't eating or drinking. We made the impossible decision to let her go then. It felt selfish for us to prolong her life further, but I keep questioning that now. I keep questioning whether or not she should have come home for another night, or some more time. I keep questioning what else I could have done. I am so sad about the times I watched TV and didn't play with her. 

I have tried talking to her too. And we kept a sweater she wore and a toy she played with. I just keep crying anytime I talk to her. When I can distract myself I feel guilty for not thinking about her.

She was such an important part of our lives. She was always with us. We travel a ton, and live in two different locations, so this dog saw most of the US and Canada. I work in an office that doesn't allow dogs, but she was the exception. 

I now come home to an empty house, without her racing down to greet me. My morning routine was to wake up, let her out, and we raced downstairs for breakfast together. When my wife was in town, that was our time (the wife sleeps in a few hours longer than I do). 

I am just plagued with the questions about whether or not we did the right things. Whether she is mad at me for not playing with her more. Whether there was something more I could have done. 

I am also wondering about the cancer treatments we did do. We understood the median survival rate would have been 3-4 years after treatment. We got 6 months. The treatments were so painful for her. She did recover and did start acting like her normal self again until the last week, but I feel terrible for having put her through those treatments. I feel terrible that we didn't originally spot the cancer sooner. 

I guess overall, I am just overwhelmed with guilt and sadness. 

We have so many photos, but we didn't take her hair for paw print. I hope that is not something I end up regretting. 

Quote 0 0
I am so sorry you lost your beloved Bella last Saturday. Like Cam already said before, mast cell tumors are tricky and noone can really predict anything with this kind of cancer. Be sure that you did everything possible to help your sweet Bella and it was not you but the cancer that eventually took her life. You loved her so much that you freed her from any more suffering and she is now at a very beautiful place happy and free of  pain.

From all you write there I can see how much Bella was loved and cared for and what a wonderful life she had with you and your wife. It is good you came here where you can safely talk about your feelings and about Bella (if you feel doing so). You see, as you read other threads you will learn that almost everyone here is questioning him-/herself if we had done the "right" things or if we had let them down or if we did not care enough or any other possible and impossible mistake we seem to detect somewhere along the line. So I guess this is normal and belongs to the grieving process. Everything is so raw right now and it will surely take a while to "think straight" again.

My beloved Max died on Jan 3rd this year and I can assure you -even tho you wont believe it at this point- that things do get easier as time goes. The awful pain will ease and make room for happy memories and the beautiful times we were so blessed to have with them.

My good thoughts are with you
Silvia (with Max forever in my heart)


Quote 0 0

Thank you. It is so awful, but these thoughtful responses do help. So thank you so much for taking the time to share with me and support me.

Bella was so cherished. I have had a number of dogs in my life, but she was truly special. Our bond was so unique. I just am so sad about how quickly we had to say goodbye. 

On the one hand, I am comforted know that it gets better. On the other hand, I am worried that in getting better it means I am not honoring her memory and letting her go. I am torn by those two thoughts. 
Quote 0 0
So sorry for your recent loss of beloved Bella dog. Sounds like she was the one special forever dog in your life,   I been thru the mast cell tumor route, and it is awful, like walking on a tightrope.  One day is good, the next is plummeting down into a dark hole.  Very depressing.  If it gets better, please don't feel guilty or have regrets.  Some days are easier than others.  You will never let her go, she will live in your heart forever.  Love does not die.  And, if you should get another pet, it is to honor her memory, not forget her.  You have my sincere support and sympathy.  I just suffered a loss yesterday, and it is difficult to process.  I discovered this website and chat room.  Hopefully, my experience, and pain can help others, thru sharing and empathy.  You did the best you could.  Love is letting go.
Blessings, Arlene
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry for your loss of Bella. My dog likely had a large liver tumor. Once he went downhill it was so so fast. I too went through many questions, but the truth is, I saw something wrong and insisted the vet do a blood test. He didn't think he would find anything wrong in the test, but he did. I cried and cried also the first 3 maybe even 4 weeks. The crying seemed non-stop. I too brought my dog to work. My dog also brought my boyfriend and I together in some ways. Please keep writing and sharing on here, it does help. It's been 4 months now - I still cry but not as often and the pain isn't always as sharp.
Missing and loving Scooter Forever
- Melissa
Quote 0 0
Yeah. I feel a little better each day, but not without some work on my end. I am forcing myself to workout and eat healthy. 

Mornings and nights, when I was generally home alone with her, are the hardest.

Worst part is as I begin to feel a little better, I feel guilty that it means I am not properly honoring her or I am forgetting her.

Quote 0 0
I feel the same regret. I lost my precious beagle Nelly exactly two weeks ago. The last 2.5 days of her life were spent at the doggie hospital so she could be monitored and treated. I think she was uncomfortable and all she wanted was to be home. I was so hopeful the treatment would give her some more time and could come home but she went downhill. The regret and grief is overwhelming at times.

Let yourself grieve and cry. I spent the first 3 days crying almost constantly. Now it comes often but it in waves. You mentioned wanting to get past the grief without letting go of her memory. I also felt that if the grieving got easier, then it was a betrayal of Nelly. I spoke to a grief counselor and she said that you don't let go of grief, you just reintegrate aspects of your life slowly back in and you build you life back up around the grief. Your Bella will never be forgotten even if the grief eventually is not all consuming. Give yourself time and be forgiving of yourself.
Quote 0 0
Dearest Bellasbff--

So sorry to hear about the loss of your precious Bella. I feel for what you are going through as it will be 6 weeks this Friday that I lost my beautiful boy Brutus and I still cry every day. One thing I have learned since coming to this site is that we are not alone and the people here are so wonderful and really give of themselves by sharing their grief journey to help us along the way. I wish I can say something very magical that will make the pain and uncertainty go away but there are no words I can think of that comes even close. The magical-ness however is that Bella and all the other furbabies have touched our lives with something very very special and they leave that magic with us when they move onto the Rainbow Bridge. I wish you hugs and comfort and sweet dreams of your precious Bella.
Denise (Brutus' Mom)
Brutus von Dolce
06/19/2006 - 03/16/2018
RIP my sweet beautiful boy
Quote 0 0