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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am new here so please forgive me. I have experienced the loss of a fur baby before, so I am not new to this. 

Unfortunately, my wife and myself just recently, as in yesterday, June 1, 2017, had to end the pain and suffering of our dear wonderful baby girl Satin Marie. She was 11, got a few Mast Cell tumors in 2015, they were removed surgically, she improved. I was told they could come back. June 2016 one did come back, and it was a large one. Her regular veterinarian explained he could once again surgically remove the tumor but due to its location (left inguinal region of her left rear leg, the area of tissue was so large. She had already had one near that area removed in 2015 and it had to be re-sutured a few days later and Satin put on medicine that would basically keep her calm and drowsy so the wound area could heal properly. Her doctor also stated he could remove the leg but it would be so high up past the thigh area and at her age (then 10) I didn't see it being good for her. She was otherwise healthy, eating, playing, etc; November 2016 before Thanksgiving, the tumor had gotten to the point where it had outstripped it's blood supply and was now emitting a pungent odor and was becoming necrotic on the surface. She had already been to see her doctor in October for a check up and that's just how quickly things turned. He took a needle sample and confirmed it again, Mast Cell tumor. This time he referred me/us to the University of Missouri Veterinary Specialty Clinic in Wentzville, MO. We were not able to get in there until December 19, 2016. I had just had a total left knee replacement done in October 2016 so thankfully being off work, I was able to take her to this appointment, which is about 50 miles from where I live in Illinois.

Due to the infection, we had to get that under control. Antibiotics, prednisone, and a few others were prescribed and we discussed the available treatment options (chemo/radiation) and the costs of course. February 15, 2017 we began the radiation, 16 treatments, once a day. Mixed in there was the chemo once every two weeks, Vinblastine. She stayed healthy, would gain a few pounds, lose a few pounds. Fine through February, March and April. May4-5, 2017 she got sick to the point of me immediately getting her to her doctor, who diagnosed she was dehydrated and her potassium was down so they kept her overnight, gave her iv fluids and other meds. He felt good that she could come home may 5, 2017. She was eating, drinking and still moving around as normal, for her age.

May 8, 2017: her last visit to the MU Clinic for what would have been her last chemo. Unfortunately, due to her still being dehydrated, anemic (that had been a slight issue during the radiation and chemo with her White Blood Cell counts so they reduced the vinblastine by 10%) and still trying to vomit mucous and foamy stuff, her Oncologist prioritized her medicines and of course told me to keep an eye on her.

May 12, 2017: I called to let them know Satin was doing much better and was eating, drinking and the runny stools were getting better. They were happy as they all loved her there at the Clinic. By May 24, 2017 she started to show signs of not doping so well. Lethargic, loss of appetite (unless it was human food or canned special diet food the Clinic sold me). Here is where this KILLS me, and it really feels as if my insides are torn out. I kept a close eye on her but hesitated to take her to her doctor closer to home, not due to money (that was never going to be an issue, we had Care Credit and a credit card to cover the cost of her treatment and then some if necessary). I hesitated hoping this was just a minor set back. On Memorial Day, just on Monday the 29th, she had a fall either going down or up our basement steps and I found her when I got up to go to the bathroom, laying there quietly on a rug in front of our washer/dryer. I knew then she was in real pain but still was hoping. I did call and make an appointment for her doctor to look at her, today of all days June 2, 2017. That got moved to May 31, 2017 because we decided she was in a lot of pain, and especially with her being so bloated. On that fateful day of May 31, 2017, Satin had her first and final day spa treatment by a group of Angels, strangers who all stopped what they were doing to devote everything to my Satin baby girl. By the evening of May 31, 2017, my wife and I decided I would take her to a local emergency animal hospital where coincidentally, I had just taken my Shepherd boy for sutures due to a fight between him and one of my other boys on May 18th. And ironically, on the 31st, I took the Shepherd there to have the sutures removed. I called ahead to let them know we were coming. They immediately got Satin in, her breathing was very labored so they gave her oxygen. I spoke to the same doctor who had sewn my Shepherd boy up two weeks earlier, very sweet young woman. She told me Satin was not doing well and was in a bad condition, which I knew. She did throw u the two cheeseburgers my brother fed to her that I got her from a fast food place, her final meal. By 12:08 am on June 1, 2017, she had been relieved of her pain and suffering. I now am dealing with the loss of another fur baby and have three more to go before it's done. I know many others have gone through this. I have, three times, with my Gizmo puppy girl in 2009, my Sparkle, the cat who owned me for 17 years, in 2008 and my Molly cat in 2014, so this is not new to me.

This time is entirely much worse and I keep second guessing myself, which I know is wrong and is not helping me one bit. I am usually a very private person and do not "post" my problems on line. This time is different. I cannot handle this level of heartache, that's how much I loved and will always love my Satin puppy girl. I am hurting so much right now, crying all the time, watching my wife cry for the same reasons. Waiting to hear my puppy girls nails on the kitchen floor as she comes waling through. I go outside and she's not in HER yard. My three boys know she is gone and are somewhat lost when they go outside. I don't know what to do anymore.....
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Mr_Skittles

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm so sorry for the pain you are feeling right now. It sounds like you did everything possible to make sure your Satin was well taken care of and I hope you can find comfort in knowing Satin is not suffering anymore and that she's grateful for the decision you made.

Our jobs as pet parents is to make sure they are not suffering and give them the best possible quality of life. I too had to put my 16 year old kitty to sleep over 2 months ago and even though I knew the time was coming since he was sick, spent all the time in the world loving him during his last days, did everything I could to make sure he was not in pain, accompanied him when he crossed over, it still was very devastating when he passed on.

We have such a special bond with our babies so it's hard to let go when they are not here physically with us anymore. The routine changes, the expectations change and it's just not the same. I myself think that what helped me was simply talking about him, writing him letters, talking to him and eventually I got signs he was happy where he was and okay. Trying to help and comfort others on this forum helped too, and just sharing my story.

And time. Just the time passing and the modified everyday routine contributed to my healing. Mind you, I still miss my Skittles very much, the the sadness and pain are lessening everyday. There are still a few milestones to get through, but I know everything will be okay. Eventually, I know my heart will be opened to love another pet again someday and I know yours will be too, as in simply loving you remaining babies as much as you can.

Take care,
Jennie
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #3 
I Stood By Your Bed Last Night
by Author Unknown.........................................
I STOOD BY YOUR BED LAST NIGHT

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying,
You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you so softly
As you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you -
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times
Your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today,
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels,
I wished I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today,
You tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I am not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house
As you fumbled for your keys.
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said, "It's me."
You looked so very tired and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know
That I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled,
I think you knew....
In the stillness of that evening
I was very close to you.
The day is over now...
I smile and watch you yawning,
And say, "Goodnight, God Bless,
I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you
to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you
And we'll stand side by side.
I have so many things to show you,
there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out....
Then come home to be with me.
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mr Skittles/Jenny,

Thank you so much. Your words mean so much to me. We've been through this before but this girl was so much different and the pain is so much more harder than the other three furbabies, not to say we didn't love or still do miss our Angel Kitty Sparkle, who left us in 2008, our Angel Puppy Gizmo, who left us almost 8 years ago the day of having to say goodbye to our Precious Angel Puppy Satin Marie, or even as recently as 2014 when we lost our Angel Kitty Molly. This time, it's so much harder on us. She was with us for 11 years, came to us as a 3 month old puppy girl ball of energy! Being here is helping me cope with this grief, depression, anger, sadness and crying. I thank God for this place and I thank everyone here because I feel I am in the company of family and friends and we are all going through the same thing.

Satin 5312017.jpg 

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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #5 
For you baby girl, since God knows you have listened to this song so many times and listened to daddy sing it to you kids.

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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #6 
I just want to scream! WHY???? Why does cancer have to go after cats and dogs? Isn't it bad enough children get cancer, that our sins have to be visited on animals too? I miss my baby girl so much and now the memories of the previous furbabies we've lost are all coming back and frankly, it is more than I can handle at times. I console myself in the fact she is no longer in pain and is no longer suffering but it doesn't and never will change the fact that I miss her terribly. I'll never understand why a dog or cat has to EVER get cancer, of any form. It isn't fair.
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Inkysmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm also new here. I empathize with your grief. My beloved cat died of a typically nonaggressive cancer, adenocarcinoma, last Monday June 5, 2017. He was 15 and in the unlucky 10% of cats that it returns and is aggressive. The other 90% of cats it comes back in 5 years. He had 4 surgeries and 2 chemotherapy treatments since January 2017 and was cancer free after the last surgery in February but within less than 2 months it came back and metastasized to his lymph nodes.
I had this beautiful cat for 12.5 years and tamed him from a completely feral adult who would attack and scratch me if I tried to pet him at first. He grew to trust me and became so loving that he would sleep wrapped around my head purring every night and butt his head and face against my cheek and demand belly rubs. He loved the hospital staff from his frequent stays and visits and none of them believed he was ever feral. I only had two years where he was truly tame and trusting and spent every day managing his diabetes, asthma, teeth issues and chronic infections from diabetes and got him beautiful and healthy and stable even with his awful chronic ear issues until the cancer. I really regret not getting a second opinion for his cancer treatments sooner as I feel his oncologist gave up on him and mismanaged his care and hurt him way too soon and contributed to his death so soon. I also regret not spending more time with him the days before he died.
I've lost 6 other cats to cancer. Since May 2015, I've lost 5 cats and a beloved dog, most to cancer or chronic disease, all of which I've had for 10 or more years so I also hate this horrible disease. I also lost my beloved mother to cancer in 2010 and other family as well. This disease needs to be eradicated.

I'm so sorry for your loss and we'll know your pain. I've been torturing myself with what I should have done differently for this beloved cat who just died that really became part of my heart, maybe because I worked so hard to tame him and win his trust and then spent every second monitoring his health for years and literally daily hospital visits for the past six months. Now he's just gone and is in a box of ashes with a sweet inscription. My remaining 2 cats and sweet young dog are devastated and very clingy and won't play or leave my side. The cats keep playing with his favorite toy mouse that they never played with in years and moving it around my apartment, maybe looking for him. My dog won't play with his regular buddies at the dog park but sits with me and won't leave my side and sleeps in the bed all day at home. He was very attached to this cat and always cuddled with him and woukd be next to him and follow him around.
I can understand your grief. Try to keep a normal routine for your other pets to keep them as healthy and happy as possible and know that you did everything you possibly could at the time.
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #8 
Inkysmom, thank you. The days are getting a little easier. Everything reminds me of her: a song on the radio, this house, letting the three boys outside and watching my Shepherd look for her to come out. I've created a very nice burial area for her and it is with the other three furbabies that went before her so she is not alone. I firmly believe that animals do have a soul and that we will be reunited again. Still, I miss her so much and then I feel guilty because I've "gotten over" the loss of the other three, even though now, I find myself thinking about them as well. I am just glad I was able to be with her every single day since this all came to a head and the tumors came back last year. Every day with Satin Marie was a great day and those memories will always be with me.
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #9 
Satin Maries gravestone arrived today and it is beautiful. I would like to post a pic of it as soon as I ask my wife to take a picture, as well as pictures of her and the others grave area.
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #10 
Satin Maries grave stone arrived today. So beautiful. Unfortunately, I cannot upload it from my computer due to it somehow being too big of a file. Have tried to reduce the size but have not been successful.


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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #11 

Finally!

Satin Memorial3.jpg 

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Inkysmom

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Reply with quote  #12 
It's beautiful, a very touching tribute. I got my Inky's ashes last week and put them with one of his best buddy cats that also died of cancer almost exactly two years ago. Inky died a few days before the 2nd anniversary of his buddy Fawn's death. Fawn was 14 and Inky was probably 15.
I'm sure your beloved Satin Marie is reunited with her friends again and running free and happy at the beautiful rainbow bridge area free of all illness and pain.
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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #13 
Your love for Satin Marie is so tangible, so strong. Your posts about her have moved me very much. And I love her already. She is a beautiful girl. Bless her Soul.
You loved her and cared for her to the end of the Earth and back.

That is a lovely head-stone you've had made for her.

Bless you Satin Marie. From me and my own girl, Misty (who has also crossed over now.) She showed me that they live on and continue to love us and wait for us xx

__________________
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thank you all. Took two of my boys to the same clinic she went to , this time for some behavioral issues between the Shepherd Apollo and the Mountain Cur Jesse. Didn't get the chance to speak to her Oncologist like I wanted to although she came up to me and hugged me. I was holding the Shepherd who wasn't too excited about being there in the first place and the dr couldn't understand why both dogs were so nervous. Still, Satin wouldn't want her boys to be having issues and to me, it was money well spent.

I still have a little bit to do on the grave area and when finished, will post pics of the area.
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jeffreyburcham

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Reply with quote  #15 
It's been two weeks since my precious Satin Marie left us. The tears are still flowing and I welcome them at times but some times I wish they would stop (they never will) then I feel guilty as if I would not be honoring her enough if I stop crying (which will never happen).

My Shepherd Apollo is still having issues with my big boy Jesse and they are now both on trazodone and Apollo will start Paxil on the 20th of this month (June). I realize my three boys are grieving her absence but I cannot handle any more fights between Apollo and Jesse. I cannot get rid of any of them, that would break my already broken heart even further. The thought of having to euthanize Apollo is horrific! THAT is not an option but it keeps popping into my head. I have Baskerville muzzles for Apollo and Jesse and Apollo will let me put his on but the thought of him having to endure that, even if while we are at work, bothers me as I am afraid of the message it will send to not just him but to Jesse as well.

I can segregate the two by keeping Apollo on the back porch but again, what message does that send to all my boys? They have had free run of the house from day one, all of them. There has never been a fight while we are gone and the Behavior doctor asked me how do I know that and I told her, "Well, I haven't come home to any dead dogs." Once Apollo starts a fight, and it's always with Jesse, Jesse doesn't stop until I literally pull him off of Apollo. I've never had to do it by myself and it doesn't happen even remotely close to all the time, like one every year and a half, like he needs to get it out of his system. The last one was May 17, 2017 so I am still gun shy with him and I see his little tell tale signs he is having an issue. The meds seems to be working by keeping them both subdued and to the point of being sedated but what kind of quality of life is that? I just don't know what to do and I really wish my Satin Marie were still here as she was the calming effect in this house. I  miss her so much!
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