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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, it's been awhile since my last post. When I joined it was shortly after my Bailey had been diagnosed with tumors on his liver and spleen. He was also having mini seizures so there was that suspicion of a brain tumor as well. A few weeks ago he started taking Prednisone with his phenobarbital. He's been seizure free for 20 days so far! We should be happy, but this mostly just confirms the suspicion that there was/is swelling at the brain that the Prednisone is controlling. He seems happier than the last month but gets tired faster and seems to breathe heavier after his playtime. He's turning 12 in 3 days. I feel like I'm riding a roller coaster, up and down, with no way off. When he's sleeping I break down in tears because I literally cannot picture life without him. I wonder if I'm doing right by him and literally just waiting for things to get bad again. His birthday is Friday. I took Thursday and Friday off work to do nothing but be with him. I just hurt all over and can't get a grip. I can't imagine what I'll be like when "the time" comes. I feel like this preemptive grief isn't normal. But I can't do anything to stop it. I'm literally broken.
 

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I am so sorry you and Bailey are going through this. I don't think your preemptive grief is abnormal at all. I think I start dreading "the day" the moment I fall in love with my puppy. I've seen it posted that Bailey doesn't know he's dying so try not to let him sense your grief any more than you can. It's so wise to take the time off so you can to be with him. I know it's unimaginable to think of letting him go but I can tell you love him and will act in his best interest. Somehow we survive this awful thing taking it one day at a time. Try to live in the day and not the future. Prayers for you and Bailey.
 
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I'm sorry- and I think your grief is totally normal.. it is evidence you love your dog.
I've been there, crazy wild thoughts, etc, when Hudson fell ill. It helped me to do a task- I chose putting photos in chrono order.
When he died-when I said yes you can turn the vent off- I came home to those photos, and looked through them hundreds of times at least. Thanked the other dogs daily for a reason to get out of bed. Etc. So look @ that as how you might be, and anticipate that too- stock up on things you will need, and give yourself a job to do. It's what that big love costs us- big heart pain.
 

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I'm so sorry you are going thru this. Thoughts and prayers are sent your way.
 

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I'm very sorry you're going through this, it's extremely difficult.
Instead of focusing on the inevitable, try to focus on the present time, make every second you have count.
 

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What you are feeling is totally normal, it's called anticipatory grief and a lot of people experience this with both human and furry loved ones, especially when illness is involved. Don't beat yourself up for feeling this, but do try to spend as much as time as possible snuggling Bailey and telling him what a good boy he is and spoiling him. Very sweet faced boy - my heart goes out to you.
 

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What you are describing is absolutely normal and honestly sounds similar to how I reacted when my first Golden was clearly reaching the end of his life - not a definitive diagnosis but it was most likely cancer at age 10. I couldn't do anything except cry - I've accepted the death of people I loved with more stoicism than I could muster for my dog. I could barely function for weeks before he actually died. They are with us constantly and fill a need that no one else can. It's no wonder we grieve so hard for them, and I think they deserve it.

In hindsight, I have a lot of regret for the way I spent the final weeks of my boy's life. I should have tried to pull it together and take him for cheeseburgers and ice cream cones and walks in the woods and tried to enjoy what I had left rather than collapsing before he was gone. I just couldn't stop crying. I hope that next time I face it I can do better for my dog and myself.

My heart goes out to you, there's just not any way around grief but to go through it. It's ok to ask a doctor for help with some medication to help you navigate this if you feel yourself drowning in grief. It can be temporary, there is no shame in reaching out.
 

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Yes, it is normal. When my 12 year old Irish Setter was diagnosed with bone cancer in his knee and as only given a week due to it being a very very aggressive caner, I lost it. Then I decided I had to make that lat week the best ever for him. He loved to go to the beach.. or the bay where I wade fished. However he soon developed a bunny hop instead of dragging that leg and his appetite was great. My vet said we didn't ave to do it That one week turned exactly into 10 weeks. I took him fishing every single day and he swam, tormented crabs in shallow water, tried to catch shore birds. He had a sweet tooth like you wouldn't believe and loved fruits and veggies. He had tossed salad every night with only lettuce & tomatoes and even ranch dressing. Also all the melon he wanted when we had melon. I baked fish for him. And what w had for dessert, so did he--banana split with 3 scoops of ice cream 3 topping, whipped cream and cherry (no nuts), strawberry shortcake, apple pie with ice cream, even chocolate cake. I took him in 2-3 times a week to weigh him and he gained weight, not lose as predicted., My vet woudl watch him and say "I don't understand it, but we don't have to do it yet." But the day came it was in his froth shoulder, same side and I decided to let him to. I knew I could have kept him a few more days buthe would not be able to enjoy the beach, etc. It broke my heart. He was 12 1/2 and I had had him since he was 9 weeks old. Many times I would break down knowing what was coming, but never in front of him. This was in 1997 and my vet STILL talks about the"old red man"

Also when my 4 year old golden boy Hunter was in ICU dying from reaction to Proheart6. For 8 days I visited him 3 times a day and then went and sat in the car crying, but never in frotn of him. I am so trribily sorry you are having to go thru this. But take advantage of every minute, every second you have with him. They will be such precious mimories later on.
 

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This is not preemptive! I am in the same position...my 5 year old golden has apocrine adrenal carcinoma...I have been crying nonstop for 5 weeks...she is breathless but eating...I listen to her breath all night long..I can't decide if it's time, but it seems closer. I too barely work, I just want to stay at home with the dog. So worried about her 1 year old sister who doesn't know life without her...you should go on facebook and join dog loss group...it has really helped me understand my emotions...which are extreme and I am so angry at everything. Your baby will let yo know when!!! So sorry for your baby abd your family!!!
 

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You will be strong for Bailey's sake. Don't let him see you be sad. He wants you to be happy and enjoy what time you have left together. Do it for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for your replies. It helps to hear from all of you. I'm going to enjoy my time with Bailey and especially his 12th birthday tomorrow. I find strength in your responses and my countless memories of all that he and I shared. I'll focus on the memories we can still create doing all of his favorite things. I'm sure I'll post again because I will need all the support. Thank you from me, Bailey and my family including my sweet 13.5 year old Golden, Dominick!
 

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Val, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Thank you for the insight on the group to join.
Feel free to keep in touch for support. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you and your baby!
This is not preemptive! I am in the same position...my 5 year old golden has apocrine adrenal carcinoma...I have been crying nonstop for 5 weeks...she is breathless but eating...I listen to her breath all night long..I can't decide if it's time, but it seems closer. I too barely work, I just want to stay at home with the dog. So worried about her 1 year old sister who doesn't know life without her...you should go on facebook and join dog loss group...it has really helped me understand my emotions...which are extreme and I am so angry at everything. Your baby will let yo know when!!! So sorry for your baby abd your family!!!
 

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It is never easy saying goodbye to a companion who has shared your life for so many years. Your bailey has given you unconditional love for those years. It is normal for us humans to grieve for them when they go. Our Eden passed July 2018, and we still tear up, thinking of her.

The grief takes time to pass. Give yourself the time to fully grieve for Bailey.
 

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This is not preemptive! I am in the same position...my 5 year old golden has apocrine adrenal carcinoma...I have been crying nonstop for 5 weeks...she is breathless but eating...I listen to her breath all night long..I can't decide if it's time, but it seems closer. I too barely work, I just want to stay at home with the dog. So worried about her 1 year old sister who doesn't know life without her...you should go on facebook and join dog loss group...it has really helped me understand my emotions...which are extreme and I am so angry at everything. Your baby will let yo know when!!! So sorry for your baby abd your family!!!
Thinking of you and your Golden. How's she doing?
 

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thanks for asking....CBD really seems to help...breathless but she was always a panter...I can't decide if I should do further testing...not invasive! statistics say 2 months from diagnosis without surgery with 3 mm mass. hers is 36...maybe its wishful thinking? its been 6 wks of daily crying.. they didnt do needle aspiration which infuriates me since she was sedated but all research points to mets and renal failure from hypercalcemia if it follows apocrine anal sac adenocarcinoma..what else could it be...changing vets but all research says surgery is mainstay in anal tumors... not going there w 50 % reoccurrence and incontinence...she's eating with no blockage..I'm exhausted....
 

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thanks for asking....CBD really seems to help...breathless but she was always a panter...I can't decide if I should do further testing...not invasive! statistics say 2 months from diagnosis without surgery with 3 mm mass. hers is 36...maybe its wishful thinking? its been 6 wks of daily crying.. they didnt do needle aspiration which infuriates me since she was sedated but all research points to mets and renal failure from hypercalcemia if it follows apocrine anal sac adenocarcinoma..what else could it be...changing vets but all research says surgery is mainstay in anal tumors... not going there w 50 % reoccurrence and incontinence...she's eating with no blockage..I'm exhausted....
I'm so sorry. I see value in the second opinion. The Vet that diagnosed Bailey gave us little to no hope. He's still here because of his other Vet, I believe. I'll keep you and your baby in my prayers. Feel free to message me if you want to talk more about your sweet baby and what you hear from the second opinion. Thinking of you!
 

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I very well understand you having lost two of my dogs within the last year and I became a paranoid and I do not know what I will do when I aswell be informed that the time arrived to say goodbye for my other elderly ones.

HOWEVER, I aswell know that I do everything to procrastinate this goodbye as long as they want to stay with me.

This is Pasha.( rott & GS mix, my King).I met his owner at a vet hospital in the capital city Ankara. He was around 13 when he was diagnosed with the same problem as Bailey. And next to it my english cocker spaniel and she went through splenectomy & tumor removed succesfully.( pathology: benign). She was then 11,5 now around 13-13,5 .She had other operations including a mass on her lip and now going for another one for a mass( appearantly benign) on her outer ear canal.

Pasha was not even able to lift himself up even walk when I met him. He must have been at the hospital around 10-12 days till they decided to operate him finally after he gained his strength. However, he is one of the miracle dogs for me. Great surgery. I do not want to get into very much details. If you wish to have further information, I will make you get into touch with his owner. She speaks English. Pasha had to go through another operation November 2018 for a benign mass on his paw. Succesful.
By the way, seizures ( they seem to be seizures) are very normal with tumor on spleen/liver due to pressure. Do not assume directly that it has spread on the brain.They are pushing on the organs. My cocker went through the same. I do not know if your vets consider his tumor malign & benign, hemangio or not ( very difficult to predict beforehand) and his general condition including heart gives him the possibility to get operated, I just wanted to point out another optional door for you. Hope you understand.
 

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Anticipatory grief is entirely normal. In fact, some people experience anticipatory grief for so long that when the moment comes they are okay with it. Then they ask themselves "Is this normal?" And that is normal too. You're going through all of the emotions while he is still alive. Make a bucket list for Bailey and live it up until the very end. I hope you will find peace in the end.
 
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