20 June 2010

Heart Break

I have put off writing this post for many days now because I needed to find the strength.

Two weeks ago I felt two lumps in Simon's throat.  As I made the vet appointment, I tried to convince myself that it was going to be fine, that it was an infection or a side effect of his Cushing's meds.  But, deep down I knew that it was bad - horribly bad.

Simon has lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) and although I caught it early, it is still a fatal diagnosis.  Most dogs can undergo chemotherapy to extend their lives by 6-12 months, but Simon has other issues.  With his advanced age (he is almost 14) and the Cushing's disease, the vet was unsure of how the chemo (or other treatments) would affect him.

So, I made the call not to treat him.  I just couldn't put him through any more testing and medicating.  I want his last few weeks to be calm and peaceful.

Right now, he sleeps much more than normal and he is slowing down considerably.  However, he is still eating heartily and demanding his daily morning walk. He still smiles at me and does a little dance when I give him treats. 

I'm still trying to come to grips with all of this.  I alternate between sobbing and trying to remain philosophical.

Unfortunately, I know the inevitable decision is coming.

But for now, I just want to pack as much love and joy into Simon's last few weeks as I can.  My sweet boy deserves no less.

129 comments:

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry.

jaljen said...

He's enjoying his food. He loves his walk. That is a great life for a dog. Enjoy your time together.

Levanah said...

*hugs* It's so hard to let them go with dignity. I'm dreading dealing with this with my 17 year old cat. Please give Simon a pat from me.

Rose said...

I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Rose in SV

Alex said...

I'm so sorry. Loosing an animal is so hard. they really are a member of our families. My thoughts are with you.

wendy said...

oooh nooo! *sending lots of hugs* i'm so sorry.

Lisette M said...

We give our faithful companions a loving and caring life and when is time to say goodbye, it breaks our heart.
Hugs to you and Simon.

Jodie K said...

Such heartbreaking news after such a difficult year. Enjoy your time together.
JodieK

Sue said...

I feel for you, it's so hard to face up the next few months & make that painful decision, but know that Simon could not have had a better home than with you.

gwensews said...

So sorry. This is the downside of having fur children, for it is always-inevitable. Wishing both of you peace.

okie2thfairy said...

I share your sorrow. Enjoy your time with him, you'll never forget it.

Toby Wollin said...

Hugs to you and Simon. This is the way of it when it is time for them to take their final outing. You know what he needs; he'll tell you when it is time. Sending hug thoughts to you both. Smooch.

KID, MD said...

I'm so sorry. I hope you'll both enjoy each other to the fullest with the time you have left.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Shannon because I know how much Simon means to you!

Beth said...

I'm very sorry -- hugs to you, your family and Simon ...

Beth

Rose said...

I'm sending vibes of strength for you and peace for Simon.

Sandy said...

Oh Shannon, I'm so deeply sorry and weepy over your news. Nothing I can say is going to make this time any easier or less painful so I'll just send you huge hugs, and labrador kisses from Sophie and Jess. Will be thinking of you daily.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and best wishes are with you and Simon. With love from New Zealand

Claire S. said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry and will be thinking of you and your boy.

Victoria said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Simon's cancer. I can't imagine how much this hurts you. But I admire and respect your decision to enjoy the time you have left with him. I pray that when it's time for you to make that final decision that you will be engulfed with the peace of knowing you've been the best "Mom" to Simon.

Anonymous said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry for what you are going thru. You have the strength to get through this. It's ok if you don't feel like posting -we out here in sewing land will understand.

Gail said...

Sorry to hear about Simon. It will be important to make your decision on what is best for his comfort. Pets do have a way of ingraving themselves on our hearts.

Fran said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry. I know how sad you must be.

fiberchick said...

I'm so sorry. How indescribably sad...

The Sewing Loft said...

I am so sorry.

Lisa Laree said...

{{Shannon!}}

Anonymous said...

Heartbreak indeed. So wise and very caring to let him go without trying to delay the inevitable.

Moxie Tonic said...

Our pets bring such joy to our lives: they really are part of the family, and having to say goodbye is heartbreaking. So glad you are able to spend these few weeks with him, enjoy that precious time - you will always remember it.
Take care!

tumblina said...

((((hugs))))

Vicki said...

That is so sad to hear. Enjoy your last few weeks with him.

debbie said...

I'm so sorry Shannon. My heart aches for you.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

I am so sorry. You and Simon will be in my thoughts. I love opening your blog and seeing his sweet, inquisitive face - it never fails to make me smile. He looks like such a great dog.

Helen K said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry. I believe you are making the right choice for both of you. Enjoy your time together.
Hugs,
Helen

angie.a said...

Hugging you from Oklahoma Shannon. :(

Nancy K said...

I am so sorry Shannon.

Penny said...

I'm sorry and sad to hear your news. It is a bittersweet time now. Don't follow the rules; feel what you feel. We care.

Anonymous said...

I lost my 6 yr old Katie to lymphoma several years ago. We chose to pursue chemo and we took every single one of the tests to try and improve her chances. We got 6 weeks and it was really awful for the last 2. I will never choose to put my pet through that again. You are making the right decision no matter how hard it is.

Gwen said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Shannon. I know how much it hurts to have to say goodbye to a member of your family... I hope the rest of your time together is full of happiness and love. I'll be thinking of you both...

Linda said...

I am so sorry to read this and I truy feel your pain. We had two chihuahuas and they were our children, seriously, as we do not have any children. The lived to be 16 and 17. The pain of their loss took a long time to heal. I so appreciate your wanting to pack in as much love as possible; it is so apparent that he has been given a lot of love from you for 14 years. Here is a cyberhug!

Debbie Cook said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this Shannon. I know it won't ease your pain now, but hopefully in the future you will take comfort knowing that you loved Simon fully and gave him the best Beagle life ever! Hoping for strength for you and comfort for Simon. {{Hugs}}

Pammie said...

I'm sorry to hear this - I think you made the right decision. He's had nothing but good thoughts with you - and dogs don't look back - only forward:) Unlike us.

Evil Angel said...

I am so sorry!
Spend every moment you can just enjoying him and giving him the best Dog days possible Oh and lots of pictures!
Hugs for you both!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering where you were, Shannon, and now you pop up with this awful news. I cannot tell you how horribly sorry I am--I too have a canine baby whom I love beyond belief. You're doing the right thing--loving him thru this as you did with everything else. How sad. My thoughts will be with you.

Gail D.

Linda said...

I had a feeling you weren't posting due to something like this...as others have said, Simon will let you know when it is time. I have had similar experience, and can sympathize with your pain. Try to make the most of these weeks with him. My prayers are with you.

MushyWear said...

Aww, Shannon I am so sad for you. I sure wish we didn't have to endure this kind of pain. I will be thinking of you and Simon.

Dana said...

So sorry to hear about your little guy.

Linda T said...

When you hadn't posted in 2 weeks, I had a nagging tug in my heart that Simon was not doing well. All I can say is I've been where you are; I hated being there, but I did cherish our last days together. It is so very hard. I cry with you.

Cindy said...

I am so sorry. Our dog just passed in April from a heart condition. We made a decision not for him to undergo surgery and we don't regret our choice. He was comfortable and very well loved to the last precious moment. Thinking of you and Simon--it is so very hard.

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Gail said...

I'm so sorry.

Jules said...

I'm so sorry that Simon's time will be so short. I think it's very wise decision in letting his last days be filled with happiness and as much dignity as possible. I hope I have your strength if/when I ever have to deal with something similar with my pets.

Carol said...

I have no words. I know your pain. Thinking of you and sending you both love.

loopylulu said...

This post made my eyes well up with tears. It reminds me so much of the last few weeks with my childhood dog. Loving him as much as you can right now does seem to be the best way.

patsijean said...

You have made a couple of good decisions, both for yourself and for Simon. I've been lucky enough to do the same for my pets. Simon will love the extra pampering he will get and you will be able to come to terms with his death. In my case my pets told me when it was at last time. It will hurt terribly, but you will be able to do what is best for him. I am so sorry.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I'm so sorry Sharon :(

Chris said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Treasure your time with Simon and give him lots of hugs...............

jacquiJB said...

I am so sorry to read about Simon. I rather feared your absence here meant he had taken a turn for the worse. I am sure you've made the best decision for him, one you won't regret. Warmest wishes for you, Simon, your husband as you love Simon through his passing.

denise@thebluegardenia.com said...

You are blessed to have Simon, and he is blessed to have you. You and Simon were in my thoughts earlier today, as I was wondering about y'all and missing your posts.

Lori said...

I'm so sorry. My heart breaks for you. I had to make that difficult decision for a cat with a cancerous tumor. When it was time, I took the day off from work and we had a full day together, just her and me. I spent most of it in tears, watching her as she slept in her favorite spot. I hope you can have many more days with Simon and one truly fantastic last day.

Hugs...

Biba said...

I'm so sorry!

*hugs*

Caryn said...

Oh I am so sorry. I am crying for you. Now, I hope what I have to say next comes out okay. Many people in your position would have just had their pet put asleep. I cringe at that. I believe you are doing the right thing... we all deserve to be loved and gently brought with compassion into the end of life, not put down. I truly wish you precious last days with your beloved doggie.

Mae said...

Simon is lucky he has you. You are making decisions based on what is best for him, not you. I sometimes worry that I put my old dog through too much because I couldn't bear to say goodbye. Love to you both.

Eugenia said...

Shannon, I am so sorry to hear such sad news. Simon is such a beautiful dog. I think you are doing the right thing in making sure that he is as calm and comfortable as possible.

Uta said...

This is so sad. I hope his last days will leave you with many happy memories. Lots of strength to you.

AllisonC said...

So sorry to hear your sad news, we all know how much you love Simon. It sounds like you have made the right, although brave and difficult decision.

Sue said...

You have made the right decision. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Heather said...

Oh Shannon, I have been there three years ago with my Kata and know the heartbreak of it. My thoughts are with you.

Elaray said...

I'm very sorry about this news. Simon is well-loved.

lsaspacey said...

I was so scared when I read the title in my reader. However, I'm happy that you still have some time with him, to properly say goodbye. Always remember he was well loved by you and faceless others who fell in love with him through your love-filled posts about him. I wish that his last days are filled with love and very little pain. Take care.

Crystaliciousss said...

cherish the time you still have together, it's a little gift...wishing you lots of strength and courage.
Lots of hugs

Crys

celeste said...

Shannon, I am so sorry this is happening to you. All your readers know how much Simon means to you, and if there was any way we could spare you this pain, we would. Please know that how painful this is is a measure of how much you love this little guy with a huge personality. May your last days together be peaceful.

Mary Beth said...

I'm so sorry. We experienced a better quality of life with Patch when he had chemo but he had no ill effects directly traceable to it. I am just so sorry. This Beagle dog has had a great life with you and you with him. It hurts, though.

Rachelle said...

I'm so sorry, Shannon.

Stiletto said...

Oh my dear, I am so very very sorry! I can barely see the screen as I type this for the tears in my eyes! We had to put our boxer down when she got too bad a few years ago (boxers and cancer go hand in hand), and we have lost 3 other dogs all in the last 4 years. It hurts more than alot of people (non-dog people) realize! We are here for you! I absolutely agree with Andrea (Evil Angel) take LOTS of pics of him and the family, those are the things I wish I had more of myself!

Keeping all of you in my prayers!
{{{Hugs}}}
Christy

SoldierGrrrl said...

Oh, no. I am so sorry to hear about this. All of us send good thoughts, tail wags, cold noses and snuggles to you and Simon both.

Know that our Gina will be there, on the other side of the Bridge waiting for him. We'll all be here for you too.

Simon has had such a good time with you, I'm sure.

Mardel said...

I'm so sorry! Hold him tight for now. This is so sad for you. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you. Prissy, my beagle, is waiting to play with him.

Hugs

Memaw Sews

gMarie said...

OMGoodness Shannon - I know exactly how you feel. The boys must have been diagnosed at the same time. I'm so very, very sorry.

Give him big slobby loves from me. g

Jali said...

Shannon, it sounds like your dear boy is happy and content deep inside, no matter the pain and miserableness of disease and what he may know to be the of it all. And I think I know why. He knows he has his Mum's unconditional love and it will be for always. Be extra happy with him in this time together. Love and prayers.

June said...

I'm so sorry, Shannon. It's such a hard decision to make. Hugs to Simon.

Nancy said...

I'm so sorry, Shannon. We just lost our boy Bill (a beagle-terrier mix) in April to liver cancer. He was 16, so we had to make the same decision you've just faced. Simon is loved--and he knows it and loves you, too. Cherish this last bit of time with him.

Sz said...

I am ever so sorry to hear this. I know Simon is in good hands, and will be well taken care of. He knows this too.

Know too that you are not alone with your tears. All of us have gone through this at some point.

I'll alert Bihsop, Tessa and Kira to be on the lookout for Simon. They will make him welcome.

Leslie in Austin said...

:-( So so sad for you. Simon is a lucky dog to have been so loved. Sending you wishes for strength and peace.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Shannon. I'm so sorry. Try and enjoy the time you have left with him. Wishing good things for you and yours.

Jodi

Lilian said...

Oh my god, Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear this news. This must be a very difficult time for you. My heart goes out to you. Just know that you did everything for him that was in your power and I believe there are not much dogs in the world that are loved more than Simon is. There's only so much you can do...but you've done it all.
I'm wishing you strength for the time to come...
Take care!

Sew Wilde said...

My heart is breaking for you right now. My beloved dog was diagnosed with cancer this past winter and was with us for about 4 weeks after diagnosis. Our pets bring so much to our lives. I will send good thoughts to you and Simon.

Julie

mochimo said...

I am so so sorry. I lived through a similar situation 3 years ago: my Frida went for the last of her many tumor surgeries but the vet could do nothing that time. The tumor was all around her throat arteries and could not be removed. She took heavy medications for a little while but was getting worse and worse. We decided to stop medication and just went on with diet and herbal remedies. The tumor continued to grow but Frida was feeling better and stronger. Surgery was at the end of January and she lived until May 13. A week before that we went for a long walk in the woods: she ran a lot and her eyes were sparkling. It broke my heart when she passed away, I cried for weeks (and am crying now) but I am happy with my decision: even when so seriously ill, she still had a chance to live a few more happy weeks, doing the things she loved doing.

I wish you and Simon many more precious moments on top of all the ones you had until now.

Sending you a big hug.
Monica

Nancy W. said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. We went through something similar with our guide dog a few years back. It is so difficult to make these kind of decisions, and it will be even harder if you have to decide to put him down. Watch him carefully, and when you see that he is in pain, loses interest in things he enjoys, or has trouble walking or relieving himself, you will know it is time. As much as you love him, you don't want him to suffer.

Sewfast said...

My heart goes out to you Shannon. Simon is your baby and it's so hard to make the compassionate call. May your remaining time together be calm and peaceful...hugs to you...Mary and JoJo

Trudy Callan said...

Oh, Shannon, I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. I will be thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort for you and Simon.

Trudy
www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

Jen said...

Oh Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear about Simon. I hope you have at least a little longer together and your poor furry baby doesn't suffer too much. Hugs and thoughts.
Jen

Rachael said...

I'm so sorry. I'll be thinking of you both.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

I am truly sorry to hear such sad news. My heart goes out to you.

CJ said...

I'm so sorry.

Juddie said...

Oh! My heart goes out to you both.
I'm so sorry.

Reethi said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry.

Stacy said...

So sorry to read this sad news. I've been through something very similar and it is so hard. Treasure every moment you have with your little buddy. Pets are such a wonderful part of life.

meredithp said...

Shannon, so sorry to hear the news. I'm sure it's hard right now, but do remember, as others have said, Simon is one lucky dog to have had you and the life he has led. We've all been through this a time or two, and will be thinking about you, your DH, and your adorable dog!

Sharon said...

Oh Shannon! I'm so sorry to read your heartbreaking news. I know it's little comfort right now, but Simon is so fortunate to have you for his mommy. And you're so fortuntae to have Simon in your life. Big puppy hugs, kisses and belly rubs from me and my girls, Abby and Sophia.

DanainDFW said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry. We faced a similar situation with our Wags A. Lott. We chose to try the chemo and he had 13 more quality months with us. At the end of the 13th chemo treatment, he never bounced back and I decided for no more treatment. He lived a wonderful life with us and had an adoring canine friend in Corky. We still talk of him often and almost any dog bearing even a slight resemblance causes the boys to say how much that dog looks like Wags.

Hug Simon, spoil him rotten until he is no longer enjoying life.

Hugs, Dana

Teddylyn said...

Hugs--for you and Simon. I hope you can enjoy these last days and keep happy memories of this great buddy.

Wendy said...

I so sorry to hear about Simon. I know there are words that can make it better so I'll just say I'm praying for you all. Sending you big hugs.
Wendy in North East Texas

kiltsnquilts said...

So sorry to hear about your beloved pet and friend. Although nothing can comfort you at the moment, he has had a long and happy life (healthy too up until recently) with owners who have loved him and cherished him. Enjoy your time with him, and make more happy memories to keep.

Thinking of you.

Tesla said...

My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry to hear about Simon's health declining.

Tesla

Mea said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear about Simon. My thoughts are with y'all.
Take care in the time you have left together.

Lina said...

I'm so sorry.

gina said...

I'm so sorry. I haven't lost any of my pets yet, and even thinking about it makes me sad. I hope you aren't too sad to enjoy the rest of your time with him.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, this is such a hard decision to have to make. I hope his last days are gentle and pain-free.
~Sarah B

Helen said...

Just read your post tonight. It made me cry. I feel so sad for you and Simon. But remember, he has had a wonderful life with you. He's lucky to have been "your boy". I wish you all the strength you'll need over the next few weeks. Best wishes to Simon. Love from Helen, Jesse, Angel, Charlie and Winnie.

j.kaori said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Simon. My thoughts are with you.

Summerset said...

Hugs to you both! You're doing the right thing to make him happy through his last days. It is not an easy decision to make, I've been there with my boy-kitty Max. It is sad, but at the same time, he's been such a great family member you don't want him to suffer.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this. I know you are making the right call. He will enjoy these next few weeks with you and you will have wonderful memories of your boy being happy.

Tany said...

I so sorry, Shannon... My heart hurts hearing these news... You are doing the right thing, I'd do the same. (((HUGS)))

Debbie F said...

I've got tears right now, thinking of how difficult this is for you...I want to send you all the hugs and support I can. I cannot bear to think of when my big girl's time with me will end, but please give Simon all the love and kisses you can while he's here with you. You have loved him so completely and he will be waiting for you on the other side.

pink drops said...

Enjoy your time together. I had to make that hard decision this year but I was lucky enough to have my faithful friend for 18 good years.Lots of hugs.

Anonymous said...

Love him and be with him on this last walk. I too had to put down a beloved Boxer, Hobbs with lymphoma, we elected to keep him comfortable in the 3 short months he stayed on. Hobbs let us know when the day came to let him go, I still can see the look in his eyes.
Bless you,
Beth

pendlestitches said...

I'm so, so sorry for your sadness. Pats for Simon and hugs for you.
You are both in our prayers.

Barbara said...

Take care and remember he doesn't know what you do. But he will tell you when it is time to go. I went through this with my dear Maxine, and one day she put her paw on me and looked at me and I knew she wanted me to let her go. This is heartbreaking I know but you have given him your best.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sad for you and Simon. This is so heartbreaking and so preventable.
Lymphomas are primarily caused by flea and tick medications.

ReaderRita said...

I am so sorry. I hope that Simon's last weeks are as filled with love and joy as the rest of his life with you has been! You and he are lucky to have loved each other so much- (and he knows it!) celebrate your time together! There will be time to be sad later...

And Anonymous of June 26th 9:42 pm- I don't know if you meant it to sound this way, but you really seem to be kicking Shannon when she's down. Subtly implying that this is somehow her fault. It is NOT her fault, no matter what medication she did or did not use on Simon. She was the absolute best Mom to Simon that she could be, and did everything within her power to make his life the best it could be. Just read her posts about him. Great of you to try to spread your word about flea and tick medication, but this was NOT the time or the place for that. Sorry, that's just my two cents.

Shannon, wishing you strength, peace, and a lot of quality time with your sweet fur boy-

Kym said...

Shannon, I read your blog often and have shared your heartbreak this year with Simon's medical issues. My boy is getting up in years (just turned 13) and I'm already thinking about how much or little time he might have left.

Simon is blessed to have you for a mom, knowing that you will do what's right for for him.

Hugs to both you & your special boy and know that so many of us are with you in spirit.

Kimmielovesparis said...

My heart breaks for you. So sorry.

Kathy said...

"hugs" to Simon and to you... I never post on your blog, but I've been keeping up with Simon's health issues. I'm so sorry.

anita said...

I'm so sorry to hear this sad news.:( {{{HUGS}}} to you and beautiful Simon.

Karen said...

Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear about Simon. He's had a wonderful life with you - you can tell it by his big beagley smile - and I know he'll tell you when it's time. Enjoy the time you have left together and give him lots of kisses from me and my 10 bad cats. Many hugs to you as well, because sometimes it's even harder to be the one left behind.

JustGail said...

So sorry about Simon. Miss Piddles (my beagle) and I send all y'all hugs.

Dakota said...

Oh Shannon, I am so sorry. There's nothing quite like the heart-wrenching prospect of losing a furry family member. I've been facing it too, with a cat I've had since I was 12, and I know how hard it is. I think this part must be the hardest... the waiting.

My prayers are with you and Simon.

SRR said...

We had to make a similar decision with our cat when we decided not to continue aggressive treatment for his tumor.

Even though we miss him, we feel so good about that decision. He had some more time with us where he got lots of adoring attention. When the tumor progressed too far the vet was able to come to our house, for which I am very, very grateful. Simba was on my lap, being petted, when she gave him the injection. It was very peaceful and loving and that is the memory I have of his final days.

Susan

Stash said...

Dear Shannon,

I am so sorry to hear about Simon, your wonderful companion, kid and friend. You are such a wonderful Mum to him and of course he knows how much you love him and that you are doing everything you can. Having lost a pet to cancer, I can say that the final injection was heart wrenching but a great relief that my darling pet would not suffer any further. Sending many hugs your way