Life Extended?

225306_614244038601117_1993295577_nHaven’t much felt like writing these past few days. It has been a difficult transition bringing our dog home. I am happy to have him back on the couch and scoping out the counters for food. It is however bitter sweet. I cannot look at him without seeing that imaginary clock ticking away. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do. I cannot shake it. I thought I could deal with this. But as he gets back to his old self and is feeling better I find it harder somehow. This is how it will be now. He is healing well from surgery and will soon be 100% normal. Until he isn’t. Just as it happened the morning after Christmas. It will come quickly and it will be devastating. This is not a cancer that is a long lingering painful death. He will not slowly waste away before our eyes. No, he’ll be happy and bouncing and fine until he isn’t. Somehow it makes it harder to stomach. I am out of sorts trying to find my footing in this new reality. I have never lived under a time limit. Sure, there has been cancer in my family. It claimed lives. I never was the one looking it in the face everyday. I saw its endpoint. This is new for me, as it is for my partner. I didn’t hold out hope for the histopath coming back benign. I dont’ think like that. I was already well ahead in my mind. I was calculating the months, days. The median survival time. I was well out ahead of this. I never paused. Never once thought it might be benign. It might be nothing. No. I just do not work like that. I never have. It is perhaps my fundamental flaw. I give up. I give in. It doesn’t matter if it is about the dog, or about my fate. I cut my losses and look the other way. It is frighteningly evident these days. I spoke with the vet and discussed chemo. Though I had already decided I would not elect to do that. Surprisingly my partner agreed. This happened quickly, without much discussion. As the days have passed and the dust has settled, so to speak, my partner has started research. I told her not to. I didn’t want her to come face to face with the horrific statistics as I had days before. I didn’t want it to tear her apart. I had read about every treatment that exists. I slogged through pages and pages of studies. Endless forum posts from desperate dog owners. All of it. There is one thing that makes me furious. I mean out of my gourd pissed. When I sense a company, or product preys on people’s fear and hope. There are many out there. One came up in my first day of research. It is a product that uses medicinal mushrooms. These have been used in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for centuries. That is without doubt. The problem lies with a company that then implies their product will extend the life span of a hemangiosarcoma dog. U penn did a study that supports this. Here’s the rub. The study was miniscule. I’m talking 15 dogs. There was no control group. There is so much wrong with this study it makes my head spin. Needless to say there has been no further study to support their findings. When they talk about lengthening survival time it is from around 80 days to 199 days. If it can be trusted. But that isn’t even what got me going. The cost of this stuff is upwards of $500 a month. Anywhere else you look this stuff is available through Chinese herbalists for a tenth of the price. It is enough to make me nuts. There are so many people out there desperate enough to buy this. I will not be one of them and I will fight my partner on this. I think I made myself clear on that. I have let her have her space to wander the internet. I have listened while she rattled off all the people she has emailed- vets, specialists, herbalists, etc. All I can see is days clicking by. We are at a week. 7 days. Seven less days he has here with us. I think it matters so little when you are talking about such a short period of time. Even if we bought him 30, 60 even 90 days. It doesn’t matter it is still too little time. I don’t want to spend the day shoving pills, herbs and mushrooms in him just to give him that short increase. I’d rather let it go. Whatever happens happens. In that time he will be spoiled beyond measure and loved without pause. He will get that prime spot on the couch, or recliner much to his siblings dismay. He’ll get his favorite fuzzy blanket and he will get a treat every time he comes snuffling. That is what I want his time left to be about, not about being a guinea pig. Even if it is less time when all is said and done that is okay with me. I don’t know what else to say. I cannot get this across to my partner. I have not even tried. I fear it’ll make me come across as an ass. As heartless and cold. But I’m not. It comes from my heart. It comes from a different view on life and death. It comes from my acceptance. But maybe I am too quick to accept death. Too fast to say goodbye. I just don’t know what to say. Should I feel guilty? sad? Should I judge myself? Is it a flaw? a shortcoming? I do not have the answer. I know that I have always felt this way but this is placing me in a tough spot with my partner. I just don’t know what to say. I am left unsettled and sad contemplating it.


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