Monday, as we were driving home from Juliana's 2 year check up, my cell phone rang. It was Ryan. "The vet called about Chili." "I'm not home yet, so don't tell me the results." Now, I don't know if Ryan heard me since his phone was crackling, but he then proceeded to say, "I don't really have anything new to tell you. We just have to decide what treatment we want to do." "So it's cancer for sure then?" "Yes, and it's in the ulna which is rare. They are recommending amputation and chemotherapy which combined could get him to a year. 6 months if we only amputate." I started to hyperventilate (which is why I didn't want him to tell me until I got home) and told him I couldn't talk right now. I pulled to the side of the road because I thought I was going to throw up. I started crying, hysterically and hitting the steering wheel with my hand. As I was about to yell the "f-word", I heard, "Mom? Why are you crying?" from the back seat. I realized that I still had my kids in the car, and if I had started to swear, I'm sure that would have been a word they both would have picked up (wouldn't that have been an interesting conversation with Juliana's speech therapist- "Juliana said f*** today. Where do you think she heard that?). I settled myself down and drove the rest of the way home, still crying, but no longer in hysterics.
My special boy, my best friend, has terminal bone cancer and is in pain. None of the options will cure him. What do you do? Amputation will remove the pain for the remainder of his life until the cancer moves to his lungs and he's already only walking on 3 legs. Radiation will control the pain but will weaken the bone making him susceptible to a broken leg and is more expensive than amputation. Chemotherapy will kill the cancer but it will come back and may buy him a year and is the most expensive of all the options.
If I were to be totally selfish & we had an unlimited supply of money, I would choose amputation and chemotherapy to keep Chili with me as long as possible, but that is only thinking of myself and not him or my family. I have done so much crying over this decision I am exhausted. Every night I lay on the floor with him at bedtime and tell him how sorry I am and what a good dog and friend he has been to me. If you're not a dog lover you probably think I am nuts, but if you've ever met the Chili Dawg you'd understand.
Ryan and I have done a lot of talking about this. Last night he called me and said, "Chili's amputation has been scheduled for next Wednesday. I want him to have no pain for the time that we have left with him." Me, too. Thank you, Ryan, for helping us make the decision.
My heart is broken.