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Pofi: Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation Pofi's long strange trip to becoming a Tripawd dog

May 3, 2018

2 Years Ago Today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — hester @ 7:59 pm

I’ve been feeling sorrow deeply and keenly today and now I know why. Two years ago today, my beautiful boy, was the first time you had ever had to be away from our home overnight without us. Two years ago today I dropped you at U of MN Small Animal Hospital for your chest x-rays and, when clear, an MRI to map the location and shape of the soft tissue sarcoma peripheral nerve sheath tumor that had hidden in the brachial plexus and eluded all the doctors (so many) for too long.  And then the news that it was large – much larger than your surgeon expected and larger than it would be if this had not been cancer all along.  If it had not been cancer when we went to the e-vet (twice) and our own vets (ten times, maybe more) and when we preemptively amputated your toe (not cancer!) and the specialty consult at the U and multiple PT sessions there as well. All that time. All the times I asked, could this be cancer?  But yours was hidden. Covert. Sneaky.  And you were stoic.  This is one of the things your surgeon said when she was still a bit shell shocked at the MRI – she had been expecting a marble and it was a softball. A softball with tentacles.  And she said to me, “He is a very stoic dog.”

You were supposed to come home and the amputation was to be a few days later.  But the manipulation of your limbs for the diagnostic imaging broke your wall of stoicism.  You were in pain and you could not hide it.  They moved your surgery to the next day and kept you on intravenous pain meds till they could operate, so it was a shock to us all you did not come home. I know now, too, the surgeon knew there was no time to waste. It was already frighteningly close to your spine, but she told me it was still possible to hope she could resect cleanly.  And truly, 4 cm from your spine seemed shockingly close, but she said, “I only need 3 cm to get the margin.” And I thank her for trying, for being confident enough to try. She knew how loved you were and that none of us was ready for you to go. And everyone knew how strong you were – our regular vets, PT vets, everyone.  I wanted to feel there was nothing you could not overcome with our help.

Not having you with us that night and the next few was an empty feeling.  The space you weren’t occupying was vast and, of course, it still is now that you are gone.  As hard as that night was and as sleepless as it was, we still were counting on your strength and will to get us all through this.

I hadn’t discovered Tripawds yet – that was a few weeks off yet, so the knowing friends who would soon be supporting us were not with us yet, but many others were.  You had many, many friends, my beautiful boy.  Many were charmed by you, rooting for you and yes, loved you.  I hope you felt that. It buoyed me.

Everyday is still less than when you were ours as we miss you ceaselessly, but everyday I am grateful you were ours.

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