In the last week, we have seen the oncologist, our holistic vet (for therapy and a check-in) and our regular vet (to get on the same page and decide what the heck that page is).
Here is what I know.
- Jake’s cancer leg no longer works. I am a very positive person but I think that leg is probably done. I don’t blame it, I’d quit too.
- Jake has lost 5 lbs. since February. I know that cancer requires a lot of calories and I think that for Jake, eventually his body won’t be able to keep up on the eating. As for now, he eats fine, so that is great. We are increasing his food intake and that makes him very happy!
- Jake is fairly stoic when it comes to pain. He showed no response to having a cracked tooth or various split nails. We do believe we are starting to see signs of him experiencing pain (and nausea) so we are treating both and will continue to monitor him closely. I want him comfortable.
- It was time for a few of his vaccinations and to refill his heart guard. We had a realistic conversation about his prognosis, that his cancer is not treatable and that his body is weaker with every passing day. I told our regular vet that I only wanted to do the vaccinations he truly needed. We ended up opting against some. I don’t think that his cancer is from vaccinations or from any preventative (I don’t know that for sure but I do believe some of them are important) but I do feel like there is no need to throw any unnecessary treatments at cancer or his body right now. I am Jake’s voice. I have no veterinary training but I am trained in the art of loving Jake and love makes decisions sometimes and right now, love decided that we won’t be putting some of those treatments into his body. These decisions we face are big, insurmountable, giants. But I believe with all that I am that at the end of our pet’s lives, relying on love is the best guide.
- He still has joy, and for that, we have everything that we need!
Put more food in my belly.
This weekend I continued my quest to find a ramp that Jake can use to go outside. I can carry him, but lifting him up and setting him down so many times a day is not good for his spine (or mine!) and sometimes it seems to bother cancer leg so the ramp is still the most ideal option. The steps to the outside are brick and Jake gets too scraped up going down them on his own. I have tried carpet pads, nothing has worked. We are now on ramp four. I found a ramp with a Melvin look-alike on the box and I took that as a sign that it was the one! Then I went to a sporting goods store to buy some yoga mats (one for the ramp since it’s lined with a sandpaper type gripping and that would just result in Jake dragging his then BLOODY stumps). I told the salesperson I wanted the cheapest ones they had since at some point, it would be pee’d on. I felt bad for him but welcome to my world sales guy!
The good news is, Jake is using the ramp! I still hold-guide him but it seems to be the one! Thank you Melvin-look-alike! And of course the cheapest yoga mats are the light ones. The ones that show black mulch paw prints and pee very clearly.
Since getting Jake, he has ‘gone through’ roughly 15 rugs. I clean them, you have no idea how well I clean them(!), but there comes a point when the rug has taken its last beating and we have to let it go. When we got Jake’s diagnosis I decided that I would keep our current rugs and replace them all at once after he went to ‘see Melvin’. Well, Jake’s body had other plans for one of our rugs so its departure came early. Unfortunately it was a rug that covered a lot of ground. So now, instead of matching rugs, I have matching yoga mats, all throughout my house. They are MUCH easier on Jake and MUCH easier to clean. It’s odd to have random yoga-mat-walkways, but it’s working so I have let go of the decorating fight and embraced the ‘just make it easier for everyone’ approach.
Follow the yoga-mat road!
Goodbye, fifteen. I remember the very first day I had you and Melvin threw-up pumpkin on you. It took me three hours to get the stain out. I have a feeling you will be happier at the dump.
As I read this post I’m sitting her crying….I hate thinking about losing Jake…stay strong little man….momma is there to help you as much as she can! I love you guys and hope the ramp and yoga mats work out! Thanks for keeping us posted you are a “supermom”! Give Jakie kisses and send my love!
Awwww, don’t cry too much. He is super comfy, rocking his ramp and cocooned in love and joy. He is here now, and I’m learning to celebrate that as much as possible.
We love you back!
Always thinking of you two wonderful beings and sending you all my love. <3 You do so much to make his life as comfortable as possible and I know you always put his happiness first. Oh, and just to relate to Jake's stoicism? We took Rufus in for some dental work/a biopsy and he had 3 teeth pulled! Two of which had exposed nerves. The dude chewed on hooves, bully sticks, and has the appetite of a bear. He never showed signs of pain and I am baffled now at is strength. Sometimes I kinda wish he was a wuss so I would know when something was wrong. 🙁
Right!? I know, as their parents we end up feeling guilty that they didn’t alert us they were hurting! Why can’t they talk!
How has that machine not been invented yet??
I can only say that my heart is with you and Jake and it hurts so much for what you’re dealing with. But I know that Love makes it all worthwhile. I have several dogs and they’re all advanced in years. I’ve lost 4 since January so I know about this 😉 I hope that Melvin was there to welcome my girls and I know that they will be there to welcome Jake when his time comes. But can I say that you are a genius! Yoga mats? I never would have thought of those. And covering the ramp with them. Brilliant! Jake is fortunate that you are taking care of him, it could have been me. 🙂 .
I don’t know where to start, that you lost four since January or that you had four to lose (I love multi animal households and miss it!). I’m so sorry, what happened? I love the thought of our furry angels forming a huge gang, it brings me joy!
Love makes the decisions, I couldn’t have said it better!
Thanks so much for keeping us updated! That’s really pawsome that Jake is enjoying his second and third helpings and peanut butter on demand! Cancer can be no match for a food-hungry Frenchie. (Our rescue Bella, with advanced brain cancer, rested her head in her food bowl until she licked it clean, morning and night). Joy indeed! Many good thoughts (and Frenchie eye rolls) from our fur family to yours. xoxo Rebecca & Sir Humphries
I love the vision of Bella doing that!
I’m so glad to read that Jake is still hanging tough! Keep fighting little man!
Continued good thoughts, prayers and cyber-hugs to you and Jake.
Oh poor Jake. We are so sorry to hear how poorly he’s been. We are thinking of you all *hugs and whiffles*