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.