November Update

Wow, things went south quickly.  I’m not going to speculate about how we got here, too much potential for “If only…”or “Why didn’t we…” and I just will not go there.  This is all going according to God’s plan, whether I like it or not (and I don’t.  And He knows it.)

So we learned a couple days ago that Tate’s cancer has spread all throughout his abdomen and it is so extensive there is nothing that can be done.   (Although we had decided ahead of time that we weren’t going to do anything, we decided Tate’s had enough.  It really bothered me that he went through x-rays and ultrasound to diagnose this but he’s done with all that now.)  We had no indication anything was seriously wrong; we just noticed he was drinking a lot and then he woke me up a couple times during the night to go out.  Really, I thought it was a side effect of the metronomics, they’d adjust and we’d move on.  His appetite and energy have been fine, everything has been so normally normal you couldn’t get any more normal.   Well, I did notice then that his remaining rear leg was swollen, I probed all around it and he didn’t flinch but I just thought “That’s odd”.  Of course, when the vet examined him, red flags went up everywhere and off Tate went for tests and more tests.  The swelling is edema, the vet explained the mechanism but I don’t remember it.  But the point was, there was nothing in any of Tate’s blood work to indicate a cause and so it must be…a malignancy.  Which ultrasound confirmed.

We found all this out one day before we were leaving for TN and KY.  Yep, we were going to visit ET Gayle.  Rent a cabin on a lake, explore a new part of the country and visit some friends in KY on the way back.  At first, we thought we’d shift gears and go to our own cabin instead but decided the drive might be too much for Tate.  If we could be magically transported there, well, then.  That would be another story.

We also decided on a home euthanasia.  That’s because we really do want to keep Tate out of the vet’s office.

So here we are.  Tate is doing well.  He likes being spoiled, last night he looked at me over his shoulder:  “Time for my belly rub, Mom.”  Today, he turned his nose up at kibble, “You don’t really expect me to eat this, do you?”  : )    He ran a bit with Sam this morning – she wants to play with him so bad but is cutting a wide path around him (thankfully).  He tires easily but we’ve figured out the pain meds and no adverse side effects.  The edema is worrisome but the vet tech assured us that as uncomfortable as it looks, the pain meds are taking care of that.

I can’t tell you how much all your responses to my forum question have helped.  This is such a crummy path to travel but I feel like I have you all holding me up, literally holding me up under the arms like you do with a little kid learning to walk.  This is not a walk I want to learn.  Can’t we just go to the Grand Canyon instead?


Author: tatespeeps

Tate came to us in October 2007, was diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma in February 2011, had a hemipelvectomy on March 15, 2011, and left us on November 28, 2011. He was 5 years old.

12 thoughts on “November Update”

  1. Ugh, I hate that you are going through this. Sweet Tate. The only good thing about it happening so quickly is that at least it sounds like he has been doing really well right up until recently.

    We have been there and we know how hard this is. This is the last big unselfish thing you can do for him.

    We are all here for you. Sending big hugs.
    Jackie, Abby’s mom

  2. I didn’t like reading about Tate’s update on the forums, and I don’t like reading about it here. I’m so sorry about your boy. I wish you guys could have taken your trip. But I’m glad your boy is at home with you. He loves you, and he knows you love him with all your heart, and then some more. That alone will hold you up and make you strong. Let Tate know that there is a whole community of folks who’ve never met him who are sending their love his way.

  3. Oh crap. I so didn’t want to read this about sweet Tate. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like you are being held up by all the support from this community. It is good to know that you are not going through this alone. I just wish you didn’t have to go through it at all. Know that we are all here for you. Sending you lots of hugs,

    Jenna & spirit chili dAwg

  4. Sending love to our Tate! Wishing you all comfort and peace as you finish and meet the end of this journey!! Wish there was more I could say or do!

  5. oh jan, we were all so hoping that tate and sam would come for a visit, but sometimes life doesn’t play fair. gayle and tate would have gotten along famously, we just know it. of course, sometime down the road we know that your sam and our sam will become best friends and for sure they will swap stories!! know that we are here for you, whatever you may need. hugs to you all.

    charon & gayle

  6. Hi Jan, Reading about your Journey with Tate is so incredible, tender and special. My heart goes out to you as you and Tate get through this. You both will get through it. I am here for you so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  7. Jan, can you feel the three legged love surrounding you all? Even the quadpawd monkeydogs are there too. As you walk this last part of the journey, know that you have everyone here to lean on.

    Tate, may those belly scratches continue bringing you lots of hoppiness and smiles. We love you my friend.

  8. Jan and Tate, We are so sorry to hear the news, and Cadence, well she wasn’t her usual frisky self this weekend either after I told her that her friend Tate was not feeling so good. My heart goes out to you guys and I feel so sad, as I do whenever I hear that a beloved tripawd dog and their pack are on the last part of their journey together. I understand the “What ifs”, but everything you did or didn’t do was out of love and in best interest for Tate. Remember he is living in the moment now and just wants you and his pack nearby him. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Licks from Cadence and hugs from us.

  9. I’m so sorry for the sudden change for sweet Tate. Ugh!
    He is so fortunate to have such a incredible family and is so surrounded by love.
    Sending much love & huggs to you all
    Joanne & lylee

  10. Oh Jan, I’m so sorry – this sucks – no other way to say it! I’m so glad you’re at home together making some great memories spoiling Tate! I’m so sorry for Tate’s turn but so glad you’re finding comfort in our commuinty! Many, many hugs! xoxo Sue and Sammy

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