Follow Up

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I have had so many emotions and thoughts running through my heart and soul lately.  It has been a rough 3.5 days since Nesta passed.  All I want to do is spend my time memorializing him – I’ve been writing, praying, going on our usual walk around the neighborhood – alone, looking through photos and videos and dedicating all my yoga practices to him.   I feel that I cannot get back to my normalcy until I am able to fully allow my love for him to express itself in all the ways It needs to.  It’s a strange feeling.  I have had the hardest time getting back into teaching my weekly  yoga classes.  I took the entire week and half off teaching when I found out he was terminal, and now that he is gone, I can’t seem to focus and center myself enough to go be a teacher again.  I wonder when that will get better?  I’m sure my fellow teachers are getting tired of covering my classes.   When I teach yoga, I put all my heart into it, and I expend a great deal of energy.  I’m afraid of getting emotional while teaching.  I have been able to work at the restaurant where I wait tables without much hesitation, I kind of ‘check-out’ there.  It’s the leadership of teaching that is so hard for me right now. I guess all of my energy is tied up in grief – I have lost my vigor, I feel so bland and sullen.

Nesta’s passing was very peaceful on Monday night. The vet who came to our home, was new to us.  But I knew from reading his website and articles, and after speaking with him several times on the phone, that he was exactly who we were looking for to help us, help Nesta.  I believe Nesta knew it was finally the time he had been ready for.   He seemed to be very serene and at peace the hours preceding the Dr.’s arrival.  He was relaxed and sleepy most of the afternoon, which was not his usual anxious and uncomfortable state as of lately.   As soon as Dr. Tillman walked into the door, Nesta greeted him with perfect gentleman behavior, sensing the Dr.’s care and concern for him.   He then laid down on his bed closest to the front door (which he had not touched all week) and fell right back asleep, even as Tillman was listening to his heart and giving him an exam – Nesta was this comfortable with the situation!  As Nesta took his last precious breaths with his adorable head in my hands, I immediately felt as if I had been wrapped in a warm blanket.  The peace that surrounded me was palpable, and I knew it had to be Nesta telling me thank you and I love you.

Nesta is now my very special angel spirit; a huge piece of my heart is his forever.

I am writing a timeline about our 11 years together, with as many specific memories as I can think of.  This may take some time, as I know they will continue to come to me.  I also plan to write a tribute letter or poem for him.  I will post to the blog eventually. So until then….much love.

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All The Support I Received

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So just to keep this thing updated, I have cut and pasted my last two posts in my “Need Advice Quick” topic in the forum.  Mainly because I don’t feel like I could possibly re-hash all the fear and frustration I was feeling on this day – Monday, 9/16.   I was glued to Tripawds on this day, in desperate need of any advice or support that anyone could offer.  I knew in my deepest gut what I needed to do for Nesta, but I was having an extremely hard time accepting it.  I was literally hanging on to the last words of people on the forum, waiting to hear them tell me that it was okay to go ahead and make the call.   Shew, what a support system in a time of need!   I just hope that I will soon be able to be that person for others in this same situation.

As a way to honor and remember some of their kind words of encouragement, I have cut and pasted the last half of the thread on here.  But I also wanted to mention that it wasn’t only through this forum post where I received the support.  I was offered support through the comments on my other blog posts, private messages, given phone numbers and emails to use – which I did!  I also found a great deal of support by reading other’s blogs and understanding their own stories and perspectives.  All of it was a true God-send.

Here is the last half of my blog post:

“Oh God. I did it.  I just did it, something led me to just call him back.  I called the vet and made the appointment and he’s going to be here at 7:30 tonight.  This is the worst feeling in the world.  That I have to say goodbye to my Nesta tonight.  What the f%*! is happening?

Please pray for me and sweet Nesta tonight.  I do not know how I am going to get through this.  Tears are streaming.

I described everything to him and told him how I don’t feel like his pain is that bad, but he is still not eating and just existing.  And he said ” At this point, you just have to realize that you are not prolonging his life, you are prolonging his death.” And I guess that is true, huh?

I think the only way to heal from this is to begin the process and to begin, I guess Nesta must go to Rainbow Bridge now.

What if he rallies again before 7:30???  Do I chicken out again?  This is not an emergency, and I almost feel like I need one.

Thank you for letting me unload.  This is ridiculous.”

 

Oh, Kassi,

I’m so sorry. I know this is such a difficult decision. Please try not to feel guilty. You’re vet said it very wisely, take comfort from those words. And know that Nesta loves you and knows that everything you do is to help him.

You will get through this. You will be sad, but that’s okay. And we will all be sad with you and be here for you. You will have many thoughts and prayers with you tonight and in the days ahead.

With love,
Carol

 

I’m thinking of you and Nesta now, much love and prayers.

Kat and A’Tuin

 

Us here, too.  I gave Jackson an extra kiss and toy toss in Nesta’s honor.  Nesta will no longer be in pain…but always in your heart.  You’re doing the right thing.

~ Katy & Jackson

 

I’m so sorry Kassi. Please know that your feelings and indecisiveness is something we ALL go through at this point in the journey. It’s human nature, don’t beat yourself up. But I know that what led you to make that call was your heart. Listening to it isn’t something humans are very good at but when they do, the world around them eventually makes sense. It will someday for you too, but until then, this is just going to really, really suck.

My heart goes out to you. Nesta will always be loved and adored here. Please remember he won’t ever be forgotten in your pack or ours.

{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

 

I am sending you tons of love and hugs and strength.  I can’t imagine how tough this is.  I am so sorry you have to go through this :(

All my love,

Erica

 

Our heart goes to you at this difficult time. As hard as it was it was your love for Nesta that brought you to make that call. Your boy will not be forgotten.

Esther and her Snoop

ANd then my last post:

Thank you ALL – so very much.  I can’t tell you how much all of your words and compassion means to me.  You absolutely helped me get through one of the most difficult weeks of my entire life, I really don’t think I could have done it without you all.  I was glued to the blogs and forum posts, trying to absorb all the words of wisdom and trying to understand other’s experiences so that I could better cope with my own.

Nesta is now my very special angel spirit, he passed very peacefully in our arms last night around 9:45pm.  Oh how I miss him so much already.  My heart aches today, and still I don’t think it’s truly set in yet.  But last night, I did feel a very  calming sense of relief the moment he took his last breathe in my arms.  He is free from pain and suffering now.  Oh my dear sweet Nesta.

Thank you all again.  With much love and admiration – Kassi {with Nesta forever in her heart}   

Oh Kassi, my heart goes out to you, I’m so sorry. Yes, that sense of relief is real, as weird as it is to feel relief at something like that.

We know how much this hurts. Please know that Nesta’s life will always be celebrated and a source of inspawration for all of us, new and old members alike. I hope that helps you feel better in some small way.

Many, many hugs coming to you and your pack.

Kassi,

I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts…so many of us here know. Nesta is at peace. I think it’s good that you felt that sense of relief because it means you know you made the right decision at the right time.

Nesta will live in your heart and your memories forever. He had a happy wonderful life, and he loved you so much. He wants you to always feel that love.

Take care of yourself.

Carol

It’s a wonderful thing we can do for our beloved pets.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.  We have to guess, sometimes, when the time is right.  Other times, it’s obvious.  As for Nesta, it sounded like “just existing” wasn’t any way to live.  Compound that with pain, not eating, and discomfort…well…  Nesta is in a good place now.  He lives on here and in your heart.  I’m so happy and at peace to hear his passing was smooth, sweet, and loving.  A beautiful way to go.  Wouldn’t that be the best for us?  Run free and fast, Nesta.  We miss you terribly!  We all hope you’re enjoying your freedom.  We miss you, Nesta.

~ Katy & Jackson

 

Kassi,
I’m so sorry for your loss of Nesta. Your love for him through this and to the end was strong and constant. The relief you felt is affirmation that as hard as it was you, you made the right decision for him. He knows and he will always be with you and in your heart.

Esther and her Snoop

Kassi, I’m so sorry your Nesta is gone.  That particular part of the journey is the very hardest part.  Everyone one of us on these forums has been there at some point, so we all know how you feel.  Please know that you did the right thing for your boy.  He’s now running free with all the other brave Tripawds who have gone before him.  Thank you for sharing your boy with us.  You are in our thoughts.
 

 

 

This roller coaster is going down again

Last night was not a good night for Nesta.  I can tell he is so uncomfortable.  Sunday was not as good as Saturday, by the end of the night, he was back to being nauseous with no appetite for anything.  I can tell he is fighting with all he has.  He is so bony these days.  It has been about a week and half since he hasn’t been eating well.  He coughs a lot more than usual, (he’s always  been the dog who hacks here and there, like something is caught in his throat).  But now it’s as if something is really caught in his throat.  He is still drinking more water than usual, and his gums remain nice and pink lately.  But he’s so weak and has a hard time holding himself up off the ground when he tries to poop out what little he has to offer.  When I lay with him, he is so restless.  Can’t get comfortable, and jumps every now and then as if something is hurting him.

This morning, I have been thinking about calling the Vet back again.  This time feels more appropriate to me, although I still feel cowardly.  We had a great weekend together, the three of us, with several visits from family.  I think Nesta was holding out for that, because he knew we needed that closure.  Today, he seems to be looking at me with a lost look in his eyes.  When I go to snuggle with him, I loose it and start to cry as special memories begin to creep into  my thoughts.  He licks my nose and face and then re-adjusts himself to get a better look in my eyes.  I have been hiding my tears from him for the most part this week, but today, I need him to experience them.

I did my yoga practice this morning; he is usually always on the floor beside me during my morning ritual.  When he heard my mat roll out, and my breathing begin to deepen, he did what he always does.  He rallied yet again, hopped into the living room and plopped down on his bed beside my yoga mat.

Is it time, is it not time, is it time, is it not time?  Oh, some things seem so normal, but mostly, I know, he is not normal, and I don’t think that old normal with ever be back again.  And then to confirm that for me, he jumps and fidgets again as if something is eating his insides.  And then he looks at me with wide, irritated eyes.  I think he’s ready to be happy and feeling good again.  I don’t think he has time for this anymore.

One day at a time…

Today was the day we had set for  the appointment. I made it in a desperate state of mind yesterday for 9am this morning.  Nesta was nauseous and extremely lethargic and disinterested for most of the day yesterday.  We discovered Pepcid AC helps tremendously with the nausea and then I remembered we had some Tramadol from Kyle’s dog Tahoe.  These together seemed to help him feel better toward last night and I could not believe how relaxed and engaging he was when I returned from work.  This morning, I woke at 6am and called the vet to push our time back to 1pm, I still hesitated as I had a feeling today would be a good day.  The weather is beautiful – felt like Fall as soon as we took him out to pee this morning.  Standing outside in the cool morning air, watching Nesta bounce around the yard as he sniffed and pee’d, I could tell things were going to be different today.  He was acting more like himself once again.  How could I possibly say goodbye when he is acting more like himself than he had been all week?  I called again at 11:15 to call it off with his “appointment to transcendance”.  Today is not the day.

We believe his turn around to be a combination of things:  Nesta LOVES fall weather, and all week last week it was hot and humid.   Kyle was home, and that was the first time all week he had been there in the morning.  I think he feels more complete when we are all together.  And the new medications have helped him feel better.  But we understand that you can put a “bandaid” on anything, and it will relieve the symptoms for at least a little while –  a little while.

All day be has rallied.  We have had the windows open in the house, so he hears things going on in the neighborhood  and diligently barks at any off noise, follows us around the house, and plops down on the floor in whatever room we are in.  My dad came over to see him one last time; we sat outside in the front yard on a blanket and he snuggled with my Dad taking advantage of his awesome head rubs.  Still, his appetite is not quite right.  We try everything with him, and we never know if he will like it or not.  If he does like it, he usually eats a bite or two and then turns his nose away.  Pizza is his most favorite naughty snack, so we ordered one today for lunch, and boy that was the most interested in food I have seen him all week!   For dinner, we cooked him a chicken breast and he gobbled that right up as well.   So that’s something to be happy about.  Feeding Nesta and seeing him happily devour it has always brought me joy.  His sweet little belly continues to look swollen, and he is not interested in walks in the neighborhood anymore.  He did, however, walk all the way down the steep hill in our backyard tonight, he also did this on our other “good” day.

Right now, I’m trying to enjoy his presence and know that each day is a gift from God.  I don’t know how long he will remain stable like this, but I will take it while I can.  …One day at a time….  Oh, and we DID get his beautiful blue Tripawds bandana in the mail on Thursday, and like Jerry said,  it must have magical healing powers!  He looks so dapper in it, and I can’t wait to get the photos downloaded so I can share them soon!

 

Update on my precious Nesta

I have managed to be at home with Nesta all week, until today.  I must go into work for a few hours tonight.  I hate this because we are really coming down to the wire here.  He is not well.  In every sense of the word – he is miserable.  There is not quality left to his life at this time, other than receiving infinite love and affection from me, and Kyle.  When Kyle comes home from work to check on us, he wags his tail, but does not get up.  He has not eaten a single thing that I have offered him.  He is nauseous, constantly smacking his lips and drooling and turning side to side.  He will not lay on any of his beds, we have one in every room practically.  We have managed to get him outside once this afternoon, and he does it just to please us.  He does not pee, he only just plops down in the grass.

It’s going to be a surreal night at work, I’m so upset I have to go in.  But maybe it will be good for me to see the world for a little bit today.   I have not called to make the appointment for tomorrow yet, but I guess I need to go and do that now.  Please pray for him tonight – pray that he is able to hang in there for one more night, until tomorrow when he will have that wonderful opportunity to transcend this life into another.   Pray there is no crisis between now and then.

 

 

This is so Frustrating!

We are in the midst of the ups and downs, I suppose.  Nesta puked Tuesday night – a lot.  I think it was a result of giving him ground beef for dinner, which he enthusiastically scarfed down.  He never eats red meet and he ate a lot of it, which he probably doesn’t have room for in his stomach now because of the tumors taking up all the space.  So I am chalking it up to that.    And then yesterday morning, he did the same thing afte drinking a lot of water.  He was super lethargic and didn’t move from one spot in the house all day, seriously, for 10 hours.

But then last night, his gleam and glitter came back and he was walking around the house, drinking while standing at his water bowl, and interested in what I was cooking for dinner – just like always.  This morning he still seems more alive than he did yesterday- so much more interested and following me around the house!!  I’m so happy to see this, I love having my shadow back, but UGH, this is the most frustrating week ever!!!

Yesterday I even called the home hospice/euthanasia to make a potential appointment for today, but now it seems Nesta is trying to show me he’s okay.  He’s still weak and is not interested in going for walks.  But inside the house I can tell he wants to be with me, I feel guilty for spending so much time on my laptop lately.  I feel like I have been glued to TriPawds this week.  Thank God for this community!  I now wish I had been more diligent in writing posts about our days over the past 9.5 months.  There is so much we did, so much adventure, so much fun!   I guess I can go back in time and jot down some stories to remember.  Im trying not to have regrets about anything , but of course I do.  I just ordered his “Tripawds Rule” Bandana early this week, and he hasn’t even gotten to wear it yet!!!!!  Why didn’t I order it 9 months ago???  It could be broken in, stained and and beaten up by now.

All I want to do is lay on the floor with my boy and talk to him and try to figure out how he feels about all this.  I am even thinking about contacting a pet communicator, even though I feel I can read him already.  But I feel like they could provide some insight.  I wonder if anyone here has used a pet psychic before?  Here is a blurb from one’s website that I found today online:

 “Facing an animal companions dying process and death may be one of the toughest things we will ever go through in our lifetime.  Let Amanda help make this difficult time a little more comfortable for you and your beloved animal family.  She can   easily relay your animals’ perspective on what they are experiencing and what you can do as their caregiver to ease their journey into the Afterlife.”

 Amanda states:  “Communicating with animals that are nearing their passing and animals that have already passed is by far my favorite part of this work.  I feel a very special connection with animals that are nearing their departure or are no longer in their physical form. 

 “It brings me great joy and satisfaction to assist humans in finding the comfort and peace of mind, in knowing that death is not the end for dear animal friends; it may in fact be the beginning of a new and exciting journey for the two of them together.”

Bad News

Here is my follow-up post in the forum about precious Nesta.  To save from another re-hash, I have just copied and pasted it.

Well….I’m back.  Been avoiding writing this for a day.  My heart is shattered; I’m at a loss and I don’t know what to do.  Nesta is in bad shape.  How in the world this happened so quickly, I will never understand!  All a sudden, he has two large tumors on his spleen, and several smaller ones on his liver.  He has loose fluid and blood in his abdomen, which shows he has been bleeding internally.  I knew something was happening, and actually I think I can even say that I know the bleeding must have occurred last Thursday night, when I could tell something was happening with him. The oncologist says she does not recommend any treatments from here, like chemo or even surgery.  Damn it!  What happened?  We were doing so well.  She says he has anywhere from a day to a month left in him.  But how and when am I supposed to decide that?  What is going to happen?  She says this is very uncharacteristic of osteosarcoma to redevelop in the abdomen, but she has seen it before.  She mentioned it could also be hemangiosarcoma.  But we will never know without doing surgery.  How can it be that such a healthy vibrant dog could get two different kinds of terrible cancer?  She said in all her years, she has only seen about 6 cases of osteosarcoma moving into the abdomen.  But maybe we are in that small percent.

Right now he is very dumpy.  Being very picky about what he eats, just wants to lie around.  Goes outside only to pee and then wants to come right back in.  His belly is swollen and looks heavy.  But it wasn’t like that last week!!  I can’t believe this.   How do you know when it’s time?  I am still hung up on some miracle happening.  I don’t want to just give up.  But maybe Nesta wouldn’t mind that?  Ugh. This is the hardest thing (besides loosing my mom when I was 19) that I have ever had to go through.  I have regrets.  Maybe I should have done chemo. Or maybe he would still be battling this anyway.  I feel like I should have/could have done more. I know, I know, don’t feel that way.  But its so damn hard not too!  He is my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my LIFE.  this hurts so bad. – See more at: http://tripawds.com/forums/treatment-and-recovery/need-advice-quick/#sthash.gpZ4WE49.dpuf

11th Birthday Blues

Here is my post from the Forum today:

I am going stir crazy in the house today…..trying to decide what to do for Nesta.  Of course, it’s Sunday, and I can’t do anything without taking him to Emergency Vet which will double the cost, and I can’t really tell if this is an emergency or not!   He has not been eating normally since Thursday.  And usually he is drooling for his food at meal time, with a huge appetite.  He eats delicious food, I would eat it (if I ate meat).  At meal time, he turns his head away from his food, the only thing I have gotten him to eat the past few days is scrambled eggs and sardines, and this equals about 1/2 cup at each meal.  He has been very tired, not wanting to go for walks, and also has been drinking A LOT more water than he usually does.  His belly seems really bloated and taut (but I don’t think it’s bloat), and he seems to be having a difficult time standing on his one back leg.

What has happened??  We just celebrated his 11th birthday on Friday, and he didn’t even show interest in the frosty paws I made for him.

Can someone tell me if they would take their dog to the emergency vet over this?  Or should I wait until first thing in the morning and call my regular vet?  I feel like I’ve waited long enough, hoping he would get better, but he hasn’t.  And now it’s Sunday!!  Ugh. There are so many thoughts and worries going through my head about what this could be.   I’m ready to find out what it is.  But I really hate going to the emergency vet, it’s so sterile, and we have lots of sad memories there.  But what if I wait and something really bad is going on inside Nesta, and then it’s too late by the morning? – See more at: http://tripawds.com/forums/treatment-and-recovery/need-advice-quick/#p109328

Now, a little while after writing this, I have been doing research, and am starting to wonder if it is pancreatitis.  They say it is more common in dogs with hypothyroidism, which he has had for about half his life.  I think I might stick it out for another night, and take him to our regular vet in the morning.  Pancreatitis does not look like a fun thing to contend with….this is just a wild guess in the sea of a million other possibilities of what it could be.