This roller coaster is going down again

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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.

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15 thoughts on “This roller coaster is going down again”

  1. Kassi,
    I am sorry about this decision for Nesta. Maybe he is trying to tell you its time. That lost look in his eye? the fidigiting? I can’t tell you what to do that is a decision that you have to make. Have you read the penny jar post?

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. I cannot tell you the “right” answer, because I think it’s different for everyone. I did blog about my own thought process last week, though. Feel free to read it–we may not each have the same answers, but maybe it will help knowing you are not alone in struggling with the decision.

    1. Your blog has helped me a lot this week. Thank you.
      Your words “He is no longer living with cancer, he is dying with cancer” have stuck with me the past few days. How long did you wait once you realized this?

      1. For us, it was very quick. He had slowed down, to be sure, but those moments of “not there” were still far apart, and he could still do all of the things he enjoyed–even if it was at a slower pace or shorter intervals.

        When we came back from vacation, there was just something…missing in his eyes most of the time. Which is why I did the xrays–b/c I knew that if it was what I feared it was, that missing piece was not going to come back. Instead, it would simply get larger and larger, until it robbed both of us of happy last days. He was never going to tell me it was time to go. I had to make that decision for the both of us.

        My vet and I were talking, and he said when his first dog had cancer, he, H.C. the pet owner, knew just by looking at him that there was something definitively wrong…but when he was being Dr. C the vet, he couldn’t have found a single thing to point to.

        There is tired, and then there is…tired. Last week, we hit that second tired, and maybe I was the only one who could see it, but it was there. I can point to the series of photos I took on our last day and tell you which ones that look is in, and which ones it isn’t. Pat couldn’t. Jacqie and Dr. C. couldn’t. But I could.

        Our last day was a good day, and there were lots of happy moments, and he spent it doing things he enjoyed. For a moment, I thought…”Well, if he’s having a good time, shouldn’t I wait one more/two more/10 more days?” But I could look at him and see that while yes, he was having a good time, that sense of tired, that sense of his limitations being…well, limiting, it was still there.

        Eventually, you get to a point in the journey where you know that your time is coming to an end. There is no miracle cure, there isn’t a “well, odds are just odds, so maybe he’ll be here a year from now,” moment. Me keeping him here was simply for me. And to what end? Another day or three or ten? And would I enjoy those days? Would he? No–I would spend them grieving for him when he wasn’t gone. I would be obsessing about six days from now. And he would get more and more uncomfortable, and our chance at happy moments would ebb away.

        It was time. I knew it was time. I didn’t WANT to know it was time. I certainly didn’t want it to BE time. But there it was.

        And so I let go, and it was…okay. I mean, not okay, but…right.

        Brutal truth–the 24 hours between the deciding and the doing were the hardest b/c I was stuck wrestling with myself. Was it hard after? Of course. It’s hard today. But we weren’t stuck in that limbo anymore–we were on a new journey, and just having a course in front of you is immensely freeing. Painful, but not in the soul-paralyzing way it had been just hours before.

        This isn’t everyone’s process–and my moment, Sam’s moments…they are not yours and Nesta’s, but I hope whatever choices you make, whenever you have your moments, that you are at peace. It is not an easy place to be in. <3

        1. Oh thank you so much! You are So right. I could go on like this for countless days, and the days would not be happy ones, for me or him. I have been grieving for him all week, and he is still here. Your words are so wise, and so helpful. I don’t know that I could do this without you guys. Not sure if you have seen this yet, but I called and made the appointment again. let’s hope I am courageous enough to not cancel again. The doctor is coming over tonight at 7:30. I will say goodbye to the love of my life in just a few short hours. And then a new journey begins.

    1. Thank you Michelle,
      The truth is, when compared to his normal self, even just how he was 2 weeks ago, none of his days have been “good” days. It seems we are now dealing with a new kind of norm – the definition of good and bad has changed a lot. So I am not sure this will help. When I look through the past week, it seems he has had three days where he seemed more alive and comfortable than others.

  3. Kassi,

    I’m so sorry that Nesta isn’t doing well and that you are struggling with the decision of “when”. It’s a decision we never want to have to make…we feel guilty about the choice, worried that we might be wrong. In the end, it’s quality of life that’s important, and if the quality is no longer good than the decision is a gift. Nesta loves and trusts you, so trust yourself to know what is best for him.

    Sending you love,

  4. It seems that Nesta is telling you something.. yet.. you just don’t want to see it. We never want to see it.. but we don’t want our babies to suffer..
    and the decision is hard.. but I know what I would do if I were you.
    But I am not..;.. but I have been there…
    I could have waited another day… just one more week, or just till the weekend.. but to see my sweet boy struggling to breathe, to see his eyes with no spark, that is what killed me… and made that final decision. I could not let him suffer any longer.. so I made that call. And even though he had a good afternoon, and ate steak, and ice cream, and his tail was waggin at the vets office, I knew what was in store if we did not continue.. and I could not let him go one more day struggling.
    Letting them run free is the most unselfish thing that we as pet owners can do for them.. to unhook that leash one last time and let them run in the field beside the bridge, pain free.. is true, furever love.
    I wish you strength at this time….
    Christine….. with Franklin in her heart♥

    1. Thank you Christine. My problem with this is that Nesta does not have the type of pain that seems detrimental and he is not having trouble breathing, although his breathing does seem to be a little faster at times, especially when he’s nauseous.
      His seems to be more discomfort than anything, and obviously something is causing him to be nauseous on a daily basis. And he is not really eating that much at all. We are super excited if we can get him to eat a piece of chicken the size of a chicken strip, and a half a piece of cheese toast. He is slowly starving himself, and his spine and bones are starting to poke out. Is this reason to call it quits? because two of his favorite things in life – eating and going for walks are two things he is no longer interested it? I guess so….? one day, and then the next day, I think that’s just not right.

  5. Megan’s path has been close to yours. Both Sampson and Nesta got worn out. When Megan talks about 2 kinds of tired, I’m thinking that the second one is “worn out.”

    Eating is a big deal. If he is ready to go and his only way to leave is to quit eating and slowly die, then maybe he is in fact telling you that he wants to go. He has no words to use, but his body will speak for him. If it’s his time, listen to him. As hard as it is to know, it is harder to act. But believe me, not acting is still choosing for him. And not acting may put Nesta in a place you really don’t want him to be.

    Choose out of love. He’s worn out and he’s stopped eating. Is he sending you a message? Give him permission to leave. Tell him you’ll be ok without him. Then try your best to believe it so he can go without worrying about you. The hardest thing you can do from your perspective may be the thing he needs most from his.


    1. Thank you Shari. This is all so true, and I had a hard time seeing it for what it was this week. YOu are right, he doesn’t have words to use, and this was his way of telling me he was tired and ready to go. Who really knows how long he had been uncomfortable and feeling just not right. It could have been months, and he just hid it away so well. Then that last week, he was so worn out, his body dimenished. He trusted our love to be strong enough that he could show me he was ready and I would listen. I am so glad that I did.

  6. Ohhhhh my dear sweet Kassi……I wish there was a magic button on this stupid computer that we could all push and it would zap us over to you so we could surround yo with comforting hugs.

    I wish dogs could use the ohne and “make theirown appointment” when tney are ready for the crossover to the other side of life.

    I’m sure…..and I mean it…..I’m SURE Sir Nesta gave you a lovely week-end to help you feel “complete” whenever his crossover does take place. And you have given him…..and are c tinuing to give him…..the magnificence of your loving heart and devotion for him to carry with him on his new journey.

    I don’t kow if there’s ever a “right time” as you are in the decision process. That only seems to reveal itself upon reflection a little later.

    Kassi, remember, whatever you dcide and whenever you decide it, any decision out of that kind of selfless place in your soul is the right decision.

    Something that brngs me a touch of comfort during this “gift” is this. I summon every ounce of strength can find….I call on all my Guardian Angels……I do WHATEVER IT TAKES, to keep my energy as upbeat as possible. I keep the joy of their life in the forefrnt of my every move, my every thought. I try to make sure they feel the applause in my heart for the wonderful life they have shared with me. They will know I will be okay…..they will know their need to transcend to a higher level brings me peace for them They will leave seeing and feeling a smile in my eyes and a thankful heart for the life of love and joy we shared.

    Later, I crash to the floor not wanting to go on and sobbing so hard I have no idea how I ever can catch my next breath. This lasts a long, long time. The happy memories eventually restore my soul and I am able to stay in a place of gratitude for we life we had, as opposed to the life we lost.

    Stay with Sir Nesta. He is with you. Forever with you. We are with you. Forever with you.

    Calling all Angels to your side…..

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  7. Kassi-
    I wish there was a magic button you could pushand it would make the decision. Although I didn’t have to make the choice for Shooter, I had just made it for my horse of 25 years and it was the hardest week of my life where I wavered just as you are. In the end, the decision is yours and, sadly, it doesn’t make it easier especially when the one we love keeps showing that spirit and will to live, but the body won’t work with them. My thoughts and blessings are with you.


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