United States of Motherhood: Death on a Time Line

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Death on a Time Line

I just got a call from the vet nary minutes after my last post.

I listened calmly as the vet told me the x-rays show the cancer had metastasized.

It was in her lungs. If we left the tumor on her shoulder, it would cause her pain. If we took it out (lungs inoperable), handling tumor could cause cells to slough and spread to make more tumors which didn't matter since it already has. Spread.

It was likely either way she would have less than a year because of lungs.

Tumors grow slow in lungs. They grow faster in shoulder muscle and then bone.

It was my choice. Up to me. I told her quietly I would call her back.

Then I went to the laundry room and bawled.

CG found me.

Was one more possible year worth surgery, another $1000 operation we really can't afford, and potential pain for her if slough cells grow back into tumor?

CG called vet back for details since I couldn't remember them. All I heard was pain, one year tops, and metastasized.

I love him for saying while looking at my teary, dripping face that of course we would operate.

He is usually the one who doesn't do death well. I am usually the pragmatic one.

I even teased him about it last week. His coping mechanism is avoidance. So when I heard PB tell Li'l Man on Monday after overhearing my call to the vet about Grendel's surgery that , "We shouldn't think about Grendel's tumor. We shouldn't even think about it. Ignore it."

As if it would go away? I told CG that she was his daughter.

This way will keep her optimistically pain free unless other tumors start. This way will keep her with us maybe one more year.

I hate making the decisions. I wish I could find her gone in her sleep rather than having to make these hard decisions.

This also reminds me how fleeting life is amongst other loved ones in my life. If I am this much a bloody mess about our Grendel girl, I don't know how I will handle my 70 year old parent's mortality.

It hurts too much.

Cancer seems so vague.

One year is too much information.

Now I will wait for a year. It gives me more time, but it also gives me more heart ache.

For now I wait to hear news from vet about operation. She has no worries that her 14 year old body can handle it.

Now me? I just can't seem to stop crying this week. Seb follows me around room to room. He is my shadow, the big lug. Grendel is my baby.

How will I tell the children??

Sadly, here's an update...


Ferbit said...

{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} I am so sorry to hear about Grendel! Poor baby! I will definitely keep her in my prayers! Let us know how everything goes!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Oh that sweet face. I hope the surgery turns out well - thinking of you and the whole family, fuzzy ones too.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I am so sorry. SO sorry. Oh, what a face on that pup.


(I'm so sorry.)

Dumblond said...

I can't even imagine having to be faced with something that heartbreaking. All you can do is just make this next year the best ever for your furry friend.
Good luck.

Kari said...

I am so sorry for you guys, this is really heartbreaking. The dog is beautiful. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Scout's Honor said...

You can find an update here:


Scout's Honor said...

Our latest update here:

Death & Family: She Glued Our Hearts


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