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I. Am. Tired.

It’s funny how a little thing like not being able to breathe, can really slow a dog down. I sure want to run and play, but I just can’t.

The last couple of days have been hard. Although I’m eating like a horse (because of the Prednisone I’m now on), the nasty lung mets have been taking their toll on my breathing, and I’ve been hacking and coughing an awful lot.

Even an increased dosage of Prednisone didn’t really seem to keep me from panting. Robitussin doesn’t help anymore and I’ve stopped getting up to nose around, except to go to the bathroom.

Mom and Dad have been agonizing over what to do next. The “only thing” really wrong with me, is that I can’t breathe. I’m eating, I’m going potty, and I’m just as cuddly as ever.

Last night I had a hard time settling down, and coughed all night. My breathing went from bad to worse in less than 24 hours. This surprised and scared my pawrents enough to bring me to the closest town, Jackson, Wyoming, to hopefully see a vet tomorrow.

I’ve always been honest with you about how I’m coping with my bone cancer. I don’t want to hide anything, because information is power. And you bone cancer dog pawrents should know what to expect in order to be prepared, so that you can love your dog as much as possible without any extra surprises.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Mullins told my people what to expect and gave me a prognosis of two weeks to two months. Tomorrow will be two weeks. And even though I have regained my appetite, and always proven the prognosticators wrong, my people are ready to accept the unavoidable inevitable. I sure am.

As you know, eventually, all of us with osteosarcoma will succumb to it. Bone cancer is just one route that many of us will take as we journey into the next life/dimension/universe, whatever you want to call it. Some journeys take longer, some aren’t long enough. I’ve been lucky enough to have nearly two incredible years since my diagnosis. But my friends, I think that I am coming to the end of my long journey. I am just so tired.

There have been subtle ways I’ve been trying to say this to my Mom and Dad. Other than the breathing, the last few days I haven’t been able to walk much farther than the distance it takes to go outside the RV and go potty. Dogs walking by don’t get me riled up anymore, and just today when a herd of buffalo was crossing the road – seriously! – I just didn’t care. This all came on very suddenly.

It’s hard for my humans to see that we might be near the end of our time together, but I think they are coming to grips with it now. Last night, they both agreed that to watch (and hear) my breathing get worse – and to continue feeding me more pills with the false hopes of making it better – would be unfair, and go against the pact we made when I was diagnosed.

We promised each other that I would live life to the fullest, and have a great quality of life, without excessive medical intervention. If my quality of life wasn’t there anymore, we would say our goodbyes until that day we meet again over the Rainbow Bridge.

Please don’t be sad for me and tell me to fight on. We are not giving up. We have just come to that point of acknowledgment, where the fight isn’t worth the rewards. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I promise to let you know very soon.

With much love,

Jerry

16 Responses to “I. Am. Tired.”

  1. Dear Jerry,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. We know that you are tired and have fought bravely and well. Although you don’t want us to, I know that there are many who, like me, have tears in their eyes as they read your post. But, we also understand, that it may be time for you to move on, with your spirit dog, to another, beautiful place. My “Luna” will be waiting for you, but she’s just learning the ropes of this new place by the Rainbow Bridge as well. Remember, one of the last things I said to Luna before she passed, was to be on the lookout for “Jerry”.

    I will say that I don’t want you to go, Jerry, none of us want that, but we don’t want you to have anything hurt you or distress you either, and that is where we have to let go, whether we like it or not, or want it or not, and that is a concept that your pawrents know very well. You are a very lucky dog, Jerry, and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Love,

    Sandra Thomas
    Burghard Shepherds
    Lake Mary, Florida

  2. Wow you guys, you are all so awesome, thank you for those powerful loving thoughts.

    Check out today’s blog post though, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    We love you all, thank you.

  3. Dearest Jerry, Jim & Rene,

    My dearest friends. We all knew this day would come; we just didn’t know when. I am deeply depressed over hearing this, although you warned us 2 weeks ago that mets were winning this battle. I know that Pam and Tazzie recommended theophylline & albuterol (as bronchodialators). I have been asthmatic all my life and the only way I could breathe was through the use these bronchodialators. Then, as you may remember, I had the upper lobe of my right lung removed because of adenocarcinoma. That’s when they added a new type of steroid inhaler and Atrovent, plus the albuterol and theophylline to help me breathe. I was on oxygen 24/7 for over 2 months before I was able to breathe sufficiently on my own. I will say that I told my friends that I did not want to live if I had to be on oxygen for the rest of my life, but eventually my remaining lungs were able to help carry the load. The bronchodialators do help immensely. But, I would imagine that, by now, you’ve already discussed these options with Jerry’s vets.

    I admire both of you for knowing what it means for Jerry to have a “quality” life and understanding that he may need a little extra help when his suffering becomes too much. Jerry’s lack of interest in the things around him is something I can hardly even imagine after watching all his frolicking in the youtube.com videos. With all your love and help, Jerry has put up the good fight.

    Every day, the first thing I have done for the last 2 weeks, is to sign onto your site to check your blog. I had been so concerned about the forums for so long, that I would forget about the blog. I know the day is coming soon when your (and our) beloved Jerry crosses to the “Rainbow Bridge”. I am praying for you that his passage is painless and, once again, Jerry will be able to run free and be happy. But, knowing that he is missing the two true loves’ of his life, his pawrents, he will always be watchful of the day that he suddenly sees you walking toward the Bridge and your hearts will forever be bonded as one.

    I love you guys so much. Jerry, you’re such a great dog. May peace be with you.

    Love, Vicki Tankersley, Blazer & Kitty Kimber

  4. I know I’m not alone in sitting with tears dripping onto my keyboard. I don’t want to read what you’ve had to write because I don’t want it to be happening. But I have read your words and I know it is happening.

    I wish your pawrents strength and I wish you, Jerry, peace and comfort.

    Darcy sends you a tail wag.

    With love
    Bev
    x

  5. Jerry,
    I am so sorry that you are having problems breathing. Sometimes a bronchodilator like theophylline or albuterol can help open up the remaining airways and help you move more air, but I know that your tumor is very large so it might not work.

    I just wanted you to know how helpful this website has been to me. I will continue to recommend it to other doctors and pawrents. You have helped so many dogs have a better quality of life; you guys are truly amazing!! I wish you the best…
    Pam and Tazzie

  6. Jerry,
    I am so sorry that you are having problems breathing. The only thing I can think of that might help a little is a bronchodilator like theophylline or albuterol, which can help open up the airways that aren’t affected by the cancer.

    Tazzie and I wish you the very best! This site has been so helpful with all of my questions and concerns, and I continue to recommend it to other doctors and pawrents. You have helped so many other dogs lead better quality lives; you guys are truly amazing!

    Pam and Tazzie

  7. Dear Jerry, Rene, and Jim,

    Many hugs and love to you. Please know you are in my thoughts and when the time comes, Finny will be waiting for you to continue that big play date in the sky.

    Much love,

    Andrea

  8. Uh, aw.. man.. *sniff*

    Jerry, their names are Ian and Rufus. Would you please tell them how much we miss them? And of course, we love them very much and always will. They know that, but if you could slip that in too..

    Fair winds, my friend.

  9. Troy, Lalla and Sasha September 28, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    We love you Jerry

  10. Dear Jerry, Jim, and Rene,

    We hold you in our thoughts and in our hearts. We love you. Peace be with you.

    Codie Rae and Martha

  11. Jerry,
    It’s been awhile since I checked in on you, and I’m so sorry you’re feeling yucky. I remember when Barley was going through the same thing like it was yesterday. Gregg, Morel and I are thinking about you and your pawrents with lots of love and hugs. You’re a very special guy!

    Carey

  12. Jerry, Rene, and Jim,

    We love you all so much. We know you can feel the love that we all are sending across the miles.

    Barney sends licks which accompany my hugs for you all,

    Linda and Barney – Houston, Texas

  13. Jerry I know it must be painful to not be able to breathe well. My pawrents and I are deeply sorry you’re having to deal with this. You are very special to more doggies and people than you have any idea about. Dear Jerry, I hope you rally, but if you don’t, I know you have had the very best of best times with your dearest family and you have given them the most wonderful gift of their lives. No one could ask for more. And on top of that, you have given a wonderful gift to the rest of us as well. Many, many hugs. Lots of love, Sandy and mom

  14. Jerry
    Mom and I are praying for a miracle for you. We are rooting for you.
    Titan and mom

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