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I think it's time to set Roman free
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Forum Posts: 6
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23 May 2020 - 4:16 pm
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Hi Guys,

My best friend Roman was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma back in late February. His right front leg was amputated on April 7th and we started chemotherapy on april 23rd. The next two weeks were the best ones we have had since his diagnosis. His mobility was great, it was like he was born with 3 legs! He was playing with his brother and enjoying playing in the yard again.

On May 5th he turned 7 years old. we had a great little party for him, I made him and his brother doggy taco bowls and made them pupcakes and gave them doggie froyo. The next night, the night of the 6th, I noticed he was a little wobbly on his legs. he stumbled and had a couple faceplants that day/night. His eye seemed irritated. His inner eyelid was exposed when his eye was open. I looked closer and could see what looked like a broken blood vessel across his iris and pupil. the next morning I took some clear shots and emailed his oncologist as well as mentioned some black stools. He replied asking if it were possible that Roman had gotten into Rat Poisoning! I knew that was not a possibility at all so he was placed on a medication to heal any possible stomach bleeding..The following day, I brought Roman in to have his eye checked out. He was diagnosed with glaucoma. His oncologist said that it was not common, but possible, that his osa had spread to the eye. he scheduled an ultrasound of the eye as well as chest xrays for this past Thursday. 

I received the worst news ive gotten so far…metastasis in the lungs. two lumps that I had found were tested that day as well, showing likely osa cells indicating spreading. His oncologist told me he likely only has days-weeks left and my whole world stood still for a minute. he has these little lumps in several places. I can’t believe how quickly it has spread. I thought I would have more time with him than this. And if this whole experience isn’t awful, going through it during a pandemic has made it even harder.

For the past couple days he will only eat yummy treats and people food. This dog has never had human food in his life..ive always done my best to keep him as healthy as possible..but if he only wants cheeseburgers from here on out then cheeseburgers he’ll have.

I keep hearing that he will tell me when it’s time. ive never had to put a dog down before. I got him when I was 23 years old. he was just 13 weeks. hes’s been by my side while I navigated how to adult. he just means so much to me. What if he is telling me and I’m ignoring it? I don’t want to wait until his bad days outweigh the good…I want his last days to be good days! 

The cherry on top is our governor has announced that my industry can return to work on June 1st. what bad timing! I cannot leave him alone during his last days. I cant even think about returning to work, implementing new guidelines and protocols…scheduling all these people! Im so overwhelmed. 

My boyfriend and I have had the talk and I think we’re going to try to give him one more good week before we say goodbye. Neither of us want to watch him deteriorate any further. This decision is killing me. He just wants to be with me. For the past 7 years he has been my shadow. The only way I can get him to go outside is if I go out there and come back in, he comes to the door to be with me. He goes outside, pees, then immediately lays down. He breathes like he’s run a mile. He’ll hear someone walk by the house with a dog and he still wants to chase them but is just too tired. 

I wish I didn’t have to make this decision. Maybe I should look at it as I have the opportunity to ease his suffering. I have to find it in me to be strong for him and let him go…

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23 May 2020 - 5:39 pm
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Virginia




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23 May 2020 - 5:50 pm
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My heart is shattered to hear this.  I am completely stunned and shocked and so very, very, very sorry to hear Roman will soon need to head to the Rainbow  Bridge. 

And yes, without question, whenever  that ti e does come, he will shed his earthly body that no ,o get serves him.  When he is released from that failing vessel, his Spirit will be free to soar and  rejoice in his new found joy, unencumbered and externally happy. 

You need to know this, okay?  While we look at his time in his earth clothes  as waaay to ahort, that is not how Roman looks at it!  From the first time Roman jumped up on the couch after his amputation, he cherished  every second  of bonus pain free time he had with you!  He clearly had his name stamped on uoir heart the day he was born…as you did his💖   He knew from day one you would always care for him and  love him and give him THE BEST LIFE EVER!!!  And he knows with absolute  certainty that you love him soooo much you will be able to release him when the time comes.

Your love is soooo strong and your bond is eternal and unbreakable.   His release  will be surrounded  by your love, your smile and your gratitude for all the wonderful memories  you shared as you celebrate  him home.

One thing I can suggest so you can stay fully present and in the now with Roman.  You can ask the Vet to give you some clinical signs that maynhalep you process everything . If you have any questions avout the release, you can ask ahead of time. You can also make sure that you can be with Roman regardless of virus rule stuff.  Let the Vet know you wa t this to be peaceful of course, but also a celebration  of Roman and all his wonderfulness.   Then you can put all that aside and just get back to focusing  on Roman.

Also, while lung mets are very tiring, they aren’t usually painful per se.  When my Happy Hannah had mets and she was getting more and more tired, the Vet prescribed  Prednisone and a  low dose of pain med (Gabapentin  pr Tramadol  I think).  Anyway, they both helped to make the breathing  a little easier.  The Pred can maybe help if there is any pressure in the eye.  Did the Vet offer any eye drops for that?  Just thinking  there ,may still be some things to add to Roman’s comfort.

For now, take it day by day.  Don’t  jump beyond one day at a time.  Stay in the NOW!!  Do not let that piece of crap disease  rob you of one second  of your time together.  You can still make memories.   You can still make the tail wag.  You can still spoil, spoil, spoil.  And yes, you can still give him all the junk human food he wants.  And that includes  ice cream!!

It sounds like Roman is atill finding  quality  with his “situation”.  When Roman can’t  be Roman anymore. When the “joy” of his days is diminished in a way that Roman would not want to continue…you’ll be a peace with the decision,  as best any of is can anyway.

And know this to be true.  Roman handled  recovery at top notch speed.  He got back to being Roman pretty much within days.  And you posted avout Roman kn Ziva’s thread.  You encouraged  amd you showed us all what a Tripawd Warrior can look like cery early in. 

As a result, Roman will continue  to inspire.  Roman will let others know that, it’s not the days in your life, but the life in your days”.  And Roman made every  moment the best moment  ever!!

We are here with you in any way we can help, okay??

For now though, go give that sweet Roman a big smooch and hug for all of us…..and a soop of ice cream!!   Seriously, give him steak, scrambled eggs and bacon, a couple of M&M’s, cupcakes, pancakes with syrup!!  Roman will think these “lumps” are a great thinf!!  Silly boy!

Take lots of pictures……especially of him eating  all this junk food!  We’d love to see them!!

Sending  you love and peace

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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24 May 2020 - 9:53 am
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I am so sorry to hear about Roman. 

Dito, Dito, Dito to every thing Sally said. Roman will let you know when Its time, because he will speak to your heart.

I know it’s so hard to make this gut wrenching decision, but remember we do it out of Love. When the time comes you will find the strength because of the love you have for each other.

Just embrace each day, and let him know how much you love him, but I am sure Roman already knows.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 May 2020 - 1:29 pm
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Stacey I can’t even think of the right words right now, I’m just so sad that the cancer was so mean. I know how it must hurt like crazy and I wish I could help somehow. All I can offer is this; Roman is still here, he’s the same dog and he wants the same things in life; to be with you, to make the most of every day and to know that he has taught you well. As hard as it is, be strong, and know that there will be plenty of time for tears later. Right now, love him up and give him the bucket list weeks that you know he would love. Make the most of this time together and cancer cannot win. I can tell you are already doing that so keep it up.

Yes, do make sure of the vet’s protocols for helping him transition over. You want to be sure you can be there for him so as hard as it is to think about, call ahead of time to find out how their clinic is working out these appointments. Also, be sure to check out the How to Prepare for Pet Loss Before It Happens article which discusses things you can do right now before things get so difficult you can’t think straight.

Spoil that boy rotten and know that we are sending lots of love your way. Please let us know if we can do anything to help make this easier OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 May 2020 - 2:41 pm
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I am so sorry to read your story. I just had to say goodbye to my Clyde. I know what you are going through. While with Clyde my vet told me it was time, with Murray and Baxter (Clyde’s older “brothers”) I had to make the decision. Someone told me once “rather one day early than one day too late” when making this decision for our precious furry friends. I hope that I did that with all of them, I think I did. So maybe look at it that way – you will ease him onto his next journey while he is still okay here.

I really hope you know that whatever you do, you are doing your absolute best for Roman. You are putting his needs over yours, and trust your heart to tell you what to do. You are going to give him the greatest gift – a peaceful passing. I will be thinking of you – and when its time, Clyde will be there to greet him for sure!

Virginia




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24 May 2020 - 4:44 pm
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lawcat said
So maybe look at it that way – you will ease him onto his next journey while he is still okay here.

  

Lovely  sentiment  Kristen 💖

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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24 May 2020 - 5:03 pm
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Hi Stacey,

I wish that I had words that could comfort you now, but I know all too well that there are no words to make it so.  My sweet lab “Lucky” went to the rainbow bridge on May 8th and it was one of the hardest times of my life.  I wrote a post “How do you know when it’s time to say goodbye?” and received so much love and support from everyone here on the site.  The support helped me to get through the worst time.  Lucky was diagnosed in November of 2019, had his back leg amputated in December, and started chemo in January.  He was doing great and we were anticipating the end of his chemo treatments in May.  Then he started laying around more, not wanting to eat much, and seemed to be uncomfortable.  He too developed issues with his one of his eyes which originally looked like a regular eye infection, but it didn’t improve with treatment.  We took him back to the vet and he did some tests and confirmed our fears…the cancer had come back in the eye/upper jaw area.  He thought at that time that Lucky had a couple of weeks.  My heart absolutely shattered that day.  Lucky did not have any lung mets so he didn’t have the breathing issues.  I know exactly how you are feeling!  You want to keep Roman with you as long as possible because you can’t bear the thought of him not being there with you.  You keep thinking “how will I know when?” or “will he let me know when its time?”.  There are no easy answers.  I will tell you that once we knew that it was “when” and not “if” , we spoiled him absolutely rotten.  He had cheeseburgers and grilled chicken and whipped cream that he loved.  We sat with him for hours and told him over and over how much we loved him.  We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine.  Typing this now, tears are filling my eyes, as I remember how sweet and yet heartbreaking those last days were.  We worried that we were letting him go too soon, that we were being unfair to him by not letting him have more days.  We had planned to do additional treatments to give him as many good days as we could, but then the cancer was spreading so fast, and we had to make the decison to let him go.  I can’t say that I knew it was exactly the right time, but rather that there might not ever be the right time.  We were with him during his last moments, and though it was so difficult, I am glad that I was.  Our vet was so amazing and patient.  I had never been there before when we had to put our cats to sleep over the years, my husband had always stayed because I didn’t think that I had the strength in me.  With Lucky, I had to find the strength.  It was really very quick and peaceful.  It was helpful to me to talk with someone who had just been through it.  If you need to talk to someone, please feel free to PM me.  For now, enjoy each day with Roman.  Spoil him with cheeseburgers and ice cream.  Give him tons of belly rubs and back scratches.  When it is time, try to remember that you were both blessed to have each other, and that he wouldn’t have changed that for anything.  You will be in my thought and prayers!

Pam

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26 May 2020 - 10:53 am
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Thank you all for your replies. This community has helped so much throughout this whole process, from deciding to amputate, to persuing chemotherapy, and now helping cope with what’s to come. Sorry I haven’t been back in a couple of days, i just knew it would make me emotional to read what you all had to say. Coming here always makes me cry…my heart hurts for all of you who’ve had to feel this pain. 

Sally, how long did Hannah last after her mets was discovered? I know he’s tired but he still wants to play with his ball and chase squirrels and bark at people walking by the house so I just dont think today, or tomorrow,  or even the next day will be the day. We’ve had about 3 good days in a row now. As far as meds, I feel like I have a whole pharmacy for him. He gets Amantadine 100g, prednisone 30mg once a day, and metronidazole 500mg and ondansetron 8mg twice/day. Dorzolamide in his right eye 3x/day and gabapentin 300mg at night.

I’ve talked to his oncologist about saying goodbye and he’s assured me that myself and my boyfriend can be there in their outdoor area to say goodbye. I believe they have a little garden area. It will be beautiful summer day and he’ll be outside in the sunshine. He’ll be so happy that he never has to leave my side again.

We’re spoiling him rotten while we still have time with him. Cheeseburgers from every place around town, vanilla ice cream every day, and yesterday I made him a steak! I’ll be back later to upload some pictures.

I do believe in the “better two days too early than a day too late” sentiment. It’s definitely easier said than done. I just want as long as I can with him. I turn 30 in august…I always imagined him coming with me into the next decade. When he does leave us I’m sure Hannah, Brownie, Jerry, Clyde and Lucky will be there with tail wags and kisses! Roman loves to kiss his doggo friends! 

Pam, your thread was especially hard to read through because of so many parallels between Lucky and Roman. Like Lucky, Roman was doing absolutely awesome until something started happening with his eye. I also found some new lumps. They were going to ultrasound the eye but they tested the lumps first and they came back as cancerous.  Along with his unfortunate xray results he didn’t see a point in checking out the eye. I’ve mourned for all of you while reading your stories but Pam your wound is so fresh. Just know the pain you’re feeling is only indicative of how much love you had for him. Grief is the price we pay for love but oh how it’s worth it!

I’d like to ask you guys how your other dogs handled the loss of their pack member? Have any of your dogs been present for the passing of another? I’m so heartbroken for Mack aswell. We foster failed him almost 2 years ago and him and Roman are the best of friends. I feel bad because Roman has been a little fresh towards him lately.

I will try to come back asap with some pictures! Thank you all!

Virginia




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26 May 2020 - 2:59 pm
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You may not realize  right now, but the strength you have right now shows thru in your post.  And that list exemplifies the unbreakable eternal loving  bond upu hace with Roman.  And I ,mean that.  

Tje way you said basically “today 9s not the day, tomorrow  isn’t  and neithermos the next day” is the way to look at rhings eight now.  You already jade everything in place whenever  that  time does come and uou need not focus on a thing but one day at a time.  It does NOT sou s like Roman is at any crises point, and that’s  good.

Yoi asked about my Happy Hannah. She was eating, wagging, engaged.  All the things the “quality  assessment” would tell you it “wasn’t  time”.  She was very, very tired and mist fping to potty exhausted  her.  Sometimes her breath pattern made her uncomfortable…,maybe even a bit anxious, but I could get that under control.   Reassurance, maybe an extra dose of Tramadol…and ALWAYS FOOD…would settle her!  Happy Hannah was still being Happy Hannah, just a more subdued version with a lower level of quality.

So I think I did it good soon?  Yes!  HOWEVER, when I recall the tipping point for her….the main reason I proceeded….I can balance that feeling with being more at peace with my decision.

The scales started tipping out of her favor when she started not being able to sleep at night.  I had my mattress on the floor and she and my,other dog slept together.  She would wake up and kind of sit up panting.  More treats, etc and she would settle.  My guess is the met was pressing g on her lung when she lay down.  After a night or so of trying propping her up with pillows, etc, I realized  she just wasn’t  able to sleep.  I guess her airway was becoming  more compromised.

Knowingmit could only get worse.  Seceral dogs recently  passed with fluid filling up their lungs.  Tjat scared me,  I know now that the flood can be drained and sometimes  tjey get extended  time, sometimes  it comes back a day later.  Knowing (and this was just specific  to her case) her lungs could fill up with fluid, knowing my Vet who would come to the house was going to be out of town for ten days, knowing I could not get her 125 lb “fluffy” self into the car in case of an emergency,  knowing I wanted a good memory, I made the call for several days out, knowing  I could  cancel of need be.  I cancelled.   I made it several days later.  

I can only say that, Roman is still being Roman, even if at a lower quality.   I can only say that, based on what you’ve described, no, it’s not today, or tomorrow.  And it may not even be a week from now!!  

So, did I do it too early? Is it hard thinking I could have had of couple of weeks?  Yes to both UNTIL I snap myself back into what I defined at the tipping point.  So write that down!!!  Whenever you make the decision,  write down why you made the call.  Believe  me, in the throes  of grief, we second guess and we forget the “whys”.

Answer to one more of your questions.  Because  I was avle to hace a home visit, my dogs have either been present, or have been back in the room afterwards.  I also, amd I hope this isn’t  upsetting to anyone, but I do like to jave the dog with me for  awhile to continue  jer celebration  amd to continue to gove her Spirit time to release.  All my dogs seem to be aware as the Sporot takes form, as the energy leaves the earth clothes.

Ypu asked and I wanted to be honest.   hope none of this has upset you in anyway. 

AMD Roman may just surprise  you and be with you on your birthday!  I know he will be one way or another, that’s  for sire!!  Hey. just had a thoughtz!  Why don’t  you get yourself a birthday cake for you and Roman!  Cel the borth of both of you with oce cream and cake!!  Pictires!!!  And then when Augist comes, you can do it again!!

(((((((((((Extra hugs and love))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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1 June 2020 - 3:18 pm
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Sally that doesn’t upset me at all! I want to do the same. I’m trying my best to prepare myself to hold his lifeless body but I am so so scared.

I’ve found a vet who will come to our house. I’ve started asking details about the process and I’m going to set Roman free this week. I am not ready but he is. To go outside requires him to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, lay down and rest for a couple minutes…I go outside and call him out, begging, because I know he has to go. After a grunt or two he comes outside, down the couple stairs, and lays in the grass until I pretend I’m going back in, at which point he’ll stand up to follow and I’ll tell him to go to the bathroom, and he listens because he’s the goodest boy, then we go back inside. Repeat 3-4x a day and that’s about as much moving around that he does. Eating kibble is a hit or miss, last night he finished his bowl, this morning he ate half. 

He got spoiled this past weekend with leg of lamb..its going to be hard to top that for his last meal but I’m going to try!

Better two days too soon than a day too late…I just hope I’m not already too late. I fear I waited too long and I’ve made him suffer more than he should have. It’s so hard to make the call when he still greets you at the door with a wagging tail when you come back home. I’m going to miss being greeted at the door…Mack gets crated because he can’t be trusted with free reign while we’re gone! 

Virginia




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1 June 2020 - 5:01 pm
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Yes, it is soooo hard, so gutwrenchingly hard and sad and scary. 

Spend no energy on second guessing timing or anything for that matter.  No, that’s  a  useless waste of energy right now that will never have any answers…..other than the true answer.  Anythin, anytime you efer do for Roman out of love  is aalways the right thing at the right time.  ALWAYS.  And Roman knows that.

As you release Roman, visualize him running free and Happy.  That’s what you are doing.  You are freeing him from earth clothes  that no longer serve him.  He will be free from a vessel that served him so well for so long.

Continue  to stay fully present. Your love and bond with Roman will carry you from one moment t to the next. 

So….hmmm….how can we top that lamb meal??    Not sure it’s possible  other than to add ice cream to it.  And there is no rule that says you can’t  serve lamb several meals in a row.

Surrounding  you with our love, our understanding and peace in your heart 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 

PS. Maybe some steak and gravy, or turkey and gravy for breakfast and save the lamb for supper.  Heck….give it all to him over the next several days!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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1 June 2020 - 6:11 pm
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I am so sorry you are going through this.  I know it’s hard.  Brownie’s cancer also spread to his lungs.  Once he coughed up blood, I decided it was time, because I knew there was nothing that could be done.  At the beginning of this journey I promised him that I would not hold on to him for me.  I also do believe I let him go a little early.  He was wagging his tail on his last day.  But as Sally told me, its better to have a good memory then a bad one.  I have posted this poem before for members who are struggling with this gut wrenching decision.  I do hope you find some comfort, and embrace each day. Just remember when it’s time to let them go, we do it out of love.

May I Go Now?

May I go now?
Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days
and endless lonely nights?
I’ve lived my life and done my best,
an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond
and set my spirit free?

I didn’t want to go at first,
I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now
to a warm and loving light.

I want to go
I really do.
It’s difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can
to live just one more day.

To give you time to care for me
and share your love and fears.
I know you’re sad and afraid,
because I see your tears.

I’ll not be far,
I promise that, and hope you’ll always know
that my spirit will be close to you
wherever you may go.

Thank you so for loving me.
You know I love you too,
that’s why it’s hard to say goodbye
and end this life with you.

So hold me now just one more time
and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me,
you’ll let me go today.

God Bless, you are in our thoughts and prayers……

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Virginia




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1 June 2020 - 7:51 pm
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❤Nancy❤Brownie❤  

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 June 2020 - 8:18 pm
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You don’t need to apologize for not responding until now, we understand how hard this is. I agree with Sally that you do sound really centered, as grounded as someone can be in this situation. Be proud of yourself for being so strong that you have already talked to your vet, and figured out a plan. That alone is going to help you so much when Roman says it’s time.

For now though, just know that he is living each day to the fullest and what magic you are bringing into it! All the love and attention and treats, oh my gosh he’s just loving it I’ll bet! Keep doing what you’re doing, following his lead and being aware of the moment in front of you, not tomorrow or the day after that. Cancer only wins when we let it steal our current day from us.

Our Jerry also had mets so I feel your struggle. It is hard for us, but for a dog, well, they’re the same old lovable pup who just wants to make us happy and teach us how to live as they do. Roman lives to see you smile. Keep on doing what you’re doing and he will know he has taught you well.

His pain sounds well managed and your vet sounds fantastic. Keep us posted on how things are going OK? And feel free to share some photos and video of your boy, we would love to see him!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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