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A few neurotic (hopefully!) concerns
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Forum Posts: 84
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2 October 2008
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11 February 2009 - 10:40 pm
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Hello all-

I'd been off this site for awhile, and I think the combination of learning of some wonderful dogs who had passed away, and of Sophie's upcoming 6 week post chemo chest x-rays, is bringing up a lot of anxiety for me, so I was hoping to throw out a few questions- my apologies if they raise others anxiety levels as well…

1)how frequently do dogs seem to be doing really well and then have a super rabid decline?  I've been thinking along the lines of- best case scenario the cancer doesn't return; more likely scenario, she develops lung mets at some point and then we slow down together for however long that is (I've been assuming it would usually be at least a month from seemingly good health to being ready to go); worst case scenario, the cancer would metastasize to another painful bone location, leaving us with possibly days/a few weeks.  In any case, I guess I've been figuring there will be time to say goodbye.  But I've recently read about a few sweethearts who seem to have passed away so suddenly, and it really has me worried.  We are going to the oncologist next week, but in the interim, does anyone have any thoughts or comments?

2) (related)  Sophie has had some skin redness and a couple of sortof little hot spots (size of maybe a dime) develop in the past few days.  When she was on chemo, I know we had to worry about infection.   Prior to getting ill, she had a history of some skin allergies (which had been resolved for a good while with dietary changes)- but this was always the bad time of year for those things.  If not for the OS, I wouldn't worry about these at this point, but my imagination is running away from me- basically that this is indicative of some infection and she will go into a sudden arrest while I'm at work or something.  Anyone aware of skin problems as possibly indicative of cancer problems, after the chemo period?

As I said, we are seeing the oncologist next week, but I'm freaking out now.  Getting her in earlier would present some difficulties, but I'm willing to do it if it makes sense.  On the other hand, across the course of her life I've probably spent hundreds and hundreds of unnecessary dollars d/t my nueroticism at these times when my imagination runs wild (one example being the first summer after I got her, when she was laying on the floor and panting, and I started freaking out that she had rabies and took her to the overnight emergency room, where they very gently sent me home).  And of course, recent experiences have confirmed that sometimes it *is* as bad, or worse, than you imagined- this does not help me ease my canine hypochondriacal tendencies.

Anyway, I'm really sorry to burden it on all of you, who are probably carrying your own fears. But I figured better to bring it to you all then to have her feeling this anxious energy which has been growing these past couple of days.  Any thoughts?

Sincerely,

Christine, aka Sophie's neurotic pawrent


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11 February 2009 - 11:21 pm
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Sounds like your dog has a minor staph infection (red spots) which is probably unrelated to cancer and more likely due to her allergies.  If they are small and few in number you might be able to control the infection with weekly baths (use chlorhexidine shampoo).  If not then your oncologist could prescribe antibiotics.

In my experience it is not common for dogs to suddenly die from lung mets or even bone mets.  You usually have some time to manage these issues (look how long Jerry lived with a very large lung met!).  I am a person that likes to be prepared so I intend to Xray Tazzie's lungs every 3 months, because there are things I might change in her protocol if I know that she has mets. Other people would prefer not to know and that is okay too.

Hope this helps,

Pam and Tazzie

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12 February 2009 - 12:44 pm
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From one neurotic pawrent to the other 😉 i am too about anything that concerns my boys. You are not a burden and your questions and needs are what this site is all about…I'm glad you got that off your chest. Xrays always make me anxious too – hopefully everything will come back A-OK. Zeus is 10 months post amputation and his xrays are clear…we get them every 3 months.

I say this a lot and I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but this journey that we have chosen to take with our babies is best (and most fulfilling and enjoyable) lived out one day at a time. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring and in the end it may not even be the cancer that takes them from us. Right now, Zeus is “acting weird and mopey” and doesn't have a lot of energy. So…I'm taking him into see our Vet on Saturday just in case and just because it makes me feel better to hear that nothing is wrong than to sit at home and take it to the worst case scenario. IF there is something wrong, I will worry about it then…not today.

Keep in mind I don't always practice what I preach and sometimes I preach it so I can hear it over and over again for myself…I dread the day I lose Zeus and I find myself dwelling on it at times and have to pull myself out of it and preach to myself about the one day at a time. Sometimes I say it 100 times a day to myself…over and over and over again. I think this is all normal when it comes to cancer – whether you have it or someone you love has it. It can be a struggle between enjoying the moment and cherishing what we have and keeping our fears from consuming us.

I don't know if any of this will even help with what you are going through, but I guess I just want you to know that you are not alone.

Love,

Heather

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

Northern Indiana
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12 February 2009 - 7:29 pm
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I feel the same way and there are times that I think I would rather not do follow up X-rays. Thanks Pam & Tazzie for saying that it okay.

My Paris will have her 2nd Carboplatin treatment next Wednesday. She is doing well, but I know realistically things can change at any time. So I have been doing a lot of talking to myself so I can get to a place where We enjoy each day and when something changes we will handle it. For me this is better than every day fretting and worrying. I love this dog so much, ironically we adopted her after I had cared for my father who died of cancer. I am also a Hospice volunteer for people.

I will love my Paris one day at a time! Take care to all of my fellow Tripawd pawrents.

Gineej & Paris

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris…..no regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

Northern CA
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12 February 2009 - 8:54 pm
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good questions- thanks for bringing them up and starting this post. I think we can all relate to being worried pawrents. We will be due for xrays after Wrigley's next round of chemo next week ( this will be the first xray since ampuation) and I am already worried. Then I try to remind myself, I have no control over how they will turn out, so I should not waste the energy on the useless emotion ( of course I'm not real good about listening to myself either, but I 'm trying.)

Heather is right- you are not alone and we are all thinking of you and each other as we all take these journey's with our babies.

Seanne and Wrigley

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

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12 February 2009 - 10:31 pm
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Thank you all so much for your words.  It does help to feel less alone in this, and to know there are other people out there who get it- the “it” starting even with simply getting the depth and care of the bond- what a profound part of our lives these canine beings are….  And what it's like to live with anticipatory grief, but to try not to get swept up in it.

Again, thank you.  Here's to us all and the creatures (in the best sense of the word!) that we love…

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 February 2009 - 10:37 pm
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Christine, these are all valid fears and worries, you can always talk about them here.

We don't know what we can add to the conversation, except to say that it's really best to try not to worry about things you cannot control. Cancer will sometimes just do whatever it wants, despite our best efforts. That's the hardest part about it.

Remember, all we have it the present; not tomorrow, or the day after that. And the past is the past. All of those “what if's” are certainly normal to think about, but when they interfere with our time together, then it's time to stop in our tracks and remind ourselves to be happy, and enjoy the present. I hope this makes sense.

Good luck at the oncologist, let us know how the visit turns out. We'll keep our paws crossed for great news!

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