Visiting

This blog came about so that I could chronicle our lives with a dog with cancer.  Hoping to try to catch up to where we are today while taking care of Kai, his two sisters, the cat and my family.  Each day has brought about its own challenges and moments of joy.  As I sit here now, Kai is watching me intently and wagging his tail each time I giggle at him.  Today is better than yesterday – he was less mobile and acting kind of like he did when he was first diagnosed.  We are unsure what is going on but speculate that he was dehydrated maybe because he was just too tired to get up to drink, maybe because there is internal bleeding or maybe because something entirely different is going on.

My husband and I are both a bit angry that we were not given any information upon Kai’s release other than to watch his incision site, restrict activity and call the vet if we needed anything.  We are new to this and had no idea what to expect when we brought our sweet boy home.  How will he act?  What kinds of symptoms can occur?  What secondary problems may happen as a result of losing his spleen and from the cancer?  What should he be eating?  What things can we do to help?  Ultimately don’t we all want the tools to help someone who needs it?  It is beneficial to the needy and is empowering to everyone.

That is what I am feeling at this moment…back to where we left off in the story previously.

The day after Kai’s surgery was tough.  There really is no way to prepare yourself for devastating news.  In hindsight, I may have prepared in other ways.  Getting our finances in order, supplying our dogs with supplements and nutrition that would prevent cancer, getting the hell out of this house and into one that doesn’t have all the chemical influx from neighbors, industry and lawn sprays.  I forget the number at this point, but a huge percentage of dogs get cancer.  I wish I had known this from the moment we got Kai.

We got an update about Kai on that Tuesday.  Pretty much he was recovering, drinking water but not eating.  We were told we could come and visit him.  We asked if we should bring anything and the vet nurse told us to bring some chicken and rice if we wanted.  We brought a can of Newman’s Own Organic canned food with us.

Kai walked in on his own and spent time laying on the floor with us.  He ate most of the can of food and drank a lot of water.  He didn’t seem to be in pain, but did whine.  As a dog that rarely whines, it was heartbreaking to hear.  He was on pain medication so he seemed drowsy to me, but he did recognize us.  We also took him outside to go to the bathroom.  Frequent urination is common with all the drinking as well as the IV fluids.  I am sure he tried to hold his urine as long as he could – no idea how often if at all the hospital took him out – but ultimately he did wet the blanket he was laying on. 

I was sad to go home without him.  I know he had better rest and the critical care he needed at the hospital, but I missed seeing his face and holding him.  It was a good visit though as he was much improved from his initial state and we were able to spend about 2 hours with him helping him to eat and just being with him.  The nurses and office staff get a big kudos from me for allowing us to spend so much time there.  They have postings in the exam rooms with strict visiting hours and a time limit of 15 minutes per visit.  We felt very fortunate to spend so much time with Kai.

We did see the surgeon briefly.  He let us know that Kai would likely be released the next day.  I don’t remember much more of what he said other than he liked us and that Kai was still a very sick dog. He also stressed that having the surgery was our decision.  I wonder if the vets there would, if Kai had been theirs,  put him down.   I am not sure what we did for him to say he liked us.  I only guess it is because we opted to try the surgery and not euthanize.  I believe he said some more things about Kai’s condition to stress the fact that he was so sick still.  At one point I told him that we understood the reality of the situation and just wanted to be able to bring Kai home.  Any time we had with him was worth it.

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