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My Max Is Dying Of Bone Cancer, Anticipatory Grief Is Overwhelming&#33


maxwells_mom

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I just wanted to reach out to others in my position. This is the hardest time of my life. I understand the course and what I read, but the pain and anticipation of separation from my loving best friend is the strongest pain ever. I try to understand that he has given me and taught me how to love and in the end of his precious life how to grieve. Only, I don't really know how to do this. He was a healthy happy dog. Loving and caring and well, just too wonderful. He and I spent all of his life together playing, and working, and we were never apart. Now. . .he is slipping away. The arrangements have been made. The vet will come to our home. The cremation marble is picked and it will be private. I hold candlelight ceremonies to honor him and all of the other dogs that have gone on before him and all that follow him. Crying is ok. I am not sure about when. . .just that everyone says I will know. I take him to the vet every week so that they could check him out. Every week (two now) we come home armed with pain meds. I have come to the conclusion (though it changes by the moment) that Max loves water. He loves the beach. He forced me to look into dog beaches and we found a gorgeous one. We call it Maxwell's beach. My husband says that he should go only every other day. I disagree. If you were given say seven days to live, would you want to have fun everyday, or stay home hopeless and sad. I say that he should go out doing what he loves. Who knows. Anyway, I am here if anyone feels similar, different, or has advice. I even had an animal communicator come and work with us so that my message wasn't crossed. Beware of those folks. Check it out. Some are authentic, but ours wanted to sell us on lots of things and accused me of not wanting to try alternative methods to heal my dog. Please pray for Max. I pray for all of the dogs and owners in the world. We are lucky and blessed. Animal folks are giving and loving. They (we) are a special breed.

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I am so sorry to hear about Max. I know how hard it is as I went through so much pain when my Pino was also diagnosed with cancer, though a different kind. I will definitely keep both you and Max in my prayers. I think it is good that you allow him to do what he likes. I tried to do the same for my Pino. He loved to go to a certain area where he could sniff and smell. But there came a point that he was so fatigued that he couldn't walk the 1 1/2 blocks to get there. So my husband and I would drive him in the car and let him out there. But after a while, the illness took over and he no longer had interest in that either. The anticipation of losing Pino was horrendous as I am sure your anticipation of losing Max is horrendous as well. Although I knew the day would come when I would no longer have him, I had expected my Pino to live 7 or 8 more months after putting him through Chemo. So I was somewhat shocked and I wasn't prepared when he suddenly collapsed again. I had not planned ahead. So I am glad that you have been able to make plans for the dreaded moment. And Yes crying is okay. I have had many nights of crying. It is only normal when you lose a beloved pet or fur baby as I called them.

May you enjoy your last moments with Max and find comfort in the memories of the times that you shared with him. God bless, Diana

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lost my wonderful Spanky in sept 06 of congestive heart failure. i understand how you feel. they are such a part of our lives and family. i lost my mom in july 06, i tell people i lost my two best friends. i think God kept Spanky here those 2 mos to help but then he could not go on. i miss him so. lori

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I'm so sorry about your lovely pet, I'm such an animal lover, have been my whole life. My mother has horses I group up on a farm. When my dad died, it was a comfort to have my Gracie (4 year old chocolate lab) to comfort me. You know they know if you are sad, sick, etc. However, Grace is not well. She has so many problems it has resorted to a team of vets to try and save her or keep her comfortable for awhile. Shots I give her here @ home 2 times a week. I pray for your loving dog a long for your family. God Bless, Deonna

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Max's Mom,

I remember it well, the anticipatory grief when our fur-daughter, Nissa, was slowly failing over a few months before we had to euthanise her. That was the hardest time of my life, and now, almost a year after her crossing, this is also the hardest time of my life! :unsure::(

You are wise to have made some preparatory arrangements, as this will take some of that particular burden off you later, when you're likely falling apart even more. And I'm always pleased to hear when others have managed to find a vet who will make a house call for this emotionally-tender, final gift to their beloved babies. It's so much easier for them to be at home, with their loved ones and in a place of comfort.....just as it is with us humans.

Dear fellow-mommy, NO one knows "how to do this", because it's so 'impossible' to do! You are doing the best you can, as we all do, and there IS nothing more you can expect of yourself. You are in the midst of realizing and being aware of all your Max has given you, done for you, is still teaching you, and that is what is the most important thing. You are honouring him and his very unique and precious life, as well as your relationship together, and that's all that really matters. That is what will be preserved for all time, and beyond Time.(at least that's what I believe)

Most people DO know when enough is enough and there isn't anything more to be done, save that final gift of compassion. You watch carefully, monitor quality of life issues and make the best decisions you possibly can, given all the factors you're aware of at the time. And then, if you're like most, you second-guess yourself afterwards. Sometimes, more rarely, it's all too clear and there are absolutely NO doubts to suffer, but even then, many of us love to torture ourselves with all the 'what-ifs'. And that's all because you LOVE your baby and want to do things perfectly for him. But in the end, we just do the best we can with what we know at the time.

I commend you for trying to pack Max's life to the brim with whatever HE enjoys most, for as long as you possibly can. That is love for another, and it should be clear when he stops enjoying those pursuits entirely. What more could anyone ask for, but for someone who loves you enough to help you get such pleasures for as long as possible?

As for the communicator, I can understand that drive to save another animal's life via whatever means might be available (I'm a firm believer in so-called 'alternative' methods myself and DO suggest many of them to people all the time), but suggestions should only be that, and not 'pushed' on those who don't want to go that route. Since I don't know how that may have been presented, I can't really comment further on this particular professional, but ethical behaviour is supposed to be taught and followed by such professionals, so it's very unfortunate if and when it isn't. (like any business, there is variance between 'members') On the other hand, many communicators are aware of &/or trained in other modalities, including forms of energy work/healing (as I am, too), and perhaps this one was indeed coming from the heart in trying to address some of Max's health issues and ultimately save you grief for now. I do know one animal intuitive (she doesn't call herself ONLY a "communicator" anymore) who has effected some miraculous cures for animals via some forms of energy/intuitive work, and I myself would have availed myself of her services that way, had I known all that she offered at the time. And of course, I DO wish I'd known. I knew of her, had even used her for a communication, but didn't know what else she could do. Now, even though it wasn't my fault I didn't know, I sometimes feel guilty for not reading through her website more carefully when I still had the option. The cost wouldn't have mattered a whit to me and my H. In fact, I wish she had made such suggestions to me! But perhaps she didn't because she'd already intuited that there was nothing that could be done? I'm afraid to even ask her now, just in case......

Max will, of course, be in my prayers and highest intentions for his greatest good, as will you, as you go through yet another journey, together. And we will be here, too, when that journey shifts into a new form for each of you.

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I know exactly what you are going through with your Furever Friend. Copper too had bone cancer in her right front leg. (Here is her page on Critters)

http://critters.com/main.php?action=view&m...=1193&page_no=1

It was just a devistating time. The VERY hardest time I have ever known. We lost our 4mo old grandson to SIDS and I was absolutly shocked to find that losing Copper was just as hard and even worse in alot of ways...It helped ALOT to have alot of people tell me that that is normal...these Furry kids are perpetual children untill they turn into the equal to our elderly grandparents and they are always our responsibility.

Everyone told me I would know when it was time....that she would let me know...I have to say she did not. She ate and was her normal bright eyed waggy tailed ears up kid she had always been. She did have a hard time hopping to the area she used for her bathroom...but would sit down and watch her street for awhile and then go on. She was happy I know....we decided to treat her with pain meds...Tramodyl and Rymadyl...so I never saw any evidence of pain. We decided she was too old (13) for Chemo or amputation. Her vet said she would have a better quality of life for longer on pain meds and he was right. She was with us for 9mo after her diagnosis...I asked her vet if he would come to the house when it was time and he said yes...he and Copper had gone through alot over the last 13 years. I had her cremated and she sits here on my Computer hutch in her beautiful carved box.

The last 3 weeks of her life she developed a lump on her leg and the last week it grew so fast...seemed to almost be able to see it grow and finally the last week it stretched the skin to the maximum and I knew I had to let her go...Her vet said it would have burst and that would have been a nightmare for all of us...He said tho that she did not seem to be in pain so that is a blessing..I wonder...did I do it too soon...did I wait too long...I just can't let myself think about it...I felt I betrayed her since she was so happy and alert and normal mentally. But on the other hand...I would not have wanted her to be in pain or sad. We can only do what we feel is right. She deserves to be happy and pain free and enjoying herself. I know she is and I know we will be together forever one day...I am prying for your strength and courage and peace in the days and weeks to come...I hope and pray you have alot of time left to make good memories and take good pictures and love him every min. Please email me caja@srt.com if you would like to talk...I always have an ear or a shoulder if you need it...Carol

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Maxwell's Mom, I, too am going through the anticipatory grief of losing a beloved dog to bone cancer. Sophie is a 10-year-old rottweiler. We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary together. She has been through a lot in her short life: 2 cruciate repair surgeries and a spleenectomy. Now this. She was dx. in May, and we have no idea how long she will be with us. So long as we can control her pain, I am happy to do whatever I can to make her time remaining enjoyable. I understand your feelings about allowing Maxwell to enjoy his beach, but I would add a word of caution based on what the vet told us. Bone cancer makes the bone affected more and more brittle, which can cause breaks and fractures from the simplest movements. And if a break occurs, there is no choice but to euthanize. We try to keep Sophie from running (though she doesn't do a lot of that anymore) and take her for daily rides in the car now instead of her usual walk. Every time she runs to the fence to bark at something my heart skips a beat. I'm so afraid she will break something and force us to make that final decision. So far, her pain meds are keeping her comfortable. Hope that is the case for Maxwell too.

My anticipation of losing Sophie is balanced by the fact that I lost a 36 year old daughter to colon cancer in February. I know that if I could survive that, I will survive saying goodbye to Sophie too.

Take care,

Deborah

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