I'm new here but have lurked for the last month because Duncan, my 9 year old GSD, got a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. Now I'm trying to deal with his death a week ago last night and I'm not doing it very well.
Here's Duncan's story:It started the week before Halloween, he just got up off the floor and hung his head and stared off into space and then went to his water dish. We noticed the odd behavior and talked to the vet about it... couldn't find anything. The next day I collected a urine sample that was like Coca-Cola. We got him on antibiotics and he was fine! We thought that was it. Then it happened again, the day before Thanksgiving. Rushed him in to the vet and yup, the urinary track infection was back. He rallied, but then would have these stumbling episodes, and the head hanging, staring out into space. I knew something was wrong. We saw an internist on November 30th, had full blood work which was suspicious of hemangiosarcoma. Took xrays but didn't see anything or feel anything in his belly. They wanted to do a splenectomy and then chemo after and we were all for helping him any way we could. He had surgery December 1st and did well for 5 days, then had random episodes of the same symptoms of head hanging, lots of water drinking.... we knew we were in palliative care at that point, but I didn't think this awful disease would take my precious boy just 19 days after surgery.
Our barometer for stopping his suffering ourselves was his appetite. He was eating well, even had part of my chicken breast 3 hours before he died.
He died at home on December 19th at 9:30 pm, in my and my husband's arms, we talked to him and comforted him as best we could until he was gone. It was a very traumatic experience and I cannot stop crying.... I need to take sleeping pills to even get through the night time. I was with Duncan from the time his surgery was over until he died. I slept where he slept, I held him and talked to him. I feel like my heart is broken in half.
I have an american eskimo dog and a cat still at home and I know I'm scaring them away because I'm being so needy and wanting them to comfort me.
How does someone get through this? I am devastated, and there are just no words to describe how empty and sad I feel. I have an appointment with my therapist next week, but I just wanted to tell Duncan's story here because I know there are many who understand this feeling and I just need some support.