Why I didn’t want to know…

Sam had chemo round 3 today. Handled it like a champ, per his usual self.

I had to work all day. In order to make the appointment I had to drop him really early. I asked the tech questions. She asked me questions. I told her I was really concerned about the chest film and let her know I wouldn’t be back until the end of my work day.

So, when the phone rang, I jumped out of my meeting to find out what was wrong. It was Dr. S, which was a nice surprise. I figured I wouldn’t get to chat with her until tomorrow. I cheerfully asked “how’s my good boy?” She says “well, …………………”

They found a spot on his lung.

It is small. So small, she cant be sure it is a met… but she cant be sure it isn’t.

But, he is on the best Protocol so we aren’t goon to change anything. Send him through two more rounds and then check again. Six weeks. Six weeks of not knowing anything and worrying about everything. Either, the spot is a blood vessel or my dog is dying.

Damn it.

I didn’t want to know.

Author: samdog

Sam was a 10 yr old Golden. We found a mass on his right arm bone on August 17, 2012. Confirmed Sarcoma on August 22, amputation on August 23, post amp biopsy confirmed osteosarcoma. We found lung mets on November 27 and Spirit Sam earned his wings on December 2, 2012. As a retired SAR dog, we were always up for an adventure... We didn't know where we were headed, and we don't regret a single step along our path. My heart left us too soon, but left a legacy of love that we will always cherish.

8 thoughts on “Why I didn’t want to know…”

  1. Well, here’s the deal with this: you need to turn your thinking around. Sam is not dying from cancer, he’s LIVING WITH cancer. It’s a hard thing to wrap your head around, but it’s something you need to do. Sam doesn’t know he’s sick. Unfortunately, that is the weight you, as his parents and advocates, have to bear. I remember when we got the news about Max’s first lung met, my husband and I made it out of the hospital and to our car, and then we broke down. After about 30 seconds of crying, we pretty much slapped each other out of it and made a decision. The decision was that we weren’t going to be depressed about it. We couldn’t, because we had a dog who loved us and wanted us to be happy, like him. Sam is a happy dog. He loves you. And that is really all he cares about.
    So, this may be a lung met, or it may not. Either way, RIGHT NOW is all that matters. Try not to panic or worry about the future. Sam doesn’t. Sam knows today is today, and today is a great day, and today is what counts. He doesn’t worry about tomorrow. One day there will be plenty of time to be sad, but I’m going to predict that will be some time away for you. So for now, be like your boy. Take each day as it comes, and celebrate it. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but whatever happens in six weeks, you will get through it. If it’s a lung met, you’ll regroup and figure out what to do with your doctors. There are plenty of dogs on the forums who had lung mets, and it didn’t change a thing for them.
    So tonight, give that handsome boy of yours a good belly rub for me. Tomorrow morning, get up and have a great day. Sam will, and so should you. Hang in there and stay strong. It’s a rough ride, but your boy will show you how to handle it.

  2. I was thinking about you and Sam yesterday and just now saw your post and my heart fell.
    I still remember all too well the morning I dropped Harley off for his amputation and a few hours later I received the call that they found two masses in his chest and did not recommend surgery. That was about five months ago and they were about 4 and 6 cm when found and the ironic thing is that he was having an amp for a recurring benign tumor — not cancer. I’m still baffled. But every day is a gift and as Maximutt says there is a time for sadness and it’s not today. I know, sometimes it’s easier said than done. I cannot speak from experience with osteosarcoma, but many here have been in your shoes and will share their experiences.
    Sam is a strong boy and I’m sure he will not take this sitting down — that’s not what goldens do and you will be right there with him.
    Hugs from Kathy and Harley.

  3. I am sorry that you got this disappointing news. Believe me, I know how hard it is to hear those words.

    Please keep in mind that many dogs still live happy, full lives even after the appearance of lung mets. Zeus had one tiny lung met and a ‘suspicious spot’ on the liver at the time of his diagnosis. The lung met was so small we only saw it because we had a CT scan instead of x-rays. Although the spot did grow a little (enough that it did eventually show up on x-rays), it stayed pretty small and it always stayed single. Zeus lived ten months after his diagnosis and the lung met was not the cause of us losing him.

    I agree with Maximutt – please, please don’t let this spoil even one second of time that you have with Sam. We cannot avoid the initial feelings of shock and sadness because that is human nature, but you have to move past this and not let it steal time from you. That is the only way that this damn disease can truly beat you – if you let it take away happiness and the good memories that you still have lots of time to make. Whether it is one day or one year, make every moment count and make sure you have no regrets.

  4. Oh My.
    I read this with a tear in my eye….But thats it. I agree with Maximutt. Live. Love. Bark. Thats is what you will do, along side Sam.

    Sam IS living with cancer. Heck, he is thriving with cancer. He is happy with cancer. He is dog with cancer. Everyday is a gift. Love everyday.

    Hugs to you and your husband. Belly and ear rubs to Sam.

    Fenway And Macy, and Mama Sue

  5. If you want to look at it from a different perspective, we’re ALL dying. The process begins pretty early in our lives, but it takes a long time generally. If you write Sam’s future, you’ll cheat yourself (and him) out of a whole bunch of fun.

    Of course, it’s only human (not dog) to think about things like lung mets and xrays and a prognosis. It’s the reason we did not do xrays. I’m a weenie. I didn’t want to know. And Dakota did not have OSA, though xrays were recommended every 6 months. But I watch him and notice what matters to him, and he has simple needs and great joy in having those needs met. Who else can I make deliriously happy just by showing up? I’m sure you feel the same way about Sam. Try to focus on how much love there is to enjoy right this moment. That’s what he’s focused on.


  6. I agree with what has been already so eloquently said. Please don’t let the worry of this situation steal one moment of your valuable happy time with Sam.

    We also experienced an issue with an x-ray with our Hunter. Back in July there was a small questionable area on one of his x-rays. It did not show up on all three views and they called it an “iffy” finding. This could very well be the same for Sam. When Hunter’s x-rays were redone 3 weeks later, the area was not found.

    Try to breathe and enjoy your moments. It is very possible that this finding is nothing to worry about. Please stay strong for your beautiful boy.

    Love and Labby kisses from Hunter and family.

  7. Thank you all.

    I admit I was in a very sad place yesterday, more frustrated that I was sitting with the knowledge but still lacking in the understanding. Which was exactly as I was fearing earlier last week.

    Sam came to work with me today and we are on our way to dinner with friends in a few minutes. He is himself. When I got sad thinking about it, he looked at me and made me smile instead. You all were very nice and eloquent in your responses. I probably deserves a much string kick in the *ahem* than you threw at me.

    Thanks for keeping me focused on what is important.

    I appreciate you all.

  8. Catching up on reading blogs today. Enjoyed reading about your adventure to see the Aspens, and your memories of adventures to Yosemite.

    I was sad to read about your phone call and the spot on his lung. Sad to know you have to wait (worry) 6 weeks.

    THEN I read Maximutt’s and other posts. Truly powerful, uplifting and inspiring words. Something we should all aspire to and learn from.

    Wonderful support on this site!!

    One day at a time. That’s what our beloved dogs deserve.

    Here’s to more adventures with Sam. Keep us posted.

    Charlie (and his mom)

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