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Nell has one paw on the Bridge

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This is so heartbreaking. She is a wonderful dog who deserves a long and healthy retirement. She's the dog in my avatar.

 

Last week, my Nell was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. I reached down to scruffle her one day and found that her lymph nodes were swollen. Over a weekend, they became clusters that you could cup in your hand. The nodes in her chest and hind hocks were the size of eggs. Her biopsy was positive for lymphoma. She has had a big weight loss this summer but I thought it was because she was running so much here on the farm. She will be 12 next May. She came to me from Border Collie Rescue Ontario, which is a wonderful rescue.

 

The vet found a mass in her abdomen too. He is advising against chemo, feeling that her disease is too far gone for chemo to be useful. I was fully prepared to handle the expense, so that was a bit of a shock for me. We have her on Predisone and her appetite is improving and the nodes are less swollen. My neighbour who loves her too is helping with her care while I'm at work. Everyone who has ever met Nell has fallen in love with her. She is such a grand old dog. I've googled everything I can find on lymphoma and I think I need to get another vet's opinion too but I know in my heart that my Nell will not be with me as we had planned.

 

So far, she doesn't seem to be in any pain. She runs around after her chickens and sheep but she is sleeping more and breathing heavy all the time. I'm spoiling her rotten and telling her I love her every chance I can. It could be weeks or hopefully a few good months. I'm sure she'll let me know when she's ready. Nell can sing, and as long as she's still singing to me every day, I know she's okay.

 

Krisk, Cindy, Sharin, Lorri, Ruth and Buzz have been a great help to me this week - Thank you.

 

Our dogs look to us to make everything all right in their world. I feel so sad and helpless.

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I'm sorry to hear about Nell. It's always hard in times like this. My prayers are with you and Nell.

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I'm so sorry to hear about Nell's lymphoma. My cat ooky (the one I name myself after here) went essentially the same way - too soon and too sudden and there was nothing to be done about the masses in her nodes and chest. The prednisone did give her a few really good weeks, though. I feel your pain and wish you both the best. :rolleyes:

 

PS you do make everything right in her world, even now. Keep remembering that.

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear this news about Nell. Having two seniors myself, and having lost my old man two years ago, I know that feeling of hoping for a long and healthy retirement and getting the rug pulled out from underneath. I will keep you and Nell in my thoughts and hope for many good days, weeks, and months ahead for you both.

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Our dogs look to us to make everything all right in their world. I feel so sad and helpless.

Not only do you make everything right in her world, you ARE her world, and you've given her a second chance at life. I remember when you posted about how excited you were about adopting her, how excited you were that you found out about her background, and how Tex brought her all his toys as a welcome to your house. Can't imagine that she could have asked for anything more from a retirement home - she has truly been blessed to have found you. Hang in there, keep treasuring every moment you have with her.

 

Hugs from me and the furry pack.

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I'm so sorry, it's heartbreaking, i'm actually crying from reading this(its been a tough week) I'd hate to say it, but your vet is probably right, i wouldn't do the chemo, most dogs have a very hard time handling chemo, and from the sounds of it it seems like the lymphoma is pretty advanced, so chemo probably will not give her much more time, if she were my dog i would just make her comfortable with the steroids to reduce the inflammation, chemo would probably only give her an additional 2-3 months and during that time she will probably feel very sick from the drugs and will not be the dog that you know and love. :rolleyes:

 

Here is the e-mail address of a vet i used to work for ccvs@creaturecomfortsvet.net she does a lot of chemotherapy and will probably be able to help you decide whether or not it would be helpful to consult another vet and look into chemo, her name is Dr.Karin Breitlauch.

I hope that she can be of some help to you, she may even be able to recommend a vet in your area for a second opinion.

Please keep us updated, and i wish you and Nell the best in whatever your route you choose, i know that you will make the best decision whatever it may be(not all dogs are affected by the chemo, so if you go that route she may have no adverse reactions from it)

 

I'll keep her in my thoughts

 

Rachel

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Oh, I am very sorry to hear this. She's a beautiful dog - and we should all have such a good retirement home.

 

The only sliver of light I can see when dogs have cancer is that they don't know - they just go on living and coping. It does sound like chemo might not be a useful option in her situation - but from what other friends have said, it might be worth investigating some alternative medicine support to go with the Pred. I'm sure there are a few people here who could advise of someone who could help with information about that.

 

Hang in there - and take care of yourself as well. It's going to be a rough time. Best wishes coming from the other end of the world.

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PS you do make everything right in her world, even now. Keep remembering that.

 

^ Seconded.

 

I've been through a similar experience with my last dog. It's so, so, so hard. There's no denying that. Your dog will know when she's ready, and she may go to you when it's time. Hopefully, that time won't come too soon - it's nice to know she's still finding her enjoyment in her everyday activities!

 

I wish you and her all the best, and I have no doubt she knows what a wonderful person you are.

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I am sorry to hear about this but very grateful that Nell has had (and is having) a loving home and family at this time in her life. She won't worry about the cancer but she will be content to be surrounded by love and a good life in her remaining time.

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Ach, that hurts.

 

Carry on as you have - your heart knows best.

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I lost my "heart dog", Missy, recently to the combined ravages of cancer, Cushing's diseases, and heart problems; so I understand what you are going through. You are in my thoughts and prayers; when the time comes, I hope that this thought will bring you some comfort.

 

If it should be that I grow weak,

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then you must do what must be done,

For this final battle cannot be won.

 

You will be sad, I understand.

Don't let your grief then stay your hand.

For this day, more than all the rest,

Your love for me must stand the test.

 

We've had so many happy years,

What is to come can hold no fears.

You'd not want me to suffer so.

The time has come, please let me go.

 

Take me where my need they'll tend

And please stay with me until the end.

Hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer can see.

 

I know in time that you will see

The kindness that you did for me.

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I have been saved.

 

Please do not grieve it must be you

Who had this painful thing to do.

We've been so close, we two these years,

Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

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We're so sorry about Nell. She looks like such a beautiful girl! We lost our adopted Riley 6 years ago to cancer and the anemia that took hold as a complication. I haven't had experience with chemo -- but I remember others have on here. My friend's dog had the same diagnosis a few years ago and went on without displaying many symptoms for about 3 or 4 months.

I second others' comments -- she doesn't know until she starts to feel significant discomfort -- so your love, attention and positive energy will keep her spirits up and allow her to live happily for as long as it's possible.

All our best,

Ailsa

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When I first met Nell she was a beautiful overweight dog who really needed the right person to take care of her. JO, YOU are that person. Nell has blossomed....and has been having the time of her life living with Tex & Loki, enjoying life on the farm. It is so sad that she may not have a lot of time left, but I know for a fact, that whatever time she does have left, will be joyous. Hugs to you and scruffles for Nell.

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Hugs to you both. All you can do is spoil her rotten and savor every memory. Take lots of pictures. We will have you both in our thoughts.

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I am sorry to hear about Nell. Nothing makes it easier but at least you have some time to say goodbye in the ways that will bring you some measure of comfort in the future.

 

If you have some concerns over your vet's proposed treatment, then a second opinion is a good idea. I do know, however, that advanced lymphoma can be very difficult to treat - a close friend lost her sheltie to it despite aggressive chemo for several months. But sometimes what seems radical or aggressive can be very helpful. I had a lot of doubts about putting 15 yo Sara through extensive surgery for liver cancer but I did it and now 15 months later, she's still hanging in w/a good quality of life.

 

Whatever decisions you make for Nell will be the right ones. Keep us posted on her condition - we do care.

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So sorry to read about Nell. My wonderful DH and I both shed a few tears over your emails to me.

 

I agree, you are already giving Nell a wonderful life. Don't second guess yourself, just keep doing what you're already doing.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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I'm so sorry that Nell is ill. Hopefully, the Pred will give you lots more time together. Regardless of how long she has, it's hardest on you. You know, she doesn't. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

 

Hugs to you and Nell. Hang in there and enjoy her all you can.

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I am sorry for this news. I knew when Honey stopped dancing for her breakfast her time was very near. Enjoy these days.

 

Toni

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Sorry to hear about Nell. Sending good thoughts your and her way.

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