bittersweetness

Long detailed Rumsfeld update to follow:

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This whole saga with Rumsfeld has pretty much consumed my life for the last two months. I am trying my best to be a big girl…to be strong and capable and have been told I’m doing a good job of it. Could have fooled me.

Since the first episode I have been a wreck. I suspect there’s a bit of PTSD going on inside of me. It was that traumatizing for me. Obviously it hasn’t helped how things progressed as we get to the near conclusion. Just one month prior he had his annual physical/vaccinations and was declared to be in perfect health. And we had absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. We’d spent one of the best summers of my life taking advantage of every moment enJOYing our fortune to be blessed with such a magical place from which to to so. I had decided to make every moment count and once surviving the process of procuring The Asylum…I did.
I am so grateful for the memories. Me and Rumsfeld seem to have appreciated it all the most and I will forever be grateful for the time we spent together and the experiences we had.

At this point the medications have leveled out and he is feeling infinitely better. Going through with the MRI/spinal tap, as awful as it turned out, was the best thing we could have done. While knowing that the end is near is shredding my heart and finding that his affliction was probably the only thing I couldn’t protect him from it has enabled me to know that we did everything we possibly could. I will carry on knowing that and not wondering for the rest of my life. But foremost, it has enabled us to give him relief that wouldn’t have been possible without knowing what was going on deep down inside. I have the greatest comfort in that by far the most.

While he’s still experiencing some issues holding his bladder ( the medications as well as the affects on his mind from the tumor ) and is a little unsteady ( neurologically and the medications )…he is OUTWARDLY doing quite well. He is still experiencing the episodes but the Phenobarbital is keeping the seizures from manifesting dramatically. If I wasn’t LOOKING for them I’d never know.

This is only temporary and the doctors warn us that soon will be a time when we have to adjust and play around with the levels and once that occurs we. are. done.
I will not put him through that…
Without a full biopsy there’s no way of knowing for sure how long we have ( NOT putting him through that either ) but based on the MRI, his physical symptoms and experience we were given about 3 months. And the last two would definitely be simply prolonging the inevitable at the expense of his comfort. So for now…
Once a seizure “breaks through” we are done.
He’s received a 5 day stretch of mega Prednesone doses and for the next few days will be on 1/2 that then 1/2 of that again for “maintenance”. It’s made a remarkable difference in relieving the painful inflammation in his head as far as we can see. We could possibly add some Tramadol but at that point we’re back to prolonging the inevitable and a doped up dog isn’t a dog. Not for the forever. One of the ER vets put my feelings most succinctly into words:

“He doesn’t have to do math, he just has to be a dog”

And that entails eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, playing, loving and being loved. Once he is unable to do any of those things he begins ceasing to be a dog. Obviously if it were temporary it would be a different story. This is not.

This is going to be my last post on this until that day.

We are packing up and heading out to The Asylum until Christmas evening and plan to be as normal as possible within limits. Aside from being mindful of his unsteadiness so he doesn’t injure himself we will let him do whatever makes him happy… and see how much that is in our favorite place. It will tell us a lot and enable us to make a decision BEFORE it is made for us. Other than the shaved spots where the IVs went in and the bit on his neck from the spinal draw he’s still perfect on the outside. It will be the subtle things that will make the big decision. And what makes it moreso the most difficult. It’s not helping that he’s never been a real mushy huggy type…and that I was told the medications and the pressure on his brain could make him more aggressive and grumpy toward me. So far, the opposite has been true.
It’s a blessing and a curse.

So now we’re about ready to head out for what’s likely to be a last hurrah. My plan is to try and make things as normal as possible while in the forefront of my mind knowing it’s not. I won’t be checking Drudge but will check in from time to time with other things that strike me. Just not “this”. This will be my last “update” on this because really, there is nothing more to say……….

37 Comments!

  1. apotheosis
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    Be safe and be well, Sondra.

    Give Rummy a big hug and snorgle for me, since he’s finally amenable to it.

  2. Thomas M.
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    May there be happiness and joy until there is peace.

  3. geezerette
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    Thanks for the up date. Of course we’ve been thinking of all of you. We’ve all had those moccasins to walk in for pets and family and we’ve all done what was best for us. There is no other alternative. See those foot steps on the shore?
    If in my moccasins I’d have that picture framed.

  4. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:14 am |

    Rummy had good innings.
    I’m gonna miss the “pair” of you.
    Sadly, this seems appropriate:
    The apocalypse through a dog’s eyes.

  5. JimB
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    I’ve had to put down two dogs in my life. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I feel your pain. In the long run it will be the best thing for your friend.. He will go peacefully in his sleep with you holding him. He’ll pass happy. Keep that in mind along with all the good times. I pray for you both.

  6. Annoying Mike
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    Losing family, furry or otherwise, is never easy. All I can think of in this moment is this little bit from TAPS:

    Remember the Love, Celebrate the Life, and Share the Journey

    Remember the unconditional love Rumsfeld gave you, celebrate those life moments you shared with him, and whenever you are ready, share your journey through grief with another.

    God bless Sondra, and take care.

  7. PeggyU
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    I hope you have a peaceful, quiet Christmas, so you can spend the precious time with Rummy. Thanks for the update!

  8. PunkyD
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |

    I’m so sorry Sondra. I have Rummy and all of you close to my heart and in my thoughts. God Bless you Sondra.

  9. mech
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    Hugs and prayers.

    Warm fuzzy Christmas memories to you all to cache away for years to come.

    *gonna hug my kitties*

  10. The Ugly American
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

    Every time I hear some wacky song on KBRD …I think of Rumsfeld.

  11. Posted December 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

    Thoughts are with you and JR and Rumsfeld.

  12. Posted December 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    Thank you for updating us and sharing both facts and feelings. I’m sure Rummy is still going to enjoy spending time with you, “being a dog and not doing the math.” I once described dogs as having “communicable Zen” – they help center you in the here and now in a wonderful way, just the way they live their own lives. Enjoy this time together, and know that a lot of positive thoughts are going out to all of you.

  13. kinlaw
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

    Marry Christmas to you and Rummy; may you have a wonderful time together.

    I think you have been a big girl through this, it is hell to lose a loved one, and you have help up.

    Especially your concern for his dignity, and that he has a life, not just exists in a medicated stupor.

    God Bless Sondra.

  14. Posted December 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I don’t have much to say other than that dog has been the luckiest dog on the whole planet to know that kind of love.

  15. Mumblix Grumph
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    My thoughts are with you all. Thanks for reminding me to give Schnooper an extra snuggle today and everyday.

  16. Dave
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

    Go and have a good time.

  17. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

    He has been your knight and protector, your companion and friend. It is your turn to repay that with comfort and love.

    As I have said before, Man did not domesticate Dog – Dog chose to come into the cave and become the partner of Man. That bond is sacred.

  18. Melissa In Texas
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    they help center you in the here and now in a wonderful way, just the way they live their own lives.
    they do…..
    You, JR and your furbaby are in my thoughts…
    Enjoy the time you are allowed.
    hugs from Texas!
    RUMMY!

  19. Posted December 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

    Hang in there, and enjoy your remaining time with Rummy. Treasure the memories.

  20. rickn8or
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    My heart’s breaking for you and JR and Rummy there HeadMissy. Enjoy these last days and when that time comes, you’ll know it, he’ll know it and why and won’t hold it against you.
    ((((hugs))))
    Damn maid forgot to dust in here AGAIN.

  21. Twin
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm |

    When your dog leaves, a piece of your heart goes with him. But, when he first arrived, he caused your heart to grow to include him.

  22. blindshooter
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    I will pray for you all. I had to put my best friend down last year just before Christmas. One of the worst days of my life and I have had some really bad ones. My dogs have been my best friends and maybe even my psychiatrist at times. I come from some hard people, used to be when the dog got sick he/she either died or got the .22 treatment. I’m way past that now and I can say the needle the way better for the dog but I’m sure it is a lot harder on the human, IMO. I shed tears just reading your update and thinking how hard last Christmas was without my buddy.
    God bless you all.

  23. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm |

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; King James Version (KJV)

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

    A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    And whether good or evil, joyous or heart rending, this too shall pass.
    Thanks for sharing with us, and remember, we’ll be here for you when you come back.

  24. Melissa In Texas
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

    dick….
    well said!

  25. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    You know what you know,
    and you’ll know what you need to know.

    Go. Love. enJOY.

  26. Hopefulone
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:35 am |

    Thank you for sharing your sad love story with us. It makes us all more human, more divine. May God bless you with lots of Himself, love, as you endure this.

  27. Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |

    Have a happy, warm and Merry Christmas with Rummy and the rest of your family and friends. Watch, but don’t worry. Put your fears in a box for now, and enjoy what’s in front of you.

  28. Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

    No words, but u know.

  29. JoeBandMember™
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    What Holger said.

  30. Posted December 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

    This morning, the dog which was the first to open Deb’s now thriving business, Whitney, the giant Schnauzer, was put down in the arms of his owner. What I…we have experienced since the grand collie, Nate (West River Nathaniel No Fear) passed, is a progression of elderly dogs whom have come to the point of needing to be put down. First went Tonka, the big ol’square head Rotweiler/Lab mix with the same kinda brain tumor. Then Kyle, a blind and arthritic Husky. Our great neighbor Jeff, who spearheaded the “Nate” fund lost his grand and goofy chocolate Lab: Spooner.Then our sweet old rescue, the Australian Kelpy, Daisy, whose heart valves gave out followed so soon after.
    This year Sasha, a Golden Retriver and Tyndale, a Border Collie went home.

    We knew them all….they were part of the “HOW” we met their people…who have become friends, and through the grief from loss of critters, have become community.

    My dear sister Steph (Digital Hair Shirt) is dead on, as is Dick.

    Sondra, your words and feelings are blessed and eloquent. Deb and I are blessed in this ‘hood, to be involved with such great folks.

    We are also blessed to know you all…..digital brothers and sisters.

    Yes…….it is a strange and Brave New World in which we live.

    May God, however you understand Him, bless you all and keep you, your family, and this broken, wicked nation safe.

    Merry Christ Mass.

  31. Posted December 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

    BTW… Sondra,

    That picture is a wall hanger……God bless you dear Saggitarian sister.

  32. yeah, that guy.
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

    Rumsfield is lucky to have you, as are we all.
    God has special plans for those with the magnatude of love that you both possess. May the prayers we are all sending you be answered yes.
    Aloha, Dear Lady

  33. Ironic in Denver
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

    My thoughts are with you.

    Wish there was something of more substance I could say, but it doesn’t come.

    I hope there are still some more good times, in the time you have.

    Thank you for sharing.

  34. MitchM
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    Prayers being sent for your family. Spend your time enjoying each other so you’ll have those memories forever.

  35. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    I am so very grateful for your friendship, comfort and caring…….

  36. Posted December 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    I once had me a little girl named Heidi
    I picked her up at the Humane Society
    And though she wasn’t really was, was I was looking for
    She somehow convinced me otherwise
    That little bitch

    That little bitch

  37. Jane K.
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:21 am |

    Out of town and just now catching up – my heart hurts for you.