October 25, 2009 Morning
October has brought changes. I had been excited and optimistic for Cain. Excited that he successfully made it past the one year mark since the discovery of the second tumor and optimistic that his health was still good. However, it’s been less than a week since we made the trip to CSU and in that time Cain’s health has changed dramatically. If you had asked me last weekend how he was doing, I never would have imagined he would be where he’s at right now. We went on a walk only last Monday and my friend commented on how great he looked. He has had a huge setback and is not rebounding like he usually does. He is now on prednisone and tramadol to make him “comfortable”. It’s like a hard slap in the face, to even contemplate that maybe all avenues have been exhausted. He continues to eat and I’m sure the prednisone has something to do with it, but despite his appetite he’s losing weight. He still refuses to nap after breakfast until we’ve attempted a walk. His legs are shaky and he definitely is slowing down. A noticeable change has been his indifference to other dogs on the trail. Once the macho man, he could now care less who he shares the trail with. We started out for a walk this morning and he headed straight for the car, so we took a ride instead to Starbucks and shared petite vanilla scones, one of his favorites, though full of carbs and not so good for cancer. Small steps have become mountains for him and he turns many more circles before laying down. He sleeps with us in bed and I lay my hand on his heart feeling it beat, stroking his fur, listening to every breath and being entirely in the moment. His eyes still follow my every move and I promise him I will stay right by his side. I feel as though my heart is being squeezed up into my throat again, and it is a crushing, overwhelming sadness that hangs in the air. I will wait a couple of days to see if things change.
October 25, 2009 Afternoon
I was thinking only yesterday, that I would make plans to take one last trip with Cain to Best Friends to deliver the donation we raised at my party. Instead we’re spending today discussing other plans and preparing ourselves to say goodbye. If tomorrow finds us where we are today, then I will have to make that final decision so that my friend can end this life with dignity, free from any pain and discomfort and a quality of life that is changing quickly. I wish more than anything that Cain could go quietly in his sleep while lying next me, but I know that I will probably have to take comfort in the fact that the sleep will be induced by me. I’m still perplexed by this sudden change and am told it’s all expected.
So quickly things can change.