Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Goodbye Kayla

This post is one that I write with a heavy heart. Kayla put up a good fight but her cancer finally got the best of her and we said our final goodbye to her this morning (June 21, 2011). After 4 great days in a row, she went downhill Sat morning (June 18) and really never recovered for more than brief moments here and there where she would attempt to get up and walk into another room. She rested comfortably the rest of the time watching the comings and goings around her. She ate a little bit of food Sunday morning but refused any offered her after that (even New York strip!). It is never an easy decision to euthanize a beloved pet, and we struggled with it up until the very last moment. With confirmation from Dr C. that it was indeed the right time, we decided to go ahead with it. Her quality of life was depleting rapidly before our eyes.
We feel so blessed to have had her gentle soul grace our lives for 13 1/2 years. We love you and will miss you sweet Kayla girl!!!
The two photos above were the last ones I took of her on one of her good days...9 days before her passing. This is how I want to remember her, in the yard stalking flying bugs to catch and doing a pretty good job at it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kayla Update and Other Life Stuff

It's been 4 weeks and 3 days since surgery and I won't lie, it's been a trying month. Kayla seems to be on a schedule of 3 good days followed by one bad day. Her good days are really good with her acting pretty much the way she did before surgery, ravenous appetite (but still as picky as ever so I have to keep her meals exciting), walking her 3/4 mile walk on the greenbelt and just enjoying life. When she has a bad day, it gets pretty bad and each time we think she won't make it through the day (or night). She gets very lethargic to the point of not being able to walk much or at all. If she does try to walk she has episodes of breathing difficulty (from another underlying issue called Laryngeal Paralysis) So, on her bad days, we just keep her calm and let her sleep through it. It is emotionally trying and it is taking it's toll on G and I. For anyone who has gone through watching a pet with cancer live out it's last weeks knows what I'm talking about. You are constantly asking yourself if today is the day you should humanely end her suffering or do we hold on and let her enjoy some more good days. Are we being selfish? Are we being fair to her? What would she want if she could talk?
We called our vet to ask advice and he said everyone needs to make that decision on their own. He did tell us that he personally thinks 3 good days to 1 bad is still something to hold onto but her breathing difficulty does change things a bit. We need to keep her as calm and cool as much as possible to prevent those episodes. One day at a time, I suppose.
Today is one of her bad days and it happened after only 2 good days (and those two good days were not as good as they have been) so I suspect her bad days will increase and our vet tells us we will know when it's time. These photos were taken last week on one of her good days!

On another topic, I thew my back out a week-and-a-half ago and ended up with back spasms that debilitated me for 24 hrs until I was able to get an Rx for a muscle relaxer. I have never had that kind of pain and hope never to again, period. I am now seeing a physical therapist and have gone from taking the muscle relaxer and alternating 600mg Ibuprofen and Tylenol every 3 hours to now only taking 400 mg of Ibupr0fen every six hours. I'm not 100% but I've come a long way. Sad thing is, I went through this same thing 2 years ago (only not near as painful) and was told if I strengthen my core muscles, it won't happen again. Guess what they are telling me this time? Yep, same thing but this time I'm going to listen. If it's the last thing I do, I will do my daily back exercises from now on...I swear! (and just between you and I, I'm holding onto the remaining muscle relaxers just in case!)
There are a few other medical issues going on with my family that I don't wish to discuss but just need to put it in writing so when I look back on this period of time, I will remember why I pretty much let everything go in my life except the essentials...eating, laundry and keeping things as normal for the boys as I can so I don't ooze my emotional stress onto them. After all it IS summer break and they want to do fun things and I don't blame them!
The current situation has temporarily caused me to lose interest in my photography, scrapbooking and cross-stitching hobbies, but I have been trying to go through the motions (with photography and cross-stitching anyway) to save my sanity. I will share my latest cross-stitch project soon. I took some fun pics of the boys in the kiddie pool! Who knew a 6 and 8 year old could still have fun in a kiddie pool? :)

Kudos to you if you made it through this whole post!