All Our Children Meow and Woof: Cancer Ain't Like It Is on TV

All Our Children Meow and Woof

I created this blog to sort through my emotions as Finnegan, a great Irish Wolfhound, fought bone cancer for nearly 26 months. Fortunately, his battle subsided for many months and during the course of the 26 months, I shared stories about his feline siblings. On August 8, 2008, Finny passed on in my husband's and my arms. He fought the good fight and he will always have a special place in my heart. *If you have a question, please write me at finnegandog at gmail dot com.*

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cancer Ain't Like It Is on TV

...or something like that. As you are aware, my chest x-rays showed no nodules or metastases to my lungs. Hurray! Apparently, I have a "normal abnormality" on my ribs visible on the x-rays. When Mum heard that, her heart nearly dropped to the floor. Fortunately, it is nothing to worry about. Apparently, mammals' bones change as they age (osteoporosis for example) and that is basically what is evident on my most recent chest x-rays. Although I am six and half years old, I am oldish for my distinguished breed. Let's hope that is all that is abnormal about me.

My energy level seems to be back to normal levels. I cannot expect to run a marathon or race up the stairs (as if I ever did that before). The anabolic steroids (RAH) have certainly increased my energy and strength. On Sunday, I raced around the backyard like a crazed puppy. Mum was happy to see that. My back legs are getting stronger as I am exercising more. I am not too swift with the stairs (I never was, try imagining a large pony going up and down your stairs). For now, Mum is bringing me around the house to go up and downstairs. When it snows, she will probably not want to be doing that. After going down the stairs several times, I slid one of the times and tore my dew claw. Thanks to Mum's former veterinary experience, she bandaged it up and all I needed were some antibiotics. It feels fine.

It's not easy going through all of this. As a critter, you must tolerate the pain of the tumor as it weakens your bones. You must tolerate the complete and utter pain of a traumatic surgery. You must tolerate the constipation associated with narcotics. You must be willing to learn how to ambulate a completely new way. You must tolerate the diarrhea (ah, the dogbursts) and the sluggishness. You must tolerate the veterinary visits and the poking and prodding. You must tolerate the itchy skin and the slow growth of your hair. In some cases, fortunately not mine, you must tolerate the vomiting, nausea, anemia, and extreme weakness which can be associated with the chemotherapy treatments.

As a human companion, you must have patience. You must tolerate the monetary and emotional expenses. You must learn that feeling guilty and regretful for doing this to your critter companion is normal and well, human. You must realize that you will cry and be scared for your critter friend. As a human companion, your heart will break when you see your critter friend struggle after surgery. But then, your heart will soar when you see your critter companion take steps on his or her volition.

There are many times my human companion had regrets and doubts. In the end, she did the right thing and will forever be grateful to me for teaching her patience, and learning when life looks horrible at the moment, there can be a happy ending.

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Blogger Opy - the Original GruffPuppy said...

Hey Finnegan,

Welcome to - we hope you have lots of fun here and make lots of new friends :-)


PS - You and your mum are inspirations to us all. You are both in our thoughts.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Tin Tin Blogdog said...

Hiya Finnegan,

I just found you through Dogs With Blogs.

I am so impressed reading about your courage and your mum’s love and patience. You took that ole C and gnawed it and chewed it and shook it left to right and then spat it out down the drain where it belongs.

You’re handsome doog, no two ways about it. My ma is Irish (and we live in Adelaide, Australia). But guess what? She’s not as eye-catching as you are.

So flaunt yourself goin’ down that street, doog. If anyone starts asking stupid questions or so much as looks at your sideways, well, a timely spray of diarrhea or a nice little vomit squirt will send them on their stupid way.

And you know, even a crotch sniff from a big guy like you could be the way to go.

Chow for now,

Tin Tin xo

PS is it ok if I add your blog to my list of droolable links? And you’re welcome to add my smelly blogplace to yours, if you like.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Finnegan said...

Tin Tin,

Thanks for the post! I'd be happy to have you link me. I will do the same.


8:51 AM  
Blogger Cubby said...

Amazing story of love. I understand the doubts and regrets, but I am glad things turned out so well.

1:31 AM  

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