Monday, August 12, 2013

Sometimes news just sucks....

AP here:

First one of my favorite recent pictures of Tonka.
It is the classic Tonka look - eyes rolled up at me with that big nose in the air and his eyebrows raised. This is my son, my boy, my heart!

How can you not want to pat that head or kiss that nose? How can you not want to move heaven and earth to save him?

So this week he had an MRI and Tonka did really well. Dr. Klaser was prepared to do a rhinoscopy afterwards to biopsy whatever they found if it was accessible unfortunately that did not happen. What did happen is that an MRI that showed a very large, very nasty mass that has taken up his right nasal cavity and gone up and into the space above his palate. It is creeping into the left side and is pushing up through the bone out the top of his nose. That is the lump on the bridge of his nose. It also expends up and into the right eye orbit but at this time is not giving us any problems there. The only way to determine if it is cancerous is to biopsy it from outside - sort of a surgical punch if you will.  I will tell you that statistically the percentage of nasal tumors in dogs is extremely high (in the 80%) so in all likelihood that is what this is.

I needed to know what was going on- I do not necessarily need to know if it is cancer. The thing about nasal tumors in dogs is they SUCK. I have looked at the treatment options and they are all horrible without really great outcomes. Nothing would be a "cure" everything would just buy time (maybe). So we are going to go down the road (however short) it may be of palliative care. I am starting him on a powerful anti-inflammatory and a big dose of "do whatever makes him happy". The plan is to be pain free and happy until we cant be happy anymore. I have no timeline, not really any guesstimate of how much time there is left and if you read the research you will find anything from 3-7 months with just palliative care, no surgery, no radiation. I know everyone loves Tonka - its impossible not to and everyones first instinct is to "save" him- believe me it has always been mine. The reality is there is no "saving" this time. I am out of options - we can play the "what about" game endlessly but it is not going to change anything. I really don't have the energy or the emotional strength to run down the list with everyone so if I tell you we have no options please leave it at that.

I will never forgive myself for not pursuing an MRI in April when he first started having "allergy" symptoms I am not sure if anything could have been caught and dealt with at that time but I'll never know. I am sorry and that's all I can say about it - I will have to live with it for the rest of my days.


The MRI was read by Dr. Amy Tidwell DVM so there is no doubt as to the accuracy of the read as she is an expert in the field. The first sentence of the report starts with "There is a large destructive mall in the right nasal cavity and para-nasal sinuses with extension of mass..." That sentence will replay in my head forever.

I know Tonka is an anomaly and has beaten more than his fair share of odds but that's not going to happen this time. I suggest if you would like to say your goodbyes that you do it soon - but do not cry around him please. He and I do not need the added stress of dealing with negative emotions. I want this time to be happy for him, he has spent the past 5 years bringing happiness and smiles to people and so that is what needs to be returned to him. I have never known a happier, sweeter soul than my boy and I probably wont again....


6 comments:

Zoo Crew and Staff said...

There never will be a sweeter soul in this world as the one we have now...Tonka.
Hugs to you both.

liparifam said...

Sad, sad news - we have to console ourselves with the fact that while some poor creatures may have quantity of life, they don't have quality, but the amount of time Tonka was blessed with was all wonderful :) I do hope you will come to see that the blame for this in no way lies with you - you did so much more for Tonka than probably 99% of people would or could have... Wishing you both happiness and peace for whatever time is left...

Anonymous said...

A dog has no future.
It cannot greet the sun and say today will be better.
It can only reflect upon days of past experiences.
It is our job to create a positive past.......
this you have done for Tonka...Bless you both

Trina said...

As a rescuer of goldens a pyrs, we have been where you are. You are amazing, as is Tonka. Love and peace to you guys as you enter the final leg of your journey together. You have done amazing things.

Anonymous said...

Tonka has not only brought love yours and CM's life....but everyone he has come in contact with.
But one thing I do know, is that he KNOWS how much he is loved and that EVERYTHING that could have been done or has been done was done out of that love.....NO REGRETS!!

CM

Tina said...

You've always done the absolute best for the Tonka Man, AP. My heart goes out to you and CM. Cherish your time with him and know how very much he loves you in return. Please give the big man a hug and kiss from me and Liam.