Cherish today, for who knows what tomorrow may bring

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In summary, we are disappointed after our met check but trying to focus on the positives. On thoracic radiographs today Grover did not have evidence of lung tumors/metastases but he did have a lytic mass on a rib that is consistent with another osteosarcoma.

Putting a positive spin on it, the oncologist told me that in retrospect the radiologists can find the lesion on his radiographs and CT before surgery (it has grown since and is much more obvious) and so technically this means that he does not have any new lesions which is good news. I am honestly glad that they did not identify this as a tumor before surgery because it may have been the straw that steered us away from amputation and no matter what, I am SO glad that we did the amputation because it has bought him truly  happy weeks. I do not know what this means for us long-term. Today he started radiation for the rib to try and slow the growth and we are forging forward with chemotherapy because he did not have lung tumors, so maybe the chemo is doing its job there. She would not have expected the chemotherapy to do much for the tumor in the rib.

Yesterday, in timely fashion, Grover reminded me that we should not waste today borrowing troubles from the future. He insisted on going potty outside, at the exact time of this beautiful sunset and threw himself on the grass. I stopped to sit with him and we watched the sun setting over the hills. I was reminded that regardless of what the radiographs say, tomorrow is never a guarantee. All we can really count on is the moment that we are in so we better enjoy it. #bemoredog

Then an off leash dog came whizzing by, startled us both, and I had to take off running after the three legged dog who it turns out could get up quicker than me. 🙂

We all (owners, veterinarians, etc.) do the best that we can do, with the resources and knowledge that we have, in the moment we are in … and that’s all we can ever ask of ourselves or others.

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Author: jkopper

The lucky owner of Grover, a Great Dane, living with osteosarcoma.

6 thoughts on “Cherish today, for who knows what tomorrow may bring”

  1. Oh man. I can’t believe you guys are dealing with this blow, I’m so sorry. I wish nobody ever had to deal with a situation like this. So. Not. Right!!

    You are handling it with such grace, thank you for showing how to cope and do justice to all the lessons our heroes are trying to teach us. Grover is so proud.

    Soak up every moment and know that we are holding you close in our hearts. Follow your boys lead and you can’t go wrong.

    1. Thank you Jerry … I hoped we would be in a “rarer” group (i.e. long term survival), but not this rare group! 🙂

      We are very lucky to have such amazing support — near and far/via internet — thank you for creating this group and a mechanism for people to get support and share stories. This journey would be harder without you all!

  2. Sorry the news wasn’t what you’d hoped. You’re attitude is amazing, and just what you both need right now. I was never brave enough to do follow-up x-rays after my Dobe, Nitro, had his amp. I couldn’t bear the stress of that – I’d obsessed about a million things, and couldn’t do one more. We were one of the rare, lucky ones, in that his cancer never returned; he lived 3 1/2 years after the amp, until old age and kidney failure took him.
    Sounds like you’re doing everything in your power for him – including (and maybe most importantly) having a positive attitude. In the last year of Nitro’s life, I spent way too much time with anticipatory grief….I tried to “be more dog”, but didn’t do it very well.
    You’re right, no one knows what lies around the corner, for anyone. Enjoy your boy, cherish every moment, take lots of pictures. We’ll be rooting for you!

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

    1. Hi Paula —

      I haven’t heard someone put a name on it before — Anticipatory grief — but YES YES YES. Ironically, before his diagnosis I was obsessed with this because with a 10 year old Great Dane he had technically lived his life expectancy and it was “going to be something.” I would get every single tiny mass biopsied. He started getting a CT about once a year to look for tumors we couldn’t see externally .. and ironically NONE of that did one bit of good.

      I must also admit that in part, reminding myself of how I need/want to think/act helps me carry it out better. Be more dog is a work in progress for me and some days are easier than others.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry about the bad news. But your blog is helping me, and others, know what to possibly expect with our own dogs. My 100lb, 9 year old Saint Bernard mix was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma on Friday, and is scheduled to have her left front leg removed on Tuesday. Seeing your large breed dog manage with mobility with a missing front limb gives me hope for my own dog’s future mobility.

    1. I can’t thank you enough for this comment — it means so much, because it is exactly why I started this blog. Just a few short months ago I remember being in your shoes and wondering if a big old dog really COULD do it. We almost didn’t do it … and I can’t believe we nearly missed out on all these happy times. The first 3 weeks were rough (especially week 1.5-3) but absolutely worth it. I will be thinking of you guys as you start this new chapter – please let me know if there is anything we can do to help <3

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