Earlier this week we learned that Sadie has hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer, and typing up these words leaves me in tears because I hate thinking that something is going on in our girl’s body that we cannot cure and help her fight. To be honest, I’ve been a bit of a mess. (I wrote and scheduled the blog posts I shared this week before Sadie’s vet appointment and since we received this news I haven’t been able to write or think about much else.) Sharing this news with all of you makes the whole situation feel permanent and understanding that we are approaching the end of Sadie’s life doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel okay. It feels like intense pressure on my chest, tears in my eyes and the very best dog wrapped up in my arms. A dog I don’t ever want to leave me.
We were hoping and praying Sadie’s ultrasound would reveal an infection we could treat that would explain her weight loss. With no symptoms other than decreased appetite and weight loss currently presenting (other than typical 13-year-old dog things), our vet was hopeful and so were we. When the results came back and our vet told me Sadie has cancer, I held her in my arms, stroked her soft fur and asked a million questions with tears streaming down my face.
Is there something we could’ve done? Could we have found this sooner? What do we do now? Our vet explained that this type of cancer is extremely aggressive and often not found until it has progressed to the point where palliative care is the only recommended option for older dogs. When our vet began discussing the end of Sadie’s life, I was overwhelmed. She’s not ready to go. Not yet. I know she’s not. She’s happy and still acting so much like herself. Our vet agreed. It’s not her time. Not yet.
She still has more nighttime cuddles to give when she presses her warm body against my belly under the sheets.
She still has more walks to go on with the boys when she stops to sniff everything from bushes to the air.
She still has more spoonfuls of peanut butter to lick and chicken scraps to eat as I prep dinner and she stays glued to my leg.
She still has a boat ride she needs to go on where she keeps us safe as Captain Sadie at the bow of the boat.
She still needs to lie down and place her head on my neck a hundred more times, Sadie scarf style.
She still has so much more love from us to receive and we need to make sure she knows deep within her bones that our love will be with her always, always, always.
When I left the vet with Sadie trotting beside me and her medications in my bag, I felt heavy and heartbroken. Sadie has been a constant source of love, comfort, craziness, humor and everything good wrapped up in a wiggly little body for 13-and-a-half years.
I know it’s not Sadie’s time to go yet. I hate thinking that her time is coming. Our vet said it could be days, a week, a month. She doesn’t know. We don’t know. If it’s her time, I hope and pray she will let us know. This is not a decision Ryan nor I feel at all prepared to make.
Right now I’m trying to keep my focus on Sadie. For the first couple of days after we learned about her cancer, I felt like I was almost grieving her before she was even gone. That’s not how I want to spend this precious time with our girl. I want to enjoy her. To love her. To cherish every amazing thing about her. I think Sadie thought I was insane at one point this week because I couldn’t stop following her around, stroking her sweet face and wrapping her up in cuddles every chance I could.
She’s not ready. We’re not ready. And we’re going to make sure that until she is ready, her days are filled with more love than she can imagine and all of her very favorite things because she is and always will be the very best girl.