So I have to preface this with I’ve never written a blog before. Quite honestly, I wasn’t even really sure what a blog was. But for me, this totally makes sense as I’ve been really struggling to talk about Rocky’s diagnosis with osteosarcoma. Its just too hard to have the same conversation over and over again. So here I am…
First, for some reason I feel the need to explain our decision. I sense that there are some out there who think we made a selfish decision to have Rocky’s leg removed. That we are putting him through hell just so we can have a little more time with him. I want to say that our decision was based on what we feel is best for Rocky…not us. For those who are not familiar with osteosarc in dogs, its a very painful and very aggressive bone cancer. Even with amputation and chemo (which seem to be the gold standard for treatment) the average life expectancy is about 10-12 months. Now we understand that this is the average so some live longer but sadly, too many cross the bridge way too early. Of course we hope that Rocky defies the odds but I bet everyone thinks this as well. But either way, we understood this when we decided the best path forward for Rocky.
When we were told about Rocky’s cancer, we were also informed of our options. Basically, we had 3 choices. One, was to basically do nothing. The vet would give us some pain medication to try and ease the pain and suffering that Rocky would go through as the cancer would continue to eat the bone and nerves of his leg. This option came with the possibility that Rocky would soon put too much pressure on his leg and the bone would shatter…causing the worst possible pain you could imagine. This was unacceptable to us. The other option was to give Rocky some of his favorite treats and foods for a short time while we prepared to say our goodbyes. This seemed pretty selfish to us as well. I thought, that if the roles were reversed, I hope that the people who loved me would give me a chance to fight back. Which brings us to the third option, which we feel is the best choice for Rocky. Some think that it’s a little barbaric to amputate a dogs leg. However, given the pain that Rocky was going through, he is already in a better place. We also don’t have to worry about him shattering that bone. And, as we learned first hand, dogs are very resilient and will adapt quickly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t rid his body of the cancer. Apparently, osteosarc moves fast and by the time we found out what was wrong with Rocky’s leg, it probably had spread and is hiding somewhere else. This is why the next step is to start chemotherapy once Rocky recovers from the surgery. Dogs can’t take the same dosage of chemo that humans can. Sadly, this is why the long term prognosis isn’t so great. With that being said, I just read a story of Bandit, who survived 6.5 years after her diagnosis of osteosarc and subsequent surgery.
So here we are, at the beginning of our journey. Rocky is 3 days post surgery and doing great. He’s adjusted extremely well and is very active already. We already had to go back to the vet to out another wrap put on because he’s moving around so much it came loose. We were told he’ll be constipated for a little while and that will cause him some discomfort. Rocky pooped the next day after surgery and even twice today before noon! I think we avoided the yukon log jam.
I’m going to use this place to document Rocky’s journey and to keep our friends and family updated. Thank you all for the loving words and those who helped Laura and I through the initial shock and devastation of Rocky’s diagnosis. Special thanks to the Tripawd family. I don’t know what we would have done without your knowledge and support.
Rob, Laura, Baby Hayes and Rocky