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Daphne's journey

Chronicling Daphne's fight against bone cancer

Daphne's journey

Step 2: Amputation

December 6th, 2016 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

Amputation.  It’s a terrifying word.  Over the last 3 weeks, I have watched other people react to the word as I tell them this is the next step in Daphne’s treatment.  You can literally watch their eyes widen in shock and their jaw drop in horror.  Tears often spring to their eyes.  Because it’s terrifying.  The thing we wouldn’t want to see happen to our worst enemy.

And I signed my best friend and the biggest fan I’ll ever have up for it.

How do I deal with this?  I know you’re thinking what about poor Daphne, how’s she going to deal with it?  But I know the answer to that one.  Just fine.  It is the humbling miracle of a dog’s love that they will forgive you anything and everything – right up to and including amputation.  She will simply trust that this strange action was the right one because I allowed it.

I’m not worried about Daphne at all but I have no idea how I will ever learn to forgive myself for this decision.  And don’t get me wrong, on an intellectual and logical level, I absolutely know I made the right decision.  Both the length of her life and the quality of her life has been extended.  She now has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating osteosarcoma.  I know you’re now thinking “a snowball’s chance in hell” means no chance!  But it doesn’t mean no chance, it means almost no chance and in that tiny distance dwells my only chance of salvation.  Because even though I know logically this was a good decision, my heart screams against any thought of someone harming my girl.  Especially on purpose.  I have always had a Momma-bear personality.  I have a hard getting mad and an even harder time staying mad – unless you hurt someone I love and then watch out.  I totally Hulk out.  But where should I direct my protective rage, worry and fear?  Certainly not at the wonderful team of vets caring for her nor at God.  He’s the only entity that loves Daphne as much as I do.  Is it the Devil?  Is cancer a demon?  Then let me at them!  I will rip Hell apart and teach the Devil to cringe!  Such is my outrage at this moment!   You made me hurt my dog!  My beautiful, trusting, loving spirit animal.  How dare you!

How dare I.

Please know that I absolutely encourage any other pet guardians to make the same decision.

To amputate.

To give your snowball a chance to fight.  A chance to be brave.  A chance to give the Demon called cancer, the finger.  But know that the decision may be more tortuous to you than your dog.  Maybe that’s the way it should be.  Some decisions should be torture to make.

In a few hours, I will get to visit Daphne for the first time since her amputation.  I’ll have to try to bury all the guilt and show her only a proud and confident Momma.

I know I asked for prayers for Daphne but just this once, could you say one for me too?

Because I feel a great need for forgiveness.

Last picture of Daphne as a quadruped.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • otisandtess

    Although all surgery has risks, the decision you are making will take away her immediate pain and will allow you additional quality time together. Dogs do not sit around thinking about their missing leg or that they are disabled. Once Daphne recovers, she will get right back to the business of figuring out how to do whatever she wants to do. You are not hurting her – cancer is hurting her and you are removing the pain. It would be easier if the amputation was a guaranteed total cure. We all know that it generally is not, but personally, I wouldn’t trade the almost 7 months I had with Otis post-amp for anything. They were really good, really happy months. And some dogs beat the statistics, by months or even years. When you see her, the incision will look horrible. And the next two weeks will be intense, but then you will start to see her get better and better. So, don’t let this decision torture you. On a personal note, I have absolutely no regrets. My dog’s life or his leg? No contest. We are all behind you and Daphne in this journey!

    • tracy06

      Thank you for the reassurance. I know Daphne will figure this out. I’ve got to do the same with myself

  • otisandtess

    Take a look at Honeybear’s blog – published right before this post. You will see a picture of Honeybear up on hind legs looking at food on the counter. One of the questions my daughter asked after Otis’ amp was whether we could start leaving food on the counters. He answered that question really quickly. Daphne will amaze you with how quickly she adapts to life on 3.

  • midnighter94

    You have such a great attitude, I have no doubt that Daphne will do just fine! Like Christine said, the next 2 weeks will be the hardest, but after that you will have some wonderful time together. There’s something about this journey that really creates a bond between a Tripawd and a pawparent.
    Donna

  • linda8115

    Welcome! So sorry you have to be here. There will be a part of you that will mourn the dog you had but the biggest part of you will build a bond that will amaze you with how resilient Daphne is and will be. Every thing we experience and any hurdle we overcome in this journey are all life lessons that bond us to our pups more and more each day. Having done this journey has made me a stronger person capable of much more than I ever could have imagined. Always remember you are doing this for your girl not to her. We will all be here to help you navigate both yourself and your sweet Daphne. Hugs!

  • Lily's Mom

    Aww, this brought tears to my eyes as it completely took me back to that time with Lily. Such a tough decision to make – but easy at the same time as it’s the only one that gives you that “snowballs chance”.

    Some of the best advice I ever received on this journey came from a Tripawds alum a few days after amputation. I was an emotional basket case wondering what the hell I had done to my poor Lily: Always remember that you are doing this FOR Daphne and not TO Daphne. Hearing this really brought me out of my guilt trip and reminded me why we had ended up where we were. I kept it as a mantra and it really helped me through the hurdles. There will be hurdles….the first week or two will likely be a challenge for you physically and emotionally as you and Daphne adjust to her new life as a tripawd. But, before you know it, you are going to have that first “proud momma” moment when Daphne does something that truly amazes you and makes you smile so hard you can feel it in your whole body. That will be just the first of many! I have so many of those with Lily and I treasure them always.

    Keep your chin up and take it easy on you. You are making this decision because you love Daphne and you want her to have a life without pain. There is nothing to forgive. Don’t forget about this tribe of supportive Tripawds members out here that you can call on anytime you need. It was truly a lifeline for me.

    • Trbaileysmom

      I just wanted to say you just gained a new family. Tripawds well we are FAMILY. We will be here to hold you up. I don’t want to hard on the first two are the hardest but just remember there is a bright light and your “snowball” is not going to melt. My only advice is to keep her hydrated what every it takes I used Pedylite in her water but make sure it’s not sugar free. Chicken broth with water helps also. If she’s stubborn with eating try liver canned food or Natural Bslance refrigerated rolls mixed with a little warm water. Bailey Girl was spoon fed because that’s how she would eat. I wish you lived close I would give you a big hug. It’s a personal decision and for what it is worth you did what was best for Daphene. As Lilly stated above my vet told me don’t look back and to always remember YOU DID THIS FOR DAPHENE NOT TO HER. Deep breath you are in the right place. (My signature always)
      Love and tight hugs,
      Tracy and Bailey Girl

  • Trbaileysmom

    Saying prayers for you my dear friend. Chin up we have this every step of the way.
    Prayers of comfort.
    Love and tight hugs,
    Tracy and Bailey Girl

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