Aug 26, 2010

Get that cancer off of him

Surgery Day - Tuesday, August 24th

Time to smell the grass

As per his usual, Cas did not want to get out of bed in the morning. Even this airbed we're sharing.

Before surgery, we stopped off at the park again. There were ducks, and turtles, and doggies, oh my!

So beautiful, yet so few people. It's incredibly peaceful. And, apparently, it smells interesting too!


It was a short stop, and then a quick ride to CARE Hospital. He was less nervous with his Auntie Jen there. His teeth were not chattering, a common occurrence at the vet. A quick chat with the surgeon, the fantastic and thoughtful Dr. Eric Wright, recapping what I've spent my last week and a half learning (Summary: Osteosarcoma - very bad. To stop pain, remove leg.) and some procedure and recovery information.

Cas gets to keep his hip and a small portion of his femur since the tumor was in his distal tibia. This means he will heal faster, and his muscles won't eventually atrophy as is the case with complete amputation of limb. He'll have a little bum muscle. Yay!!

I was no longer anxious or grieving. I am ready. I am ready to have this cancer taken off his body. I am ready for his rehabilitation. I am ready to have a happier pup. I am ready to deal.

So, with a big hug from my dearest Jen and a kiss to Cas, I left him in the back while they prepped the meds for his transformative nap. I was so thankful to be leaving him in the hands of not only skilled professionals, but close friends.

I spent the next many hours busying myself with catching up on the rest of my life - emails, writing, knitting, yoga - and fundraising for Cas. And waiting.

I waited patiently until about 2:30.

"Mom, I'm outta surgery," relays Jen via text message. "He did great. Hope ur ok he's fine." She even sent me a cute (though, perhaps strange for non-techs and vets) pic of my boy zonkered with his tongue all hanging out. (adorable!)

The surgery couldn't have gone better. His closure is beautiful. He spent several hours sleeping it off and was expected to stay overnight.

Then came the call. Apparently, he was not loving coming off the narcotics. He wouldn't stop whining unless he was being cuddled by Jen, who, oddly enough, had work to do at work. So, we all decided he should spend the evening at home with us. ♥

Dabs and I went to get him, and he had just been walking around (i.e., with two techs' help and a sling) outside looking everywhere for me. When I got there I just sat down with his head in my lap and comforted him. Another tech friend, Tina, sat with him for 2 hours before I arrived. Such sweet people we know!

I finally saw his incision as we left. OMG! It's so painful looking, as are most surgical sights, I imagine. I have to just believe Jen (which I do, of course) when she says it looks great. It's all about perspective.

Not sleeping sucks
I slept next to Cas the whole night. (I'm surprised by how comfortable sleeping on a bunch of pillows can be. No more will I feel sorry for Cas sleeping on his doggie bed, instead of my bed. That is not to say that he won't sleep on my bed at night. =)

I wanted to know if he needed me for anything through the night. Boy, did he!

I am sure it sucked more for Castor than for me. Neither of us slept. He whined a lot, not from pain; coming off of drugs makes them wig a bit. Understandably so. I think I dozed of for 5 minutes here and there. Finally, around 3:30am, I woke up Jen and he got a little more pain meds.

He, and therefore I, was asleep for about 2 hours. Sweet! Ah, the little things.

Very little sleep won't stop Cas, though.

The next morning, we were up and hopping around. The getting up part was a challenge, but only a little one with Jen on team Castor! I am so proud of him; he's such a rockstar! Check him out getting around with almost no help less than 24 hours post-op. He even ate a small amount of chicken.

(Jen's got the touch!)

(The video turns sideways toward the end. Dabs is learning to record as Cas learns to walk. haha!)

The recovery is going really well. Some dogs I've read about didn't get up for days and wouldn't eat a thing. We're lucky his spirits are so high.

With that, I am so optimistic. Go Castor!

1 comment:

  1. God Bless this sweet angel! There are all sorts of prosthetics available, maybe that will ease his life and give him more balance. Despite the amputation, this beautiful pooch can still have a long and happy life. :)