Our Journey is just beginning!

My Golden Henri started limping back in the Fall and after a visit to the Vet,  Arthritis had been diagnosed.  We were sent home with Rimadyl and we initially saw improvement but that did not last long.  Well,  it was Winter, and we have had a COLD one,….so I thought the weather was making his condition worse.  But after a check up in January,  and a couple of X-rays later,  we are faced with Cancer.  : (  No one is ever prepared for hearing that word, not for humans we love or for our furry pals!  I remember not even hearing what the Vet said because I was in shock.  I do remember the word amputation.  And I thought, there is NO WAY I would/could do that to Henri.  He is 11, and has arthritis,  and could stand to lose 10 pounds.  How would this work?  Impossible!   That is when I started  to go crazy with my research efforts on the internet…trying to find answers, trying to understand why this happens, and how others have dealt with it.  And by “it”…I mean…Osteosarcoma.

I felt I needed to get another evaluation for Henri, hear the options again and try to prepare myself so that I could become more logical in my decision process.  But after meeting with the surgeon,  I cried,  and felt that none of the options were favorable.  When I heard about palliative radiation with the injection,  I felt confident with the decision.  I thought that might be best for Henri…but then I came home, did more research and became even more confused!  I was really fence sitting with the entire amputation ordeal…and I needed to find peace about what I should do.  I kept swaying back and forth…amputation,  NO…palliative radiation.  When I came across the tripawds site,  I can say that I felt a little bit more peace.  I was able to read about what other animals have gone through and their owners.   Then it started to become more clear that amputation would possibly be the best chance at keeping Henri here comfortably for the optimal amount of time.   But I still needed that last push….something to make me feel more certainty.  Henri and I took a trip to Northern Virginia to meet with an Oncologist…we were prepared for palliative radiation but I looked straight into the Oncologist’s eyes and proclaimed my love and devotion to Henri.  I told her I was willing to do anything that would help him live out his last days in a more comfortable manner.   She said he was a good candidate for amputation and it would give him the most painfree approach at dealing with the Osteosarcoma.  So…back on the road we went.  I called the surgeon on the way home and schedule surgery for Henri that would be in two days!  WOW,………..my decision was firm and I felt peace.  I still felt sadness, but I felt peace!  The next couple of days were difficult….an emotional roller coaster…..and Henri got lots of TLC!!!!!  Stay tuned for our amputation update!!!! 


7 thoughts on “Our Journey is just beginning!”

  1. Thanks for kicking off Henri’s recovery journal with a Tripawds Supporter blog subscription! 🙂

    Best wishes for a quick recovery, sounds like Henri is in good hands.

  2. Hi Wendy,

    I’m so glad you were finally able to start up Henri’s blog! You can also post pictures of him here too… just be sure to edit them smaller first so that they fit. You can find detailed instructions in the technical section of the forums.

    Thanks for emailing me Henri’s update and pictures from after his surgery. He is so adorable, and his face reminds me so much of Jake’s… so sweet, so innocent…

    I hope that the next 2 weeks are too hard for you and Henri… and that he heals quickly and gets back to enjoying his life. 🙂

    Angel Jake’s Mom

  3. Hang in there Henri. The first two weeks are rough, but then you will show your mom how tough you are…don’t over do it. And make sure you get your fair share of treats and massages while recovering. Opie

  4. Henri, we’re pulling for you!

    I understand the agonies of uncertainty. I also appreciate the sense of peace once a decision has been made. It’s like breathing again after a long, long time!

    Our 6-year old Golden Catie had her right foreleg amputated on January 13. First round of chemo two weeks ago. She has been such a trooper and continues to thrive and hop and eat and take all the loving and attention she can get.

    Best wishes for a smooth recovery for Henri! Look forward to an update.

    Carmen (Catie’s mom)

  5. We went through a similar experience with Mackenzie (our 7 year old Golden) and did end up opting first for the palliative radiation. Unfortunately Mackenzie didn’t respond well to the radiation so we had no other option but do the amputation. Hindsight is 20/20 – had I known then what I know now, I would not hesitate at all for doing the amputation. So you are making the right decision and as you’ll find on this website, very few of us regret this decision and know it’s the best decision that we could make for our pets. The 2 week recovery process is very tough but just know that it’s all temporary and soon enough you’ll have your puppy dog back. Good luck with everything and keep us posted on Henri’s progress.

  6. Dear Wendy and Henri:
    I’m so glad I found your blog. I wanted to see pictures of you and Henri. I hope everything is okay since your oncology appt this past week. I am 3 days and counting to our big day. The picture of Henri after amputation scares me. I’m scared of Amputation, but I know it’s supposed to relieve their pain. Rosie’s pain is not from cancer anymore its from the fracture. You made a firm decision I wish I could be as solid as you were in the decision. You love for Henri made you do it and I too love Rosie so much and hope I can carry this out. I keep looking at her leg knowing soon it will be gone!
    Henri is doing good, his pictures ! he and Rosie look just alike. Rosie’s amputation will be on her front left. I have to figure out how to do this blog thing too and write Rosie’s story.

    Best wishes for you and Henri.
    Sandy and Rosie

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