Henri comes HOME!!!!!!

I am so happy my sweet boy gets to come home.  His surgery was on Thursday, February 18th….he stayed in the hospital until Saturday and he did very well!  It was hard to see him for the first time without his leg….but I know he feels better without that nasty bone tumor!  So now our long journey begins…recovery is just starting!  Henri arrived home about 3:00 pm and slept all day ….he had a good snooze festival while I watched his every move!!!  I think he is happy to be home!!!!!

Before the “Big Day”…

Like everyone else that has had to experience amputation…I have many thoughts going through my mind and the main one seems to be worry.  I worry that Henri is too old to make it through such a major surgery.  So I spend lots of special time with him and give lots of belly rubs.  I worry how life will be after amputation and how we will adjust, and if Henri will still be able to enjoy quality life.  Sleep is a thing of the past…At this point, I have to hold on to memory, hope and prayer!

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!!!!