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Monday, March 17, 2014

Kitai is almost out of time

Last night I discovered the lymph nodes on the left side of his throat that had receded have enlarged again. This means that the Prednisone is no longer keeping the cancer at bay and at some point, maybe in a week, maybe by tomorrow, his throat will most likely become constricted by the nodes pressing in on each side. When that happens he will have difficulty swallowing, then breathing.

I am going to miss this little face in the mornings.

All along I've said I don't want him to suffer, that I'd rather let him go a little too soon than wait too long. Well, saying it and doing it are two different things. This morning I've been telling myself he may still have 2 or 3 good days left. He's still eager to eat and bright eyed when something fun is afoot. Do I really want to take those possible good days away from him by having him euthanized sooner vs. later?

I've been going back and forth in my mind that this is another one of those between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place decisions I have to make for his benefit. The first was do I choose chemo or palliative care? Then came do I choose high doses of Prednisone that will hold back the cancer for a few weeks or low doses that won'd damage his internal organs but would allow the cancer to escalate more quickly? Now this. Do I let him go before he shows signs of distress or wait for him to be uncomfortable?

Last Friday I did take him in for a blood draw to assess his kidney function. It turns out both his liver and one kidney enzyme are elevated. The Vet said the kidney level could be due to a urinary tract infection, until I told her about the re-enlarged lymph nodes. Then she got really quiet while she searched for the words to tell me that we're about to run out of time and options to keep Kitai both alive and comfortable.

In my heart I know the most important thing is that he not suffer. I will watch him like a hawk today and if I notice he is in any distress at all I will take him in. If he makes it through tonight I will take him tomorrow and let him go. There's just something awful about scheduling his euthanasia. It feels like I'm his executioner. I know it's a completely different thing but it still feels like that sometimes when I think about it.

Once he's gone it will be the end to one of the best chapters of my life. Without him it's hard to imagine I'll ever be happy again. I know I will be but at the same time I know no matter how happy I am I'll always think to myself that things could have been even better if he was still with me. And the truth is, I'm sure they would have been.

Updates on Kitai's Condition:

What was left of my heart is being put to the test - February 10, 2014

Kitai Update: Lymphoma and Prednisone - February 13, 2014

True Love: A girl and her dog - February 21, 2014

Kitai Update: Looking for signs - February 26, 2014

Kitai Update: Hanging in there - March 9, 2014

Kitai is almost out of time - March 17, 2014

A once in a lifetime dog. . . RIP Kitai - March 19, 2014

It's been four weeks since you left me - April 15, 2014

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