I have been avoiding updating Arwen’s blog. Yesterday would have been her 2 year ampuversary. But she passed away on September 3, just 2 weeks shy of making it to 24 months post-op.
She had done so well for so long, and her lungs continued to be clear of any sign of cancer returning. But in August, she started having back leg weakness, and she got worse so fast. Her vets were convinced it was something neurological, like degenerative myopathy, but a CT scan revealed an inoperable cancerous tumor on her spine.
There’s not much to say, except that our hearts are broken. Completely broken. But we gained 23 and a half months of time with Arwen after her amputation, and we would never give that time up. Except for the first few weeks after her amputation, and her very last days with us, the 23 and a half months after her osteosarcoma diagnosis were the days of a happy, healthy, perfectly normal dog. The chemo never made her sick. The missing leg never slowed her down. My husband and I would make the same decisions again if we had the choice. There is some comfort in having no regrets, but at the same time, there was never going to be enough time with her for us.
Arwen, like most dogs, made the world a better place while she was here. We will never stop loving her.
Arwen had her 11th birthday on July 10th! Hurray! We are beyond happy that our sweet girl has hit 22 months post-op. I still remember the sinking feeling in my gut when Arwen’s oncologist told us we could expect her to live 9 to 12 months if we did both amputation and chemotherapy. I tried calculating how much love and adventure I could give Arwen in a year, and now we have been fortunate enough to get almost double that.
Arwen has spent a lot of time paddleboarding this summer. She swims, too. Both are good low intensity exercises that don’t cause her to place too much strain on her joints, especially since she mostly lies down when paddleboarding. Though she occasionally does stand up.
Of course, she isn’t perfect and has fallen off a couple of times. We keep a life jacket on her in case she falls when we are far from shore, but that hasn’t happened yet.
As much as I hate to say it, we have finally started seeing Arwen slow down a bit. If we spend part of the day at the lake, she seems really tired that afternoon. Sometimes, she even seems not much up for a walk or her physical therapy exercises the next day. It’s not obvious or too bad, but we did finally buy her a stroller as a birthday present. We have only used it twice so far to see how she takes to it, and she seems to like it fine. We plan to still walk her daily, but to start going farther. When she gets tired, we’ll put her in the stroller and let her enjoy a long walk without the work.
As always, we wish must luck and love to anyone else going through this. Hang in there. Some dogs do last past their prognosis when diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
Wonderful news! Arwen just had chest xrays, and her lungs are still clear! No signs of metastatic spreading!
We are beyond happy with these results. Doing periodic checks on her lungs can be stressful, not knowing what the results will be. But if the results are good, I feel like we can relax a little, and breathe a little easier. Our time may still be limited with her, but I know I get at least a little more time.
We feel so lucky that Arwen is doing so well since her osteosarcoma diagnosis.
Our plan is to continue doing what we have been doing. That means daily physical therapy exercises, a mostly homemade diet with no red meat or dairy and lots of veggies, regular K9 Medicinal supplements, fish oil, lots of walks, and lots of love and as little stress as possible. We look forward to every extra day we get with our sweet girl.
Much love to everyone who is going through a tough time, whether it be with a cancer diagnosis or an amputation or both.
It’s time for another year, and I am just updating Arwen’s blog to let everyone know she is still happy and healthy. She’s rocking the tripawd life, and enjoying the snow. She had a lot of adventures this year, and I know more will come in 2021.
I just want to send a message of positivity to anyone who is going through their dog becoming a tripawd. Arwen can still do pretty much everything non-tripawds can do.
Here she is getting on a paddleboard this summer:
And she always loves going out in the snow:
And of course, she loves just being with her family. Especially her fellow doggy cousins.
Happy New Year to everyone! We’re running out of 2020 and into 2021 with hope!
I just wanted to give an Arwen pupdate! But there’s actually not a lot to say. Arwen is still living her best life. She makes us happy every day, and I’m sure we’re making her happy, too. She still seems perfectly healthy, though, as I’ve mentioned before, we have decided not to do chest xrays every 3 months like her vet recommended. We will probably settle on every 6 months, which means we’ll do her next xrays in February. But for now, we’re just cherishing each memory!
Here are some recent pics of her!
This is Arwen’s fall season pic wearing a leaf crown.
This was our family dressed up on Halloween.
We recently got snow on the mountains near our home, which Arwen is ESTATIC about.
We went on a snowshoeing trip this weekend. We usually don’t take Arwen on walks longer than 1 mile to 1.5 miles, but took a wrong turn that turned it into a 3 mile hike. Arwen got really tired and kept stopping to rest, so my husband carried her back the last 3/4 of a mile.
Best wishes to all of our fellow tripawd families! And to all the pups out there fighting osteosarcoma, too.