In loving memory of our precious Sam who will be furever in our hearts!
Can you ever be prepared for the end?
It has been a couple of months now of tearful re-livings of the last several minutes of our beloved Sam’s final struggle in his hard fought battle against the horrifyingly aggressive cancer, hemangiosarcoma.
With heavy hearts and too many regrets we are finally able to share the cherished memories of our precious 14 year old apricot miniature poodle to honor his courage and amazing spirit that will forever remain dear to us… thank you Sam for deeply touching our lives.
It was in the wee hours of a gloomy morning on September 22, 2010 that all our hopes and prays for any miracle came to a halting end, when Sam’s fortitude finally succumbed to an internal bleed from yet another metastasized hepatic site that was just confirmed the week prior. The resulting shock that we always feared, since sadly learning of his grave Stage 3 splenic visceral hemangiosarcoma diagnosis in June 2010, did indeed end up taking him away much too swiftly for any of us to ever be ready to accept.
Since literally stopping dead in his tracks on the afternoon of June 11, 2010, after the first detectable signs of something being terribly wrong manifested itself, Sam bravely fought off a couple of heartbreaking episodes where we were advised to hope for the best but to be prepared for the worst. This included surviving and recovering from the surgical removal of his bleeding spleen, part of his liver and a blood transfusion. Somehow with the Lord’s blessings and gentle support of those who allowed us to do what was comfortable, Sam miraculously made it through these tough and devastatingly close calls until his final calling.
With all the signs of recovery seemingly on the horizon from yet another one of these awful bouts that we had become accustomed to over the couple of months since that initial splenic bleed that shut down Sam’s bodily functions (he would not move, eat, drink, sleep or even go to the bathroom- blood tests confirmed later that his kidneys appeared to have shut down), our prancing canine son happily woke up to play the night prior and readily awakened to return to his customary 3:30a.m.combined eastern/western regimen of foods, herbs and medicinals that our ongoing research suggested.
So, we were not prepared for the hour that followed, when our hearts tore apart and dreams of sharing just one more holiday season with Sam shattered all around us. To find Sam struggling to get his fallen body off the ground was unbearably painful as we rushed to pick him up. His pale blue color and searching eyes told us that he may not have known what might have been happening as there seemed to almost be one last momentary attempt to spark a come back before that last spastic jerk of his body took him forever from us with a final breath.
Being that Sam’s legs were weakened from an overall detectably declining level of physical prowess with each down spell he suffered, it was evident that he no longer could lift his weight to get to us in time to combat the bleed that we were saddenly stunned to find his body yielding to. While we scurried to do all we could think of doing as tears profusely rolled down our cheeks, dropping on his body that was held in our arms, emotions kept screaming in our minds and hearts that this wasn’t suppose to happen to our precious Sam who loved everyone!
As the remorseful guilt over our lacking vigilance with western medicine’s more traditional remedies, such as chemotherapy, that were left unpursued grew, a void began to intensify and invade our mourning souls. We are left now only with the cremains and memories of our beautiful Sam who’s spirit was released to run free from the pain of this horrid cancer that took away a treasured part of our being.
Sam became our world along with our other “boys”, his surviving 13 year old bichon frise companion and our own human 7 year old son. He courageously faced a multitude of health challenges over the course of his precious life from irritable bowel syndrome due to food sensitivities, being attacked by a loose pit bull, the removal of his femur head (FHO) due to an accidental hip dislocation, pancreatitis, and a malignant anal sac carcinoma. He bravely survived it all up until his sudden encounter with this nasty disease that ripped through him in ways that even his awesome demeanor could not counter. Through it all, Sam would always give us kisses when he was up to it, with those piercing eyes that we could always count on to convey his incredible spirit even at the end.
We would have gone to the ends of the earth to invest in a cure for Sam, and yet we could not find it in ourselves to take advantage of traditional cancer treatment practices that we feared might possibly take away any quality of life we could give him with lesser invasive methodologies. So instead of chemotherapy, that probably may have given us a few more months, we tried what the preponderance of alternative treatment research had to offer from success story trials (essaic tea, cottage cheese w/ flax seed oil, transfer factor, immuno and herbal formulas/supplements with the most salient being Yunnan baio, accupuncture, massage and other healing therapies) and stuck with what was giving us results that kept Sam comfortable and bright.
Comfort was always our first and foremost concern beyond not wanting Sam to be alone when his time finally came, which we did not want to have to determine for him. Although our hearts too bled out that September morning, we are at least grateful that we did not have to make the final call for Sam’s eternity. We do regret however that we may not have done enough fast enough to afford us more time to say goodbye. We thank Sam for genuinely adding so much to our lives that will always be kept in a special place to help with the emptiness left from his departure that perhaps only time can heal.
Tragically we thought mourning the sudden loss of our other dog, Max’s eyesight to SARDS the month prior (May 2010) to Sam’s terminal diagnosis was a lot to bear. There simply was no way or evident signs to know that our lives would be overcome again with yet another more final loss that consumed all of us too soon. Being robbed of sight and life from diseases, such as these suffered by our dogs, have served to make us appreciate how precious a life time is with canine companions. Reading about others’ successes/memorials comforts as we heal our aching hearts and having vets and their specialists work with us to guide and challenge us over the years in our ongoing battles was key to Sam’s superb existence.
Thank you for having a place for us to tell Sam’s amazing story- he is truly and tearfully missed especially as we sadly prepare for the first holiday season with too many mixed feelings without him. We love you Sam… may you eternally live in peace as we will always look for your bright twinkling star and beautiful rainbow of colors you brought to our lives.