Friday, June 15, 2012

A Small Miracle


After 28 terrifying days, Matt and I are relieved to announce that we have witnessed a small miracle - our fur baby, Charlie, is well and cancer-free! It took me awhile to write about it on the blog because it has been such an excruciatingly painful experience – by far our most difficult trial in our life together. 

I know my life always looks peachy on the blog, and I try to only talk about positive things, but this past month has been a far cry from positive. In an effort to be real with you, here is how our last 28 days have played out…
When Charlie stopped eating his food a few weeks ago, we knew something was very, very wrong and started googling “dog not eating.” Lots of sites suggested that dogs can get bored with their food, may be depressed, may have an upset stomach, etc. Well, after a couple days of trying to coax him to eat his favorite foods {ice cream, eggs, gourmet dog food, etc.} we became very concerned and decided to take him to the vet. The vet immediately took some x-rays and called us with terrible news - Charlie had intestinal blockage in two places. Even worse, his intestines had kinked themselves in an effort to digest the mystery items. The doctor recommended emergency surgery, and we immediately agreed to it, no matter the cost. The surgery took 4 hours longer than they had expected and multiple complications arose. Afterwards they called to inform us that they would have to hospitalize Charlie to keep him on fluids, pain medication and monitor him for infections. Earlier they had told us we could bring him home afterwards, so we knew something was wrong…

A few days later we received even worse news. Charlie still would not eat so they scheduled an ultrasound to detect other possible problems. In addition, he had developed an infection so they would have to keep him for a few more days. 
 
We cried, a lot. We didn’t sleep. We couldn’t focus at work. We lived at the vet’s office {much to our doctor’s chagrin}, visiting him up to 5 times a day. We went insane.
 
Our house was very quiet. 

The next afternoon the ultrasound results came back with even more terrifying news – they found a large mass in Charlie’s bladder that they believed to be cancerous. They would have to run a second ultrasound in a few weeks to be sure.

Matt and I prepared ourselves for the worst, while praying for a small miracle. Charlie is only 6 years old, and we could not even fathom our lives without him. 

A week later, the doctor released Charlie so he could be more comfortable at home. His staples were just over a foot long, he was in a lot of pain, and he still wasn’t eating. We had to force feed him liquid dog food from a syringe, and shove 3 different prescriptions down his throat every day. It was awful.

Friends and family constantly checked in on Charlie {and us} to make sure we were okay. 
Over the next couple weeks, Charlie seemed to be getting better and eventually started nibbling on his normal dog food. Overjoyed was an understatement.  And although things were moving back to normal, we still had the looming fear of what the ultrasound would tell us in a few weeks.
Yesterday was Charlie’s ultrasound. The doctors still aren’t sure how to explain it, but the mass in Charlie’s bladder completely disappeared. I, on the other hand, know exactly what happened – a small miracle. Our greatest fears were relieved. Matt excitedly handed over our final payment towards our $4,000 vet bill and we brought Charlie home and celebrated. 
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49 comments:

  1. Brought tears to my eyes. So happy Charlie is home and healthy! :) xx

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  2. Oh Christina! I'm so glad that Charlie is well now! xoxo

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  3. Awww this made me tear up! I'm such a dog lover and it so sad to see a dog in pain. So glad hes better!! :)

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  4. Bless your heart! I don't know what we would do if this happened to our doggy! Sooooooo glad to hear everything is okay and he if feeling back to normal!

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  5. Oh my goodness.. praise God! I have tears in my eyes reading this! So happy your Charlie is OK!

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  6. Goodness gracious, friend! What a horrible experience. I am so glad that Charlie is well now and back to normal.

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  7. we have a fur baby that I don't know what we would do without her! SO glad to hear Charlie is doing better! He's a miracle puppy!

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  8. Crying at my desk! So glad he's ok. Now he can really get his ball!

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  9. This post definitely brought tears to my eyes..sad and then happy ones. Brady is also 6 and I cannot imagine life without him. We lost our childhood golden retriever to cancer when he was 12 and it was so sad to see him go downhill. I'm glad that you'll get many more years with your baby, Charlie! :)

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  10. I bawled reading this. I can't imagine what these past few weeks have been like for y'all. So glad to hear Charlie is doing so much better! Praying everything stays great.

    Xoxo

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  11. Bought tears to my eyes - but they were happy tears - yay for Charlie!! :)

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  12. OH my goodness this is too sweet. I love the picture of him "reading" the card. Yay Charlie!

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  13. Glad to hear he's feeling better!! I know exactly what you're going through, a couple months ago my dog suddenly had 4 Grand Mal seizures in one weekend and we thought we were going to lose him. He's 13 and never had a health problem before. With the help of phenobarbital and a little positive thinking, he's doing much better and is back to his normal self. It's funny how we become so attached to these animals, they are our family!!
    keeping you in my thoughts!

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  14. Oh my gosh that is so scary! I am SO happy he is okay! The picture o him reading his card is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. And that last picture is just amazing. So happy for your family!

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  15. Aw, I love the love that you have your your dog... so sweet!

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  16. Glad to hear Charlie is doing better! I'll be thinking of him...and you guys!

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  17. Oh my gosh Christina!!! I'm crying right now. I am SO glad Charlie is okay! I know how hard it is to see your dog in pain and am so happy he is feeling better!!! What wonderful news! xoxo

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  18. Poor Charlie and poor yall! Pups become family!

    (PS - I grew up with a golden retriever named Charlie...I was OBSESSED with him...so much that I still sleep with a stuffed animal named Charlie) I'm ridiculous.

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  19. I'm glad to hear Charlie is doing well. Its very traumatic and stressful on both the animal and parents when they're sick. I just had a heartbreaking time with one of my cats that I've had since she was 4 months old and she was 17 years old. Her kidneys were failing and I had to put her down. I know she's in a better place, but it was so hard to make that decision. I'm glad your story turned out happy. They are a part of our hearts and our families.

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  20. I was holding back the tears until that last picture! Tears of joy. So glad Charlie is well! God is good.

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  21. So happy to hear the good news that Charlie is well!! But very sorry to hear all that you had to go through!! Thank goodness for miracles!!

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  22. I can't even imagine the pain you've been through. Our dogs are literally a part of the family. So glad he is better! :)

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  23. I'm so glad to hear that Charlie is ok! Pups quickly become part of our families and truly make a house a home. I know this is an answer to your prayers!

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  24. This is amazing news - soooo glad to hear it!! Pups are definitely members of our family and dealing with their illnesses is just like dealing with a family member's. Now you can truly have a happy weekend!

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  25. Hi Christina, I am new to your cute blog, the first post I read was about your Charlie.I am so happy for you guys that he is doing better and is at home with you again. I also have a 6 year old yellow lab named Champ who holds my heart in his paws. You experience must have been so awful! I hope and pray for you all that he will remain healthy and happy!

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  26. Poor Charlie!! I'm so glad he's doing better and wow, God really took care of him. I love the picture of Charlie reading his card - too cute. :)

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  27. Congrats Christina! That's amazing. It's good to finally find your blog :) You are just SO adorable and I had to follow :) Hope you are having a great weekend!

    Katie
    Lady Million

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  28. I am so happy to hear Charlie is doing so much better!! xoxox

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  29. poor Charlie! So glad to hear he is getting better!!

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  30. Poor Charlie! I'm so glad he's okay. I have 2 golden retrievers & they become such a part of your family. Cheers for Charlie!!!

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  31. I got teary reading this!! I felt so bad for you guys. I hope my baby never dies. Seriously. lol SO glad hes better!!!

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  32. I'm so glad that your fur baby is okay! I couldn't imagine what the last month has been like and seeing the picture of him reading the card--so cute and adorable. Glad you guys can now celebrate!

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  33. So happy my little boyfriend is ok! Now, can you please throw him another pawty? xoxo

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  34. i'm so so glad charlie's doing well!!! they're a member of the family too, and when something isn't right we'll do anything to fix it! so glad he's healthy!

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  35. So glad to hear he is okay!!!

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  36. Heartbreak! I couldn't even imagine. I am SO thrilled he is doing better. I am sure you guys were besides yourselves. Yay Charlie Boo! XOXO

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  37. So glad Charlie is doing better! It is amazing how pets become such a huge part of your family. Our cat is like our daughter, we would be devastated if anything happened to her.

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  38. oh my gosh, that sounds like such a horrible ordeal :( :( i am SO glad for you & your family that your sweet furbaby is okay. it truly is a miracle, and i am SO happy that charlie is okay :) i will be thinking and praying for his health these next months!

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  39. What a traumatic experience for you to endure. Pets are our children, so for them to be sick and in pain is awful to watch. Glad to hear that Charlie is doing well!!!

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  40. I've been on vacation so I'm just now catching up.
    WOW, is all I have to say! God is amazing! Prayers answered!!
    We had some friends who went through something similar with their dog and found out that he had eaten a pair of her thong undies and it got tangled in his intestines.
    Sounds funny..but it wasn't.
    I'm a freak about stuff like that with Buddy. You never know.
    Our pooch is 7-years old and I can't imagine life without him as well.
    Congrats and thank you Jesus!! xoxo

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  41. Yay, Charlie!!

    We have a "Charlie" too, only 10 months old. I can't imagine anything happening to him. Our dogs become such a part of the family, what y'all went through is incredible.

    Here's to hoping he has a speedy recovery and feels back to his usual self soon!

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  42. So glad Charlie is okay! Hope he's feeling better!

    http://laurensweetnothings.blogspot.com/

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  43. Aw, this post just brought tears to my eyes. So glad to hear your Charlie is doing so much better! He looks so happy in that last picture! :-)

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  44. Omg Christina!!! I'm so glad that he's okay!!! I totally understand having a dog that's a part of your family so I'm THRILLED to hear Charlie is healthy and back to his old self :). And seeing a sweet pup in a birthday hat sort of made my day :)

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  45. What great news. I'm so glad Charlie is doing well.

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  46. So happy my little boyfriend is ok! Now, can you please throw him another pawty? xoxo

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  47. I was holding back the tears until that last picture! Tears of joy. So glad Charlie is well! God is good.

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