Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Regrets

On October 10th, 2007, Katie suffered a neurological injury.  It is well documented on this blog and you can find the posts by clicking here - Katie Neurological.  It was thought to be a Fibrocartilaginous Embolic Myelopathy (FCE), but after speaking with Dr. Cuoto a few years later I learned it was probably a blood clot.
I am really proud of Katie and her rehab.  We tackled it like every other goal we had set out to achieve and even had fun doing it.  Katie's rehab is also well documented on this blog and you can find those posts by clicking here - Katie Rehab.
My biggest concern in Katie's last year was whether or not I was asking her to do too much.  The exercises and activity were important to maintaining strength, but they also could contribute to arthritis, pain, and ultimately breakdown.  She also continued to run and spin in the backyard.  At times, I felt I should stop her as the risk of injury was a concern.  Her toes were especially problematic and I feared that she would eventually be in too much pain.  I felt there was a great responsibility in deciding when it would be time to let her go due to something not life threatening.  I did not want to have to decide that. 
If there is such a thing as the right time, the bone cancer came at the right time.  Katie had been having some good and bad days.  Since the summertime, I had eliminated some of the exercises we used to do as I felt they were becoming too challenging.  She still felt sound enough to play and spin.  In fact, the video below was taken just ten days before I put her to sleep (it was taken with a phone so I cannot edit otherwise I would have cut out her peeing :-).
Katie was definitely deteriorating, but it makes me smile to know that she was still feeling sound enough to play.  Obviously, the amount of rehab, exercise, and activity kept her strong and energetic enough to make it to her cancer diagnosis.  I am glad I never stopped her from playing as she never suffered any injuries from it.  No regrets.  We did just the right amount of everything. 
The cancer diagnosis was 100% black and white.  There was no treatment in her case.  The unbearable pain arrived overnight.  There was no decision to make.  It just had to be done.  It is one of the few times I feel no guilt.  I was not too early nor too late.  The perfect greyhound even exits perfectly.
After Katie passed away, my friend Kathy sent Stephen and I wind chimes in memory of Katie.  To say that we LOVE them is an understatement.  WE LOVE THEM!  They make us feel like Katie is still spinning in the backyard when we hear them.  Thank you so much, Kathy!
That concludes my time on earth with Katie.  Thank you for letting me rehash her old stories.  I cannot believe that more than three months has already flown by.  The other day I heard someone say that Katie died last year.... no she didn't.  It was just the other.... oh, yes, I guess it was last year.  Goodbye, Katie.  See you later.