Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Quality of Life....

I think the writer of the anonymous comment a couple of posts down has misunderstood me slightly. I've got no intention of taking any drastic action in response to Princes problems over the past few days. I just think it's important to acknowledge that his quality of life has been fairly poor as a consequence. I need to monitor this, because it would be easy to let things run on and on, telling myself and him that things will improve the following week, and then the week after that, and so on. The objective of the chemotherapy is to provide a good quality of life for the longest period possible and I won't allow him to suffer just so that I can selfishly have a canine 'teddy-bear' to take to bed at night. If I had to make a choice I'd rather have a shorter time with him feeling good than a longer period with him feeling anything less than OK.

Quality of life is about more than food. If it was feasible to feed him sausage after sausage all day I'm sure he would be very happy, but lots of other factors come into play. The ability to rest and sleep comfortably. The ability to exist without ongoing pain and discomfort. The ability to move around without pain. A general demeanor of contentedness, etc.... Over the past few days he would have failed all of these, and whilst I expect peaks and troughs I think you need to have a feel for where to draw the line. Now obviously, you have to give treatments a chance and therefore I wouldn't draw that line after two or three days, but two or three weeks is a very different matter when you're only looking at an average survival time of six months.

Ultimately, I'll know when Prince has had enough. It's my responsibility to make sure that he doesn't go through weeks of suffering and discomfort, and if that's inevitable, prevent him having to endure it. Only I can make that decision, and I hope it's a long time before I have to. When I do, I'll be fulfilling my final responsibility to him and must set aside any selfish agenda.

After that rather maudlin post, I should add that Prince has been in pretty good form since coming home from the hospital earlier and the only injections I'll be sanctioning in the forseeable future will be ones delivering chemo drugs!

6 comments:

Kerrio said...

It's a toughie. I'm impressed and just a little humbled by your dedication to Prince.

Hope he feels better today.

Snogs to Prince
Kerrio

schnozzles said...

As you say, I think you'll know when it's time - I'm sure Prince will let you know when he's had enough. Keep that chin up! (And those legs in the air ;) )

Em

DoGGa said...

Wise words sirs, although it can't be easy :[
I'm sure he'll pull through!!!
Healing hound thoughts coming Prince's way...

Anonymous said...

Having known Graham (and prince!) for a very very long time, I can say without a moments hesitation that he will ALWAYS put Prince's interests first - unequivocally. It has been an extraordinarily hard decision to go ahead with this treatment, and whilst I was sceptical at first, I know that it is what's best for Prince that will be at the forefront of any pronouncements made. Remember, also, that this treatment comes with full backing from veterinary experts, who would similarly wish no prelonged suffering to take place. There is a colossal bond between Graham and Prince and they will both know when the time comes - if it comes - to cease treatment. In the meantime, may Prince continue to enjoy life....

Anonymous said...

Quality of life is about enjoyment of that which brings pleasure. Food is not the be all to end all for a dog, or a human - even an obese human. Quality of life judged on food intake is unreasonable and ineffectual.

I like the comment of the previous anon on this post much better. But, you know what? What does it really matter beyond what you and Prince think. It is evident you are doing the best by him that you feel you can: What more is there? What more can be asked? What more can be judged?

Raja said...

Quality of life is a huge thing when you're dealing with cancer and you will know when, Prince will tell you.

Your love will help him the most in these hard times.

Our thoughts are with you both.