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Hello world!

My name is Ginger and I am a 9 year old Golden Retriever.  I was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my right hind leg.  My pawrents were devastated by the diagnosis and scared about the available treatment options.  However, after much soul searching, research and visits to the vet, we have decided to prolong my time with them by amputating my leg.  The surgery is scheduled for April 15, 2010.  I will later have numerous chemotherapy sessions to ensure all the cancer is gone

The three of us are all scared and don’t really know what to expect.

We would appreciate any advice or words of encouragement.



14 Responses to “Hello world!”

  1.   admin Says:

    Thanks for joining the Tripawds Community Ginger! We’re sorry to hear about your diagnosis but look forward to following your progress. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and don’t miss Jerry’s top ten canine cancer amputation Q&A. You’ll find much more help in the discussion forums. C-ya there!

  2.   admin Says:

    PS: We noticed your empty Friends widget … here are instructions for adding Tripawds Friends from the Friends tab in your dashboard. You will soon notice it’s easy to make friends here. 🙂

  3.   Opie Says:

    Hi Ginger,

    My name is Opie and I had my left front leg removed in early November. My pawrents were really scared, sad, and unsure too. Now I am the best tripawd in the world! At least according to mom and pop.

    I will be sending good cyber wishes your way tomorrow. The first two weeks are the hardest. There will be ups and downs, but that is okay because your pawrents will spoil you with lots of treats and love.

    I am sorry you have to go through this, but welcome to the tripawds community. Here, you and your pawrents will find many friends and incredible support.

    Read some of the blogs. Start at the beginnings. You will recognize all of the feelings your pawrents are experiencing now. Also, cruise around in the Forums. So many topics will help heal you and your pawrents hearts. Keep writing. Opie

  4.   anyemery Says:

    Hi Ginger! Welcome to tripawds! We’re really sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but you came to the right place to get great support. This site has been a saving grace for us as we travel this road with Holly. Holly is also a right-rear-leg amputee. Her surgery was 12/29 and once she got past the first few weeks of recovery she has amazed us with how well she does! There is plenty of information here to help you through the first few weeks. Two things we found really helpful were to put runners or rubber backed bath mats on any slippery floors – it can be difficult to maneuver those kinds of floors especially in the first few weeks home. And try raising Ginger’s food and water bowls to make it easier to eat without losing balance.
    We’ll keep fingers and paws crossed that all goes well on the 15th and that Ginger quickly amazes you with her recovery!
    Lots of hugs,
    Holly and Holly’s mom

  5.   Carmen (Catie's Mom) Says:

    Oh Ginger and parents. The diagnosis of osteosarcoma is a devastating and terrifying thing to get. It’s a nasty, hateful disease.

    But…amputation – from everything I know and have experienced with our own 6-year old Golden, Catie – is for sure Ginger’s best option. The surgery will relieve the pain of the cancer. There will be some post-surgery discomfort but that will be managed with pain medications. When Catie was limping around with the cancer we could tell even the pain meds didn’t give her much relief at all. I was told this – by our vet and by others on this site – that we would be amazed how well Catie would adapt. And she did. She had the amputation on January 13 2010 (3 months today!) and two days later she came out of the hospital hopping and pulling on her leash. She has so far had 3 chemo treatments; another is scheduled for next Monday.

    Ginger already has the strength and no doubt the will. It’s harder sometimes for us guardians because we know what’s going on and have to make the decisions.

    I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday. Many, many words of encouragement from us to you.

  6.   cemil Says:

    Hello Ginger
    Don’t be afraid. It takes a couple weeks to get off the pain medication (you need it in the beginning) and learn how to balance and do normal things like lying down and drinking out of your bowl, but then it’s really fun. Lots more people talk to you and about you and they stop and pet you every time you’re out–being a tripawd isn’t so bad for dogs. People have a harder time than we do. Here’s a hint–act like you don’t want to eat. You’ll get lots of yummy stuff instead of your regular food.

    I hope your surgery goes well. We’ll be thinking of you on the 15th.
    Cemil

  7.   gingersfolks Says:

    Hello Ginger, and Pawrents. Welcome! We also have a Golden Retriever named Ginger, who is 6 and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She had her left rear leg amputated on Feb. 23, 2010. We were scared and unsure of our decision at the time, but we found great support and advice from the wonderful people and resources on this website. I’m not sure how well we would have done if it hadn’t been for reading about, and talking to others who had recently gone through the series of emotions that you now find yourself dealing with. You are not alone!

    I think our hardest days were the two days leading up to the surgery. The uncertainty of whether we were making the right decision nagged at us constantly. Would she be the same dog, would she hate us for doing this to her, would she be able to get around well after the surgery and many other questions that she couldn’t answer for us…until after the surgery. She is definitely the same dog. The first time we saw her after the surgery, she was leading the doctor into the room, practically at a run. She was so excited to see us and wagged her tail and soaked up all the attention we could give her. It didn’t take long to know that we had made the right decision. Our blog is called Ginger’s Story. It should give you some idea of our experiences through surgery and recuperation. We have no regrets!

    The best suggestion I can give is to be pawsitive. Ask lots of questions. Give and get lots of hugs and take things day by day. Keep us posted! Let us know how you are doing. Good luck on Thursday!

    Sending hugs your way,
    Ginger, Sharon and Randy (Ginger’s Folks) 🙂

  8.   majorbubbatank Says:

    Welcome, Ginger!

    Everybody is terrified by the initial diagnosis but you’ve found the right place. The Tripawd group is a fabulous source of support and information. The first two weeks might be rough (anyone here will tell you) but you’ll be amazed how quickly you forget about your “spare” leg and get back to loving every day. Paws crossed that your surgery day goes well. Keep us posted!

    Major (and Rachel, Dusty, and Balou)

  9.   etgayle Says:

    Ginger, welcome to the community!! I’m gayle, a ten year old black lab ‘blend’, and i too got a very scary cancer diagnosis. my right front leg was amputated on february 17th, and so far i’ve had two chemo treatments. i ‘ditto’ what all the other members have said – this is definitely the right place to be for support, information and general ‘sanity’ during an unsane time. The first two weeks were pretty rough with the pain meds and that big scar (my Don just about fainted when he saw it the first time), but here i am almost two months later and the hair is all but covering it, so don’t worry, you won’t loose your good looks!!! Remember, all the stuff that happens to you, is because you have loving people that want the very best for you!!!!

  10.   Mackenzie's Mom Says:

    Hi Ginger and family,
    Welcome – you’ve come to the right place to share your story, feelings, fears and worries. I have a golden retriever Mackenzie who was 7 1/2 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma back in Sept. In Nov 2009 she had her front leg amputated. This decision was very traumatic and stressful so you are not alone. The couple of days leading up to the surgery is very difficult and even during the surgery. I wasn’t sure I made the right decision even while I was waiting for her while she was having surgery. The miracle came when she hopped out to me the next day following her surgery – at that moment all my fears and worries went out the window and I was so relieved and happy that she was alive. The tears I had were tears of joy now and no longer sadness.

    The 2 weeks of recovery can be very difficult. Mackenzie had a harder time than most. I would advise that you keep in close touch with your vet for any concerns or issues that may come up during this time and don’t hesitate to call them at any time. Just be aware that the pain meds they’re put on can cause some side effects like loss of appetite, lethargy, listlessness or restlessness, etc. It’s a balancing act with the pain meds so just be aware that these can cause issues. Once we took Mackenzie off her pain meds (after about 10 days) she made a complete turnaround – even climbed our stairs all by herself without letting us know – another miracle!

    Mackenzie recently celebrated her 4 month ampuversary and she continues to do great. We have no regrets whatsoever (I can tell you that during her recovery process I 2nd guessed our decision several times – when we got to the 14th day mark, it was then that I realized that this was the best decision we could have ever made for her and for us. We’ve never looked back.

    We will be thinking of you tomorrow. Keeping our paws crossed that Ginger will do just great and be hopping around in no time! You’ll see your miracle too!
    Kami (Mackenzie’s Mom)

  11.   cometdog Says:

    Hey Ginger!
    Big day tomorrow, kiddo! You are gonna be just fine. Your pawrents may be nutso but pawrents love to worry. Just keep reminding yourself that it’s out of love for you.

    Let me just say, you don’t need that darned leg! Heck, I’ve done without one my entire life and I’m no spring chickie! Never had one, never wanted one! Okay, I do have one but it’s just for show cuz it doesn’t work and never has.

    The swell part about being a tripawd is simple, you’ll be a Tripawd! Tripawd’s get way more attention, love and treats! We are special! You are special.

    We got lots of fun stuff planned for you once you heal. So, take care of yourself and get well fast!
    Best of luck to you tomorrow!

    Cool Cat Comet

    P.S. Tell your mommy or daddy to update us on your surgery, okay? You’ll be a little loopy from the meds to write.

  12.   Peyton's Path Says:

    Welcome Ginger! We wish you all the luck in the world! It is a very scary process, but you will quickly learn how easy it is to adapt to the Tripawd life. Our golden was diagnosed when he was 4 1/2 and we amputated his front right leg. He adjusted really fast and did great as a tripawd. He ran, walked, and chased balls/frisbees at the park. He was really amazing! We lost Peyton two days after Christmas when he was five. Unfortunately the cancer was very aggressive and he couldn’t fight it any longer. He put up an pawsome fight and even though we only had 16 weeks with him after his amputation we wouldn’t change anything! It was well worth it! We were able to spend lots of quality time with him and he taught us how to live in the moment. Don’t count the days, just enjoy them!

    As others have already told you, the first two weeks can be a bit of a roller coster. The healing process is very important. The meds can make Ginger not feel like herself and she may seem a little sad, but her attitude will change once she realizes how much she can do. And she isn’t in pain!!! Brace yourself when you go to see her for the first time. It is an eye opener when you first see you sweet golden missing a leg and all the shaved hair! Be strong for her! She will sense your feelings and feed off of them! The better you handle it the better Ginger will handle it and recover!

    We are thinking of you! Good Luck Ginger and Family!

    XOXO
    Cami, Kris, Angel Peyton, Dillon, and Rhys
    (Dillon and Rhys are also goldens)

  13.   Homer Aukerman Says:

    You have a new fan! I love your stuff here and will be back again.

  14.   Pearle Cotilla Says:

    Just wanted to say I really like your site and will definitely be back!

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