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Friday, December 30, 2011

A fork in the cancer road...

K was at the hospital early, ready for her surgery. After K was asleep, the surgeon did one last xray to decide exactly where to make her cuts so she could be sure of "clean margins".

Unfortunately, the evil C was a step ahead of us. The new x-ray shows that it was now attacking both bones above the wrist in K's forelimb (the ulna and radius). That simple fact cancelled the scheduled surgery which was going to remove the ulna (because we thought that the radius was clean). K was carted to a CT Scanner to get a better look at her forelimb. It confirmed the progression of the cancer.

We had a conference with the surgeon while K was still asleep. Our options now were: a total limb amputation (which the surgeon could have done right then and there with K already under anaesthesia), stereotactic radiation, or nothing. For the moment, our decision is to do stereotactic radiation, a new procedure for killing bone tumors that has been pioneered at a few vet hospitals in recent years. It won't cure K but it will kill the tumor cells in her forelimb. She'll have her first session on Wednesday.

Just so no one gets their hopes up, the radiation will kill only the targeted tumors in the forelimb. The vets have told us that they are certain that K already has cancer cells throughout her body, and there is no chemotherapy drug that effectively kills all of those cancer cells. So, the radiation and chemotherapy will simply buy us time until she gets tumors in other places.

I'd be lying if I said that I felt optimistic right now. I'm beginning to accept that we aren't first in line for a miracle. K's cancer is aggressive and is a few steps ahead of us. I feel broken.

K comes home tonight, and we're going to make the most of the weekend. Every single day is precious.

Can you believe that I thought that K was healthy when I took the photo below exactly one week ago? Life can change so quickly.
I'm sorry that this update is so late. Today was a very hard day.

80 comments:

  1. Oh, boy! That's a lot to take in, with so many big decisions to make. I'm glad you're home and can gather yourselves for what comes next.

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  2. Oh man. I'm sorry to hear the bad report.

    I've been thinking of y'all all day, hoping for the best.

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear that news...cherish every sunrise and sunset.

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  4. I am so very sorry to hear this. K isn't even my beloved dog, but my heart feels broken too. Yes, bring her home and love her with all your heart. There is no reason we can't still hope for a miracle - one day at a time.

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  5. We are commenting in tears -

    And can't say much more than

    K knows how precious she is -

    And she'll make sure to remind you of that for every day she is here -

    So that you'll have no doubt about it EVER -

    BIG HUGS FROM PA -

    Khyra and Phyll

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  6. So sorry for this news. K is very precious and greatly loved. There are no words today. But sending you a {{{hug}}}.

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  7. We're so sorry to hear this. We lost our precious Sniffie to cancer in 2009 and we know so well how frustrated you must feel. Take each day as a vey special precious one and hope for miralces....they do happen.

    We're purring, wagging and praying for one for K.


    The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

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  8. I'm pleased that K is a candidate for the stereotactic radiation and that you have access to these cutting edge treatment options. This may be out of line, but I'm also pleased that you didn't choose the amputation route. K is such a magnificent being and her walks with you are so precious to you both, it would be a shame to deprive either of you that time together during a recovery period. Enjoy each special day together. We'll be here to support you.

    -Bart, Ruby and Lisa

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  9. Alice Torok ScalesiDecember 30, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    As my Lisa told her Graham (a cancer victim ) everyday "Not today and not without a fight" Enjoy every sunset and sunrise together~~

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  10. I just found your blog and my heart is breaking for you and your beautiful K. It seems that the two of you have enjoyed so much joy together and share a very deep bond. Nothing will ever break that.

    I'll keep you both in my prayers and wish you many more sunrises and sunsets together...

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  11. Oh what a day you had...we're keeping you in our prayers...K is dearly loved....

    Hugs and kisses,

    Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear the news. Enjoy every day that you've got with her. *hugs*

    -Dr. Liz and Family

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  13. Not the post I wanted to see today. To be *that* close to the ulna removal surgery and then have things flipped upside down once again is just too cruel.

    I know you will always do what's best for K, and I'm sure she knows that, too.

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  14. KB, I'm just heartbroken to hear this news. It's so unfair and I hate it so much for you and for K. Take comfort in the fact that she doesn't know the future and will just enjoy each moment as it comes. If only we as humans could be so lucky.

    I wish so much I could take away your pain and change the outcome. But you have been given a blessing in the form of K and I know you will treasure the moments you have with her, just like you always have.

    Hugs and love,
    Amber

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  15. News that none of us wants to hear. I do so hope that the treatment will buy some quality time for you and your soulmate. I know that it is your nature and K's to look for the good things and carry on. Persevere and know that we are also there for you in spirit.

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  16. Oh no, I am so very sorry. Just take one day at a time and make the most of every moment. We are sending you lots of love and support.

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  17. I'm so sorry for this heartbreaking news. Enjoy this weekend, and for a few precious hours try to imagine that all is right with the world.

    We are hoping that the radiation therapy works wonders for K.

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  18. Your friends,the ones you meet and greet, and us, the online chorus, send love, caring thoughts, and hugs, you will be together through all of this,and know you have done the very best for K.Words that you have just written are so hard, we share and care in your times ahead. Much love, from Jean in NZ

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  19. Going through this is difficult for both you and K. You've managed to be strong for both of you and that's really important.

    We're with you in prayer that the choices you make will make things better for K.

    One day at a time, KB. Take it easy, alright.

    Love
    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Max, Wai-Pai & Forgie

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  20. I was not expecting this and i just don not even know what to say now...ugh. I think the important thing is that spend all the time with K that you can. I know how loved she is and she knows it too.
    Please know that we are here and we are here to support you.

    Please give our hugs to K and to yourself also.

    Allison...Puddles mum

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  21. Too short, too precious, too special a life. Too sad for words.

    I can't know what you're feeling, but I know your heart is broken and I can pray for y'all.

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  22. I'm so sorry things have changed so fast. Sending you and K our love and best wishes.

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  23. Sending thoughts and prayers. Enjoy every little minute. We have tears in our eyes. This post was written with so much love.

    Blessings,
    Shannon

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  24. I am so heart sick over this news. I have never endured a sick or terminally ill pet, but I have lost pets suddenly and unexpectedly. Either way, your heart is left broken. Please know that you will remain in our thoughts and prayers. Hold your baby tight and cherish these moments, no matter how few or for how long. K is loved. And she loves you. No one can ever take that love away.

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  25. I cannot find the words that I want to say to you.
    You are broken and I so understand.
    I am not giving up on a miracle happening. I needed to let you know that.
    You have all done everything for K that you can.
    We are praying this treatment gives more time for sunsets, sunrises, and time for a miracle to happen.
    I am so sorry this has happened.
    love
    tweedles

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  26. KB, I'm turning on my analytical brain because I don't know how to absorb all this and can't imagine what you're feeling...

    Will opting out of surgery offer K more mobility? I know K was severely restricted prior to these last vet visits. Does the cancer/tumor weaken the bone, making impact dangerous? Will the targeted radiation change or improve this at all?

    Still thinking of you and sending strength...

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  27. We have no insights to share -- just our love of all dogs and our special love for those we know who are suffering and their humans who are trying to make the best possible decisions.

    Hugs and love and the support you need to guide you in this sad and difficult moment.

    Jake and Just Harry -- and Joan

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  28. Thinking of you and K...don't know what to say. I know everyday with her will be cherished.

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  29. One breath at a time, one day at a time. I still believe miricles can happen wheather they are how we invision them or other wise. It's hard to find the right words sometimes. You two are still very much a part of our prayers. I thought of you often K as I played with my friends in the woods today.

    Here is the link you requested to the story about me. I hope the link works, (MOM is not so good at the computer stuff). If it dosn't then go to Bert's blog and he has a link there from a few days ago. Let me just say the article says I'm 6 but really I am almost 12.

    http://www.standard.net/stories/2011/12/27/dog-blog-trying-help-canines-homeless-shelter

    LOTS of love for you and KB.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  30. Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. I will still keep her and you in my prayers. ...and I'm sending you hugs!

    Sam

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  31. Oh no, I'm so sorry. This brought tears to my eyes. It is scary how life can change so quickly. It does help use to remember that every day is precious and to try and make the best of each. I'm so sorry for the pain I know your feeling right now. I still think you will be enjoying more sunrises with her. The treatment sounds promising. K loves you and knows how much you love her.

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  32. I'm so sorry KB. How quickly life can change. My thoughts are with you during this excruciatingly difficult time.
    xoxo

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  33. Oh! Things can change so quickly. :( We're sending all of our good luck, and we've had LOTS of that lately. Hope that the treatment goes well for your handsome boy.

    H and Flo

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  34. Oh dear, this sounds like a very fast one. I hope you are able to buy some time for our girl!

    Good wishes and prayers continue!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

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  35. So sorry to hear this sad news. We're thinking of you and praying for you all.

    Love,

    Jackie, Dillon, and family

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  36. I never know what to say when crap like this happens, so I'm going to try to make you smile instead... I was reading through all the previous comments and came to one from Nancy J (but signed Jean in NZ.) In my defense, I took some cold medicine a couple of hours ago and I'm feeling pretty drowsy, but I read her comment at least twice as "Your friends, the ones you meet and greet, and us, the online circus, send love..." I thought to myself how appropriate that she's referring to us as the "online circus!"
    From my perspective, K has had the best life a dog could ever hope to have... and that's ALL because of you:)
    Tank's Asst (a member of the online circus)

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  37. So sorry about the news. I can't imagine the pain you are feeling. Hang in, K has a great life...make the most of the weekend as you said. All our feets are crossed
    Benny & Lily

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  38. I'm so sorry! Cancer is such an ugly, terrible disease. It's a terrible dream thief, too.

    I'm glad you're attacking it in a way you feel comfortable with, and with realistic expectations. At least you know ahead of time, too. I've had friends whose dogs had osteo and they just lost them very suddenly, without time to prepare. One thing I do know is that you will make every day with K even more special than you already have and that they are days you will always cherish!

    Please know that we're thinking about you!

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  39. Please know we are with you...I am so sorry to be reading your news...I can not imagine how you are feeling. Positive thoughts and prayers coming K's way and a #pawcircle of health, strength and healing I am staring for dear K on Facebook & Twitter to bring positive vibes from all over to K. We are here for you.

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  40. Sending hugs, love and all the best SoCal mojo I can. You are in our thoughts --

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  41. We, too, believe in miracles...and the power of love. If a river of tears could wash the monster from precious K, our blog family would have her romping painfree and healthy right now. Stay in the moment and waste not a second. We send you strength and hope and the most powerful energy of love.

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  42. Hi KB, we are so sorry to hear this news. All I can say is, we are here for you. We have also been down this same path and its just bloody awful. You are in our thoughts and we send extra love and hugs to you and K. Love Carol x

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  43. Paws crossed, and sending golden vibes your way, that things work out for the best.

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  44. Goodness me . How powerfully your love and devotion to K come shining through in this post . Her trust in your choices ingrained . We'll be thinking of you all tonight.

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  45. Well, shoot! We're so sorry to hear this news. Can they fit K with a leg brace to protect against bone breakage, so she can keep walking with you for as long as possible? Radiation is tiring, but it doesn't hurt, thank goodness. We're keeping our paws crossed for K and praying for you both.

    Jed & Abby

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  46. Oh dear KB,
    My heart is with you, knowing the agony of decision-making and angst. I echoe Angus's sentiments. Your love and devotion has never faultered. You know what is best. We love you. Hang in there. Thoughts and prayers for you abound. Hugs to K too.
    With love
    MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

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  47. Wish I had words to tell how much I want a miracle to happen for your precious K. JUst let you know that I too shall be thinking of you - Love EM

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  48. What can we say in the face of such utter unfairness? Sweet K and KB, you are in our thoughts and we wish for you as much more love and togetherness as is possible. You have both always been real inspirations when it comes to living life to the full, so please live that life and savour every single moment.

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  49. we are so very sad to read the news about K. You have made a very hard and brave decision out of your love for her. We have our paws crossed that you can enjoy lots more time with her living each dy to the full.
    We wish we had met you under happier times.
    K is beautiful.

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

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  50. Our hearts are just broken for you. Each day is so special now and K will get lots of hugs and kisses on top of her head and she will know 1,000 times a day how beautiful she is. (((hugs))))

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

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  51. I know you will make the best of the time you have with K.

    Mango Momma

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  52. Well (insert HBO word). Sending you hugs and love to help carry you through.

    The Roo Family

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  53. My heart goes out to you with the grim reality that you are facing. Having just "met" you and K, I did not realize that it was only a week ago that the cancer was found. I'm sure the shock is overwhelming. The few pics I've seen of K are stunning and I am sure that she has lived a life that some dogs only dream of. You can take comfort in knowing that you have given her a rich life, albeit shorter than you expected. She is gorgeous and I would be broken too with the latest news.

    I pray that her last days with you are extra special.

    Chester's Mom ♥

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  54. I am so sorry I haven't been able to keep up with you all lately. Most of all, I'm so very sorry to see this is what you are dealing with. Please know that you guys are special to me, and you'll me in my thoughts in the days ahead. xoxoxo

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  55. We're so sorry to hear this twist. You'll make the most of this time and K will return it tenfold. We're sending five dogs' kisses and a human's hugs your way.

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  56. I'm so sorry to hear your news. She will be coming home and you can live each moment with her to the fullest. That is a beautiful picture of K.

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  57. I have another friend who lost her nine year old golden retriever to cancer this week. She also lost a horse to colic, brought on by a cancer blockage, this year. It seems like everywhere I turn there are more stories of the hurt brought on by cancer in both humans and animals. It makes a person feel so helpless but I believe you will take the one action that can be taken -- to make the most of the time you have. You have always done that. Kind thoughts and wishes to you and K.

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  58. Hearts in northern Michigan are wrapping themselves tightly around you and K as she 'fights the good fight'. It is my fondest and dearest wish that during my lifetime cancer is wiped from our planet. Too many good lives (including my mother) have been touched by that evil disease.

    Wishing you peace and love and comfort now and throughout the new year.

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  59. Just wanted to let you know that I made mention of you in my blogpost today if you want to stop over.

    Hugs to you and K
    Chester's Mom

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  60. I am having flashbacks to 1998 with my mother and her rapid onset of cancer. All I can offer is to love K to bits with that love greed I just mentioned. These life curves are so very difficult to handle, just hang on and we will help.

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  61. Thank you for the update. Give K extras hugs from all of us! I am hopefull that you will still have many sunrises and sunsets to share with us.

    As always, you will be in our thoughts and prayers,

    Sandra and Baylor

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  62. We came over from Ruby & Bart at http://rottrover.blogspot.com/ to wish you well on your surgery only to read your newest post.

    We are sending you healing collie vibes and giving you collie strength to enable you to see and do what is best, what ever that may be.

    You are not alone here in the dog blog world. There are many good dogs and hoomans out here that give each other strength and support.

    Dog Speed,

    Essex, Sherman and Dog Dad

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  63. We are so very sorry about K's diagnoses. We are sending healing purrs to K. Our hearts are just broken for you both. Comforting purrs for you both, and remember miracles do happen. We has our paws crossed K will get a New Year's miracle and the treatment will work even better then hoped for.

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  64. I am so sorry your hope to have the surgery was taken away. Thankfully K will be with you again tonight. Go back in time to that photo and just enjoying each other company for this weekend.

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  65. Oh boy, this is so sad.... poor sweet K...

    Marilyn

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  66. KB,

    My heart breaks for you. I will continue to hold you and K close to my heart. Cherish each day with beautiful K and look to us for continued support.

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle

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  67. We weren't expecting this either. We too, are not giving up on a miracle.

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  68. I am so heart broken. How can I help you? I wish there was something that I could do. I wish I could take away the evil cells inside of K.

    We love you,
    Kim

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  69. We are so sad and sorry to hear this news. Why? This beast takes so many of our fur loves.
    We pray for comfort for K and you. Enjoy every precious moment.

    Sheila & Bob

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  70. I wish there was something - anything - that I could say or do to cure K or to ease your pain, but all I can really do is let you know that we are all thinking of you. We are with you every step of the way in whatever you need.

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  71. I'm so sorry to hear about K. I came over from Sam/Marge's blog. K is beautiful. I'm sure you'll do everything you can. I believe I'd have made the exact same decision as you did. It's hard to feel optimistic, but you'll have a whole new appreciation for every minute you have with K. You two will be closer than ever.

    - Amy and Layla

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  72. We send Sibe Vibes to dear K. Praying for the maximum quality time possible for you all.

    (We went thru cancer with our Sherman, it spread from lungs to bones in his forelegs, so we resonate with your pain. )

    Pat, jack & moo

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  73. I'm going to echo the comments before me. From you here you can only go forward; how far forward, forward may be is up to Him. I guess the Silver Lining is that you and K can only grow closer. Don't ever let that moment pass!

    You are not alone! The c-monster will be defeated!

    ~B~

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  74. KB, Sending lots of love and prayers your way; may you have many many more months ahead with your precious pup. I know when our Sadie got cancer I thought she was perfectly healthy until two days before the end. I'm thankful you are able to provide such good care for K.
    Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

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  75. Of one thing I am certain..........K's life from here on will be precious,,,,,,,,every moment of it..even more than ever before

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  76. Life is beautiful. C is unfair. Moms bridge the difference.

    I'm so terribly sorry to learn this recent news. I'm faced with similar circumstances, and I can only offer you this...

    I'll cherish every day. I'll ask to be spoiled, and I'll bet my whims are catered!

    I offer up my prayers. I send you love and well wishes. Miracles happen. Let's me and you show them how!!!

    with love from the Bleu

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  77. :(

    BIG hugs to you guys!

    Lots of Luv & Kisses
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

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  78. My comments don't seem to be taking, but we ache for you, KB, and pray for a miracle. We are sending you huge hugs xoxoxoxoxo
    Sammie and Avalon

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  79. So sorry to hear this news. We have K in our hearts.
    Blessings.

    Big hugs,
    Sierra Rose

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  80. So sorry. When I was reading this I could feel getting goosebumps everywhere and the only thing I could think was F..K.
    I understand that you didn't choose the amputation with probably more tumors already spread.
    Take care,
    Tina

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