I am an emotional wreck right now. Our dog, Jasper, is a 12 1/2 year old Akita mix whom we've had since he was 6 weeks old. In April of 2007 I discovered a lump on his rear end. The vet removed it, biopsied it and told us it was cancer. She told us that there was a high risk it could have spread. His chest x-ray was clear at that time (no evidence of metastasis). Our vet consulted with an oncologist who suggested an abdominal ultrasound and a few rounds of chemo. After a family discussion and some research we decided that we didn't want to put him through that at his age and were more concerned with his quality of life and not how much more time we could add to his life by treating the cancer. The last 15 months he's been a happy, healthy dog. A couple of days ago he went in for a routine dental cleaning and for removal of a lump he had on his front paw. I opted not to have the biopsy done but they did do another chest x-ray which showed a ping-pong ball size tumor in his left lung. The vet said it most likely was metastatic cancer. I was shocked. He has absolutely no symptoms. I have so many thoughts running through my head now. I know his days are numbered and I feel like I have no guidance from the vet. They again suggested referral to an oncologist and perhaps some chemo. I told the vet I would not treat cancer at his age and my first priority was to keep him comfortable and happy. He's okay right now but now I feel like I'm stuck waiting for the inevitable decline in his health and I don't know what I'm in for. I don't want him to suffer and everyone tells me I will know when the time is right to euthanize him. I'm just crushed and am trying to enjoy whatever time we have left with him. I feel like I'm already grieving and he's still here!! I don't want to be sad around him but I can't help it. Any coping suggestions?
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