Leaving Space for the Unknown: A Gift of Deepening Presence

I shake my head in utter amazement, a stunned disbelief that she pulled through.  As well, feeling the post traumatic stress from the ten or so days and nights of hyper-vigilance.  Over the past year her bleeds typically have occurred every 5-6 weeks with a few exceptions.  I keep hoping, visualizing that we are done with bleeds and the tumor will shrink.  Or rather I have been calling it her “baby” – treating it with utmost love and care for the gift –the depth of presence – it brings – that it will be miraculously born in this living realm of the “unknown” and Phoenix will live out her remaining elder year/s with the greatest appreciation of bodily comfort.

Hello, Today is December 5, 2016.  It is 15 months after Phoenix’s diagnosis with HSA. I have yet to find another case of a dog with this type of cancer living this long, but would love to hear from anyone with other such positive outcomes, and what they are doing to support the lives of their dear companions.

At the time of the last entry in October Phoenix had just been attacked by two dogs as we were standing in a driveway talking with the homeowner midway during an hour long walk through adjacent neighborhoods.  It was a miracle on top of miracles that she survived the impact of that attack.  It set off another bleed of the melon sized tumor within, in addition to a puncture wound and two large hematomas formed on her belly.

I used herbal compresses and continued with the essential oil belly rubs (organic liquid coconut oil, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, lavender, geranium).  The hematomas (or maybe they were part of the tumor protruding?) disappeared within two weeks or so.  I was hopeful – maybe the tumor was shrinking !?  The bloody urine cleared up, the episodes of incontinence stopped.  Within 2-3 weeks she was back to leading her normal, albeit aging 13 year old life.

October 2016. A friend made “Little Phoenix” a felt finger puppet

It is typical that she does not have much of an appetite during the initial bleed.  For 3 days to a week I am trying a variety of foods with her – offering anything that might be appealing.  This often can be cooked chicken, or organic canned dog food, sometimes a raw or cooked egg, but I always try to get her back on raw meat asap and she usually goes for the raw beef organ mix from the Indiana company, My Pet Carnivore.  The organ mix is great for the anemic state following the bleeds.

We continue following the ketogenic diet prescribed by Ketopet Sanctuary http://www.ketopetsanctuary.com/, as closely as possible.

On November 6th, four weeks ago she had her 11th bleed in 14 months and the most near death episode we have experienced. Each episode has been incredibly intense as I have written.  This one being the most intense ever.  She had little reserves left to start in terms of body weight.  She could barely stand or walk due to the blood loss, but tried at times.  She was carried outside to pee needing support so she didn’t fall over.  This time though she was straining to poop and nothing coming out – maybe at best a few raisin -sized pellets here and there for days.  I was horrified that the new bleed had physically expanded the tumor and blocked her intestines completely.  She was eating some.  I started blending her food and was cautious about how much was going in vs the amount coming out.  Her urine was bloody again as in the last bleed and the incontinence came back.

November 6th 2016, beginning 11th bleeding episode in 14th months since her initial diagnosis with HSA.  She wanted to be outside, but shaking from blood loss/trauma

It was the first time I got to the point of calling the home care vet to inform her of the situation and inquire of her schedule for a possible euthanasia visit.

On the third or fourth night in the wee hours I stood by Phoenix’s
side and began a dance and prayer of transformation.  I have always tried to make it clear that she can go anytime and I will support that as best I can, but I’ve never until this time actually asked for help for her transformation, but it was seemingly so imminent even with all the miracles to date.  Of course I always leave room for her decision in the matter and the whole realm of not knowing forever rests in my psyche.


She was still with us the next morning and with signs of increased vitality.  I dove into the research for the umpteenth time – now looking up homeopathics for constipation – even though I thought for sure it was a physical blockage and was very unsure that anything could help.  I found and administered Silicea 6C for the constipation and China 6C for the bleeding.

In the meantime I began making her ketogenic smoothies – basically putting her meals in the nutribullet and making a puree of digestible nutrients.  That took some getting used to – putting raw beef in my nutribullet!  Takes me a bit of time to work up to this in the mornings!


At one point on days 10 and 11 she started throwing up and this was right after a dream I had to look up homeopathics for poisoning.  I never completely landed with what this was about, or which homeopathic to give her – Arsenicum was one of three or so possibilities but never grounded in.  Somehow the throw up felt like a good thing – purging of toxins?

She started pooping more regularly by day 13 or so from the start of the bleed and today she has normal regular sized poops several times a day!  Her urine cleared as well by day 11 or so, but the incontinence remains.

I shake my head in utter amazement, a stunned disbelief that she pulled through.  As well, feeling the post traumatic stress from the days and nights of hyper vigilance.  Over the past year her bleeds typically have occurred every 5-6 weeks with a few exceptions.  I keep hoping, visualizing that we are done with bleeds, that the tumor will shrink.  Or rather I have been calling it her “baby” that will be miraculously born in this living realm of the “unknown” and she will live out her remaining elder year/s in the greatest appreciation of bodily comfort.


Today she presents with a fantastic appetite, and enjoys running all-out for her ball for fetch in the back yard, but has not wanted to walk much beyond the end of the drive most times, although once she surprised me and paced herself for an hour long excursion to the park.  I miss our daily walks and wonder why and how she can run 50 or more yards for the ball repeated times yet does not feel comfortable moving toward the walks she so used to love?   She may not have the energy, or may be arthritically sore, or I think she may be fearful of other dogs since the attack in October?  At night (when no dog is looking : ) she will walk up to Shadow’s yard (black lab 3 blocks away) to pee and pooh – still claiming some neighborhood territory for herself.

I am primarily looking to soothe inflammation in addressing the incontinence as well as aiding digestion/absorption. I think there are some urine alkaline/acid considerations which if anyone understands this please message me.  I also want to promote bladder/kidney health although I don’t understand  yet the balance of protein here with the kidney function and will call Keto Pet Sanctuary to inquire of any recommended diet changes in terms of fat/protein/carb ratios.  In the meantime the latest boosts to her pureed meals in addition to her previously mentioned supplements, are ½ handful of fresh parsley, increased vit C to 2000 mg /day plus tea infusions of marshmallow, juniper berry and burdock.  And I also started Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and Uva Ursi tea-decoction each 1 tsp/day for three days.


Creating and posting our experiences through this blog is a way I hope to at least share much of what we’re learning if it may help anyone rest more comfortably in their body, furry or otherwise. Please don’t hesitate to message me if you would like any further information about Phoenix and the care she is receiving.


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