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Jabba-Bear's Blog

Osteosarcoma: clinical trials and goofy smiles

Jabba-Bear's Blog

A fight well-fought

April 5th, 2013 · 8 Comments · metastatic lung cancer, osteosarcoma

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It is with a heavy heart that we share this news: Jabba’s condition has taken a rapid turn for the worse. 

Yesterday morning (April 4th), while lying in bed, petting Jabba-bear, his mom noticed a lump inside his upper right lip.

We took him the vet in the afternoon, preparing ourselves to hear bad news, but hoping, nonetheless, that it would be a benign gum abscess (after all, Jabba-bear’s teeth were well over due for a cleaning). Later that evening, Jabba’s doctor called to confirm that it was, unfortunately, metastatic osteosarcoma; the  nodule  was emanating from his jaw bone, not his gum.  We were worried because the tumor literally appeared overnight, suggesting that it was quite aggressive.  Jabba’s doctor reassured us that against all odds, Jabba seemed to be doing fine; he was not showing any signs of pain.  However, she did warn us that his condition could turn on a dime. . . She said that the lump could stay the same size for a month or more, but if the cancer started to spread to his sinuses, she would have to recommend that we put him down. She reminded us that the goal was to preserve Jabba’s quality of life.  And we agreed.

After Jabba’s brush with death in January, we decided that we would seriously discuss his “end of life plan” if it became clear that he was no longer interested in food. If there is one thing that motivates Jabba-bear, it is food. . . of any sort (but pizza, peanut butter, and steak are his favorites!). This morning, Jabba didn’t get up for breakfast. When he heard the sound of kibble rattling inside Beyonce’s bowl, he slowly hobbled to the kitchen.  We filled his bowl with his Hill’s n/d Prescription diet and placed it in the bedroom, closing the door to give him privacy. We checked on him 10 minutes later, and he hadn’t touched the food, save to spread some of it around the bowl on the floor. We tried feeding Jabba by hand, while petting him. He ate a very small amount. We tried feeding him kibble, again by hand. He ate a few morsels.  We asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. He went to the door, but then laid down in the front yard, barely taking 10 steps. At this point, our hearts bursting with sadness, we began to have that dreaded talk about the logistics of Jabba’s euthanasia.


Jabba-bear this morning (April 5, 2013). He has little to no appetite, and his energy level is very low.

We decided to give him one more day. We took him back to Reynolda Village and laid with him on a blanket, petting him as a cool breeze ran through his fur. Jabba’s dad took him for a car ride all around town, and Jabba made a valiant effort to stick his nose out the window for some good sniffs (he seemed to perk up a bit when we passed a shopping strip full of fast food joints). Tonight, we will have a pizza party, and we will spend the evening holding him, loving him, saying our goodbyes.

We don’t want Jabba-bear to suffer any more than he has already. He is now having a lot of trouble breathing. Every few breaths, he lets out a small cry, like he did the day after his lobectomy. It is absolutely gut wrenching to see him like this. His fight, although well-fought, might be drawing to an end.

We have an appointment scheduled with the vet for tomorrow morning. We are still not sure what will happen.

Thank you for all of your support during these difficult times. 

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Karma

    I am so sorry to hear Jabba is having such a hard time. And that you guys are having to go through this. I hope your remaining time with Jabba is full of love. Tears are falling for what you must be feeling.

  • maximutt

    I’m so sorry to read this sad news about Jabba. Jabba is a strong boy and he has fought such a brave battle. I hope he is able to have a peaceful, restful night (and you too). Sending positive thoughts to your Jabba-Bear.

  • fetchon3

    I’m so sad to hear this. This came on so quick from such a fighter! I’m so so so sorry. He has gotten nothing but love and support and fighters from his corner. I hope you have a peaceful night and that he relishes in your love. My thoughts are with you.

  • jerry

    Oh guys! We are devastated to read this, we SO wanted Jabba Bear to go on and on. All three of you have been incredibly courageous and brave in this fight. It breaks our hearts to read this. We are very, very sorry.

    Please whisper in Jabba’s ear that I will be there for him Tomorrow he will be greeted by many brave Tripawd angels. Together, we live forever, whole and healthy and having a ball watching over everyone who is fighting a war against this terrible disease.

    Our hearts are heavy tonight, we are deeply sorry.

  • michele

    As I was reading your post tears are falling from my eyes. I am so sorry Jabba and you guys are having to go through this. You took such good care of Jabba and gave him every opportunity to overcome this. Every day I hate cancer more and more. I hate the pain in causes for so many people.

    Live in the moment tonight and take it all in. Jabba knows how much you love him and always will. He will take that love with him as he makes his final journey tomorrow. You are giving him one last gift of love by releasing him from the pain. It sucks for us that are left behind because the pain for us remains.

    I saw the pictures of Beyone and Jabba on your other post and they made me cry even harder. The love the two of them have for eachother is so special.

    Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts tonight and tomorrow. Jabba will be greated by so many warriors that have left our side, and they will welcome him home and show him the way.

  • benny55

    Oh gosh, like everyone, the tears are falling and the heart is aching. This it can be the saddest place in the world sometimes.
    It seems the last several weeks so many wonderful souls have crossed over and now your precious Jabba Bear.

    You know that he knows you and Beyonce have been with every step of the way and you will not turn away now when he needs you most. Your courage to love to the depth of giving him permission to head on over to Jerry and the others is selfless and the epitom of uncondional love.

    I love the memory you shared of Jab a perking up and sniffing the it when you rode by the food place. Whenever you feel a breeze brush across your face, remember Jab a Bear enjoying the wind against his face on the car ride…….that will be Jabba bear giving you a kiss.

    We’re all together with you, Sally and Happy Hannah

  • Codie Rae

    Sending you lots of love and strength from the Oaktown Pack. All paws crossed that tomorrow is not the day. But we know that you will do whatever is right for your sweet boy. We’ll be thinking of you…….
    Codie Rae

  • Dakota Dawg

    I’m sorry your boy has taken a downturn and is in some distress today. For me personally, dealing with Dakota after the amputation and that pain was nothing compared to his final morning of distress. I understand completely the commitment not to force Jabba to endure. Enduring is not a good life.

    If tomorrow is the day for Jabba to get his wings, rest assured that he will have many waiting to greet him. And rest assured that you will have many strong shoulders here holding you up as well. Tonight I will hope that Jabba rallies and has more time.


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