Sometimes life is seemingly heartless... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Sometimes life is seemingly heartless and cruel.

Pancake_Lefse profile image

I wrote the following yesterday and today I woke up still feeling shattered and hopeless. My heart is broken for Jeff. I’m sharing in this forum as I’m just so utterly sad. I wish I could find some sort of comfort, although I’m not sure there’s comfort to be found.

Yesterday, I told myself that Mattie had to gain her little wings so that when Jeff gains his, she’ll be waiting to walk the heavens with him. It only made me cry more.

“On 9/10/2021, Channing (my daughter) and I drove 6 hours round trip to pick up Jeff’s new baby, an English Bulldog he had already named Mattie.

Mattie was 11.5 weeks old today. Despite only having Mattie just shy of 4 weeks, this sweet baby was Jeff’s heart.

Jeff had wanted ‘Mattie’ for years. He put off getting an English Bulldog for a few years as they have a senior lab, CJ, who is totally devoted to Jeff. Jeff didn’t want to disrupt CJ’s final years with a rambunctious puppy.

However, Jeff was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in December 2020. Realizing he no longer had the luxury of time, both Jeff and Channing decided to make dreams come true and they began their search for the perfect baby girl.

Jeff’s face lit up seeing Mattie, talking about her, and just being with her. Mattie brightened Jeff’s shitty cancer ridden world and she was already 100% a daddy’s girl.

On Saturday, 10/2/21, Mattie started coughing and her breathing appeared labored.

Channing was alarmed and immediately took Mattie to the ER.

By the time they got to the ER, Mattie’s symptoms had disappeared and staff felt like she had experienced reverse sneezing and sent them home without further evaluation.

Once home, Mattie’s symptoms returned and she continued to struggle throughout the night. She had a terrible night Saturday with both coughing and wheezing.

Certain something was terribly wrong, but unable to get off work, Channing contacted me early Sunday morning and I took Mattie back to same ER.

Mattie was then diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics. At the time her O2 stats were normal, she didn’t have fever, and while she did have pneumonia, the vet said hospitalization was not needed and she didn’t see anything that had her grossly concerned.

Mattie was discharged with instructions to do “steamy shower treatments” at home and to follow up with primary vet in 5-7 days.

Today, 10/06/21, Mattie seemed worse, not better. Jeff had been up all night with her as she hacked and wheezed.

Bypassing the original ER, Channing took Mattie to the U of M. It was there where they found baby Mattie just wasn’t going to be ok.

Her oxygen levels had dropped, her breathing was compromised, and even with costly treatment her chance of survival or a quality life thereafter was minimal.

It was ultimately decided to let their precious baby go.

Mattie, 7/16/21 - 10/06/21, 3:07 p.m.

Her short life impacted a plethora of people. We are all utterly heartbroken, but are trying to take solace in knowing all Mattie ever knew was profound love.”

~ Stephanie

40 Replies

No. Life is never fair, but it has equity. For everything it takes, it always gives back. How we see that "giving back" defines us. Happiness and sadness are bound within moments; it is our memories that magnify the depth of each. I am not a religious person; however, I believe the spirit of love and of caring are real. Your feelings for Jeff have never been limited by the generally accepted meaning of marriage. Jeff's relationship with Mattie is made no less by their brief, physical time together. The equity is in the love. That can never be taken away.

SeosamhM profile image
SeosamhM in reply to Jvaughan0

"The equity of love." A beautiful concept, JV. Thanks for this. - Joe M.

This is so great! Thank you

It seems you weren't given, but took those five years, and you turned chaos into a peace without surrender. Words are sometimes just words, but your actions carry meaning.

Your posts are a real roller coaster. I am so sorry the little girl left Jeff. She was adorable.

How terribly sad, yes cruel. My heart goes out to all of you.


ohh my goodness, how terrible . Yes life can be very cruel.My heart truly breaks for the loss of your little Mattie.

Even though Mattie was with you such a short time, you all truly loved her.Beautiful picture. xxx

Oh, no! You have all been through so much. I hope you can take some solace in the fact that you made that beautiful baby as happy as she made Jeff happy. God bless you and Mattie.

Omg! 😭

What’s the odds of that? That’s torture .. Get another puppy ! From a different breeder. 😩

Is Jeff on antibiotics now? If so ,Which one? How’s he doing besides Mattie checking out ? That’s brutal , even to us outsiders .

I am so sorry to read this, bad things happen to good people. Life can be so unfair, I wish that I could bring you hope, hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day. It’s obvious that you need to grieve including what might have been.

The loss of a family pet really hurts, the amount of time that they’ve been with you sometimes doesn’t matter at all. We can invest so much in them (I don’t mean money), it’s a natural and human thing to do.

If you can and when you can, get another dog, it can (and does from my experience) help with both the grief and moving forward. Again from my experience, ensure a different colouring (I appreciate that you may want the same breed) so that the new pet isn’t a constant reminder of your current loss. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts.


Pancake_Lefse profile image
Pancake_Lefse in reply to Aodh


I am so very sorry. I really have no words. Hugs and aloha sent to you across the miles.

Haniff profile image
Haniff in reply to bluepacifica


Wrong person

I’m so sorry!!! My heart breaks for all of you! Sending hugs and prayers.

That is so sad, so very sad. My heart goes out to you and Jeff

This made me cry. Which isn’t so easy. Cruel freaking world. You guys don’t deserve this. So sorry


So sorry to hear this. Life is such, just when you thought all’s well it throws you a curve ball.

Stay positive, perhaps a silver lining is on its way. Like someone suggested if you are all ok with it, get another pup and start the cheer.

Take care and my best to you, Jeff and Channing


I'm so sorry to hear of this. I have experienced that we humans easily bond on an emotional level with such precious creatures and come to depend on their presence - I know I do with our dogs, Chowder and Fezzik. The loss of Mattie's pure innocence and emotional support is devastating.

So so sorry

As I sit here crying like a baby I feel so bad for you guys, I don’t know what I would do if I lost my little buddy 😢😢😢🙏🙏

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to larry_dammit

I cried like a baby too! 😭

It appears Mattie got her wings and went on ahead. The connections of love are never broken even though we grieve.

I could not even think about another dog after my beloved Sophie died. No more dogs for me ever, how could anyone be as perfect as Sophie. Well,when I was diagnosed with PC, my family got me Saffie and I don't regret it. Yes a different color helped. Now we even have another addition to the family. Maybe an older dog?

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to spencoid2

Bravissimo !

Oh my word. I’m profoundly sorry for you all. Brought this Old German ( actually of German descent) to tears.

Lulu700 profile image
Lulu700 in reply to wagscure259

Ya vol! Me too . 1/4 German here .

Not much I can say except it may be a good idea to get a rescue dog to replace Mattie.

j-o-h-n Friday 10/08/2021 9:36 PM DST

Terrible ! How can we ever say Life is Beautiful 😢.

Broken hearted for you all.

Our last three dogs have been older rescues. We have loved them as much as all the many other dogs we have had and grieve just as much when they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Spencer, now 12.

That is incredibly sad. Mattie looks beautiful. Sending you comfort and hugs.

I'm so sorry to read this, very unfair and cruel. I hope Jeff is doing OK 😔

Brought a tear to my eye ....

Hmm... The loss of a beloved pet is indeed heartbreaking and leaves a void in our lives.

We lost our little cat (Tiger Lily) in late spring and we still miss her.

We think that we are "training" them, but in fact we are the emotional trainees!

When I leave, I Still look around to pet her and make sure that she is safe.

Grieving period is over and we are now on "prowl" to rescue another little "Tiger"!🐱

Find another pooch to rescue...

Puppies. So innocent. Tears. So sad for you and Jeff❤️

Wow----Damn. Tears in my eyes. So sorry

Just do heartbreaking poor pup , poor Jeff and you. Sending love ,& hugs SheilaFxxx

My heart is broken for you, such a sweet little baby. I am so sorry for your loss.

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