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lissalee

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Just two weeks ago today I had to say goodbye to my beloved boy Zakky. He went downhill rapidly within a day and late afternoon we had to let him go as he was unable to breathe properly. 

It is all a blur to me. The vet had him under sedation and ultrasound. She said there's something in his heart, probably a tumour. I don't remember this but my fiance said we were told it was bleeding inside the heart. The heart couldn't function properly and there was a lot of fluid around it and around his lungs. 

The last fortnight has been a complete nightmare. Zakky was at least 12, I don't know his real age as he was a rescue cat and I had him for the last 5 years of his life. In that time he beat off colitis, diabetes, arthritis flare ups, and osteomyelitis. 

In January he had a urine infection we treated with antibiotics. A couple of weeks before that, his white blood cell count had been very high. The vet did other tests and ruled out anything sinister, and said it was 'just one of those things'. Sometimes that can happen for no reason. 

He had a tiny lump on his leg which I noticed a few days before he died. It was not painful, was smaller than a pea, and was under the skin and could move around. I remembered vaguely finding a lump on his leg years ago, which I promptly forgot about. Thousands of cuddles later and numerous vet visits, this lump was never noticed again until that last week. 

I now torture myself that this was cancer that I failed to get checked out, and somehow it ended up in his heart. I was very vigilant with his health. The day before his breathing went bad he had NO symptoms of any illness whatsoever. He was happy, eating, drinking, getting around fine with just some slowing down on the stairs which we put down to his arthritis (He had supplements for years to help with that). 

I feel I was negligent with this leg lump. WHY didn't I get it checked out years ago? My other half says perhaps it was a different lump that I found this time around. It doesn't make sense I never felt it again for years, since he was almost always in my arms. 

I'm hoping someone here knows something about heart tumours in cats - what causes them, why I didn't notice anything was wrong with him. And most of all, was it my fault? Could I have stopped it? The guilt is destroying me. 
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