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lilw4

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Reply with quote  #1 
About a week ago, our sweet tuxedo cat Max, almost 12, had surgery to remove a mass from his sinus/gum area.  The results came back with a myriad of things, most importantly cancer and necrosis of the surrounding area.  The vet said we might have 6 months with him. I've read the timeline is more 1-3 months, and unfortunately I think we're in the 1 month category.  After surgery he was bouncing around and his happy normal self.  Over the weekend his sinus has swelled up again and he's coughing, sneezing, and has a runny nose.  He's still eating but I can tell he's tired.  He still likes to cuddle up under my arm and purr at me, but now I wonder if he's purring out of contentment or because he's in pain.  We've got a follow-up appointment tomorrow for the vet to see how he's healing from last week but I made the mistake of looking in his mouth last night and seeing the tissue a dark/black color.  And I know that means necrosis.  I'm hoping to get some pain medicine for him to help keep him comfortable until we have to help him pass.  The thought of putting him to sleep is breaking my heart.  I know it's the correct thing to do and as his cat-mom it's my responsibility to do what is right for him.  I don't want him to suffer just so I can have him around and seeing him go downhill is also so very difficult.  I'm happy to have found this forum and read so many stories similar to mine.  I felt like no one would understand the grief I am feeling over this but it turns out there are so many people like me out there who have unconditional love for their pets.  I know death is a part of life, and I know he can't live forever, but it doesn't make it any easier knowing he's leaving us soon.  He's the best cat I've ever had and I am going to miss him terribly.  I can't talk about it with anyone right now because I can't help but cry and I don't want to make anyone feel awkward.  

I hope anyone reading this find some solace in knowing you're not alone in your thoughts and feelings.  I hope to feel better in time because right now it's just awful.
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TheJackal300

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am so sorry to hear about your sweet tuxedo cat Max. I know how difficult it is to watch our little furry buddies go downhill with very little hope from the vet. I took my little girl Willow to the vet once on Thursday the 13th and twice on Friday the 14th but there was nothing else to do but watch her suffer so I had to watch her be put to sleep Friday night. It was heartbreaking but she trusted me to do all I could for her and I did. Max knows you will do all you can for him as well. I don't know your pain but we are no strangers to crying here I'm sure. All the people here will try to support you all they can.
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Memories_of_Marmalade

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Reply with quote  #3 

Dear Lilw4,

I am sorry for what your Max and you are going through. My Cat "Marmalade" also had serious mouth issues. And could not eat or drink in the end. He had other health problems too. He was around 13 years old. It seems like many cats have health issues which increase around this age.

You wrote:

"He still likes to cuddle up under my arm and purr at me, but now I wonder if he's purring out of contentment or because he's in pain."

My Marmalade began to purr very, very loudly in the end. Too loudly. At first I thought he was just being sweet, then I did some research. It can absolutely be a sign that they are in distress and trying to cope with pain. It was a small factor that was a consideration, when I chose to put him to sleep, but it was worth considering. I could simply not allow him to continue to deteriorate and become even more of a shadow of his former self. I am sorry for sharing this information with you.

I am glad that Max and your paths crossed when they did and that you gave him such a loving, caring and comforting home for all of these years.




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lilw4

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Reply with quote  #4 
TheJackal300 - I'm sorry your Willow passed so quickly.  I've had this debate internally over and over, wondering to myself if this would be easier if he passed quickly and suddenly?  My husband told me the full story last night of how their family dog passed in two days time when he was 19 years old, and he started crying at the memory as he told it, and I think I've come to realize that it hurts the same no matter which way they go.  Nothing is going to make this any easier.  

Memories_of_Marmalade - Thank you for your insight into Marmalade's purring.  I will be sure to pay close attention to Max for similar signs.  I don't think he's there just yet and the extra purring I had in mind came last week the day after his surgery.  Perhaps his pain meds were wearing off and he was coping?  Maybe he was extra happy to be home from the vet?  Wouldn't it just be so much easier if they could talk to us?!  Perhaps then they could give us permission to let them go and help ease some of the guilt and pain.

Thank you both for your insight and kind words.  My husband and I both talked about Max last night and we're going to continue on our plan of making sure he remains comfortable until the time comes for him to pass.  We also will speak with the vet today at our follow-up appointment and listen to her guidance as for signs as to when it's his time.  He's still hungry and eating, and he still talks to us and wants to be around (all good signs I've read).  Trying to mentally prepare myself for the loss of him, at my decision, is one of the most difficult things I've ever done I think.  

From one cat/animal lover to another, I hope you're both doing better with each day.  I've read time helps, and I know it will, but the waiting is the hardest part.  I will continue to check this forums as I think it might help a bit.  I don't wish this grief on anyone, but it's oddly comforting to know we're not alone in this.
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lilw4

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Reply with quote  #5 
TheJackal300 - I'm sorry your Willow passed so quickly.  I've had this debate internally over and over, wondering to myself if this would be easier if he passed quickly and suddenly?  My husband told me the full story last night of how their family dog passed in two days time when he was 19 years old, and he started crying at the memory as he told it, and I think I've come to realize that it hurts the same no matter which way they go.  Nothing is going to make this any easier.  

Memories_of_Marmalade - Thank you for your insight into Marmalade's purring.  I will be sure to pay close attention to Max for similar signs.  I don't think he's there just yet and the extra purring I had in mind came last week the day after his surgery.  Perhaps his pain meds were wearing off and he was coping?  Maybe he was extra happy to be home from the vet?  Wouldn't it just be so much easier if they could talk to us?!  Perhaps then they could give us permission to let them go and help ease some of the guilt and pain.

Thank you both for your insight and kind words.  My husband and I both talked about Max last night and we're going to continue on our plan of making sure he remains comfortable until the time comes for him to pass.  We also will speak with the vet today at our follow-up appointment and listen to her guidance as for signs as to when it's his time.  He's still hungry and eating, and he still talks to us and wants to be around (all good signs I've read).  Trying to mentally prepare myself for the loss of him, at my decision, is one of the most difficult things I've ever done I think.  

From one cat/animal lover to another, I hope you're both doing better with each day.  I've read time helps, and I know it will, but the waiting is the hardest part.  I will continue to check this forums as I think it might help a bit.  I don't wish this grief on anyone, but it's oddly comforting to know we're not alone in this.
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Memories_of_Marmalade

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Reply with quote  #6 


"He's still hungry and eating, and he still talks to us and wants to be around (all good signs I've read.)"

I think Max still hungry and eating is key. That is good news. Marmalade could no longer eat or drink, and was shrieking at even being approached with food. I hope Max continues to do okay and remains as comfortable as he can.  


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Jcunnane

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi lilw4,

I'm so sorry to about your sweet, Max. Like Memories of Marmalade said, the fact that Max is still hungry and eating is key. Bubby was a big boy as you have seen (15 pounds when he was healthy) and in his final few days he wanted nothing to do with food. He came for treats every so often and I always thought that was a win but I think I was in denial about it all. He LOVED food. He would always eat his sisters food too.

Having to let Bubby go was the most painful and hardest thing I ever had to do. He was my first furbaby (him and his sister) that I had myself. The guilt has been hard but I couldn't put him through daily subq fluids, red blood cell therapy, pain meds and a new diet. He was a warrior and fighter and fought through two major illnesses before but we knew we were on limited time. In 2014, with his first major illness we found out his kidneys weren't so great. One was barely working if at all and the other wasn't normal looking. We were on limited time but I thought we had more time then his almost 10 years of life. In the end, his kidney was in failure. We had to take that brutal pain upon ourselves and let him be at peace. That was the last loving gift we were able to give him here on earth while we held and kissed him and told him that we loved him so much as he crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. He'll always be my fighter, my warrior, my hero, my son, my love, my comfort. He was and is my one in a million. I can't wait to be reunited with him again one day.

Wishing you the best as you comfort Max. It's never easy to watch our little ones in pain and go through illnesses. Cancer SUCKS! We're here for you when you need us. 

Hugs,
Jackie

__________________

Bubby's (Milo) Mommy - Always & Forever My Little Man 💜

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AngelsGift

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Reply with quote  #8 
Our Angel, at the time, she was ten years old (cockapoo) got the same diagnoses. A sore was found in her mouth and it was cancer. This was in October, and we were told she would be lucky to make it to Christmas.

The sore was cut out immediately and were told if we wanted to try to prolong her life, we could see a cancer vet. She was administered a shot every six months (immunotherapy) (which costs 500$ a shot), and had to get an x-ray of her lungs every three months.

(This type of cancer travels from the mouth/nose to the lungs very quickly... if it gets in the lungs the dog/cat will die)

Happily, we caught it in time, and she became the poster child for the therapy... living almost to her fifteenth birthday.

Her age caught up with her and we went to the vet for the last time. She died in our arms on March 18th, of last year... with all the surgeries and doctor visits, I’m sure she just thought it was just another one... although with all the attention she got those last few days, she might have thought something was up.

Cancer isn’t a death sentence. If you have the means, you should at least explore what medicine can do.

We were blessed by a phenomenal dog. A once in a lifetime, loving, intelligent, member of our family. We honor her in so many ways today, and always.

Hope and life will always be eternal with her.
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lilw4

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thank you for the story AngelsGift.  I've not heard about immunotherapy as a treatment option but I will do some research on it now.
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