JaspersMom
How do I begin? Just two days ago I was met with the heartbreaking news that my dear cat Pootie Tang has been diagnosed with mammary cancer. According to her vet, this is a highly aggressive form of cancer, and she is in the later stages. When I first heard the news, it was as though someone had knocked the wind right out of me, and the tears would not stop. I could opt for surgical removal of the tumor, but it most likely would only give her three more months. I may be grasping at straws here, but when you love a pet with all your heart and soul, three more months sounds like such a gift, the gift of time. But do I want to put her through the pain and the perils of surgery for the possibility of a few more months, and what about her quality of life? 

 Chemotherapy is not an option as her cancer is in the later stages, but it has not spread to her lungs yet. The doctor could not pinpoint when she might lose her battle, but it sounded to me as though she has a few weeks left, at best. I just hurt so bad, and I don't want to lose her,  but I could never forgive myself for not doing absolutely everything in my power to save her. I have tried to accept this diagnosis, but here I sit, still waiting, hoping, and praying for a miracle. She is 13 years old, is the cutest little black and white kitty, and has always been tiny, but now she is only 5.2 pounds. I always called her my itty bitty kitty, she is just the sweetest, most precious baby ever, and I just want to do right by her. I do not want to let my selfish interests of keeping her with me longer allow her to suffer, yet how can I let her go without knowing I climbed every mountain, so to speak, to keep her with me. The look in the doctor's eyes, I never ever want to see that look again. She is a wonderful and compassionate doctor, but there was no hope in her eyes, no hope at all. There  must be a glimmer of hope, I am so not ready to let her go over that bridge yet. I am just waiting on my miracle, it is out there somewhere, I just need to find it.


Pamela Lynne Crawford
Quote 0 0
Bailey15
Hi Jaspersmom,
I am so sorry for what you are going through and I understand how shocking this news must have been.
When our pets are ill it is so exhausting and hard to even think straight but what I am hearing is that you love Jasper and want to do the best for her. After I lost my dog, I read that animals are not afraid of dying but they are afraid it will hurt and would like you to be with them. I think it's true as I remember the way Bailey looked at me and I knew he needed to leave. He was so peaceful at the end but he made sure we were there and then he was fully relaxed.
My thought is that you still have some time left with your beloved Jasper. I would try really hard (and I know it's so hard!) to put every bad thought out of your mind and just do as many fun things with Jasper as you possibly can - depending upon her tolerance level of course. Perhaps that is playing with toys or driving in the car or even just getting Jasper's favourite food and treats and spending time with her... Take lots of pictures but most of all if you possibly can, just enjoy your beautiful Jasper. ❤️
Please come back and post an update. Sending hugs,
MJ
Quote 0 0
JaspersMom
Hi Bailey 15,
Thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful reply. I know it is a bit confusing, because I lost my beloved cat Jasper three years ago, and used to visit this forum quite frequently. So I am back again unfortunately, with another cat, my very special Pootie Tang, whose nickname is PT. I never did change my forum name, as I will always be Jasper's mom and now Pootie Tang's mom, whether they be here in this world, or across the rainbow. What you wrote was so very sweet, and so very true, and really resonated with me. 

I am so sorry that you had to endure the loss of your dog Bailey, and how my heart goes out to you. When my cat Jasper became so sick, he was only seven years old, and letting him go totally devastated me. I was with him to the very end, he was in my lap and I kissed his little head and told him he was so special to me, and how happy I was that we had found each other, and that I would always keep him in my heart, until we would meet again. I told him it was okay to go, because I saw how much he was suffering and I could not bear that. It has been over three years, and the tears still fall for my sweet Jasper. But coming here and writing, and hearing from such wonderful, compassionate people who were going through the same thing, but even through their pain, stepped up to help me, really did help me to see that I was not alone, and that the darkness and sadness of losing him would not always overshadow the absolute joy and happiness of having him in my life and my world.

I know I am in a bit of denial about this, guess that may be a protective mechanism kicking in, because as you wrote, the news was just so shocking and unexpected. I just feel so helpless, but your words have helped me so much, especially when you wrote how animals are not afraid of death, they just want us with them as they transition over to their new realm. I do not want to sit here and wait for my precious PT to die, I want to make every moment of her life as comfortable and happy as possible. Your advice about spending time with her, taking lots of pictures of her, and just enjoying her  was spot on. So that is what I am going to do, cherish every single moment of her life and our life together, until the day does come when we have to say goodbye. I will keep writing here and let you know how she is doing. Again I thank you so very much MJ for your beautiful words filled with such kindness and understanding.
Pamela Lynne Crawford
Quote 0 0
Radarsmom
I'm so very sorry for what you're going through.  Especially at this time of year, what you're feeling is extremely painful.

I guess I'd like to share a different point of view with you, in case it's useful.  I have loved three animals during my lifetime, and I've been with each of them as we've made the decision to cross them to the Bridge.  It hurts like hell.  But there's something more important here to understand.  It's the quality of life that matters, not the quantity. Rather than be concerned with how many days you have together, think instead about making those days as joy filled as possible, and make that your gift to your kitty.    Would you really want to put here through chemo if it the side effects make her ill and all she wants to do is sleep?  The quality of the days is what will guide you to the decision to know when it's time.  

When my dog Molly was ill I was told her pain would get continually worse.  I had the option of a surgery, but the surgery had  recovery time of 6 months, and Molly was 12 at the time.  I decided against surgery, but instead we made each day as full of joy as she could.  One day she'd have hamburgers for lunch.  The next I'd take her to the beach and let here enjoy the sounds of the waves and the birds.  She told me when it was time to go.

Whatever you decide,, you're in a difficult place, and I'm sorry.  Just keep your focus on the quality of life and it'll help.


Connie C
Quote 1 0
JaspersMom
Radarsmom,

Thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful reply and your different point of view. What you said is so very true, to focus on the quality instead of the quantity, and to make every single moment count. I just have to put aside my selfish desires of wanting my little PT with me as long as possible, and think about her. If I thought she was in pain and suffering, I could not bear that, and I could not live with myself if I thought I put her through even one more day if she was in pain.

Your words are very wise and really resonated with me. I do not want to put her through surgery, her immune system is already so compromised, and even if she made it through the surgery, her recovery time would be long and hard I am sure. I have to make her number one, and no matter what happens, I know I will have done right by her. I suppose that is what real love is, that no matter how it hurts our breaks our heart, sometimes we have to love them enough to let them go, and even then, they are not really gone, because they are in our hearts forever and always. I am so very sorry for the loss of your three pets, and I know you so understand what I am going through. Thank you again for reaching out to me, and helping me to look at this in a whole different light. I am going to cherish every moment and fill every day she has with joy and love, and my sweet girl does know how much she is loved, of this I have no doubt. 
Pamela Lynne Crawford
Quote 1 0
Radarsmom
I'm glad you felt my advice might be useful.   Give PT a kiss for me, and also some pets and maybe a favorite treat.

You'll remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Connie C
Quote 0 0
LindaDwyer
 When I lost my first bengal I was devastated, he was 12 and I took him in because he was having a hard time to breathe, after tests and xrays they told me he had a cancerous growth in his chest, inoperable and he may live a week or two.  I loved that cat and I was heartbroken but I know cancer is a battle you can't win and I didn't want him to suffer having a hard time to breathe so hard as it was I had him put down that afternoon.  I know its very hard to loose them but I wouldn't let him suffer, he died in my arms.  He died the way he lived surrounded by love and cuddles.  I still miss him, the Christmas before he died my daughter had had a large oil painting done of him, after he died I turned the picture around, I couldn't bear to look at it.  But even though I will always miss him I have two more bengals, the picture hangs on the wall and makes me feel like he is looking down at the other two.  

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion"
Quote 0 0
JaspersMom
Hi Linda,
Thank you so much for your kind words. It must have been so hard to lose your Bengal, but you did the right thing in not allowing him to be in pain. As hard as it must have been for you to let him go, he did die the way he lived, surrounded by love, those words so resonated with me. I am sure that the oil painting your daughter had made of him was just beautiful, and I can also understand how hard it must have been to look at it so soon after you had to say goodbye to him. When my first cat Jasper passed away, it took me months to be able to look at his picture without feeling like my heart was breaking all over again.

 Now I want to be surrounded by as many pictures as possible to keep him close to me, and even though he may not be here physically, he is so very much here with the love and sweetness he left behind. My little PT means the world to me, and I am going to just try to make whatever time we have left together special and filled with happiness, and to cherish every moment. I find myself sometimes looking into her sweet little eyes and telling her how very much she is loved, and I just know she can feel it. It is so sad to think that this will most likely be our last Christmas together, at least in this world, because I truly believe that we will see each other again, of this I have no doubt. I am so sorry for your loss, but I really appreciate your reaching out to me with your story, your caring and thoughtful words have meant so much to me, it really does help to know I am not alone.
Pamela Lynne Crawford
Quote 0 0