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Brandon110

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Posts: 6
 #1 
I normally do not reach out to support groups and have always had the mentality to just handle whatever life throws at you..... "Just do whatever it takes", even though I am fortunate enough to have some family to lean on.

I started to read some of the post and realized that having a pet and feeling the way other people express themselves is all part of the grieving process and healing themselves. My best friend is only 6 years old and has been diagnosed with GI Lymphoma last month. Recent Ultrasound, determined consideration of Large cell GI Lymphoma stage II that is now affecting the kidneys. Research shows that feline lymphoma is becoming more common in 9-12 age groups, but can occur earlier.

After all of the research and various possible treatments including latest trails of Chemotherapy, remission rates and prognosis, I decided not to put him through these treatment phases. We decided to provide palliative care with comfort and Prednisone. I am doing my best to keep it together and decided when to make the timely decision to euthanize.

Just posting this makes me feel a little better and I now know from this grief support group, that losing a pet is like losing a member of your family. Life is really fragile and no one is really prepared for these type of losses. I am normally a strong person, but this is really tearing me apart. If it was not for my Cat "Binky" I probably would not have been able to get through my job that sees tragedy often, in the last 6 years.

After he is gone I don't think I can handle this type of loss again with another Cat. It will be too painful.




 

grievingmom

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Posts: 640
 #2 
My beloved Pearl was diagnosed with abdominal intestinal cancer as has your Binky.  She had exploratory surgery and that is how they found out. The vet upset me a great deal when she said "I laid her on the operating table and spread her guts all around and looked at them". Oh geez. That vet was such a piece of work and I think that one example gives you and idea of what I was working with. I had just met her for the very first time when Pearl became ill with cancer.  I was an emotional wreck and "hired" her to be Pearl's caregiver. What a mistake that was. 

Pearl went on chemotherapy. 6 months into her chemotherapy, Pearl died. I was shocked beyond words as I was of the belief the chemo was going to cure her. For her to die when all the days she was on chemo I was cheering "She's getting better..she has to be because she is on chemo" was horrible living nightmare the likes of which I pray to God I never have to face again. I was on the brink of wanting life to end. Even so, I would have done it again in a heartbeat. In my case, I would feel as though I betrayed her if I did not pull out all the stops. That doesn't mean I "will" do it again. I would never adopt another pet in my life. Not after this.

Isn't it interesting how 2 people in a similar situation handle the situation differently? Both are right because as their parents our decisions for them are made out of loving care. And love is always right.

I know you are very upset right now. I was a basketcase. After Pearl died I had a nervous breakdown and while I may have recovered from it, the whole experience was so traumatic from when she got sick, while she was sick,  the day she died, that I never adopted again and never will. That was in 2012. 

Pearl was one of three girls. The baby of the family. 

I love you Pearl. God bless you.

Take care Brandon110. Even strong people have emotions. In fact if you weren't upset I would think something was wrong with you. Not the other way around.

Sincerely,
Stephanie


Brandon110

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Posts: 6
 #3 
I appreciate your response and sorry for your loss. You did your best and that is all that you can do.

I think the hardest part is knowing that this is not a curable disease and prognosis is eventual they succumb to this incurable illness. I was surprised to learn that this is becoming more common in Cats. I did everything for "Binky" Annual visits to Vet etc....... just like everyone who loves there family member here on this site.

I am trying to enjoy the remaining time that I have with him, but it is going to be tough like others have mentioned when the time comes to schedule my final gift to him. There is no way we want them to suffer so emotions do run high.

I am curious how others feel about not wanting another Pet after losses like experienced?

Too me, I do not want to go through this process again.

Just remember all the great times that you have had with your Pearl and those tears will eventually turn to joy.





buddy2k

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Posts: 103
 #4 
Hi Brandon110

My Lilly passed away Dec. 8, 2018 from exactly the same thing as your beloved Binky has been diagnosed with.
I remember getting the call telling us of this bad news, after she had an ultrasound, a biopsy, and bloodwork.
We chose palliative care too, using prednisolone to keep her comfortable.
I slept on the couch every night so I could watch over her.  She lasted almost one month.  She had pain meds in the final few days.
She let me know when she was ready to go. She stopped eating.  She passed away, in my arms at home with help.  I spent every moment I could loving on her, making sure she
wasn't in pain, and was happy.  She was happy, until the very end.
I was devastated.  I still am.  She was my absolute heart cat.  There will never be another like her.  I still cry over her.  She was my best friend.
It's a tough thing to go through, but, we do it because we love them so much.  There is really no other choice.  I feel bad for you.  I know how hard it is.
I have another cat, but, this experience made me even more worried about his health, and how I will feel when he is gone.
I don't even want to imagine that day.
I wish you well.





buddy2k

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Posts: 103
 #5 
Brandon110

I forgot to mention, that Lilly was also only 6 years old..........
pansy

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Posts: 599
 #6 
I've had two cats in a row that had IBD that morphed into intestinal lymphoma.  One was put on pred plus chlorambucil and did well for 10 months until the remission ended when she became intolerant to the chemo med and I had to stop it.  Pred alone did not carry her through so the specialist told me I would know it was time when her weight loss became sudden and severe.  She was down to 4 pounds when I put her to sleep.  The pred kept her eating and she was not in any pain but the lymphoma caused her to not be able to absorb any nutrients at all hence the severe weight loss and starvation.  The specialist told me she sees 2-3 cats a week now with either severe IBD and or intestinal lymphoma.  My other kitty who just left me about 4 weeks ago also had severe IBD and possibly intestinal lymphoma.  They asked me if I wanted to start the chlorambucil and I said no so when the palliative meds stopped working I put him to sleep.  I can't go through it again it's just too painful. 
grievingmom

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Posts: 640
 #7 
I can say categorically that I will never adopt again. My 4 pets were emotionally the equivalent of human beings. So to have lost 4 children, I am not going to run out and adopt another. I am burnt out from the loss, grief and anguish and now have chosen to close that chapter in my life...that of being a parent. Being a pet mother gave my life purpose. But it always killed me too. In addition, I shied away from human relationships when I had pets. I am not saying that I won't adopt because I want human relationships, but I am saying I only had my pets and no human connections. Now I know a person can have both. But I don't want the depressing suffering that comes from pet loss so I am working at age 65 on learning how to develop human relationships.
grievingmom

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Posts: 640
 #8 
Pansy,
When Pearl had her exploratory surgery and they did a biopsy, 2 pathologists were uncertain as to whether Pearl had IBD or lymphoma. 
- Stephanie
pansy

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Posts: 599
 #9 
The effects from severe IBD or lymphoma are pretty much the same.  Treatment is also pretty much the same.  My cat went for quite a while with mild IBD with diet change but it usually will worsen over time.
grievingmom

Registered:
Posts: 640
 #10 

Yes, you are correct. I chose to have Pearl go on chemotherapy. She was on cancer medication (and pred.) I was elated as I was of the belief it was going to eradicate
the cancer. 6 months into her treatment she died. I was furious because it was the worst 6 months of our lives together. She did not like the chemo and I forced it upon her. I was losing my patience with her because she fought me not to take it and everything changed between us. She would hide from me.  The loving bond we had disappeared. I am not blaming her at all. I am the one who changed since she was not the girl I knew and I misinterpreted what was happening to her. She was dying of cancer.  But I did not know she was dying of cancer. I thought taking the medicine was making her better. So her behavior was new and I thought she was being naughty at times and it was just back and forth. She was not being naughty, she was dying. That is one of my biggest regrets in life. That she was dying and I thought she was being naughty (the hiding and so forth) and my impatience.



>>>>The effects from severe IBD or lymphoma are pretty much the same.  Treatment is also pretty much the same.  My cat went for quite a while with mild IBD with diet change but it usually will worsen over time.>>>>
pansy

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Posts: 599
 #11 
It's not a very pleasant road at all.  I did the same with my first cat and the chemo med.  I was told they could go into remission for a possible two years but I now believe that's one in a million.  I never thought it would cure her but just give her a better life until the end.  Not sure if it did or not because she did gain weight and feel better for a while but then started to vomit up the med and it was making her sick.  That's why this time when I was offered the chlorambucil I declined and told the specialist that it would just be delaying the inevitable.  I used palliative meds until I saw they were not working anymore and made the decision to let him go.  I worried constantly about how both of them were feeling and if I was doing the right thing or not.  
grievingmom

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Posts: 640
 #12 
I am not sure how these meds "help". I wish veterinarians would just be honest and say "Look, there is no chance your cat is going to recover in any significant way despite what you do". I would not have put my daughter through hell...or myself.

I would NEVER have done this for 6 months more for her to live.

NEVER.
Brandon110

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Posts: 6
 #13 
Hello Again,

I really cried with all of the responses here.

Everyone has a story to tell and we all feel the pain and grief during this terminal illness. The best advise is knowledge and experience and even with all of this, the emotion is a true test of faith that you are making the correct decision. (There is really no correct answer for this)

Several post have mentioned specialist and there recommendations. All trails of Chemo- Small cell vs large cell. T-cell -B-cell have some success with remission of 2 years. Large cell is worse along with T-Cell I remember T is tougher and B is better,  but what Neoplastic Lymphoma is better????

In the perfect world with unlimited finances and resources,  could prolong this fatal disease. Its all percentages and the final outcome is what was mentioned in previous post. 

 My Binky is still on Pred therapy 10mg twice a day and I monitor him constantly. I use the HHHHHMM Quality of Life scale. HHHHHMM includes:
 
  • Hurt
  • Hunger
  • Hydration
  • Hygiene
  • Happiness
  • Mobility
  • More good days than bad

Even with this I don't want to wait too long and will have to let him go.  But how do you know when the right time to say goodbye is? If you do it too soon, you may miss valuable time together. If you do it too late, you may put your pet through unnecessary suffering.

I will keep everyone posted on when we decide when Binky goes to that rainbow in the sky. I have a unique bond with my Best Friend, like others here who have shared there love and loss.

I don't want to bring my job into this, but he has provided an extension of me in spirit and has helped me continue my work, ultimately saving others since my Daughter brought him home in 2013 and I finally became the primary care giver with help from my Wife.

God bless all of you guys.

grievingmom

Registered:
Posts: 640
 #14 
Brandon110,

I am not sure how I came across. If you have read some of my other posts on various subjects, then you would know I don't believe in euthanasia. I have done it 3 times and with my 4th girl I didn't. She died on her own terms, on her own timetable. I will NEVER adopt again, but in some perfect world where I did, for a billion dollars I would not euthanize one of my pets. 

This is my point of view and it always helps to have a point of view that isn't traditional if only because it adds to the mix.

My theory is that if a pet is so sick that it must be "put to sleep", then the pet is dying and death is imminent. Why rush the process? When I had my dog Tum put to sleep the vet ignorantly  said after the fact... "I think she would have died within 4 days if you didn't do this". Well... duh! If I had known beforehand that she was going to die in 4 days I would have taken her home and let her die in a place she loved. Not on the floor of a vet's office. I know people have these images of how tortured their pet is and they must put them out of their misery, but quite honestly, I think the torture we think our pets are in is sometimes exaggerated. My view is that when an animal is in the dying phase, they are not as conscious as they normally are. I don't think they are as aware of their suffering to the extent that some people make them out to be. If they were suffering as badly as described by some, they would be dead!  One doctor said that today when people are sick or dying it is considered a catastrophe and "something abnormal" when in fact nothing is wrong. It's life! How do people imagine death is? Balloons, unicorns, happy music with refreshments being served? Suffering is part of life. We put so much effort into alleviating something that is normal. I am not saying don't use medicine but don't make a catastrophe out of something normal. When a woman has a baby and is screaming in pain, do people think something is wrong? No, because that is what happens when you have a baby. Well, same with death.  Life is not a picnic. Suffering comes with the package.  I saw someone hit 2 deer at the same time with their car. The deer were very much alive and trying to get up but they couldn't. They had broken bones. No one is going to come along and take 2 deer to a vet and so in a case like that, I believe in euthanasia. Why push them off the side of the road and let them die on their own in a case like that?  That's about the only time I believe in euthanasia.
Brandon110

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #15 
This is a very difficult topic for all pet owners. You need to have support along the way, everyone here makes some valid points and then makes there own decision. It really comes down to the quality of life and euthanasia is valid options in those circumstances mentioned in these post.  

Thanks for all of your support.
pansy

Registered:
Posts: 599
 #16 
Brandon-  It's hard making these decisions, and very painful.  I can see where you wouldn't want to have to do it again.  It hurts, it really does.  
Brandon110

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #17 
My best friend "Binky" was put to sleep on January 16th. If you look at the many previous post, this can be a very long and emotional process. I am glad that I decided not too select trials of chemo as possible options though.

This will take awhile for healing.

I really appreciate the support that many of you shared with me.

Thanks again,

pansy

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Posts: 599
 #18 
I'm sorry for your loss of Binky.  Take care, as we all know what you're going through right now.    
buddy2k

Registered:
Posts: 103
 #19 
So sorry for your heartbreaking loss.
I know exactly how you feel.
"You can shed tears that he is gone.
 Or you can smile because he has lived." - reading that helps me a bit.


Brandon110

Registered:
Posts: 6
 #20 
I like that message alot and it really does help.

Take care.......

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