Registered: 1215285240 Posts: 13
I am so heartbroken.. I can't stop thinking about my baby boy and crying. Well.. here's a little background.. I'm hoping someone can see something I'm not, and can help me through this horrible feeling of guilt and grief. I adopted Spookie and Freckles 14 years ago. Brothers from the same litter. They've both been with me through my struggle w/agoraphobia, break ups, moving, EVERYTHING. They were more to me than just "pets".. they are my best friends. Freckles was diagnosed w/diabetes about 6 years ago. He'd been taking insulin since then, and some vet visits for readjustment of dose etc. I tried to keep him on a normal schedule w/feedings and insulin, but I admit I wasn't consistant all of the time. Sometimes I'd be late w/his feedings and insulin by about 4 hours. More so in the last couple years. The other night, when I returned home from work, I noticed he was acting funny. I checked his glucose and he was very very low, so I tried to feed him and give him some Karo syrup to increase the glucose, and it did slightly increase. I rushed him to an emergency vet hospital where he stayed for about two days. That episode resolved, but ever since I'd brought him home, he hadn't eaten on his own, or drank. So, with the advice of my Vet and a close friend who is a vet, I force fed him, and after about 3 days, we started giving him sub q fluids. He also was diagnosed with a bad urinary infection during his stay at the emergency vet hospital. He was on antibiotics for his urinary infection, and had started urinating much more with the sub q fluids, but still wasn't interested in food or water. I thought I'd seen a glimmer of interest, but after tryin to introduce the food, he would lift away his head. However, I kept on force feeding him and giving him the fluids. I noticed that when he was on my bed, he would often reposition himself, like he couldn't get a comfortable spot. He only cried out in either pain or discomfort twice during his sub q fluid "installments"... I thought he was just wanting to get down from the "table" where I worked with him. My vet suggested that I bring him in before the 4th of July holiday wkend just to make sure we were still going in the right direction. I told her that I noticed he was a bit "rounder".. but I didn't know how to tell for sure. She took him in the back, drew blood, and decided to check for that increase in roundness. She withdrew fluid from his abdomen which should not have been there, and she said there was more in there. She suggested I rush him to another hospital where they could do an ultrasound. So, I grabbed the vials of blood and fluid, xrays, and Freckles and we headed to that hospital. Well, that's when it all gets crazy. They did the ultrasound, and I guess ran the blood or analyzed the fluid and came in to tell me he had lymphoma/lymphosarcoma in his spleen and liver. He was turning a little yellow, but I thought that might just be from his not eating. UGH. This very gentle young doctor was telling me about my options w/chemo etc, and then someone outside came to the door w/some paperwork, and I heard her say "yeah, it's cancer". The young doctor showed me the results, and then another doctor came in to talk w/him to me. They said that b/c Freckles was diabetic, and treatmen was w/steroids.. that didn't go hand in hand.. and I know that. They pretty much gave me their opinion that "it was not what i was hoping to hear", and that treatment would be hard for him if it would help at all, and that they were leaning more towards ending his pain. They also said it was expensive, and I told them that money was not even an issue when it came to his health. I'm by no means rich, but I would pay anything to help him. I asked if I could use the telephone.. I forgot my cell phone at home w/ALL of my phone numbers.. and I had gotten through to a few answering machines.. but NOONE was there for me.! I couldnt' reach anyone. I had to make this decision on my own... and I am so heartbroken. I sat with him, he nudged me with his head, he was purring.. and I was with him when he passed. I swear, I wanted to snatch him up outa there and run out the door with him to stop it. I can't get over the guilt.. what if I had kept him longer and he did live for a little while, and what if he was ok for some time.. I'm so torn. What if I ended his life too soon? What if these Vet's didn't know much about the disease.. UGH.. Can someone please help me with this. I am sick over it. Thank you,
Registered: 1157206612 Posts: 1,604
Your pain is bad enough; adding guilt to it. . . well, it's just not necessary. You don't need it. It's quite normal, in the first throes of grief, to question ourselves. In the years I've been on this board, I've seen countless people question themselves and their decisions. Some think they did it too soon; others fret that they waited too long. The one thing that all of us have in common is that whatever decision we made, we made out of love. That being the case, there is no reason at all for any guilt. It sounds as though poor Freckles had quite a lot going wrong, even without cancer. The yellow color you noticed was because his liver was failing. Yes,you could have grabbed him up and taken him home - and been back to the ER in a day or two. Worse, you might have taken him home and had him make a slow transition, painful for you if not for him. You did the absolute right thing! You acted out of love. Please remember that death is not an end at all but merely the transition to a beautiful form of life we are not yet permitted to know. To have taken Freckles home "to live for a little while" would have postponed your pain but prolonged his, and it's very obvious that you didn't want him to suffer. What you did released his loving soul from his failing body; he's made his transition to Eternity, where he's gloriously alive, perfectly healthy, and supremely, blissfully happy. He's waiting for you, and will great you with great joy when your turn comes. Cry for all of him that you miss, but remember that those tears are stictly for you; your beloved Freckles has no need of tears. May Freckles' Creator hold you gently in the hollow of His hands, comfort you, and bless you with the faith that leads to peace.
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
You did the right thing. Diabetes is very hard to treat in most cats (I have a diabetic and it's a daily challenge beyond what I ever expected to keep his sugars not high, but not too low) but, with the lymphoma added on this, I personally don't know how he could have held up for too long. I really think you did the right thing. He's at peace now and I hope you will be, too.
Registered: 1160143902 Posts: 730
My Blue was PTS Monday night and I too have had feelings of guilt. This time, I called my best friend & she and another friend met me @ the vet. Blue was diagnosed and gone within an hour. Sheila took pics of me and Blue for me to have. When I begin to doubt my decision, I look at the pics & see how tired she was. The poor girl couldn't even lift her head. I know I made the right decision.
With Riefer, I was going to bring him back the following afternoon, after one more night with him. He passed the following morning & I too was alone, outside of my other fur kids, for hours until my brother showed up. It's a very hard & traumatic time and it's natural to second guess yourself. But, your baby's a kitten again, running free, playing, being curious, no longer riddled with disease and being poked & prodded again. She loves you more for freeing her. Believe you'll see her again. Hugs; Lisa
Registered: 1215285240 Posts: 13
Thank you so much for those kind and inspiring words. I notice we all feel that guilt part, I'm trying to cling to my darling Spookie (Freckles brother) to help ease this pain.
Thank you again
Registered: 1207026279 Posts: 699
I am so sorry your dear Freckles is gone. You did the right thing - it sounds like your baby boy was having a very hard time, and you love him so much. He isn't suffering anymore - I know you are now suffering, and it's normal to feel guilt no matter what the circumstance is. It can be relentless. Rest assured that you loved him enough to let him go - there is no greater love than that. Your sweet Spookie will help you heal - you can help each other. I'll say a prayer for your Beloved Freckles, who will always be in your heart. Hugs, Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever
Registered: 1215181072 Posts: 215
My prayers go out to you and Freckles. I PTS my Smokey on Thursday, July 3. Nothing right now is easing the pain and guilt. But regardless, I had him for 16 1/2 years and saw his body deteriorating with multiple problems and on top of that, in and out of diabetes. The last thing I wanted in the world was to live my life without Smokey and I chose to let him go to end the pain and any suffering he was experiencing. Right now I cannot imagine how I will make it through the next couple of weeks. I just pray for strength. Spookie will be there for you and the two of you will help each other through this difficult time. Know that you did the right thing for Freckles, and that you likely had many four legged angels surrounding you as you went through this. I'm sure the staff knew that you were suffering and were able to comfort you. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Maerlyn, if you are reading this post, please know that your words were beautiful and while written for Spazziekat, were much comfort to me as well. Thank you.
Registered: 1211298031 Posts: 95
I am so sorry to hear that you were alone during such a difficult time. It is such a hard thing to do. Your guilt feelings are part of the grieving process that we all go through. I went through them also. I believe all we want is to squeeze the last bit of life out of our beloved companions just to have them with us one more day, one more minute! You did the best thing possible for your beloved friend, as I did for my Bennie.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find peace today.
Registered: 1215285240 Posts: 13
Thank you all for your kind words. Freckles went to heaven on July 3rd also.. along with Smokey. Perhaps they are up there together, playing, chewing on grass, and sniffing the flowers. I am afraid to say that today is a little better, because I thought yesterday would be, and it turned out to be worse by the evening time. I'm trying to come to terms with the decision I made to release Freckles from his suffering. I can now start to picture him up there, smelling the grass, drinking from a clean beautiful spring, and my Grandparents holding and petting him.
I've learned something today... all of us who are suffering with this grief need to stick through it together. I had no idea others suffered with the guilt until I came onto this website and read all of your stories. I think our love for our babies intensifies that guilt. I know cats hide their illnesses better than dogs or humans, and that Freckles was probably not vocalizing his pain/discomfort as would a human - I know he didn't enjoy the force feedings or fluid administrations, probably he tolerated it for my sake. God I love him and miss him so much. Thank you all again.
Registered: 1214367041 Posts: 28
I'm so sorry, I am going thru the same feelings as you are. I lost my baby Bella on June 16th. She was diagnosed with diabetes on June 7th. I took her to the vets on June 11th for a glucose curve, and she never came home. She would not stop throwing up at the vets and had developed pancreatitus, which led to kidney failure. After being in the hospital on IV and antibiotics for 5 days and on Monday morning, my worst nightmare came true, my baby girl was critical. I rushed her to a specialist @ the emergency hospital and she gave her a "fair" chance, money was also no object for my baby. She passed away within an hour or so after being there. They told me they would have done the same exact treatments, etc. but I wish I would have taken her there first. My baby was only 5 yrs and 8 months old. You are completely normal in feeling the guilt. I am still feeling guilty for several things. Everyone keeps telling me I shouldn't but I can't stop. I'm sure one day I will find peace, it's just not now. You will too. I had a german shepard that had breast cancer and once the tumor was removed, she lasted 3 months, and it spread into her lungs and other organs. So, at least your baby is not suffering anymore. She is with all of our babies now. I would rather have her here, but it's not an option.
I will pray for you. Shari, Bella's mommy
Registered: 1215285240 Posts: 13
Thank you Shari.. I can relate.
I am the only one suffering this loss, and that makes it more difficult. I know my family and friends try to help me, but just simply because they aren't feeling what I am, makes it harder for some reason. I don't think they understand the bond we have with our "pets". This has been more difficult than dealing with my Grandparents dying. I guess it's because of the "decision" that was made which makes it harder. It all fell on me. I do take solace in the fact that Freckles is not suffering, but God I miss him immensely... immensely! Thank you again Shari.. and I am sorry about your baby too, please know we fur mommies know what you're going through.
Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
You have no reason to feel guilty! You did the loving thing, even though it was, and is, painful for you. The grief is enough and it is real. Believe me, I know only too well, like everyone else on this site. But the guilt is not "real" -- you just miss your baby. Only someone who loved Freckles would have the courage and caring to put him out of his pain. Your vet did not make the recommendation lightly -- they see so many petowners in turmoil and they know how hard it is for us to make that final decision.
It sounds like Freckles was fighting a lot. I know from my own experience with treating multiple ailmements with a pet, that we sometimes get used to all of the hospice type of care and it become our new "normal" because we don't want to face losing our pets. Since you were the one who loved Freckles, and he loved you, it's only natural that you would be the BEST one to make the decision after conferring with your vet. I'm sure Freckles wouldn't have it any other way. You and his brother are and always will be his family and his best friends. You put his needs first. God bless you for that. Herbie and Belle's Mom
Registered: 1214367041 Posts: 28
You and I are exactly alike...I have never experienced a human loss as I have with Bella. Also, I forgot to tell you...who cares what other people think. You are completely devastated and your heart is shattered, and you are grieving. If they don't like it or understand it, that's their issue. Just try and keep as busy as possible. I work 12 hrs. a day, but the weekends are horrible. My family is doing everything they can to keep me doing something, especially my mom. This has helped me tremendously. It's hard enough being in the house, it's so empty and quiet without her. On gratefullness.org, you can light a candle for your baby. You can do this every 48 hrs. I talk to Bella when I do this and it brings me a little bit of peace.
Registered: 1157268148 Posts: 555
Dear Spazziekat, You did exactly the right thing for your baby. You took him to the best vets you have in your area which was where your other vet suggested you take him do properly diagnose and deal with his problems. You listened carefully as they explained the treatment options and the problems that treatment would create for him because of his diabetes. When you listened to what your head and your heart told you and you made the decision to free him from more suffering by giving him the most loving unselfish gift any of us can give. What we do out of love is never a wrong decision and that is exactly how you made your decision. it's normal to have doubts later but you must try to not let those doubts overshadow the bond that you share with your baby. That bond is something that time and space will never diminish. Your hearts will be joined always and when it comes time for you to be together again those doubts will disappear as he runs to your waiting arms in a paradise you will share for eternity. Love and Peace, AurichWolf Kathy DID YOU KNOW Did you know how much I loved you when I held you that last time Was there something else I could have done I had not time to do. Had I shown you just how happy I was that you were really mine. Did I ever tell you in this world there would only be one you. Do you know how sad I was when I had to let you go. That I cried so many tears for you and still they do not end. Were there ever times my love for you I somehow failed to show. Did you know in all this world you were my very closest friend. As I remember our life together now I pray with all my heart. That I never failed you in any way and that you always knew. Tho now you have run on ahead and we are far apart. My love for you shall always be forever strong and true So go in peace and joy my special one to where you can run free. To where the lovely rainbow ends and love will fill your heart. Be happy there and know my love is real as you wait for me. And that one day i will come to you and never we shall part. © ~Kathy Hayes aka Katie 2008