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Posts: 4
hi all. i've never been on any message boards or chat rooms before but i'm beside myself with loneliness and grief right now. my sweet baby and love of my life, my 10 year old kitty weasel was just diagnosed with terminal cancer in his spleen.

we've been on a roller coaster the past month, as it started with a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, along with a lab result of a low white blood cell count. his vet said we could get the thyroid down with medication, but she couldn't tell me why his blood cell count was low and said antibiotics should take care of it. when we went back in 2 weeks later for his checkup, his thyroid was at a much better level (13 to a 4!) but his white blood cell count was even lower and now his red blood cell count was low too. so we took him to a specialist who did an ultrasound and found that his spleen was enlarged. she said it could be for 4 reasons, and 3 were cancer. if it was cancer, she said 2 of the 3 were treatable with surgery to remove the spleen. the nest day we received the results that it was the most aggressive form of lymphoma, and the oncologist gave him 2 weeks to live if i didn't begin chemo right away. even with the chemo, he said the most i could buy would be 4-5 months. he gave me an option of 2 different chemo types, one would have been incredibly aggressive and would have given him a 60-70% shot at remission for the duration of his short life. of course, it also comes with the horrible side effects which would have made quality of life not even worth it for him. the second was a more mild form, which only gives him a 50/50 shot. he also said i had the option to instead just give him steroids, which would keep him comfortable until he adapts to them, he estimated about a month. i opted for the milder form of chemo and now i have no idea if i made the right choice. the more aggressive form would have given him the best shot at remission. the steroid route would have taken him from me so much sooner but wouldn't have subjected him to all the tests and vet visits he hates. i'm just not ready to say goodbye. the hardest part about this is he is acting like his normal self after a few weeks of being withdrawn and depressed. he wasn't eating and lost a whole lot of weight. his quality of life was such that i thought it was his time and as painful as it was, would have agreed to euthanize if a vet recommended it. now he's back to his normal self, and it was all before the steroid they gave him the day they tested his spleen. 

i love weasel more than i've ever loved anyone or anything. i've lost my dad, grandparents, friends, and even another sweet kitty earlier in my life, and i've never felt such pain. i am not suicidal but i feel like i just want to die instead of feeling this. i've been reading posts here and know i'm not alone, i want to thank anyone who could offer any support and also offer mine to you all who are grieving a loss or know their precious babies are going to make their transition soon. thank you for reading and sending love to you all. 


Posts: 1
I am so incredibly sorry. I just went through this with my 13 year old cat Harriet. She was diagnosed with lymphoma last October. We opted to do prednisolone only as the chemo was too difficult for her (she would never take pills). We had 8 good months with her post-diagnosis. She ate, drank, cuddled, was like her old wonderful self. She declined rapidly this week and we released her from her pain two days ago. The signs for us that it was time were that she no longer enjoyed the things she loved most, she started having chronic diarrhea that didn’t respond to medicine, and she just looked tired of fighting. Our vet had told us to keep track of the good vs. bad days and once there were 3-4 bad days a week, we would know it was time.

And also I just talked to Harriet-I told her that I knew she was tired and she could let go, that I loved her but we would be okay if she was ready to go. She looked directly into my eyes and blinked. She kept doing blinky eyes at me and curled up on her favorite chair and looked relieved. It was like she understood. She started declining after that; she stopped eating and drinking.

We made the appointment for the vet to come to our house the next day. I thanked Harriet for her unwavering companionship for the past 13 years. The night before her appointment, we cuddled, I cried, and stroked her fur. I took her outside to smell the trees and fresh air. I offered her tuna, which she nibbled at but did not eat. The vet came in the morning, administered a sedative, and Harriet relaxed and went to sleep. The vet then administered the drug to stop her heart. I stroked her fur and had my face close to hers and talked to her softly, and I felt when she slipped away. It was quick and peaceful and I know she had been ready.
You will know when it’s time for your kit. It truly helped me to look at the things she loved the most; when I realized she no longer enjoyed those things that it was time.
My heart is with you. This is so hard. Harriet was my beloved. We had an incredible bond. I still feel her presence.

Posts: 171
I'm so sorry.  Such a stressful and sad place to be with your beautiful fur baby.  I recently lost a kitten in a very traumatic way and initially the pain, grief and guilt were so overwhelming that I felt like I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up.  I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, barely moved through my day.  I began counseling, a type of therapy called EMDR and found this message board.  Gradually things improved.  

Pets bring so much to our lives.  What you are feeling is normal and expected, it's called anticipatory grief.  You are doing the best you can with regard to making decisions about sweet Weasel's care.  The best advice I can give is do your best to enjoy Weasel at this time and hold onto the fact that you love Weasel and you are a good mom to him.  Weasel is very lucky to have you.  Please continue to reach out, your pain is recognized and respected.  

Posts: 4
Thank you for your kind and supportive words KatKat. What makes the anticipatory grief so much worse is he is acting like his old self more and more everyday...not at all like a cat who is terminally ill. So I'm struggling to accept what's happening with his illness while at the same time sinking deeper and deeper into denial because of how great he's doing. And I live every day in fear that the next day will bring a turn for the worse, and I'll have to go from my sweet baby boy seemingly happy and normal to having to say goodbye with no warning. 
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