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update on Baby\'s consultation

Paige OzaroskiPaige Ozaroski Member Posts: 5
edited 20 June, 2007 in Cat Health
Hi everyone. Samson - thank you for your message - I figured I would post a message here so that everyone can see. Baby went to see the surgeon yesterday for a consultation. (See post from last week - adenocarcinoma in colin). I brought his medicine with him, his favorite toy, etc, in case I decided to go with the surgery and leave him there after the appt. Well, Baby came home with me. I can't stop crying. I really hope that I made the right decision. The surgeon did not seem to be recommending one way or the other. He said it would be a "challenge" trying to remove the whole tumor, as it is big now :-( He also said he would be cutting very close to the urethra, and if he hit any nerves, Baby may become incontinent as far as going to the bathroom. The incontinency is what really made my decision I think. He said it could last just a couple days, or it could be permanent. He said the chances of some type of incontinency were 80% - 90%. Now I don't know how much of that would be temporary and what percentage would be permanent - I think he said there was a 50/50 chance of it being permanent. But I just can't imagine his quality of life if he was going both types of bathroom all over the house. And putting him in a diaper doesn't seem comfortable. Do they even stay on cats or do they pull them off? Human babies have skin and it's easy to clean - but my kitty has fur and I guess I would pretty much need to completely clean him each time? It's not a matter of me not wanting to do it - I would if I thought he would be happy, but I just don't know if that would be a happy life for him. And to wear a diaper after 14 years - I feel like he would be so confused :-( And IF they removed all the cancer, what happens if it comes back? Do you do it all over again? Do you keep giving him surgeries over and over? If it was a simple surgery not involving this nerve issue, I think I would feel much differently. The surgeon said if the tumor was just an inch to the left or right of where it is, the situation would be completely different. I sit here at night and wonder why god (or whoever)couldnt have made it and inch different in location, for a more simple surgery. I just want to do what is best for him. His lymph nodes are also enlarged, and they aren't sure it it's his bodies response to the cancer, or if it's actually cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. The surgeon says he has a couple months left at best(without surgery) and that we are looking at the end of the summer :-( I can't stop crying and I hope I am doing the right thing. I am afraid that he would go through all of this and then if it has spread to his lymph nodes anyways, it may not make much of a difference. I did call Cornell and consult an oncologist over the phone. Given the situation, she was pro surgery, but she said she didn't think the incontinence would really be an issue. So as far as the cancer, she recommended the surgery. Unfortunately I think the surgeon would know better though as far as the nerves he might hit, and he has also seen the cat, etc. I am glad I consulted with the oncologist, but a lot of the decision comes down to the possibility of hitting these nerves. It breaks my heart, as I have had him since I was 11 years old. I even got an apt after my first year of college and he live with me during college. He has been through EVERYTHING with me. I cannot imagine things without him. I pray that I am doing the right thing and that I can spoil him and make his last time here comfortable and enjoyable. This hurts so much... thanks to all of you for your advice and encouragement - Baby's Mom "let it slide... let your troubles fall behind you, let it shine... until you feel it all around you. and i don't mind... if it's me you need to turn to, we'll get by... it's the heart that really matters in the end our lives are made, in these small hours... these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate... time falls away, but these small hours... these small hours still remain." - Rob Thomas, "Small Wonders"

Comments

  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,807 ✭✭✭
    edited 13 June, 2007
    You're definitely right to consider quality vs. quantity when it comes to the time you have left together. When I was suffering from lymphoma, the vet offered chemotherapy but only said it would prolong the time for, at best, six months. My quality of life had largely slipped away already, and my human made the right choice not to force me to go on, but to let me go when I was ready. What prognosis did the surgeon or vet give for Baby without surgery? You've had many great years together, and your love has brought benefits to you both. Cherish every moment together. Love each other. And when the time comes to part, know that you provided Baby with a wonderful life, and that his gift to you is your expanded capacity for love that can only benefit those around you. In the meantime, my family and I will be sending healing and comforting purrs, for Baby to stay with you for as long as possible with the best health possible, and for you to know that you're making the most loving choices you possibly can. Please keep us posted, and don't forget that we're here for you! |:|
  • Paige OzaroskiPaige Ozaroski Member Posts: 5
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Dear Max, Thank you for your reply. The surgeon said that Baby could possibly have 3-18 months with surgery, but that is assuming that all goes well and that the cancer has not (and will not) spread into his lymph nodes. Unfortunately they are already swollen, so we don't know. He also has 2 other small tumors in his colin, so there is a chance it's also spreading that way. If I knew it wasn't anywhere else in his body, things would be different. If I knew there was not a huge risk of him being incontinent, it would also be different. I really hope I am doing the right thing :-(
  • Pat BeckPat Beck Spokane/SouthhillMember Posts: 878
    edited 13 June, 2007
    When I got sick the last time, and Mom was told my kidneys were failing, she called my Vet, and left a message (it was the middle of the night) and I was at the Pet E.R., that she would be bringing me in that morning. Then she paced and cried and stressed over what to do. I hated Vet visits and I\'d been thru a lot of them in the last 2+ years, because i was hyperthyroid and I\'d also survived a severe URI. Did she put me thru more and more Vet visits, for what could only be a short time, or did she accept that I was 14 and we\'d had 11 wonderful years together. She still hadn\'t decided for certain (though, in her heart, I think she knew the right choice for me), when the Pet E.R. called and told her that I had gently passed away. I knew it was time, and I think Mom knew it too, it has just harder for her to accept that this part of my life was over. It\'s very tough, but sometimes the decision also comes down to are you helping the animals or are you just wanting a little more time (very understandable and natural). You love your kitty and I suspect you also know the right choice. If it would help you to get a second opinion by another Surgeon, by all means do so. But please remember too, that no matter what choice you make, there is bound to be some guilt. And you are bound to second guess yourself. I think it happens with everyone. You did not give your kitty Cancer, you are trying to make the best choice possible, and you will, no one knows your Cat better. Enjoy this time together, make special memories. When Baby is called Home, I\'ll be sure to be in the welcoming party. Huggs, Heidi
  • Hazel_LucyHazel_Lucy PurrsvilleMember Posts: 6,156 ✭✭✭
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Hi Baby, You have been added to the List on the first page of the Catsters in Need of Serious Purring thread, and also posted at the end of the thread. Feel free to post your updates. We are purring for you as you struggle with what to do for your Baby.
  • Grace McLeanGrace McLean Member Posts: 406
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Aw, we are so sorry about you little Baby. Heidi said it best when she said that doing things to really help the kitty and doing things just to get more time with them are really not the same thing, although wanting more time is 100% understandable. Also she is right in saying that no matter what you choose, you will always second guess yourself. But since you do seem so conflicted and you feel like you are unsure about the surgeon's recommendation, why not consult another surgeon, just to get another opinion? Also, maybe the oncologist can recommend some non-surgical options or perhaps a different surgery that won't cure the cancer but will control it for a while longer? I don't want to give you false hope, but I think it's worth investigating a little bit further if you want to ease your mind. We will be purring for you and Baby during this impossibly hard time.
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 13 June, 2007
    This is Delyte's person. As someone who forced the vet to operate on a huge, inconveniently situated tumor rather than euthanize Delyte, I guess you can figure out where my choice would be. But I had no consult with anyone about it, and certainly no access to Cornell or even the U of Illinois, the closest thing in this area. I have known people who had incontinent cats and it is truly an ugly life, and not one that a dignified cat would chose. Are there any alternatives that would shrink the tumor, so that it would be smaller and easier to get out or even not a problem at all? We know every day how lucky we were with Delyte's surgery, and how it was just a mark of desperation--I just did not want to lose him so quickly, he was only 10. Nothing was really explained to us, and I know that the vet thought he would die anyway. She still cannot believe that two years' later he is still here and eating like a pig. We will purr for you, Baby, no matter what your decision is, and hope that whatever option, you will have the longest and most comfortable life possible. PURRS!!!!!!!
  • Kristin HoltKristin Holt ArlingtonMember Posts: 98
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Oliver and I are purring for you and Baby and all your family. We know how hard this must be for you all. We are sure that Baby knows how much you love him and that you will make the best decision for him no matter what you choose. Yowls of love, Marty and Ollie
  • Cathy AudorffCathy Audorff Janesville, WisMember Posts: 3,812 ✭✭
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Purrrring for you and for Baby. These kinds of decisions are very hard to make. No matter what you decide, remember that you have given him years of love and that the bond you have will never be broken. Getting another surgical consultation may help ease your mind reguarding what decision to make. In any event, he loves and trusts you to do whatever you feel is right for him, since you know him best. And he will give you signs if or when he needs to cross to the Rainbow Bridge. Meanwhile, treasure the good times and give him your love. We are sending out prayers and purrs from the Bridge and from our house, BeeJay and Family
  • Christine UnversawChristine Unversaw EvanstonMember Posts: 3,321
    edited 13 June, 2007
    I can't imagine what you're going through...I just want you to know, I'm here, purring as loud as I can for you...hope you can hear me. -Captain |:|
  • Jan AllenJan Allen DallasMember Posts: 2,596
    edited 14 June, 2007
    We love you and are praying for your precious little one. If is so hard when decisions have to be made. Never easy - Mommy knows a she has had to do it twice. purrrrrrrrrrrrrr
  • Sandy BonvouloirSandy Bonvouloir MonktonMember Posts: 129
    edited 14 June, 2007
    I am sooooo sorry that the consult turned out the way it did! I understand how difficult this is for you, and I wish that I had some words that could comfort you. You are right to worry about the quality of life post op.... and I hope you know that it is ok to let Baby go. It's probably the most difficult descision a pet lover has to make, and I am very sorry that you are faced with this. The other kitties have expressed my exact thoughts.... but know that we are all here purring for you! |:|
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 14 June, 2007
    Phoebe, Mommy and I are purring very hard for you and your Mommy. Love, Angel Cat Spice
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 15 June, 2007
    Emma, Louis and Benny\'s meowmy here: To Baby\'s meowmy - as another poster said, how much longer would Baby have if he had surgery, what would the quality of his life be? I had a cat develop a large growth in her mouth, the vet said it could be treated with surgery and chemo, but chemo affects cats the same way it does humans. Also because of the size and how quickly the growth had gotten almost the size of a tennis ball, it obviously was very deeply rooted. I made the difficult decision to let her (Fudge Ripple) go to the Rainbow Bridge. As much as we want to keep our furbabies as long as possible, they cannot understand that the surgery and treatments are for their own good. Please believe me, I know what losing a cat is like, I lost four in Hurricane Katrina, Thomas (3 years old) and littermates Benny Grunch, Jimmy Dean and Alice Giroir (5 months old). It hurts no matter how long (or short a time) you have had them. My kitties are purring, and I am praying for you to have the strength to make the best decision for Baby. Get a second opinion, to make you feel better. Know that when Baby does leave you to go to the Rainbow Bridge, my babies will be there to greet him and show him the Catnip Fields and all the good spots to play and nap. Keep us posted on your progress. Emma, Louis and Benny Grunch II\'s meowmy
  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 16 June, 2007
    Baby, I am purring for you and your family. What a difficult situation your mom/dad has faced. I know they are doing what feels right to them. Stay strong and keep fighting !!! PPPPUUUURRRRRRRRRSSSSS!!!!!
  • Nuk AnukNuk Anuk Member Posts: 846
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Baby, We know your meowmie loves you VERY much. Whatever her decision may be, she makes it from her deep love of you. Our hearts and our purrs are with you both in this difficult time.
  • A RichardA Richard PetawawaMember Posts: 16
    edited 17 June, 2007
    I would consult more vets, honestly. If you are this worried about your decision, I think you should get more information on it. Read as much as you can in the shortest amount of time possible. Find a surgeon confident enough that he/she will not hit nerves. But I have to agree, that would be a hard life to continue and I believe it would slightly taint the memories that you have of Baby. If for the last couple years of her life, she is suffering and you are unable to cuddle her like you once did, it will be more difficult, I think. What a hard decision. I dread the day I have to make one myself. Whichever decision you make will cause you heartache. I honestly believe that if you have the money, once you research more, then go for the surgery with a reputable vet and BELIEVE that everything will be ok. It's all about research though. If you think you have learned enough to make an educated decision, then have faith in your decision. I'm sure whatever you do, Baby will know that you did it for the best and out of love. Best of Luck
  • susan stjamessusan stjames nyMember Posts: 6
    edited 20 June, 2007
    |:||:||:||:| Purrrrrrrrrrrrrs and Pawwwwwwwwwwwsitive thoughts from our hearts..to you.
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