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Help- Should I put Noel to Sleep?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I want to thank everyone that posted to my last message about Noel. My vet told me yesterday that I should put Noel to sleep. Noel had stopped eating and anytime she did try to eat, she threw it up. I took her in to see a specialist and they did an ultrasound on her and found a mass on her heart along with pleural effusion which also showed up on her xrays. They did a pleural tap on her and sent the fluid to a lab for diagnosis. The results came back inconclusive. It said lymphocyte rich modified trandudative effusion. The mass was referred to as a possible mediastinal mass. In my research most felines get mediastinal masses when they are young. Noel is 11. The specialist suggested a fine needle aspiration of the mass for confirmation of disease which she surmises to be lymphoma. Again, my research shows that lymphoma usually stikes cats that are Feline Leukemia positive...which she isn't. My heart is telling me to take her in for the aspiration so at least I would have a reason to put her to sleep (cancer). My brain is telling me that the vet I have is very good and I should just listen to her and put her to sleep. Can someone please help me work through this or share their own experiences on what they did? She's my little girl and I don't want her to be in pain but I also don't want to give her up without a good fight.

Thanks for reading my message,
post #2 of 12
to you for your tough situation. I can't say what I would do, cause thankfully I have never been in the same situation. I do think if I had the resources to get the proper testing done and she was not in pain, I would probably try those avenues.

Bless you and sweet Noel in this rough time.
post #3 of 12
Terri, Noel will let you know when it is time. My Molly had many tests run, all inconclusive. We were sort of holding on to hope waiting for a treatable diagnosis that never came. She wasn't eating. I would carry her back and forth to her litterbox, etc. We knew it was time when she got up and fell over. No matter what, you are always going to wonder if you should have done something different. What is Noel's quality of life right now? That is what you need to look at and decide. If you have the test done, and that also comes back inconclusive, what is the next step?

No matter what the outcome, you and Noel are in my thoughts
post #4 of 12
I have been in your position, and it is so hard. My heart goes out to you. Noel will let you know when she is ready to move on. It's so heart breaking to watch them get so sick.

My special thoughts and prayers are with you and Noel

post #5 of 12
Honey, this is one heck of a spot to be in. We cannot TELL you what to do. We CAN share with you our experiences, and then you can make your own decision.

When DiddoKahli got her acute attack of renal failure, she stopped eating, she stopped drinking. I ran her to the vets and the vet said that she was dehydrated ( I knew that) and sent me home to try the subcutanous fluid therapy for the weekend. Diddo didn't cry when I put the needle in, she didn't fight me when we had to keep it there for the prescribed amount of time for the fluid to get under her skin. But she didn't eat or drink.

I had her to the vet's Friday, gave her the therapy Saturday and by Sunday, that poor cat looked like a basketball. All fluid going in.....very little coming out.

I took her in my arms and brough her into bed with me Sunday night, hoping against hope that somehow the fluid would help her and we would wake up Monday to a happy Diddo. She woke me up at 1:00 am because she had to go potty and didn't want to mess up my bed.

I took her to the litter box and she cried and tried to wee, and cried. I picked her up again and brought her into bed with me, and she cried. I held her close and told her that we would take care of the problem first thing in the morning, that I wouldn't make her stay with me. She lifted her head up and gave my some kitty kisses.

Next morning I had her put to sleep. She was in so much pain, I had to think of her at that point, not my own wants.

You are the only one who knows what you and your baby are going through. You will make the right decision from your heart and for the good of your baby.

Heartfelt headbuts and bless you and keep you licks from KittenKiya's Clan.
post #6 of 12
I had to face that same decision with my Petunia. Look into her eyes and look into your heart. There you will find the answer. It won't be easy but we will be with you in spirit and trust you will do the right thing.

post #7 of 12
I've been where you are many times, and it never gets any easier to make that final decision. As others have said, if Noel is in pain you know what you have to do. If she isn't, and there are other tests/treatments I would explore those options. You'll know when it's time. You'll tell yourself "just one more day, she's bound to be better tomorrow". You'll second-guess yourself, but when the time comes you'll know that you've given Noel the greatest gift you possibly could.
Sending (((big hugs))) to you & your sweet girl.
post #8 of 12
When my beloved Bartholomew developed end stage heart disease at age 16....
I kept him alive 3 months to long.
I just could not let him go....

In retospect...I realize that I was extending his life for me, not for him.
He suffered needlessly.

I hope that you find the strength, when the time comes, to set Noel free.

You both will be in my thoughts during this difficult time.
We are here for you.
post #9 of 12
I have been guilty of holding on for to long. Looking back I know that I kept trying ,tests ,treatments painfull procedures.And in the end It did no good and I should of been able to let go instead of putting my cat through all this for nothing.After I went through this with my Tasha who I had for 17 years. I swore that next time I would be able to be strong enough to let go . And a few years later my 10 year old Jasper was thought to have stomach cancer. Weight loss, not eating ,sleeping swollen lympe nodes. I did the kindest thing I could I let him go. I didn't subject him to all kinds of test and treatments. I knew when he stayed under the bed all day and when I finally crawled under and got him out. He didn't purr, it was time. His quality of life was gone.
I and many of us on this board have been in your shoes. We all know what your going through. I'm so sorry. For me I now know that the best and most loving thing to do is to be able to let them go before they are in too much pain.
post #10 of 12
I agree, Noel will let you know. My RB kitty Tiger was very weak when we finally had her pts. It was so tough! My husband and my parent's and I all went. DH and I had just gotten married 3 weeks earlier and Tiger was still living with my parents because we could not afford her medications and treatments at that time. For a bit, Tiger had a wonderful improvement, then she quickly went downhill. I could not be there for her final moments, it was just too much. My mom and step-dad were. They had brought her wrapped in a towel to keep her warm. I spent a few moments pretty much laying myself right over top of her and just talking to her. I let her know how much I loved her and thanked her for being such a good kitty and fighting so long. And do you know what? She purred. I know cats pur when in pain, but this was different. It was like she was thanking me. It was deffinatley one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but at that moment, I knew we'd made the right decision. I know what you are going through is just awful. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your stories about your little ones and being so open about your feelings. I am still struggling about what I need to do. I guess part of me feels like I need some sort of real answer that she has cancer and it's not some funky benign growth on her heart that is causing her to feel badly but perhaps something with her tummy. I don't know. I suppose it wouldn't change anything- maybe I am just trying to hang on to her longer for me. She purred some today when I pet her and I was able to syringe feed her again today and she held it down. It just plain hurts and this is my first time having to consider doing this to a pet. I feel like a murderer even though I am giving her the greatest gift I can, to be free of her discomfort. My grandparents both died of cancer and I remember my grandma begging us towards the end to help her end her life using the Hemlock society. This was coming from a woman that could out walk me when I was 9 years old (and we are talking miles and miles of walking- she did not drive by choice), still do the splits, still kick her leg over her head and had the spirit and wit of a child. Those thoughts make me think and then think again. I promise to let you know what I decide. I think my first step is to talk to the specialist again to find out if I do the needle aspiration, how definitive is the test and if the diagnosis is lymphoma, what is the worst prognosis and the best prognosis. I found a great article today on cancer if anyone is walking this road right now:


Very interesting, honest and in depth information is discussed here. It's from the UK but I have found that most sites in the US don't let you read their articles unless you have a membership or you are a vet. Anyhow, enough said. Thank you so much again everyone- I am so grateful to you.
This kitty reminds me of Noel except Noelly Belly as I call her has silver/brown tabby patches. I'd put a picture on her but I can't figure out how to do it yet.

Thanks again everyone,
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by ulualoha View Post
I think my first step is to talk to the specialist again to find out if I do the needle aspiration, how definitive is the test and if the diagnosis is lymphoma, what is the worst prognosis and the best prognosis. (
A candid discussion with Noel's specialist might help you decide whether you should go ahead with the needle aspiration test Terri.
Have a written list of questions and don't let the specialist go until you have the answers you need.

If you decide to have the test.....
we will support that choice.
Remember...you are not alone in this, we are here for you.
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