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A ? for anyone who has not been able to do treatment because of $ issues

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that I absolutely can not afford to do a $1500 - $2000 exploritory followed by chemo starting at $1000 on Jordan. This is a horrible feeling. I've never had to make a medical decision for a cat based on money. I feel like a terrible Mom, but the finances in combination with other issues just make me say no. Just to give all the facts; 1. Jordan HATES the vet & would not do well with going to the vet all the time for Chemo
2. He's been on Pred long term and now they are telling me that chemo will not be as effective. (keep in mind that average for a cat with lymphoma is 6 months on chemo)
3. The exploritory has risks associated as they would be getting biopsies of several organs including the intestines, stomache and lymphnodes.
4. Financially, it's super expensive & I've got a car with 140,000 miles that needs to be replaced.

I'm giving all the facts because I want people to understand how difficult this decision has been for me. Please don't attack me for making the most difficult decision of my life. He is continuing to get the reommended treatment to keep him comfortable and he will be going to the vet for another blood test in a couple weeks. Basicly I'm doing my best to make him comfortable for whatever time he has left. My question is, how do I not feel so quilty for making this decision? I have always said I'd give whatever money I needed to, but that's easy to say when your not faced with financial ruin. I love him so much and want to be able to enjoy his remaining time, but I keep feeling bad and crying every time I look at him.
post #2 of 28
Lympho is 100% terminal by the time it's caught.

I also had to make the terrible decision myself back in 2001.
His prognosis was very poor, and he was given 1 to 3 months without treatment, and 6-8 months with.
I reasoned that it would be better for him to keep him at home, not shoving pills down his throat, and keep him happy and confortable as long as he wished to keep fighting.
He went in twice for a pain injection and sub-q fluids.
He stopped fighting to live a full 7 months after his diagnosis, and I'm sure his last months were much happier than they would have been with the stress of ongoing medication.

Money aside, I think you made the right decision in not prolonging his illness, I think his time left will be much happier this way.
post #3 of 28
I agree - not everyone might, but I am of the mindset that pumping thousands of dollars (especially if you don't have the money) into keeping a cat (or any other pet for that matter) alive for what may be only a matter of months while adding to the cat's misery by making it have to go through repeated, stressful vet visits and surgeries is more cruel than humane.

Again - just MY opinion, and I happen to love my furchildren VERY much, but if I were in your shoes, I would definitely make the choice to give him a peaceful goodbye instead of prolonging the pain - physical and emotional - for either of you.

It's a choice that is made out of love and caring. A terrible, difficult choice, yes, but still made with love, as far as I am concerned.

I'm so sorry that you are in this position, but I know that you love him very much and need to do what is right for BOTH of you.
post #4 of 28
Aw, hon You are making the decision that is best for both of you. You are choosing quality of life for Jordan and yourself.

Why make his last months stressful and frightening? Pardon the cliche, but sometimes the loving thing is knowing when to let go.
post #5 of 28
I agree with Betsy completely, It is not easy to make a choice like this. I just had My Mickey PTS about a month ago he was 19 and he to did not like the vet or any part of it and I knew there was nothing much that they could do for him as he had the Kidney Disease for a long time. I do not regret my decision but that doesn't mean I don't miss him terribly but watching him everyday seeing him going downhill was just to much for me to bare.I cried everyday and still do. I made my decision based on the fact that I loved him enough to feel that pain of making the choice for him not myself.. My Heart goes out to you it is never never easy . I will be thinking of you
post #6 of 28
I agree too that you have made the right decision. My husbands grandma had cancer. She was 80something and had 10 kids and the majority of them pushed her into treatments. She was misrable. It was a horrible disease. Watching all she went through until her time came was one of the worst things I have ever gone through.
I think that keeping your kitty at home and comfortable and with you and as happy as he can be until the time comes is the absolute kindest thing you can do for him.
I am sorry you feel so guilty, but I think it is unfounded.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thankyou all so much. The truth is he does not have a diagnosis as of yet, but all the signs point to lymphoma. The only way they wil diagnose him is to do the exploritory surgeory. He has had 2 ultrasounds 1 in June & one just a couple of weeks ago. the one in June was totally normal, but the one a couple of weeks ago showed a thickingin in his stomach & possible thickening in his intestines. He is on several medications, but he really doesn't mind taking them. He still looks healthy & weighed 14 lbs his last vet trip. It's just so hard for me knowing I can't fix him. He's only 4 & I just wish I could make it all better.
post #8 of 28
I agree with the others, Angie, quality is sometimes so much more important than quantity. I'm so sorry you and Jordan are going thru this, but I believe the best thing you can do now is to make what time he has left the best. Kitties understand a lot more than we give them credit for, talk to him, tell him what's going on, sounds silly, but this is what I do with my babies.
post #9 of 28
Aw, I'm sorry that you had to make such a difficult decision. FWIW, I think I would have made the same one.

My cat is my very best friend and I've wondered how far I would go to keep him with me. I think (hope) that ultimately I'd choose his comfort over my desire to have him with me. Finances would play into it, but love would play into it more.
post #10 of 28
I am so sorry. I agree with your not making his last months stressful. Just try to enjoy the time you do have with him and be thankful for every day you have. I wish I could have had just a few days of knowing that Marbles was going to pass so I could have spent some much wanted time with him. Praying for peace for you. Again, I am so sorry. He is so lucky to have you.
post #11 of 28
It certainly is a helpless feeling when you know you've ran out of options.

I had the same guilty feelings and sadness back in March when I had to have my cat Flip put down. My vet was very clear that there were a couple of treatments I could try, but they would cost a fortune and most likely would not work anyway.

She basically asked me if I was going to prolong Flippy's life to benefit him or because I just didn't want to let him go.

The answer was clear and the decision was made.

Enjoy the time you have left with Jordon, he's a lucky kitty to be so well loved.
post #12 of 28
Quality over quanity...

Do you have access to natural medicine?? If so it is far less expensive and when it works it is miraculus

I have been in your shoes twice in six months... right now I am debating a very contriversial treatment or try a different natural route ...

it is hard but you will make the right choice
post #13 of 28
I agree that you are making the right decision. When tommie was diagnosed with FeLV 2 months after I had his left amputated I spent a chunk more $$ on tests but his symptoms came on so suddenly he was just too week to proceed safely with more medical intervention. One just has to make a decision at that time.
With my super senior Ox going on 19 I know he has thyroid issues but in all other regards he is healthy so what does one do when they have reached that age. (He is terrible at the vets and the ride there has always been traumatic)

There isn't a blood test the vet could do??
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
He has had many blood tests. Basicly they show that his blood calcium is elevated. This has been going on since May and that is the only abnormality they have found in blood work. Apparently his combination of elevated blood calcium, chronic constipation and difficulty eating is a sign that it is lymphoma or some other type of cancer. They have not found any distinct masses on ultrasound, but the thickening of his stomach and intestinse are consistant with lymphoma. If they had found any kind of mass they could have been able to do a needle biopsy, but an intestinal biopsy requires surgeory. The vet said to get a good test they have to get a complete biopsy of the entire thickness of the intestine and the only way to do that is open him up. I really do appreciate everyone's support because this has been such a difficult decision. When Smokey was sick she had CRF so there was nothing I could do but make her comfortable. This is the first time I've had to make a decision not to do treatment that could lengthen a cats life.
post #15 of 28
Please do not beat yourself up! I agree 100% with the others. Having been in the same position. I have done the opposite as well, tried too much and kept a kitty here too long. That one still haunts me almost 8 years later. Never again will I fail to see the suffering in face of insurmountable odds.

Keep him home, pain free and loved until it is his time. Even if you had money growing on trees in the backyard, choosing quality over quantity will alway be the kindest decision.
post #16 of 28
Please don't beat yourself up over your decision. You have thought this out very carefully, and you have made your decision with Jordan's best interests in mind. You want to keep him as healthy as possible, with as little stress as possible, for as long as possible. You have chosen quality over quantity...there's absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. I also believe that I would choose the same for my kitties. I will certainly keep you and Jordan in my prayers, that you can continue to enjoy each other's company for a long time.
post #17 of 28
It sounds like you and I are going through the same thing right now. My Harvey also has what is most likely an intestinal lymphoma. I've also decided not to put him through the biopsy and chemo treatments. He's 17 years old, and I don't want him to spend his last days feeling miserable and tortured. It's been a really hard decision for me to make, too, but in my heart I feel we're doing the right thing. Harvey's had several blood tests, and the results for them have been confusing and inconclusive. He's now down to about half of his former weight, and as of Saturday he has a mass they can feel in his intestines, so they're pretty sure it's cancer now.

Unfortunately, they can't tell us how they're feeling, so we just have to do what our heart says is right. But sometimes loving means knowing when to let go.
post #18 of 28
i agree, i am not going to put a cat thru chemo, its bad enough on people who understand why they are doing it.

I am really sorry that you had to make this choice.

If it helps(and i know it does not) I once had a cat put to sleep, cause someone shot it, and it was going to be over 5000 dollars for the operation , and i just did not have the money for it. i still feel bad, but i had not choice back then.
post #19 of 28
I know it's hard. Lymph is HORRIBLE!!! Just make her comfortable, it's all you really can do.
post #20 of 28
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I agree - not everyone might, but I am of the mindset that pumping thousands of dollars (especially if you don't have the money) into keeping a cat (or any other pet for that matter) alive for what may be only a matter of months while adding to the cat's misery by making it have to go through repeated, stressful vet visits and surgeries is more cruel than humane.

Again - just MY opinion, and I happen to love my furchildren VERY much, but if I were in your shoes, I would definitely make the choice to give him a peaceful goodbye instead of prolonging the pain - physical and emotional - for either of you.

I've had to make that decision twice: once for Foxy, who developed a brain tumor, and another time for Gizmo (our puppy) who caught Parvo. The vet said he MIGHT have been able to save Gizmo's life, but it was a slim chance to none. And it would have cost us at least $700.00: we just didn't have that kind of money..

I know how difficult this is, but you're doing the humane thing. Why let your precious furbaby suffer anymore than he already has...

Please don't feel "guilty" for making the decision of being a good Meowmy.

post #21 of 28
After watching my mother go through chemo twice, there is no way - no matter how much or little it cost - that I would do that to a cat. Like Bruce said, it's horrible even if you do understand what it is and why is makes you so god-awful sick and in pain. There is no way to explain that to a cat.

I also agree with Katie - talk to Jordan and tell him what is happening. They understand so much.

I also believe that sometimes things in the universe align for a reason. Perhaps there is a good reason that you happen to have a car that needs replacing right now with Jordan in this situation. Perhaps the reason you don't have the money is because you aren't supposed to; you aren't supposed to prolong his life, and his suffering.

I'm so sorry you have to make this kind of decision.
post #22 of 28
I think you are wise in your decision. When my Petunia developed a fibro-sarcoma, we discussed all of the options and at that time, chemo didn't really have a good track record. With an older cat, I don't believe in putting them through all of that grief and stress for what isn't that great an extension of life. Keep your baby comfortable and enjoy the time you have left.
post #23 of 28
I lost my first love (Hippocrates) to lymphosarcoma. We went as far as the surgical diagnose then faced the same question you are struggling with right now. We had the money to pay for all the treatments and still chose the quality of life over the quantity of life.

You know your baby better than any of us. The real question to ask yourself: would you put him through this even if you had the money? Are you holding on for you or for him?

You have my support whatever your decision might be.
post #24 of 28
I'm sorry, but chemo is on a human, I'd never do that to a kitty. IMO, the quality of life is drastically increased, so it doesn't matter if they live another 10 years miserable. I'd rather love them in good health for the time they have.

post #25 of 28
As hard as it was I found myself telling Mickey everyday that I was so sorry he was sick and I would always be crying when I said it he would just butt my head with his it broke my Heart. I don't think I would ever put a cat through that kind of treatment because for the most part its kind of useless in most cases. why make them suffer even more.
Its just so hard always second guessing what we should have done what we could have done, Sometimes we have to make a choice and just stick to it, like I said My Heart is still broken because I miss him so much and I cry almost everyday, but I still don't regret doing it..
post #26 of 28
I completely understand. There have been times when what was proposed would be so expensive, distress my cat and worse, and for not a guaranteed result.

We have always gone far, but it has had to be something we felt the cat could tolerate and get benefit from.

I've also had (twice now) a cat with a working diagnosis, where they said we had a couple of months, go on to have almost 2 years. You just never know.

Love 'em up, know you are doing what *is* best for your kitty (imo) as what I really hear is that you are truly taking into consideration what the surgery and chemo would do to your kitties quality of life.
post #27 of 28
I lost my Howard to intestinal lymphoma last march. I know how hard of a decision it can be...

If they do an exploratory, all they will be doing is opening your baby up to confirm what they suspect. They cant surgically remove it. I personally didn't see the point in putting my cat through that.

As for chemo... Chemo doesn't work well on intestinal lymphoma. My vet said it was an option but didn't recommend it. She thought it would be pointless. It does work well for other types of lymphoma though... My friends cats is proof. She was diagnoised with lymphoma when she was 6 months old. They went for chemo. She has been in remission for almost 3 years.

Honestly, your making the right choice. Its the harder choice, but the right one none the less. I did the same thing for my Howard.

Lots of vibes to you
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much. I did talk to him last night & I didn't get much of a reaction but I told him how much I loved him and that I was sorry he was sick. Yesterday was a bad day for him, but at least he looked better this morning & ate almost a whole can of fancy feast. I think I just need to prepare myself for those days that he is really not feeling well.
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