Monday, August 5, 2013

Difficult Decisions

My cat, Freya, is strongly suspected of having bladder cancer. Further tests, which would be costly, would tell us which kind, and that in turn would tell us whether surgery might help or would be useless. It's possible the tests would indicate instead that there's nothing to worry about — but that's highly unlikely.

Freya is 15, and at present appears well and happy despite the bleeding from her bladder. The blood was orange one morning, bright red the next, dark red the next, and today is not there at all, and there was none in the urine sample the vet took this morning. So apparently an area bled for a while and has now stopped.

My concern is her quality of life. So far, that seems excellent. I have decided to do nothing further at this stage, apart from keeping a close eye on her. If she were a young cat, I would probably have decided differently, but at her age I can't see much point in subjecting her to invasive surgery, when even that might reveal the cancer to be inoperable.

As I see her all the time, if her quality of life markedly deteriorates she'll be in discomfort only a few hours. I wouldn't let it continue. Meanwhile she can enjoy her life as long as possible ... as long as it remains enjoyable.

It's very distressing, but after all I'm no stranger to caring for an elderly loved one in declining health.

What to watch out for? Leakage from the bladder, frequent urination, and 'vocalising', suggested the vet. She's always been a very vocal cat, so it could be hard to tell if that's any more so than usual. I guess I'll just pay attention. 

'Give her lots of cuddles,' said the vet. Well, that'll be nothing new.


4 comments:

  1. i am so sorry - we had to put our cat Alex to sleep last summer. He was about 15 or 16. The year before he had his tail amputated due to cancer. When he got sick the second time, we thought he'd pull through. It is so sad watching them get sick. But they know and feel the love - it helps... sending hugs

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    1. Thanks for your understanding, and the hugs! I have had to make this decision with other animals in the past. Never easy, but I'm grateful to have had these loving beings in my life.

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  2. Hello Rosemary,

    I wasn't there for a while. Hard to hear about this decision, finally how is your kitty now ?

    Grace

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    1. Thank you, Grace. She seems well and happy enough, so far. I am giving her lots of loving. Sometimes she is even quite lively, as normal. But at times there is a sort of glazed look in her eyes, a withdrawal. She is dying, but slowly.

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