Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

Looks like there's definitely something in Billie's lung. Barring any phenomenon, it's cancer.

So, what to do? We're still talking about it. We may do nothing and let things go the way they go, or we may opt for the surgery and chemo. Tough call. The money is not really a big concern (although it's not just a drop in the buck - we've dropped about two grand to get where we are, and before we're done, that number could get seriously higher)... Most of what we talk about is what this strategy will do to Billie. How much extra time will it give her? And what if it changes her? People who have this same procedure are able to deal with it, as they have folks to explain it to them. Billie will never understand why she is being put through this, and it might effect her trust in us. Right now she sees us as a source of comfort. Will surgery/chemo change that? And if so, what if she runs away when she gets better, out into a world where her chances of getting adopted and cared for are slim, especially considering her colon issue (which requires special medicine twice a day and special food)...

If anyone has the courage to chime in, please do. (Most of us have been raised in a "mind your own business" manner, so I understand if you think that it isn't your place to proffer an opinion. I am giving you full permission to do just that.)

Thanks again for all your kind wishes.

13 Comments:

Suldog said...

Stu:

I'll tell you my thoughts, but they're just uninformed opinion, OK?

I've always been of the "put them out of their misery" camp. As a somewhat religious person, I've always believed that all innocent and/or believing beings can expect better in the next place, so that has played a large part in my unwillingness to prolong the suffering of any fellow creatures.

Now, having said that, I realize that it is a hideous decision to have to make. I've done it, but even with my beliefs it has never been easy.

Not having seen or lived with your Billie, I can't give a truly informed opinion of whether or not the suffering now might lead to a better life later with surgery. Only you and your family can see that and try to imagine the outcomes. My completely uninformed sense of the situation leaves me believing that Billie might be better off not suffering. The bigger favor may be the end of suffering rather than the prolonging of life.

Just my small thoughts, having put down a couple of cats in my life. Bless you, in any circumstances.

lori said...

i go back to melissa's comments on the first onclogy report. and i would ask the vet. how much suffering might there be if you do nothing versus operating? animals seem to be resiliant. why the fear of her running away? are you borrowing trouble???? i say get the facts and try to make a decision based on them. wishing you strength as you all work to figure out what is best for billie.

Stu said...

Sul, thanks for the prayers and the guidance. Most of the talk at our house has centered around keeping an eye on Billie and tracking her friskiness as well as her breathing. So far she's up and around and doing her normal cat stuff, so we'll see...

Stu said...

Lori,

First, the running away - Billie has always been an outside cat, but also, has been away from home for long stretches, especially as a younger cat. She lived at the local church for so long that she would get wedding invitations. After we moved here, she agreed to stay with us, but she still takes long jaunts around the neighborhood.

So, she still seems pretty independent, and my fear is that she'll resent us for the surgery and will make a choice to find a new home.

Barbara said...

It's such a personal choice Stu, really. Make the decision that feels best.

Thimbelle said...

I just can't be objective about this right now.

Not after just losing our Buddy.

My heart screams "Save her! Do whatever it takes! Take no prisoners - no holds barred! Get the chemo, the surgery, whatever, just do everything you can to save her!, because the Billie-shaped hole in your world will be nearly unbearable.

That little rational bit of my brain that remains... says that you should just monitor her, and if things should begin to change, then decide what (if anything) can reasonably be done to either prolong her life (provided that an acceptable QUALITY OF LIFE can be assured) or to ensure that she suffers no more than is necessary.

This is one of the absolute worst parts of the human-pet relationship. Trying to make this very decision.

All of y'all (furry four-legged and regular human-types)at your house are in our prayers tonight.

:::hugs:::

Thim

Lori said...

but stu you have such a connection now with billie. she relies on you. sing to her and i bet she will stay. just like children i bet there is some instinct in animals that will trust in you. she is lucky to have you all!!!! wishing you strength!!!

Stu said...

Barbara,

Yeah, I hear you. And that's where my head is at as well. We all are trusting our guts at this point.

Thanks.

Stu said...

Thim,

I hear you about the rationality. It's very difficult. Our bond with Billie is very strong, and we feel it's reciprocated. I can't tell you the number of times that she knew someone in the house was sick and went directly to their room and laid with them.

Her comfort is most important to us. Right now, she seems fine, save the colon unpleasantry. Other than that, she sits in my lap and purrs and chirps and mews. No breathing issues are apparent, so we'll wait. Maybe, in a month, we'll re-Xray.

Stu said...

Lori,

Yeah, I know, I know... I'm just a worrier and a rampant paranoid. But you're right, she'll stay. Thanks for being there.

cherylann said...

Can they offer pain medication for Billie if her pain becomes unbearable?

My Aunt's dog had cancer that kept recurring and finally the vet convinced my Aunt that Pokey was old (16) and probably couldn't handle the surgery and chemo again. She was prescribed pain medication, but still, she was in pain. Eventually, she had a lot of trouble walking and started to have seizures so we had to put her down. It was so hard, and I still miss her so much. (Living down the street, and practically living at my Aunt's house she was sorta my adopted dog). I know that whatever lies ahead for your family is going to be difficult, but I will keep you in my prayers.

Sharfa said...

Trust your gut. Billie trusts you to do the right thing, including ending any suffering. I don't have to tell you, it's all about the quality of life. Trust yourself, you'll make the best informed decisions you can.
Sending encouragement your way.

Melissa said...

Stu and family. I have been on vacation. Just got home and unpacking as we speak (type).

I will get more advice out later, since you asked. But bottom line is to do what your heart tells you.

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