Georgie - the cat

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby Tiger » July 27th, 2008, 12:35 am

Yes, I know, he is not a dog, but he is beloved by the humans AND the dogs in this family. I have had him since he was 3 days old - I bottle raised him and love him as much as a I do my children. He will be 12 years old on 8/16, if he survives that long. That's Georgie - in the front on the left:
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj21 ... 20025b.jpg

Funny, isn't it, how very much you can love an animal? You never think, at first, that you could EVER love an animal as much as you do the children you birthed, but sometimes - you do. You absolutely do love them as much as your two legged children. Georgie is such a one, and Georgie is dying and there is nothing, including chemo, or radiation than can help. My child is dying and there is nothing that can be done to save him.

Georgie had been losing weight for the last several months. I attributed it to the fact that I no longer free fed the cats and so he could no longer gorge himself to his heart's content. I did not really think much beyond the fact that Georgie was no longer a fat cat. Now he looked to be a healthy weight - but he kept dropping weight. I brush my cats every day - you have to because of the fur. On 6/26, I MADE Georgie let me brush his tummy (normally he bites you when you try) and I found a mass encompassing his right lowest nipple. A large mass. I immediately made an appointment at the vet's office for 6/28.

Multiple tests were performed including blood work, X-rays, a CT scan, and a fine needle biopsy of the mass. All of his blood work showed him to be healthy. Kidneys good, thyroid good, no diabetes - excellent health for an almost 12 y/o cat. The X-rays and the CT scan did not indicate any other masses to be present. The material removed with the fine needle aspiration was sent to the lab and then, we waited for the results.

On July 8, the results returned as inconclusive. At the advise of the regular vet, the surgeon, and the oncologist that practice in the office, he was scheduled for a lumpectomy the following week as something like 90% of mammary masses are cancerous. The hope was to remove the lump and all would be well since there were no other masses seen on the scans. Surgery was scheduled for 7/11.
The lumpectomy was performed (the tumor was larger than a quarter) and another, smaller lump found a bit deeper in the tissue (dime sized) was also removed. Also removed were two lymph nodes. All tissues were sent for testing. And we waited for the results.

On 7/15, the day Georgie was scheduled to have his surgical drains removed (he had an incision that ran from his arm pit to his groin) the test results came back and the news was devastating. Both masses were cancerous. Both lymph nodes were cancerous. Prognosis, even if given aggressive radiation and chemotherapy - very, very poor for life expectancy beyond 3 to 6 months. All three doctors advised against aggressive treatment as they felt it would be useless in Georgie's case. Two other veterinary oncologists I consulted also felt that further treatment would be futile. So, in effect, Georgie has been sent home to die.

He made one more trip to the vet -to have the stitches removed a week after surgery. I have been promised that he will never have to return again until it is time to make the final trip to cross the Rainbow Bridge as going to the vet's office is VERY stressful on him and stress will only cause him to die that much quicker (plus Doja tried to eat the vet nurse when she took Georgie from his carrier and it made him scream). Georgie is now on daily pain medication, medication to make him want to eat (he has lost 4lbs since he first went too the vet on 6/28), and anti-biotics, and I have been advised to allow him to eat at much of anything that he wants. At this point, balance diet is not a concern - calories are. I have spent well over $3,000 to be told that my beloved is going to die and that there is nothing - NOTHING - that I can do to prolong his life in any meaningful way. All I can do is love and spoil him while he is with us - and I do that the best I possibly can.

I leave for work afraid every day that I am going to come home and find that he died - alone, without me to hold and comfort him. When I am home, he follows me from room to room - slowly - because he can no longer move very fast. He lays outside the bathroom door whenever I go in there. I keep him, for the most part, in the back bedroom as he can no longer defend himself against Satan Siamese.

I no longer sleep in the room with my husband when he is home (2 days of the week) because I sleep with Georgie. Otherwise he will scream all night long for me to come be with him. Georgie cannot sleep in my room because 3 of the dogs sleep in there and two of them (Doja & Gracie) want to groom him incessantly and I fear they will accidentally injure him as he becomes more fragile every day.

I have cried constantly since I found the first lump. In my heart, I KNEW what it meant when I found that lump. But I hoped, I hoped so very much that with a lumpectomy, he could be cured. Now I have to live with the guilt of putting him thru a horrible painful surgery that in reality, probably shortened what is left of his life.

For now, he is eating and drinking. He is affectionate and loving. He is not trying to hide himself away. He just acts so very tired and suffers from separation anxiety when I am not with him. It is not time to let him go, yet, but I know that soon, it will be.

I ask that you pray for me - that I will have the strength to let him go with grace and that I do not allow myself to be selfish and try to hold onto him beyond what is in his best interest. And I ask you, please, to pray for Georgie. Pray that he does not suffer and that his last few weeks on this Earth will be gentle and that he will feel the deep love that we have for him and that he will be comforted by that love.

Thank you,

~Tiger

Doja; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD
Gracie; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD, UDX
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Postby BullyLady » July 27th, 2008, 12:41 am

You have given him a wonderful life. Make even more good memories that will last you for the rest of your life, and I know you will give him as much love as he has always given you. You are in my thoughts for sure.

:hug3: :hug3:
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Postby CinderDee » July 27th, 2008, 1:24 am

I'm so very sorry. :( I know how heartbroken and frightened you must be. I am holding you & Georgie in my heart and hope that you have much more time together.
Please try not to feel guilty about the surgery. I'm sure we all would have done the same thing. :groupHug:
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Postby cheekymunkee » July 27th, 2008, 2:12 am

I am SO glad you posted about Georgie. We don't care that he is not a dog, you love him & that is ALL that matters. We will all go through this with you, you aren't alone.... I promise you that. Call me when it is time & if possible, I will go with you if you want me to. I am right down the street. LOTS of hugs!!
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

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Postby gayrghts » July 27th, 2008, 5:40 am

I'm sorry to hear about Georgie.... and like Debby said, it doesnt matter that he's a cat and not a dog.... he's still your pet, your baby, and you're hurting, knowing that time is coming faster than you'd like....

You've done right by him, and still are... although i'd suggest that you still let the other dogs and cats get to see him and be around him with supervision for his protection.... so they can cope and grieve as well.

hang in there and just love him.....
Heather

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Postby SisMorphine » July 27th, 2008, 6:39 am

I'm so sorry :( The waiting for the inevitable really sucks. But he is obviously very loved, and he obviously loves you.
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby katiek0417 » July 27th, 2008, 7:57 am

I'm so sorry....your story brought me to tears :hug3: I can't imagine what you must be going through...I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers....
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 27th, 2008, 8:27 am

I'm so sorry to hear about Georgie. :( He's obviously well-loved and you will do what is right for him, when the time comes, no matter how much it hurts. You and he will be in my thoughts. :(

:hug3:
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Postby Hundilein » July 27th, 2008, 9:40 am

I'm so sorry. Hugs and good thoughts to you and your family.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 27th, 2008, 11:08 am

It is obvious from your post that you are SUCH a wonderful cat owner. I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.

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Postby Jenn » July 27th, 2008, 12:59 pm

:( All these loved animals, and this horrible disease, it just breaks my heart. I am so so sorry.
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Postby Tiger » July 27th, 2008, 4:01 pm

Thank you for the kind thoughts and wishes - Georgie thanks you, too. I absolutely do allow Georgie out of the back bedroom as often as possible so that he can interact with the dogs and the other cats (and I catch and crate Satan Siamese when I can find him if Georgie is roaming the house). I only put Georgie back there in the bedroom when I can tell he is starting to be too stressed, when I have to be at work, and at night when it is bed time.

Another reason for his being in the back bedroom is his poops. I cannot put a litter box in my bedroom because the dogs would get into it + his poops have become very frequent and like water. Currently, I have a jumbo sized litter box inside of a large plastic vari-kennel in the back bedroom. Sometimes he misses the litter box and squirts the inside walls of the vari-kennel. He cannot help it - but I do not want runny, watery cat poops shot onto my walls, or my floor. So the large cat box inside of the semi-enclosed kennel works well for him. I DO have to wash both the pan and the kennel every single day, though.

The two other litter boxes which are in my computer room are large tubs (20 gallon??) with holes cut into the lids so that the cats can jump in and out of them (also keeps the dogs out). Georgie is having a harder and harder time jumping into the tubs.

And today, he hid from me for the first time since he got sick :-(

~Tiger
Doja; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD
Gracie; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD, UDX
Otis; CD, CDX
Domino; CD, CDX
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Postby amazincc » July 27th, 2008, 4:59 pm

I am so sorry, Tiger... :sad2:

I understand loving an animal as much as the children one birthed, and my heart goes out to you and Georgie. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. :hug3:
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Postby cheekymunkee » July 31st, 2008, 12:07 am

How is Georgie?
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Postby Tiger » July 31st, 2008, 12:21 am

cheekymunkee wrote:How is Georgie?


He is still eating - small, frequent meals. Drinking watered down chicken broth as well.
I stayed home today (took a vacation day) because he had a very bad night. He is now passing multiple liquid, bloody stools per day - perhaps one every hour or so.

I think it is in his guts now :-(

~Tiger
Doja; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD
Gracie; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD, UDX
Otis; CD, CDX
Domino; CD, CDX
Come visit http://NTBBC.com - "Changing One Mind At A Time"
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Postby Jenn » July 31st, 2008, 12:22 am

:cry:
Ugh, I am so so sorry. :sad2:
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure....
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Postby cheekymunkee » July 31st, 2008, 1:37 am

I'm glad he is still eating and drinking. Give him a soft hug from me.
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Debby
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 31st, 2008, 8:36 am

I would think that as long as he's eating and drinking then he's still fighting. Scritch behind his ears for me, and kiss his noggin.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby luvypitbulls » July 31st, 2008, 9:32 am

I am so in love with that picture and so sorry you have to go through this

please enjoy every moment you can

hugs
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Postby Tiger » July 31st, 2008, 4:34 pm

He ate some boiled emu mixed with Royal Canin recovery diet today - about 1 cup so far.
Lat night, he slept on my pillow and made bread in my hair. Purred us both to sleep.
I woke up with a rats nest on my head instead of hair...


I love my Georgie...

~Tiger
Doja; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD
Gracie; TT, CGC, CD, CDX, UD, UDX
Otis; CD, CDX
Domino; CD, CDX
Come visit http://NTBBC.com - "Changing One Mind At A Time"
You are given but one life to live, use it wisely....
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