Wednesday, November 2, 2016

RIP Bear. And then there were five

Bear before she came in.  Even as a tiny kitten,
she had that "don't mess with me" face
Bear's surgery was scheduled for yesterday.  The orders were the usual: no food after midnight, no water after 6:00 a.m., so the night before, she got a big can of wet cat food.  She scarfed that down and then went to sleep on the arm of the big chair by the window.

In the morning, I put her in the carrier and walked her to the vet (I do love that this new vet is only 3 blocks from my house) and dropped her off.  The vet called about 15 minutes later.  He said that the swelling on her foot had doubled in size since he had seen her last week.  I told him it seemed to have mostly happened over the weekend, but that Monday was the first day she had seemed to notice it -- she was walking okay, but every so often she would stop and shake her foot, like she had stepped in something and was trying to shake it loose.

There's a foot in there somewhere
The rapid growth of the tumor made him doubt the lab reports.  He said if he did the surgery, he would most likely have to remove two toes, because the tumor had grown in between and around them.  It had also grown down and was swelling between her paw pads.  I asked if this would complicate the surgery, and he said even if he removed both toes, because of the rapid growth and the way it had spread in her paw, there was almost no likelihood of removing the tumor and getting wide enough margins to guarantee it wouldn't grow back.  And an aggressive cancer would probably grow back very quickly.  He also said with removing the toes and clearing away all the bad tissue, there wouldn't be enough skin to close the wound, and this would complicate recovery, make it longer, more painful and at serious risk of infection.

This was not the news I was expecting.  I was expecting surgery, recovery and related unpleasantness, but not this.

"Okay," I said.  "Give me your honest opinion -- knowing I might not take it.  Attempt the surgery, put her down now or bring her home and give her however much time she has until she gets uncomfortable?"

Sleepy Bear
He sighed.  "She's uncomfortable now.  Doing the surgery is only going to make it worse, and you'll have the same result, plus you'll have spent money you probably don't have to do it."

I told you this guy doesn't blow sunshine.

It wasn't even really a decision.  And it wasn't about the money -- I'd already spent more at Penn getting the initial round of tests than this vet had charged and was going to charge for the surgery.  But why put her through the surgery and recovery and pain, only to have it grow back before she was even totally healed?
I ent back to the vet's office and we did the right thing.  He was very good, gave her a tranquilizer shot and then she laid on my chest with her head under my chin until she fell asleep.  After that, he did the second shot, which took effect almost immediately.  I stayed with her for a little while, and then walked home with the empty carrier.


24 comments:

Dianne W said...

I'm so sorry.

Ann Steeves said...

Oh Karen, I'm so sorry about Bear. It's so hard to lose a beloved pet. They truly are part of the family. :'(

Cindy said...

I'm so very sorry, Karen.

Vicki said...

Oh, I am so sorry. Poor Bear.

Rachael K. said...

So sorry for your loss.

Eva Patterson said...

That was very brave on your part. Bear was very fortunate to have you for a guardian.

Anonymous said...

I have had to face that moment myself. My thoughts are with you and your other furry friends as they re-arrange their group.
DianeDrexel

thornberry said...

I am so sorry to hear that Karen. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Been there,done that.....so sorry for you're loss.....

Anonymous said...

How brave to do the right thing for Bear. I'm sorry for your sadness.

Ceci

Schmoomom said...

This one made my eyes tear up. You did the kindest thing. It must have been one of the hardest things you've ever done. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Jodie said...

That's a hard thing. Take care and thinking of you.

Catherine p said...

I'm so sorry you had to lose Bear.

Jane M said...

Tears in my eyes reading your sad post. I'm so sorry for the loss of Bear and hope that happier memories can be some comfort.

Cas... said...

My condolences to you on the loss of your sweet kitty. Be encouraged...

Mary Deeter said...

Sorry for your loss Karen...my heart goes out to you...

Kathryn Hoyman said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. You did the right thing for Bear. Bear was lucky to have you.

Elizabeth said...

:( I am so sorry.

badmomgoodmom said...

That's a sad story. But you did the right thing. I like the new vet.

Unknown said...

So sorry for your loss of Bear we just lost our dear Tommy Tuesday after he crawled home after being hit by a car we understand your loss it's ours as well

golden star said...

Sending Light for the Highest Good of all concerned.

Valerie said...

So sorry for your loss. So painful, even when you know you are doing the best for your companion. Take care.

Marjie said...

My condolences. It's so hard to lose a beloved 4 legged companion.

LinB said...

Oh, my dear. I am so sorry you had to make that hard decision. Know that you are loved, and that you are held in the light by many of us whom you may never meet in person.

I'm glad that Bear had a loving, caring owner while she was alive.