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The Elf Himself

Living beyond a feline hemangiosarcoma diagnosis.

The Elf Himself

It wasn’t enough time, but I’m thankful for what we had.

April 18th, 2015 · 16 Comments · Uncategorized

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I’m so sorry that I’ve not been able to write before all this. I kept meaning to sit down and write more, but you know how time escapes. This isn’t the update I wanted to give. I wanted this blog to be much longer.  I was hoping for years and got only a few months.

We had to let go of Elvis today, at about 6:15 PM. After struggling with recovery for a good six weeks post-op, he was doing so well. We got him to the point where he was playing with laser pointers, jumping on the cat condo, snuggling with his sister and loving his boy again. I’d been noticing some periodic heavy breathing, but it would resolve and his activity level would go back to normal. Early this week, for old time’s sake, he even ran at my legs and took them out from under me–he gets a little overly excited by dry food. Elvis was probably more a dog than a cat in many ways.

We had opted not to do chemo. Actually it wasn’t even really presented as a viable option in January, and I guess in retrospect they may have given us a few more months if we had gone that route. I can only assume he had micro mets in his chest that those early scans missed. The ultrasounds this afternoon showed significant pleurisy around his lungs, and given the fact that his vitals besides that were relatively normal, the doctor suggested cancer as a culprit. She said we could try tapping it, but even if it was heart failure, tapping would be a repeat process and probably not increase his life by much.

We’ve been buying his life with quarters in a jukebox, one song at a time, for the past six months. He’s been worth every single cent. At a point it wasn’t about money, but about quality. We couldn’t accept the idea of tapping him over and over, with more medication, more unpredictable wheezing and misery.

We chose to end it on a good note. Besides not eating much and a stressful afternoon, we had an upbeat day. He even tried to play with me earlier today. The blanket gopher (my hand under the sheets) was out to get his belly and he responded in full form, just as long as he didn’t have to actually get up and move. My husband and I were planning a much belated anniversary getaway, but we noticed Elvis wasn’t walking well and wasn’t responding to food or treats. He had a stress bowel movement after being startled and we noticed wheezing as he pushed, and that’s when we decided to take him in, prepared for the worst.

I’ve never been present at a euthanasia. I’m a little bewildered in how it was so difficult and so easy all at once. The process was very kind. They gave us plenty of time with him before and after. We held him for a long while.

I’m going to miss him so much. There will be more songs. I hope he’s somewhere close, listening.

Elvis, thank you for being a part of our lives.

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Michelle

    I am so sorry for your loss. You gave him the most selfless gift that we can give our babies. RIP Elvis. Run Free

    Hugs
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  • bcullom

    I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Elvis, your decision to let him go was your brave gift to him. You are right about euthanasia being both extremely difficult, and easy…..so very difficult for us, but knowing he is no longer suffering is the easy part.
    I am hoping all the happy days you have given each other, will live on in your hearts always, the tough part is adjusting to the emptiness without him.
    Thinking of you and your family, and you and Elvis will always be a part of this great community, and he will always be remembered here, but most of all, he WILL be there by you close, and listening….
    Run fast and free, Elvis…..
    {{{hugs}}}
    Bonnie, Angel Polly, and new crew

    • Jo

      I remember pretty Polly and your story. You’re right, cancer can’t take the good times from us.

      I’d like to remember him climbing walls and chasing his tail. Thank you for the gentle reminder and the kind words.

      – Johanna

  • krun15

    I’m so sorry Elvis has gone on ahead. You gave very brave and unselfish gifts to Elvis. First the amp to give him more quality time, then today, setting him free. Elvis will live on forever in your heart.
    Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

    • Jo

      Karen, thank you. He is already sorely missed. I appreciate that so many feel we made the right decisions.

  • bcullom

    I also did want to mention that hemangio-sarcoma took my precious Polly as well, and we fought that awful cancer hard…..ugly cancer will never destroy the joy of them in our lives, and the true happiness we shared with them, cancer will NEVER win.

  • benny55

    Was not lrepared for this. Your last blog Elvis was happily looking out the window feeling wuit chipper.

    I’m so very, very sorry. Our hearts break with you. Unfortunately, many of us here know all to well the void and despair that will be with you for wuite awhile. The care and devotion for a tripawd is like no other. It is a very intense time and also the best time. And kt looks like you and E@vis absolutely made the best out of this journey.

    I’m no vet, but I seriously doubt chemo woukd have done any good at all. Its pretty clear this brutal disease had already taken hold. So Elvis was able to enjoy his time free of needles a d appointments a d even potentially feeling lousy from the chemo.

    Elvis did things his way and he was surrounded by your love his entire life. Remember those thousands and thousands of days of happy memories you and Elvis shared. Today was just a tiny blink compared to the extraordinary life Elvis lived with you.

    This is a very sweet photo you posted today. When you can, please share more photos and tell us more about this delightful kitty who liked to play under the covers!

    The sadness does diminish, but it takes awhile. I wish I could say tomorrow will be better, but usually it gets worse before it gets better.

    We are here for you. We understand the courage and love it takes to release Elvis so he can run free and be a fun loving kitty again…..and he k ew he coukd count on you!

    When the fluid forms like that almost everyone here releases their lets from their bodies.

    Elvis was greeted by so many healthy and happy kittiw and dogs…and they all played the laser came with him for hours!!

    Sending you lpve and hugs

    Sally and My Eternal Light Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle

    • Jo

      Sally, I definitely plan on honoring your request for more pictures of him during better times. Since I did such a poor job keeping up with this blog while he was still with us, I have to make up for that. Thank you so much for your support.

  • Codie Rae

    I am so sorry Elvis has left the building. We can never have enough time when it comes to saying goodbye to our furry loved ones. But Polly’s mom is right, the cancer didn’t win, your love for Elvis, and his for you won.

    Sending you and your family lots of peace, love, and tripawd strength,

    xoxo,
    Martha, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown pack

    • Jo

      Martha and Codie Rae (and the rest of the pack), thank you. I’m so grateful our experienced introduced us to a wide and supportive community.

  • 4myty

    So sorry to hear this. It is hard,one of the hardest things you will ever . Elvis is thankful for your strength. This next part of the journey is really hard. You will find great support here. Jerry gave me good advice once, when you are feeling sad, think of something funny he did. Eventually, those good memories are what comes to mind first. Lori, Ty and the gang

    • Jo

      Lori, you’re right. We’re trying to keep our heads up and think of all the great times. Thank you all.

  • kazann

    I’m so sorry Elvis wasn’t with you for longer after the amputation. Yeah for a good six weeks and a last play of blanket gopher.

    Wishing you and your family strength, peace and comfort with your wonderful memories of the The Elf Himself.

    Kerren

  • jerry

    I’m so, so sorry. Just now had a chance to catch up and was shocked and heartbroken to see that Elvis got his wings. My condolences to you and your family, I”m very, very sorry.

    Elvis had so much love from such a great family. It’s clear how much he meant to you and it’s that bond that you created over the years that will continue to bring beautiful things into your life as his spirit watches over you. It’s that kind of love that never, ever goes away.

    Many hugs going out to all of you, now and always.

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