Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Asha Update

I have been finding it quite difficult to post an update because I don't really know what to say. Asha is still very much with us. She's quite active for such a sick little kitty and her appetite seems to be steadily increasing. Asha has been enjoying exploring the yard on her harness and a leash. She eats grass (chemical free lawn) and sniffs around all over. It's so hard for me to think that my little girl is so sick, especially with her acting like normal. We feel so grateful to be able to continue to enjoy Asha's love and companionship and we will do so for as long as we can.

I had to take her to the local vet yesterday to have her IV line examined. The vet showed me how to clear the line and how to adjust the catheter if it gets bent up. We have to go back on Thursday for this line to be removed and a new one to be placed. We discussed the potential kidney trasnplant and went over the information from UW Vet hospital. It sounds like Asha would likely meet the criteria to be a transplant patient, but there's a long list of tests that need to be performed before a final decision can be made. The vet gave me a fax from the hospital that outlined the pre-op testing, success rates, life-long care necessary post-op (2x/day anti-rejection meds), potential complications, and the cost. The procedure costs between $10-15K when the surgery goes well and can cost more if there are complications, which was a huge shock to us because we read on-line that the costs for feline kidney transplant were around $5K.

I can't even bring myself to say it ... we can't afford to do the transplant at that cost. :( I feel sick saying that and feel like a terrible furbaby parent. I love Asha so much and would do anything to save her as evidenced by all that we've been doing for the past 14 months, but the reality is that we don't have that kind of money at our disposal, especially given the debt we've accrued with IF and IVF. Asha is worth way more to both of us than the cost of the surgery--you can't put a monetary value love, which is why it's hard for me to say that we can't go forward with the transplant. So, we have no choice but to let our sweet little Asha succumb to CRF. The guilt that I'm feeling is overwhelming and will become much worse the day that Asha leaves us. Please tell me that I'm not a terrible furbaby mommy.

23 comments:

Tiffany said...

You are NOT a terrible Furbaby Mom! I mean it... you are not! Please don't beat yourself up and try to enjoy the time you have left with her. We too have a furbaby kitty that we have spent a pretty penny on. This last time we were not prepared to pay for the hospitalization costs (the would have been his 3rd time and we were just coming off IVF #3) so we opted to do our best at home and thankful he pulled through. Big hugs to you and Asha. From Tiffany and Ozzy.

Bonny said...

Oh sweetie, you are NOT a terrible furbaby Mom. It's hard that we can not always afford things that may or may not make them better. And please try not to beat yourself up as Tiffany already stated. You are doing so much for her now and I know that you feel terrible, but that is so much money and it has no guarantees. My thoughts are with you. Hugs to you and prayers too.

Mrs. Spit said...

Sometimes, to be the very best furchild parents, we love with an open arm.

Take each day as it comes.

Jen said...

you are a great furbaby mom. Most people wouldn't even do what you have done for Asha so far. She is a very lucky kitty to have a mom like you.

Noelle said...

You are such a good mommy to your kitty. It is so obvious how much you love Asha. Of course you would just love to pay for the transplant, but you can't. Most people would not be able to pay that price. It is a huge amount of money. Asha knows that you love her, and that is what matters. Please don't feel badly.

Jaymee said...

you are in no way terrible furbaby mom!! already you have done more for your precious asha than most people would. she is having a wonderful life because of you and all the care that you have provided her over her life. it is horrible that our pets get sick, like i have said before i cannot imagine being in your shoes. i am so sorry that you have had to make this choice, no one should have to ever make these decisons.

HUGS

Rhonda and Gerry W said...

Don't even for one minute think that. We all would give the world for our fur children. If we only had unlimited funds? Life is not fair, but enjoy every single moment you have with Asha to the fullest and know that she will love you forever. Did you know that the meaning of the name Asha is 'hope'? Asha has given you the hope to go on in your journey for a child with her endless love. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jacinta said...

Oh Niki, I am so sad for you guys. This is such a blow. I don't think I would have that kind of money lying around either and I don't think you are a bad mother to Asha.
I believe pets go to heaven too. Maybe Myles is waiting for his kitty with open arms....

M said...

you have been wonderful to asha, and she loves you for it. you have to just enjoy the time you have left with her and know that while she improved your lives with her love, you also improved hers.

Duck said...

I have been there - our cat fell deeply ill with kidney failure during our first ivf cycle, I was unemployed with no chance of work, my husband was making less money then ever before, and we had the biggest mortgage of our lives, and the guilt almost killed me, and it still does haunt me, I just wished we had more money, it's the worst feeling on earth -hugs to you.

sprogblogger said...

You are NOT a bad Furbaby Mom. Not in any way. Your Asha is a very lucky cat, and you are lucky to have her. Especially with animal companions, I think, it is impossible to equate love/responsible behavior with money spent at the vet. It just doesn't always work that way

In many ways, I think animals are much luckier than we are. They don't fear the future, and they don't fear death. They only fear pain. As long as you ameliorate any pain she might experience, you are doing what she needs.

I've done both - intensely invasive end-of-life care, and simple ameliorative care. One gained me about 6 more months with my kitty, but was so traumatic for her that I swore never to do that to a cat again. My second cat had a "good death" if there can be such a thing. Unlike my first girl, she was with me, she was not in pain, and she was not afraid. Looking back on the two, I'd opt for the second route every time. Quality of life is just as (if not more) important than length of life.

I hope you find some peace and can enjoy your girl's company. The only bad thing about having pets is that they simply don't live long enough, no matter what we do. I'm tearing up just typing this. You're all in my thoughts.

Wewurtskihit said...

You are a FANTASTIC mommy! Do not fret over the fact it costs a fortune to fix Asha and you cant afford it.

My baby, Tye, had feline cancer and I couldnt afford the $1500 treatment. I spent a glorious time with her and when it was time to let her go, I cried like a baby beating myself up that I didnt sell the car to help her.
I then realized that sometimes we have to make the hard decision to make the RIGHT decision. She would have suffered more had the cancer returned AND she would have gone faster!

She will love you unconditionally regardless and she will feed off the love you have for her. THAT mkes a great furmommy!!!

Mark

Kelly said...

(((Niki))) Of course not!! I could never afford that either. And no you can't put a price on love. I'm so sad for her and you. :(

GeekByMarriage said...

You are NOT a terrible furbaby momma!
Most people wouldn't have even CONSIDERED a transplant even if it were only $300. They'd just put them down. I agree with Bonny. It's an awful lot of money with no clear outcome.
You love her and that's clearly obvious. I am so sorry you have to deal with this at all, hun. Enjoy every second you have together.

Cortney said...

Niki,

I am so sorry Asha is so sick. You are not a bad fur mommy by any means. Asha is sick and that is not your fault. Even if you had the money to get the transplant, it may or may not save her. Regardless, Asha knows you love her more then anything and I think Asha would rather spend the rest of her little life with her mommy then in the hospital. do not beat yourself up, and trust me i know easier said the done. When my little griffin got hit by a car at 6 mos old, i felt like i was the worst mommy ever. So many things happen in this world that are so unfair and out of our control. Keep your chin up and love your little Asha as much as you can.

love you and thinking of you always.

Debir said...

I have loved many animals in my life and have known the sorrow of their passing. I have consoled myself with the knowledge of how grateful I am to have had the time with them that I did, the comfort of the memory of them that resides in my heart, and with this poem, the thought of being reunited with them again in Heaven.

"Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When our beloved pets die, they journey to this idyllic spot. There are meadows and hills enough for all to frolic freely, and plenty of food, water and sunshine. Each and every animal is warm and comfortable.

Those pets that have been ill or aged are restored to health and vigor. Those who are hurt or maimed are made whole and strong. Each is just as we remember in our dreams of days and times gone by. Our pets are happy and content at Rainbow Bridge, except for one small thing. Every creature misses someone special, whom they've left behind.

The animals all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops, and looks into the distance. Bright eyes are intent; an eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly, running from the group, flying over the green grass, legs are going faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and you and your special friend come together in joyous reunion. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head; and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Author Unknown"

You have loved and cared for Asha and given her a wonderful life. You are the best fur-baby Mom and have done your best for Asha.
Debir (SC)

Meg. said...

I've only commented once before, but have been actively following your journey.

I just wanted to express my deepest sympathies. I'm sitting at work, teary-eyed for you, your DH and sweet Asha.

My fiance and I love our cats like they're our children, so I understand how devastating this decision must have been for you. You are NOT a bad Furbaby Mom! You've gone above and beyond what most "normal" pet owners do when their baby is in crisis.

I know it may sound silly, but I have confidence that Asha is aware of all you've done for her. She loves you very much -- that much is evident.

My thoughts will be with you...

Ninefirefly said...

I'm kind of a lurker but I just had to comment on this. I'm a cvt (certified veterinary technician) and I can tell you for sure that alot of invasive procedures end up being worse for pets. They are confused and scared and hurting and if there are comlications it is very hard to keep putting them through painful treatments. I had a cat that lived for 5 years with kidney issues and we gave her supportive care as needed but we did not do anything too invasive. Cats especially really aren't built for that and it just buys you time. We wanted the time we had left with her to be good times, mostly painfree and with her being a normal kitty. to this day I think it was the best thing we could have done for her. Good luck.

Tom and Margit said...

You are a wonderful Furbaby Mama!
I wouldn't be able to afford it either. She has you as a Mommy and is a lucky kitty for that and you are making sure she is happy and home with you and your hubby.
I had to put my sweet Dalmatian to sleep 9 years ago because I couldn't afford the tests, which were expensive. I felt awful BUT she had a wonderful life with me and went to sleep peacefully in my arms. Knowing I was a great Fur Mommy made me feel better!

HUGS to you!

Rebecca said...

Oh hon, you are NOT a bad furbaby mama! There are certain points in life where we have to admit to ourselves no matter how much it hurts that we just can't do anymore. I went through this with Nick, too. I couldn't afford the treatments he needed, and although he was several years older than Asha (he was 17), I couldn't put him through that or myself through seeing him suffer through treatments that might or might not work. Right now the only thing you can do is give Asha the best "rest of her life" as you can. I know you feel guilty, because I felt horrible guilt when I had to have Nick euthanized. It was the worst day of my life. But, I like to think that I gave him the best last day that a cat could ever want, he was in my arms when he died knowing that I loved him more than anything in the world, and he's no longer in any pain. That and the memories I have of our 17 years together...that makes me happy.
I wish you weren't having to go through this.
((((HUGS)))) and love to you my dear friend.

TeriLynn said...

Niki, You are NOT a bad furbaby mommy! You can sure see how much you love her! You and J just spend the most time with her that she is with you! Just know that she is home with you where she loves to be! Hugs!

Bluebird said...

I'm so sorry. My heart breaks that you're even confronted with this. You're a wonderful furbaby mom. Asha is much loved.

~Denise~ said...

Asha has a wonderful furmama. I'm sorry you have to go through this....(((Hugs)))