Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mixed emotions

Its kind of hard to believe that the cruise we booked back in March is finally here. We leave tomorrow evening for the airport, fly to Florida on Fri, and board the ship on Sat for a week's cruise to Grand Cayman, Roatan Honduras, Cozumel Mexico, and Princess Cay Bahamas.

Today I did 5 loads of laundry so Spouse & I will have everything clean when we select our clothes for the trip tonight. Tomorrow I will pack everything, run a few errands, and tie up a few loose ends.

Its very exciting to think about being on a huge, luxury cruise ship with 6 of our friends and a bunch of other people for a week of sun, fun, eating, and relaxing!

But I have mixed emotions because of Pouncer. He has been on 3 different antibiotics over the last 6 weeks but has not improved. At the last vet visit the Dr. basically told me they had done everything they could for Pouncer there, but that in order to find out what was causing his recurring sinus infections he would have to be treated by a specialist up state.

I called the specialist to inquire what the goal of the procedures would be, the expected treatment should they find a mass or tumor (which is what our local vet suspects), and the cost. It was not an encouraging call. The exam, the 2 procedures, the biopsy, and the overnight stay and related fluids and meds would cost $2,000. - $3,000. If they find a mass or tumor they may be able to remove it at the same time, depending on what it is. If its cancerous they would have to do radiation or chemotherapy, neither of which is included in the estimate above.

Pouncer is 12 years old and I do not feel it is a wise use of our money to go that route.

He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but with the way she sounds when he breaths (raspy, gurgly, congested), I'm guessing he feels a similar way as humans feel when they have a very stuffed up nose.

My instinct is to continue the antibiotics until they run out and then see how he does. If he stops eating or seems to be in distress, I would do the humane thing and have him put to sleep. But we are leaving tomorrow evening and will be gone for 10 days. A friend is going to care for Jordan and Pouncer for us, but I am uneasy about leaving Pouncer in this condition.

Once the antibiotics are done on Fri, his condition may deteriorate quickly or slowly - we'll have no way to know. Once we get on the ship we won't have cell phone reception. Plus, I feel badly asking our friend to keep an eye on Pouncer in case he seems to be getting worse.

What if he does get worse and seems to be in distress? How awful for our friend to have to take him to the vet to be put to sleep!

What if Pouncer passes away on his own while we're gone? How awful for our friend to find him and have to "do something" with him.

Part of me wants to give Pouncer more of a chance to respond to this last antibiotic treatment, but since we will be gone it puts the burden on our friend.

Part of me thinks we should say goodbye to Pouncer tomorrow and take him to the vet ourselves before we leave on our trip.

I just don't know what to do.

I want to be excited about our big trip, but my heart is heavy over Pouncer.


A Lewis said...

Oh boy, you guys sound like you're head and your heart are having a giant battle. I send you wishes for clarity and peace in your decisions. All of my best for a great trip.

behrmark said...

I think the choice is clear: smuggle Pouncer onto the ship in your luggage! Okay, maybe that won't work. I do not envy your position. Is it possible to keep him on his antibiotics for the duration of your trip? Would that cause more harm than good? Behr Hugs for enlightenment and chin scratches and belly rubs for Pouncer.