31 January 2012

Bad news.  Lakshmi's stomatitis symptoms are progressing even while her cancer is fully under control.  Despite taking Alpha Interferon, an antibiotic, and a steroid combo, her gums are increasingly inflamed and bleeding.  She is also taking Leukeran for her cancer. She is not eating despite trying baby food and various meat and fish combos using a food processor.  She is receiving fluids every other day which make her feel better, as well as a morphine derivative for intense pain, and ciproheptidine to increase her appetite.

Her oncologist, John Chretine, now recommends surgically installing a feeding tube through her abdomenal wall, so that nothing has to pass through her mouth: food, medications, water, giving her mouth a chance to rest.

Then we can try all kinds of medications that she can not now tolerate through her mouth.

Given her state of health and of near starvation, and a mild heart murmur, there is some added risk.

This is Lakshmi's only hope.  Without the surgery, she'll die in a few weeks of starvation.

Dustin, who had an identical cancer and also stomatitis, also had a feeding tube installed 5 years ago.  In six months he went from 5.5 pounds to 11 pounds, and Chretin said he was getting too fat.  Dustin loved the tube.  Four times a day I'd bring the feeding syringe to the huge cage he was in, and give him breakfast, lunch or supper.  He would see me coming and turn his left side to me, for easy access to the tube, and he'd purr and purr.  No more pain for him.  He lived almost three years on his own after the tube was removed.

If you are inclined to help, the surgery and immediate subsequent medications will cost a bit over $1,000.  You can donate towards covering her surgery and care by using the Paypal donation button on the right, or go to wearesentience.com, and use the buttons there.  Thank you. 


  1. Ed, I am so sorry. It must be painful to watch.


  2. I know how hard this must be for you Ed. I have my dog who is truly my only connection of intense love for another I have in this world. I honestly don't know what I would do if Whiskley was in the same state of affairs. I guess part of me would want to do whatever possible to give him more time. However I would also wish and hope that I would have the courage to hold him and ask him what he wanted and if he felt it was his time to leave.I would stay with him until I received a clear answer for what was for the highest good. Maybe not even that but just what he wanted.
    Lakshmi is in my prayers. The best to you.

  3. Randy, Lakshmi is far from that position now. Even as I write this she is perched on my chest over the keyboard, apparently happy as a lark, except for a very sore mouth. I have had to make decisions such as you talk about 10 times since 1997 as my older cats aged, got sick and died. I tend not to err towards letting them die the way God wants them to die rather than when I try to be God. They may suffer a little more that way, but they want to go a little more. Lakshmi definitely is into staying at this point.

  4. that's good news
    I wish both of you the very best.If I had any money I would send you some. I am close to homeless now.

  5. I tried to answer same question yesterday to myself. I asked if i were in that position maybe I wanted to be dead. And suddenly a clear answer came: all sentient being wants to live. Simple as that.

  6. I wish Lakshmi all the best. Hope she will get better soon again and have a happy rest of her life like Dustin had.

  7. Sorry for your troubles Edji.

    I think installing a feeding tube would be a bit much, and would only increase her suffering. Maybe you should just keep her comfortable and let nature take it's course?

    So sorry for your pain. The loss of a dear pet is extremely difficult.

  8. Let me ask you this, if your wife, husband, daughter or mother were in a similar situation, would you 1. allow her to die of starvation, and ugly painful death, 2. Kill him or her with a fatal injection of morphine, or 3. install a tube through which she receives all her needed food, high quality pain relief medications, and treatmetns for her gum disease?

    She has already beaten cancer for 3 years four months and has a strong will to live. She sits in my lap or on my chest purring.

    You see, how am I to play God by putting her asleep too soon, or not quieting the pain and giving her the chance to live.

    Dustin lived for over three years after his tube was taken out, and he did not mind being syringe fed.

    So please stop leaving notes I should let her die or have her put to sleep.

    She wants to live and be with me. I have been through this before and know when it is time to euthanize or not, or let them die naturally such as in kidney or heart failure where they slide into a coma.

  9. Hi Ed,
    Wow, its so easy for some to just dismiss life and toss it away..I took my feral cats to have them spayed and neutered..I don't know if the instruments were not sterilized properly but one of the little kitties got very sick.. I bonded with him right away. I kept him with me night and day loving him.. He couldn't eat either and lost so much weight..I just talked to him and told him his life just got started..he needed to pull through this..and he did...it took 7 loving days for him to pull through...So,I know and can feel just how much you love your cats and can't imagine you letting go of them while they are fighting to be here...Lakshmi....you can do this..your a tough cat, with so much love..keep fighting Lakshmi...sending you love Lakshmi and you also Ed...

  10. Just ask yourself, if I had a child with such problems, would I for a second question providing medical help for the child to extend his or her life? What about a parent or yourself?

    God gave you compassion and love for your companion. You will find all the medical help you give to make her more healthy and safe will be rewarded by unending love from her.