When we moved to Clallam Bay, the former owner begged us to take her old grey and white cat, "Spuds." We did, and we love him dearly. He is such a very sweet purry old character.
But Spuds spent a lifetime lazing in the sun, so now he has what our vet very much suspects is a squamous nasal sarcoma (and research on the net turned up photos that look the same for the condition, or rather, much more advanced cases).
Our vet says he hasn't the capabilities for the surgery. The nearest veterinary surgeon he could refer us to for this treatment is in Seattle. Clallam Bay is far out on the Olympic Penninsula (www.mapquest.com), and we don't have a car right now (working on that!), and I have to go to Boston for major dental surgery, myself.
We're keeping Spud's condition down with steroid shots and antibiotics, just for the tissue damage, and the vet is going to give us some cream to keep down the pain and infection. But it doesn't look good.
Spuds is 17. He's not suffering yet, but we don't want him to, either. If a month or two more of decent life in front of the wood stove is all he's got, we can accept that, too. We want to do what's right for this good old cat (we've got a number of cats, and have gone through several animal deaths, including those from old age and various traumas). And any treatment we've found will either endanger his eyes (radiation) or make him vomit (chemicals). That's not how to spend the last days of his life. Hell, Dan and I have living wills so no one will do it to us.
So Spuds is out in the yard, basking in the sun, waiting for winter.