I know I haven’t explained what happened last week, but the answer is nothing drastic: just a steady decline. Frank never started eating on his own after his surgery. We fed him Critical Care every few hours, and watered-down Pedialyte even more often (and meds, and belly massage), but he was losing weight and dehydrating anyway. He lost interest in everything but snuggling, and even then he was listless. His eyes were glassy, he was always in discomfort (if not pain), and he’d given up on the litter box. He just wasn’t living anymore.
Life without Frank has been and continues to be a difficult adjustment. I miss his presence very much.
Coming to accept the events of his life, particularly of these last few months, has also been difficult.
In the aftermath, particularly in looking over this blog, things seem crystallised — I hope somewhat illusorily. Because as I scroll down, past the posts of his final illness, I see a picture of Frank taken in profile a few months before his death, and I see a bump at his throat and I think, my God, how couldn’t I have noticed? And I scroll further down to last October when I found the inflammation on his chin, and I’m afraid to think this could have been going on so long, and that I may have been the cause of it through one incident of accidental rough grooming. And, I must admit, I’m afraid of my readers doing the same, and thinking the same. But I don’t believe it’s really like that. Other pictures that I have reveal Frank always had a slight dewlap; and that, from many angles, the bump in his throat, around March and since then, was not at all distinct; also, he was examined by a vet in May; and, until two weeks ago he showed no signs of discomfort or ill health — so I’m trying not to blame myself for not noticing. And if I had noticed earlier, I’m not at all sure the final outcome would have been any different. As for the inflammation last October, I think I did what I could in response to misfortune. I had Frank examined by the vet, I had a cell sample tested, I kept an eye on it, and the swelling went away. The vet said Frank could well have simply jabbed himself with a sharp piece of hay as he grazed, and she wasn’t very concerned. Maybe my fears are right and it was my rough grooming that did it but, either way, it was a small injury sustained in the normal course of daily life. I don’t know if it’s connected to the tumour or not (the test of which, by the way, came back “undiagnostic”), but if it was, what could I have done about it? This is what I keep asking and I keep answering: Nothing. I can only hope my readers agree with me, but if you don’t, you can learn from my experiences. I won’t be enabling comments on this post and I don’t want feedback on this issue (unless you are a doctor! because I do plan to look into this, some day); rather, I am writing this for the sake of closure. I am closing this blog, tying up loose ends. It is mine to do.
Thank you, everyone, for your comments over the years. In joyous times and difficult times, you have uplifted and sustained me, and Frank as well. Warmest wishes to you and your own beloved bunnies.