Pets and end of life care (and expense)

I wondered if anyone could provide some insight on how they have dealt with their pets as their pets come to the end of their lives, while continuing your commitment to be debt free. I have 4 cats. 2 are 17 years old. 1 has kidney disease which we’re managing with subcutaneous fluids. That is really all I’m prepared to do. Kidney disease is basically a (very slow) death sentence. My vet hasn’t suggested kidney transplants or dialysis or anything like that, but I’m not prepared to do that, primarily because of the expense. My other senior cat is (at this moment) at the vet. The doctor put him under sedation to check and see if some symptoms I’ve observed are just an injury (in his mouth) or indication of cancer. If it’s cancer (and, of course I hope it’s not) I just don’t know what to do. I am not willing to rack up debt to try to fight cancer in a 17 year old cat.

This may not be an issue today. The news may be fine when the vet calls me. But I feel like these questions are going to arise soon. To be clear, my vet has been very respectful of my finances. But I just wondered how other folks have thought about this. “Back in the day” when your pet came to end of its life, you held them and loved them and let them go (or had them put to sleep). There are so many other expensive options for some conditions . . . I’m just trying to figure this out.

Thanks