The Write Calling

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Published fiction and nonfiction author who embraces her creativity and coaches other women to do the same. For information and prices, visit Women-Ink.com.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sad Personal News

I took two of our cats to the vet, one to check on that possible urinary tract infection, and another for a simple three-month follow-up after irradiation therapy for hyperthyroidism.

Well, the Pee Guy apparently doesn't have a medical problem, so his going outside the box is a behavioral issue. Oh joy. But much worse: our girl probably has cancer--a lymphoma--and perhaps only 1-2 months to live.

I'm shattered. She's an older cat, and I always knew she'd have to go sometime, but I also knew it would be hell when she did. I've had many kitties in my life, but she and I have always had an incredible bond. She's whip-smart, and though she was always pushing the limits of acceptable cat behavior, that only made her more beloved. She'd try anything she wanted, because she knew exactly when we weren't looking.

In 2000, she developed a fibrosarcoma. I had a difficult choice to make then, but I loved her like no other, and was determined to nurse her through. She survived and thrived through two rounds of surgery and chemo, and she kicked cancer's butt to be my little Stinkerbell again. I was graced with her presence for another six years.

Today we'll go in for an ultrasound, and if the vet feels she do it, an ultrasound-guided biopsy to confirm the lymphoma diagnosis. If it really is cancer, then from what I've read about GI lymphoma, the treatments out there could only extend her life for maybe 6-9 months anyway. She's almost 15, and has already had a long and happy life. Without a better chance of long-term survival, I wouldn't want to put her through additional trauma just so I can have her around for a few extra months. She's given me more than enough love for a lifetime, and I can only hope I've always done the same for her.

Please wish us both luck.

4 Comments:

Blogger daftaz said...

I had my Otah for 18 years. Came home from a vacation to find her unable to eat, wicked thin, and just generally miserable. Kidney failure. July 4, 1994 was her last day with me. She was a cranky old girl who didn't like too many people but particularly tolerated me. She had a dramatic aptitude for judging character--once deliberately clawed a date's coat to the floor and peed on it, making sure I was looking first. Climbed up on a roommate's bed while she was sleeping and threw up on her. And she was always right! I was flattered to be her human friend, and I still smile when I think about her.

Hang in there, kiddo. LA

June 22, 2006 12:00 PM  
Blogger Katey Coffing, Ph.D. said...

Thank you, Laura. Otah's crankiness sounds darned familiar. :)

And one of our cats has kidney problems, too. We got him as an adult, and he desperately needs his teeth cleaned, but his kidneys are so bad that the vet didn't want to risk the anesthesia. But the risk from infected gums will eventually overwhelm the anesthesia risk. We've got him on kidney supplements and are trying to get him to lose at least five pounds (he's a pig--21 lbs!), which may help. The Pee Guy used to have kidney problems--I even had him on subcutaneous fluids for a while--but five years later, his kidneys are looking good.

Our girl had the ultrasound yesterday. We all saw the mass, and the vet did a fine needle aspiration to get some of the cells out. They've been sent to the lab for confirmation, but our vet said that the slides did look consistent with lymphoma.

We had a little bit of good news, though—there's a particular kind of chemo that can be given orally. *IF* she has a particular kind of lymphoma, this chemo has a better survival timeline--a median of 17-20 months, with some cats living up to 4 years. And since she's already been through chemo before, I know she handles it well. I wouldn't be considering this if we had to go to the vet's a lot (trauma), but this... She'd fight the pills, of course, but at least there isn't a car ride and scary vet office smells involved.

Well, we shall see what the lab says. We should hear in the next couple of days.

June 22, 2006 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Katey,

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty!

Barbara

June 22, 2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger Katey Coffing, Ph.D. said...

Thank you, Barbara. I just called the vet's office. No news yet, but hopefully we'll hear tomorrow.

(Crossing fingers.)

June 22, 2006 3:59 PM  

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