Some of you already know that this has been a hard week. I didn’t post last week because Diavolo had been in the cat hospital. He stopped eating a week ago Sunday, went to the doctor on that Monday and was diagnosed with asthma. Yes, cats get asthma. He was treated for that but when he still wasn’t eating (just sleeping and using his litter box) Dr. Jon had me bring him in for overnight observation. On Friday he called saying he was stymied and wanting me to take him to Blue Pearl Specialty Animal Hospital in Renton. Friday is always my worst day after chemo and there was no way I could drive. I called Keith and he came and got me and we took Diavolo to Blue Pearl where they examined him, did some tests and kept him, suggesting an ultrasound to see if he had some kind of blockage that did not show on the chest x-ray. On Saturday around noon I spoke with the doctor there. She had given him an appetite stimulant and he was eating well and chatting up a storm with the other cats in the hospital. At that time she didn’t see a need to proceed with ultrasound. We agreed that he would stay until she got the results of his radiological exam as she thought his spleen seemed enlarged.
Saturday evening she called and the report was in. It showed both his liver and spleen were enlarged and it was most likely that he has cancer…possibly lymphosarcoma. Dead silence on my end of the phone. Of course they all know my health conditions and are concerned about that. I tried to take in what this would mean to us. She said they could only make a positive diagnosis through an ultrasound guided needle biopsy to collect cells but that would be a needless expense if I was not going to proceed with chemo therapy for him. We left it for me to think about and call her the next day.
First I cried a lot. Then I called a friend and we both cried. Then I Googled lymphosarcoma in cats and the chemo regimen. It would be four to six months of weekly chemo which would require trips to Blue Pearl as my local vet does not do chemo. Then more tests and then more chemo and it might extend his life a year. If my doctor had said I would only have a year I would not have done chemo and would have lived that year to the fullest…..like the song says….live each day like you are dying. So my decision was to bring him home and make him as comfortable as possible for whatever time we have. Keith and I went over on Sunday and got him and brought him home. He is being his normal self, eating, going outside but for not as long as he would before and he’s sleeping a lot more. Note, the expense was not a determining factor…I just want him to live out his life in comfort at home.
Last summer he was the perfect host and allowed his friends Buster and Sunshine to have the chairs.
On Thursday we went for a follow up appointment with Dr. Jon who had read all the reports. He said it was still possible that Diavolo does not have cancer and since I don’t want any invasive testing that we will just watch him, his food intake and his weight (weight loss would be an indication of cancer) and treat him for his asthma with a long acting steroid (oh, joy, both of us on steroids) where he only has to get a shot once a month. We will see how it goes.
As for me…my white blood cell count remains good with what my doctor calls my “green tea diet”. I have developed some peripheral neuropathy. My only symptoms of this are numbness of my toes and finger tips. It is the toe numbness that is causing my balance issues so I am using a cane for walking and I walk very slowly. It feels strange to type but at least I’m not dropping things which could happen. This may stop when chemo ends but there is a chance it could be permanent. I hope not. There are lots of things I wish I could do but I can’t and they will just have to wait till this is over….the end of July. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward so much to the month of August.
I’ll leave you this week with some photos I took on a trip to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (the less famous place near Cabo San Lucas)….where it was me and a book on the beach for a week at an all inclusive place frequented not by party hardy college students but by serious fisher folk. And nearly every morning gave me a purple sunrise.