Now all we have to do, according to the oncologist, is wait two years. If the cancer doesn’t come back in that time, she’s cured. Just two years. snort.
Actually, I don’t think that’s quite right. I think she needs to go in for some bloodwork in a few weeks to check on her kidneys and other organs and make sure they came through it all okay. We are all thrilled to be done though. She usually has some appetite loss a few days post-treatment, so we’ll be watching her at home. We have the appetite medicine on hand if she needs it.
Here’s hoping for a long, less medically interesting life for our sweet girl.
I have finished a project (sort of)! And it’s so cute.
Even better, both cats like it and use it! The ‘sort of’ comment is because the first pictures of kitty couches I saw all had little miniature afghans draped over the back, and I thought that was an adorable touch. So I’m working on a small granny square afghan to add. I have never made a granny square before so this is an interesting project. A friend also said I should make tiny doilies for the arms, and I’m deciding if I want to do that too.
I was hopeful that they would like it, because they both sat on it a lot at each stage of it’s creation. Even when it was just a flat piece of crocheting with no foam yet, Meeko would come sit on it.
She is still not a good patient, I’m still needing to give up my lunch break to sit with her because she will tangle herself in her IV line otherwise, but we made it through another round of chemo. Only one more to go. Most importantly, there are no signs of the tumor trying to come back. Look at those perfect, beautiful, tumor-free cheeks (and those kinda high eyes).
I hope I’m not getting cocky in feeling like we’ve done it. Obviously, we are going to complete her treatment anyway to make sure. We surgically removed the mass on her cheek because it had almost tripled in size over about 6 weeks. It was classified as aggressive and fast-growing at the lab. It’s been a little over 3 months now since that surgery and there is nothing there. I am full of hope.
It was a particularly hectic day at work when Panther was scheduled for her chemo this time. So I had to spend my lunch break administrating her treatment. In case you were wondering, doing a slow drip chemo therapy on your own cat who is an uncooperative patient is not a restful way to spend your break. By the time we got home, we were both pretty run down. But look at that face. Still totally worth it.
We gave her some anti-nausea meds ahead of time to see if that would keep her from loosing her appetite. She stopped eating the day after treatment and I had to give her the appetite stimulant, so I’m not sure it helped. She has continued to eat over the past day despite my no longer giving it. A single dose seems to have done the trick. Obviously we’re keeping an eye on how much she eats.
She has been maybe a bit more snuggly than normal today. The kids even mentioned it. Don’t know if she’s just happy to be home or seeking comfort, but again we’ll keep an eye on things. Here she is happy snoozing on her favorite blanket that we have to keep out all year long despite it being a Christmas blanket (and for dogs even) because of how much joy it brings her. And she brings us so much joy in turn.
Only 2 treatments left to go thank goodness. It’s rough watching her not feel well, or get angry about her catheter, and there is enough going on in the world right now that sometimes it all seems just way too much. Whoever said life isn’t fair was NOT messing around.
You can tell by those eyes (and the extra bandage) that we had to give her some drugs for her to let us place her IV catheter. Despite her squirms, she did well for the drip, and her treatment went without incident.
We are four days out now, and starting yesterday she lost her appetite. She’s not a huge eater, but she doesn’t ever just – not eat anything. When she was still ignoring meal times today I contacted her doctor who recommended bringing her in for labwork and an appetite stimulant. We won’t see the lab results until tomorrow, but the appetite stimulant really did the trick. She ate a full meal about an hour after administration. Now she’s snoozing.
I hope she’s feeling better tomorrow. It’s so hard to watch her obviously not feeling well, especially since I know she isn’t feeling well as a direct result of our decision to go forward with the chemotherapy. My logical mind can understand that not doing the chemo, and just letting the cancer continue on would eventually make her feel pretty bad too, but now that’s some theoretical idea that would have maybe happened some day in the future. Today, my beautiful girl is sleepy and hiding, and I feel like it’s my fault.
She isn’t a great patient, but with some relaxing drugs, she put up with the IV catheter and the slow drip. Afterward she was back to her cute self and wanting head rubs.
We are a little over a week out from this treatment. Her Dr. advised that there is a chance of a white blood cell drop at 7 to 10 days post treatment and to watch her during this time period. Thankfully, she is completely normal at home. Her appetite, activity and personality are all normal. I only hope that each subsequent treatment is equally gentle on her. I’ve read studies that indicate the longer treatment continues the higher the chances of side affects. So I’m glad we have one treatment down and only 5 to go. And she gets a nice chunk of time between treatments to recover. She doesn’t need to go back for 2 more weeks.
We adopted Panther in December of 2017. She was a shelter cat who was housed at a PetsMart as they sometimes do. I remember the PetsMart employee who was in charge of the adoption center cried when we were doing the paperwork to adopt Panther. She said when they got kittens, they were usually there under 5 days before finding a home. Panther had been there for 3 weeks. Naturally, in that time she had gotten attached to her, but she assured us the tears were happy tears because Panther was getting a home, and she was such a great cat. I guess it’s true that black cats are harder to get adopted. Crazy, but true.
She is a great cat. We love and adore her.
She started growing a lump in her cheek. It was tiny, maybe a smallish pea size. Her doctor said it was likely a cyst and to just watch it and report if it changed. About a month later it was closer to a gumball size. That sort of rapid growth was concerning and it was time to surgically remove it.
In surgery the doctor could tell it was not a cyst, but he didn’t know what it was so he advised sending it to the lab for analysis so we did. That’s where it is now, waiting for yet a third pathologist to look at it. The first two have some ideas of what it might be, but not with as much certainty as they would like, so it’s going to a more specialized doctor now.
None of the possibilities to the identification of the problematic piece of Panther are good sounding. While we are still waiting for a finial word on the matter it sounding like some kind of cancer, just trying to decide what kind.
Panther is 2 1/2 years old. I know cancer happens even to the young (but it shouldn’t, that’s the most f’ed up thing there is), but it’s so hard to wrap my mind around. She looks great. She’s 11 days post surgery now, her incision is healed great, her coat shines her eyes glow her appetite and playfulness levels are all normal. It doesn’t seem possible something serious could be wrong.
The picture was taken when her lump was still tiny. You might be able to notice a slight bulge-y-ness on her right cheek (left side of the photo). I’m not sure where I’m going with this. It’s just on my mind, and Panther is adorable, so I wanted to share her picture. Send her good thoughts, I guess.
Awhile back, Meeko developed abscess on his rear. This isn’t a crazy unusual thing for a cat; we figured Panther bit him a little too rough during a wrestling match one day, even though they look like they’re being really gentle with each other. So we cleaned him up, got him on antibiotics and everything healed up well.
Poor Meeko kitty recovering from abscess surgery
Then about a month later, I noticed Meeko licking his rear again and acting uncomfortable. A wound had opened up in the exact same spot where his previous abscess had been. This time we had to sedate him to get a better look. The doctor probed, looking for any foreign material that could explain why the healed wound had reopened. Nothing interesting in there, but it was a big pocket of space under the small opening.
I thought maybe the infection had been resistant to the first antibiotic, but the doc wasn’t so sure. There was no sign of infection this time. No discharge or anything like that. Spider bite? Maybe, but it didn’t look like the classic spider bite wound. There was really no way to know what had gone wrong, but it was strange. Doc sewed him up for me, and this time, he had to wear the cone. Even thought I hadn’t noticed him bothering the wound as it healed the first time, we were not taking chances since it was now a recurring problem.
I know pets hate the cone, and I thought I was sympathetic to them, but man-o-man, is is rough living with a depressed pet who is stuck in one of those things. He had to wear it for two weeks and a couple days. Two weeks for the sutures to come out and the doc wanted it on a couple extra days for good measure.
You have never seen so happy a cat as Meeko the day he got his cone off. There was frolicking. I think he groomed his face for an hour straight. He played with Panther (who had been afraid of him in the cone and kept her distance for the past two weeks). He rolled over for belly rubs.
Meeko and Panther snuggled again!
And the best – the cone has been off for a week now and his healed wound continues to be healed. I’m watching it closely, but I hope it’s done now. None of us want to do that again.
Our kitten, panther, who recently turned one year old has a favorite mouse toy. It used to be Meeko’s favorite mouse toy, but when Panther arrived, one of the first things she did was tear the feather tail off it, and ever since he has ignored the thing and it has been hers.
Panther’s mice toys. Photo by Kara Hartz
It reminds me of how attached a child gets to a favorite object. She has all but destroyed the mouse. Perhaps if I hadn’t told you it was a mouse, would you have been able to tell? The feather tail is gone, as I already mentioned, and the seams have been ripped open, and most of the stuffing is gone. The threads embrodering the face are a mess, or missing is places. Yet she still loves it.
Sometimes she knocks it under a piece of furniture, or behind something, or whatever, and can’t get to it. Later, sometimes weeks I believe, we will come across it and give it back to her, and the sheer delight on her little kitty face is amazing. She plays with extra joy when she gets it back. This isn’t to say she will never play with any other toy, but there is no doubt what her favorite is.
Also, like a child though, she will accept no substitutes to her lovey. When the stuffing kept coming out I worried about the mouse. I happened to be at the pet store buying her food and thought I’d get her a new one. I bought the pink mouse also in the photo. They didn’t have anything exactly like her older mouse, but this was similar in size and fabric to the original, so I thought she’d enjoy it. I don’t think I’ve personally seen her ever play with the pink mouse even once.
Very briefly I considered repairing the favorite mouse by re-stuffing it, and resewing its seams, but after the rejection of the new mouse, I’m afraid she would be insulted at my attempts. If she loves it the way it is, I will not be interfering .