[Gatesedge] Requesting "good thoughts"

D. Vandever hlannes at ev1.net
Fri Dec 31 07:23:25 PST 2004

The crisis part is over so I can talk about this now.

Wednesday A.M. 

A 3 day ordeal of my oldest cat, Charlie Cat, 17 years young, fussing with his bad ear that had the tumor in it got much worse. He started hissing and growling because it was bothering him so bad. I've known of this tumor for some time. It is malignant but the vet said because of his age to just keep an eye on it and if it got to bothering him too much to bring him in. Well, it was obviously at that point.

I bundled him up in his carrier and took him in. I was sure I was coming home with a dead cat in that carrier. 

Once there, I was confronted with 3 options. 

1. Do nothing, take him home and watch him suffer and die slowly. (I know. Not much of an option.)
2. Say goodbye and put him down there and then.
3. Excise the tumor and try to give him some relief and a few more good months or years.

Needless to say, the last option was quite expensive. But he had not lost interest in his food. He was bright eyed and curious. He didn't have a fever. And this cancer seemed to be fairly slow growing altho' we don't know yet if it has metatastized. So we opted for the 3rd option. After all, its just money.

There was some question as to his suitablity for surgery. The first hurdle was the "senior screen" where his liver and kidney function was checked. Those seemed positive so we proceeded with the surgery.

The second hurdle was the surgery itself. At 17 years young, Charlie Cat had a better than average chance of not waking up from the anethesia. But he did ok. No seisures and woke up like a "trooper" the vet said. The tumor was bigger than my thumb and had grown a "leg" down into his ear canal. That "leg" was what had been giving him all the pain and pressure. It was pretty frightening to see.  

The vet said he had to do quite a bit of "damage" to the ear to get it. He also said he know he didn't get all of it as he could see where it had spread under the skin.  He said that to try to get all of it he would have had to do too much damage to Charlie's head and possibly even to have removed skin down to the bone. He chose to only remove enough to give him some relief for now. There is a chance that because it is cancer, the wound may heal very slowly or possibly not at all. 

We discussed chemo and radiation but Charlie Cat would have to go away to a University, probably Texas A&M and he's not a good candidate being so old. So we decided not to have a pathology done on the tumor. We can see it is malignant. That knowledge we have had for some time. A Path report would only tell us how fast this tumor might grow again or if it is the type that will metatastize. 

He will be staying with the vet for the next 5 days to stay on IV antibiotics/pain meds and to be observed for complications. I got to see him last night about 12 hours after the surgery. I had expected just a nub to his ear but other than the red bloody wound inside, his ear looked pretty normal. He was very alert and curious about the room. He purred and tried to rub his head against me but the "cone" they had his head encased in wouldn't let him. He was pretty frustrated with that "cone". 

He did still look pretty drugged up as his eyes were just all pupil. But he knew me and the technicians caring for him said they were renaming him "Charlie Chow-hound" because every time they would take the "cone" off to clean it from the drainage from his ear, he had his face in the bowl "chowing down". All this is very good. I hope to get to see him again in a little while this morning.

The hard part will begin Monday when I go pick him up and bring him home. I don't know at this time how long he will wear the "cone". Nor do I know if he will still be on pain meds or not. And of course, I do not know how fast this cancer will kill him.

I am asking that each of you who read this, in your own way, to ask for healing and comfort for my old cat and courage for myself. I may be absent from certain meetings because I may have to stay home to care for him. I ask that you all understand if I can not be with you. It is all up in the air at the moment.

Thanks for listening.
Dear God,  Help me to be the person
my dog thinks I am.  Amen
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