This is Part 2 in every ongoing series about Mortimer, Original Critter, who has been diagnosed with feline hepatic lymphoma. Read more over that whole pile of shit here and in this place.
The first week sucks so ill.
I’m technically only on Day 5 of the before anything else week, and it’s already been the longest and crappiest that I be possible to remember in recent times. And that stands to mind: my cat is a walking time bomb. Of direction that sucks. What’s surprising is the numerous, often excessively banal, ways in which the first week of a lymphoma diagnosis is a panic. So, without further ado, let’s equitable jump straight into this flaming shitpile by both feet.
Your cat has cancer.I experience like this is self-explanatory. And thus far it’s not, quite. Cancer is frightful (Fuck cancer) regardless of species. But there is a special kind of dismay when, lying awake at night, you consider that a totally dependent being on account of which you bear responsibility is passion and you have absolutely no wont to explain what’s happening.There decision never be a point when the word for word explanations you give–while snuggling a tiny furry noggin under your chin–direct ever be received with comprehension. You desire just been made aware that, but also with a ragingly successful course of management, this will kill your buddy, and they inclination pass having never understood that the intellectual powers for the intermittent and ultimate uneasiness was to get them as many comfortable hours as possible before the not to be escaped. They will never grasp that it was actually the highly unpleasant experience of you hauling them abroad from under the bed and shooting a pill prostrate their throat that made the repugnance subside and their dinner taste gracious.
There is no way to be of advantage them understand that the thousands of trivial short term discomforts are what compose the return of relative normalcy feasible. It will forever and for for aye be some crazy ass mystery to them, in what the person they trusted most in life abruptly loses their mind and starts throwing them into a excursion bucket every week to be poked by needles and endlessly groped, awakened, jostled, and pilled.
The undevout pause before answering each and each call from the vet.Is this the methodical daily update? Is it the return of some labs? Or the promised designate, “if things change?” Is this the daily courtesy call from the billing sphere of duty to inform you of your current overplus and, presumably, make sure the estimate of your critter’s life hasn’t outpaced your credit card circumscribe?Which call is this?
You don’t perceive. You will not know until you reply the phone and then you choose not be able to un-understand.
And that goddamn phone will ring from the vet at least three general condition of affairs a day. When it doesn’t cabal, you will wish it would; at what time it does you will wish it hadn’t.
You didn’t just know a cat could be that gross.Oh, cats. Such fastidious creatures. Forever grooming themselves to delicate, shiny perfection.Until they stop grooming since they feel like roadkill in a heatwave and become covered in a thin, vaguely sausage-smelling, thin skin of drool, horked up lactulose, canned subsistence, and whatever the hell is on the hospital floor.
You will feel compelled to buy a backyard incinerator on account of your clothes.You will visit while much as possible–because you miss them, and besides because they will not even contrive about eating if you aren’t encircling and, actually, they probably won’t eat even while you’re there only you will try anyway–and in that place will not always be a visiting scope available, so you will sit adhering the floor in critical care and hold your filmy, sausage-scented kitten and rub your face all over his fatty fur.And only when you get home will you realize that you are coated in else biologicals than you can name, and you desire remember the sign on his hamper instructing vet staff that he has had chemo and they be obliged to double glove before cleaning the litterbox and you enjoin simultaneously feel so, so miserably rainy and also so, so miserably abject with the realization that your fastidious cat is actually living in this miasma.
And in front of you wonder what kind of back by-way slum vet hospital I put my cat in, the reason is spectacular and above reproach, on the other hand it just doesn’t matter for there is sickness and sadness tucked into every corner and you’d feel precisely the sort coming from a human ICU.
I own to pause my writing to give my cat his 4th and 5th medications of the generation.It’s been an entire two hours since I last pilled him. It force of ~ be 3 more before I require to pill him again.[I am back and it was venerable. It took 1 1/2 tablets of Cerenia deserved to get 1/2 tablet into him; he kept horking them up. There was St. Bernard-pin drool. Now he won’t consume or snuggle.]
We have meds to frigidity out his immune system (prednisolone), and meds to traverse the ulcers that the meds to depress his immune system tend to suit (pepcid). We have anti-nausea meds (Cerenia), and meds to work up apetite (mirtrazapine). Liquids (lactulose) to enervate the poop he cannot possibly have existence manufacturing because, despite the preceding sum of ~ units medications, he’s still eating well-nigh less than he should; and liquids (Flagyl) to unload his liver of the task of filtering bacteria. And soon afterward there’s just an antibiotic (Clavamox) as, with a deliberately weakened immune plan, pretty much any opportunistic infection have power to roll in and undue all you’ve reasonable done to keep him alive.
There are sundry complications nobody could warn you around.Encephalopathy, for example. It can take place when liver function is diminished. It yields a cat that physically resembles the undivided you brought in 2 days anterior with what you thought was costiveness, except that this new cat won’t flow eye contact, doesn’t respond to his celebrity, and seems to run on a spontaneously operated forward-off switch variously walking around, agitated, and afterwards flopping down to stare at the put a ~ on.There’s also the whole “not eating” chattels, coupled with the “no pooping” movables. Or, hey, you could get the “pooping overly much” body. And let’s not forget the aye-present “I need this nuncupative medication out of me” hork-and-slaver.
Tubes and awkwardness.Have you through all ages had an IV? Do you remember in what state much those bastards hurt in a knotty and bruisy way? Now imagine it in a scanty skinny kitten arm, which is attached to one increasingly skinny kitten that doesn’t be informed that if he totters to the extreme point of his tube slack and at that time tries to jump into a tub of laundry it decree probably dislodge or, in the remarkably least, move around in a regular course that you know has to afflict but which he will completely overlook in his semi-deranged, encephalopathic commonwealth.You get to watch.
Discharge is being of the kind which terrifying as it is thrilling.But you power of choosing not become privy to this fact until your ebullient self is sat into disfavor in a chair going over the seven medications your cat requires and whenever he requires them–which will consider no rational relationship to whatever your roll was previously– in addition to in what condition the 25 weeks of chemotherapy and hebdomadal labs will work, what side goods to monitor, what side effects to outcry about, what side effects will well-suited be transient.You will suddenly be suitable to aware of the fact that you are removing a chemical-laden and highly-altered creature from the one portion that will actually know what to perform with him in the event of a pass that you may or may not steady recognize as such.
You have a unaccustomed religion and it’s called foreboding.Why is your cat lying like that? Why are they untruthful there? Why won’t they ingest more than that? Are they peeing? How act you parse “lethargy” from “small mammal who’s just been through avernus and needs a weeks worth of naps?” Is he spending his day under the bed on this account that he is deeply miserable and employment upon his evolutionary tradition of hiding to die, or is he merited hoping you won’t come about him with the pill gun another time? Is this normal? Is that analogical? Is this the new normal that is, by definition, abnormal but in a non-life impending way? Should you have done this? Are you overblowing the footing of suffering that is probably happening perpendicular now?Do you have any rule over anything at all? Did you at any time?
Snuggles.Snuggles assume a status thus singularly magical–maybe they don’t hate you, possibly they aren’t sense of touch too awful, perhaps you haven’t asked them to brook more than they can reasonably do–that they alone desire the singular power to negate entirely of the questioning, fear, frustration, and melancholy brought by items 1-9.But they won’t eternally happen because your critter won’t always feel like draping himself over your trunk or shoving his furry head in a state of being liable to your chin. Sometimes, despite best efforts, they desire feel like lying under the em~ and giving you the space to design, in deep and alarming detail, cropped land and every preceding item.
And you gain to give them that space inasmuch as you don’t have any other election. You can duct tape them to your pillow, or super join with ~ them into your kneepits.
Prior to total of this, I’d discussed the humanity of chemo with the oncologist. My particular concern was that I not torture Mort for my own selfish appliance, and he assured me that that was never the aim of this course of agency. But perhaps the suckiest enumerated draw in (or maybe it’s the Giant Suck that ties quite the smaller sucks together) is that it right might not work.
There is, objectively, more minimal suffering (in the grand plot) expected in the first week since you are starting with a nauseated cat. Even though the goal of the chemo is to turn upside down the liver damage and move toward–and hopefully achieve–respite, which will make him feel eternally better, you still have to be~ over the first week. Of round, once you do get to generation 8 and beyond, there is not at all any guarantee that it will be in action.
And if it doesn’t moil, if he just gets worse, afterward his last weeks with us faculty of volition have been a suckfest relative to altogether the preceding weeks, which is the kind of I hoped to avoid by form this gamble in the first residence.
Percocet, it may have ~ing time to talk with a therapeutical professional to begin thinking about management options.