By catparent604 on Feb 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM
I'm sorry Waylon might be feeling our stress from all the way over here in a neighboring state! They're such sensitive animals, I'm sure Pepper has been sensing our stress throughout all this, too. She ate OK overnight, not as much as I'd like but more than I expected. We're just going day by day, seeing how she's doing. It was really hard to go to work today. All weekend whenever she was awake she wanted to be near me. This morning she even woke me up at 3:45am when she jumped onto the bed, which was a nice surprise. She has little bursts of energy for about 90 minutes at a time, maybe twice or three times a day, then goes back to sleep for hours. For some cats that would actually be normal but she was always one to be awake for 12-14 hours at a time when she was healthy and one of us was in the house. We're hoping to connect with our vet either today or tomorrow to get his opinion on how much food intake is "enough" for her to keep going. She's still being social but I'd have to think she feels like crap, poor baby. It's hard to know where to draw the line, when she still wants to be around us and feels secure enough to sleep soundly in the same room with us. Neither my husband nor I have been through euthanizing a pet, either, which makes this doubly hard.
By catparent604 on Feb 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM
I know what you mean, I almost feel like our kitties are siblings. I hope the boys got spoiled rotten for their birthday. Things are tough here. Pepper and I shared a couple of hours in the desk chair at the computer this morning, and several hours of laptime throughout the day. I'm thankful that she still wants to be around us, but she's sleeping a lot and not eating much. If she continues to not eat we will probably have to let go of her sometime this coming week, rather than let her waste away. When she was healthy she was about 10 pounds, but she's currently at about 7.5 pounds and losing ground, just too thin to sustain herself if she's not eating. This part of pet guardianship really stinks.
By catparent604 on Feb 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM
Hi Julie. Just wanted to let you know that this week we decided to discontinue Pepper's chemo. As quickly as the tumor disappeared at the start of treatment, it has almost as quickly grown back. This indicates that the cancer is aggressive and chemo-resistant, so continuing treatment is futile. She will likely deteriorate pretty rapidly, we expect she'll be leaving us within a few weeks. :-(
By catparent604 on Feb 2, 2013 at 7:09 AM
Hey Julie - we have a mixed bag of Pepper news. She's gained some weight and personality-wise she's doing great, she continues to act more and more like her old self and she seems happy and comfortable. The bad news is that over the past two weeks her tumor has grown some despite receiving the chemo. The vet referred to it as possibly being the "resistance point" - we got the tumor down as far as we could, and now it's become resistant to the drugs and is making its way back. This is typical, apparently. Also, the vet has decided to retire and close his practice next week so we'll be going to the University of MN for the remainder of her treatment. While I'm hoping they'll have something new up their sleeve to try, we won't know until they assess her. Not sure yet if we'll get to the U this coming week or do one last treatment at the outgoing place, we're waiting for the referral process to go through. Hopefully the chemo is at least keeping the tumor from growing at a faster pace. It's been wonderful to see her old personality emerge and to have this time with her. Without the chemo there's no doubt we would have lost her by now, so I'm very thankful for that. She'll continue to get loved and spoiled like crazy. "Oh, it's 2:30am and you want some canned food? OK, let me get my slippers." LOL
By catparent604 on Jan 19, 2013 at 4:33 AM
Awesome Pepper news! After only two treatments her tumor is almost entirely gone! The vet says there's just one small spot on the ultrasound, and he can't be certain that spot is even part of the tumor. She's handling the car rides very well so far, too. She got some heavy-hitting drugs in treatment #3 on Wednesday and after a tired day on Thursday, she came roaring back yesterday and is doing just great. We are so blessed! Thank you and the Cheezfrenz group for all of your prayers and beems! They're working! :-)
By catparent604 on Jan 13, 2013 at 6:05 AM
Pepper update - she's doing amazingly well. She's sleeping a lot more than she used to but that's to be expected due to the chemo. When she's awake we're seeing more of the "old" Pepper. She's eating well, talking a lot, and we're finally seeing some signs that the diarrhea might be getting resolved. The clinic had to change the days of the week that they administer chemo so she didn't go as planned last Friday, she gets an extra few days and will go this Wednesday. It was great timing as she needed these extra few days to recover from the last treatment. She was just starting to perk up last Wednesday evening. So happy! :-)
By catparent604 on Jan 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM
Julie, I can't believe it - the vet specialist used the word "remarkable" to describe how much Pepper's tumor has shrunk. Our regular vet yesterday was so encouraged by what he felt in her belly that he encouraged us to keep the ultrasound appointment for today. She also got her second dose of chemo while she was there. We're going to take it a week at time and use her behavior and tolerance of the car rides and the drugs to determine how long we'll continue the chemo. Both vets have told us that chemo won't cure the cancer, it's only intended to provide her with better quality of life for the time she has left. But I'm using my new favorite phrase - I'm just happy in the moment.
By catparent604 on Jan 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM
Thanks again. I just joined Facebook a couple of months ago, maybe I'll see if I can find the group. Our regular vet is seeing Pepper this afternoon, and his assessment will hopefully help us determine if we even want to take her back for her follow-up ultrasound tomorrow or not. I'm leaning toward not - I think the trip will be too stressful for her, as would months of weekly trips for chemotherapy. But, if he says "wow the tumor feels like it has shrunk a lot" then I might change my mind.
By catparent604 on Dec 31, 2012 at 7:19 AM
It's so hard - when you bring a pet into your life you commit to doing what's best for them, and right now I don't know what that is. Pepper is definitely happy to be home, I can tell that. She's lost so much weight and seems so weak, I just don't know if she can hold on long enough to give the chemo time to work. In typical cat fashion she hid from us that she was sick until it was really serious. It doesn't help that neither my husband nor I have been through this kind of end-of-life experience with a pet before. Thank you for your kind thoughts, and you go love up those boys of yours - they deserve it.
By catparent604 on Dec 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM
Thank you. Pepper came home today after being in the hospital since Friday. Unfortunately the news is not good. She has lymphoma. We are beyond heartbroken. We are trying a dose of chemotherapy which will tell us whether or not her tumor would respond to chemo at all, and we'll find out the results this Friday. There will be some difficult decisions to be made regardless of the outcome of her ultrasound. Even if the chemo were to work, the best we can hope for is to get maybe one more year with her. I'm just crushed. But I'm really happy to have her back home where she belongs.
By catparent604 on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM
Hi Julie. I'm writing with a serious message. Pepper is very ill, and we could sure use all the prayers/healing thoughts we can get. A week and a half ago she started having diarrhea, which we're still trying to get under control, and she's barely eating. The vet can feel some lumps in her belly. We're getting an ultrasound tomorrow after which they'll determine if they need to do an endoscopy and biopsy some tissue. There are some non-cancerous things it could be but she also could have intestinal or liver cancer. My husband and I are terrified of losing our little girl. :'-( She's only 9 years old. So if you're a praying kind of person we could really use some. Thanks. Give Waylon & Willie hugs from us.
By catparent604 on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:08 AM
Belated Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day to you and Waylon, too! Pepper was properly pampered yesterday. And I'm excited that my RSI in my wrist is getting better so I can spend some time on the computer without my wrist brace, yay. That thing just gets in the way. I just saw your new pictures - oh my, how big your boys have gotten! Give them some lubs and head skritches from me!
By catparent604 on Jul 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM
Fank ur mommeh fur lookin fur me, and fank u fur offerin tu share ur treets. I heard my Mommeh talkin bout twying tu make som - ai don kno bout dat. The last wuns she twied werent too gud. I scweam and scweam when I gets my mannycures, but dey still do it to meh. :-/ Lubs u Waylon! Hassa gud nite!
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