I am a post-middle aged artist with a post-middle aged cat with a brand new medical problem. In 2012 we conquered his Hyperthyroidism. After a year of treating with twice daily meds, a GoFundMe campaign helped him receive a radiation procedure which cured him!
A year later, a MASSIVE tumor in his abdomen found in September send him off to be comfortable to the end.... well.... I have found an anti-tumor compound called DCA which is shrinking it!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
What A Diagnosis Means.
When Dr. Delac got all of the tests back, she explained a lot of things, and basically told me that Hyperthyroidism is pretty common in old cats. Their metabolism gets boosted because their gland secretes too much. Apparently there are many causes from goofy thyroids to simple tumors to full blown cancer. She said her parents old cat had it and the radiation procedure was marvelous! It literally cured it. It was non-surgical so it did not stress them out physically in healing or potential infections. The older cat lived many more YEARS and was very happy. I was excited. Until I found out the cost. The number $1800 seems what I recall from the initial phone call to the Radiocat facility. JUST the facility. Not the added tests and scans BEFORE the procedure, nor aftercare.
No matter how good, how safe how easy, it was not possible to budget. As a self-employed artist, I am what they call paycheck to paycheck. Unless I have a stack of commissions (which has not happened since 2009) backed up, there is no budget, just paying the necessities.
But the doc was a good kid! She has supported my art career and we have been able to be sure he would be taking the twice daily medication for as long as he needs.
Until this spring. . . . .
He started really dumping pounds.
By the end of the cool months he was down to just 10 pounds. I would watch him and think of how life would be without him. It was like prepping for the inevitable. . . . . . I just couldn't. . . .
Who would I have to say almost nothing to at any time and spend 5 minutes coaxing a disinterested mew from? What would wake me up in the morning begging for the treats that came with the meds?
This is a very seasick movie of a normal chat when I give him the treats he LIKES before and after the little syringe full of fluid that we have down to a piece of cake!
I had to take him back in when for two days in a row he chased his treats, and caught them, but spit them out. He stopped eating all together. FREAKED ME OUT!
Poor old guy tends to pant when upset and with the summer here, I did get a friend to drive so he didn't totally freak, but The Dude was not a happy camper. He was mad at me for a few WEEKS.
AMONG the options for blame, I feel that I was a bad mom because I had FORGOTTEN to shake the bottle thoroughly. (You know how. . . when the vet tells you all the stuff . . . and you nod, you don't actually hear?) I noticed this bottle had some particulates. I figured it was some coloring separating down and totally forgot hearing to shake it . . . so for a couple of months apparently, I had been dosing with less and less and the thyroid went wacky again.
I feel like a terrible mom.
Even since the blog started, he is improving a LOT. I don't feel his shoulder blades and when he sits on my tummy, I do get a tiny bit of air knocked out. Last month, I barely noticed him!
I have a call in today to recap and review and get more numbers so I can see if I am in a fools paradise. Apparently there MAY also be situations that he would need meds, even if the thyroid is fine. I am seriously feeling paranoid. Perhaps I am one of those people who has a hard time believing in good news. It seems impossible so I shouldn't get my hopes up.
My hopes are really high and today is just a plunk.