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Dept. of Bad News

Because Of Course This Would Happen

I got home from last night's meeting this morning at 2:30 a.m., where BB met me with the news that Dr. Wood, Phil's surgeon, had called in my absence. Not only had the tumor gone from "probably cancer" to "definitely cancer," the cancer had metastacized to his lymph nodes. She recommended chemo and radiation. 

We don't have the money. We spent what we could on his ear, after being assured that the tumor was generally localized and taking it out would probably prevent more cancer. I should have paid attention to the "generally" and the "probably," I guess. 

We'll call the oncologist to see if we can get even a rough estimate of expected lifespan. As long as he's not in pain, I don't want to do anything. But once that kicks in, we call the goodbye vet for her second visit to us in a year. 

Learning all of this at 2:30 a.m., and seeing how it affected BB was bad enough. Now I have to write a story from last night's meeting, and my brain is not working. I have a 3 p.m. deadline. I want to get it done before that because I want to crawl into a hole.
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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
hamsterwoman
Oct. 25th, 2017 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear this :( I hope for as much as possible pain-free time with you for him.
kaffyr
Oct. 26th, 2017 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
stillbrainfried
Oct. 25th, 2017 08:54 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

I'm so sorry to hear that.
kaffyr
Oct. 26th, 2017 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
a_phoenixdragon
Oct. 26th, 2017 04:51 am (UTC)
Oh gods, honey...I'm so sorry!! Give BB huge hugs from me and Phil big kisses. I hope he hangs in pain free for a long while.

*HUGS*
kaffyr
Oct. 26th, 2017 01:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my dear. 2017 is so fucking fired. Hugs to you as well.
eaweek
Oct. 26th, 2017 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, God, after all you've been through with him, to get this news. I'm so sorry! Poor little guy! : (
kaffyr
Oct. 26th, 2017 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks. When we called the vet specialty place to talk to the oncologist, we learned that in order to talk to said doctor, we'd have to bundle Phil back up and drive an hour to and from because, according to the front desk, the oncologist won't answer questions unless the cat gets seen. Again.

Fuck that. We're not stressing him out any more than we have to with the continuing antibiotics,, especially since we know we can't afford the recommended treatment - and even more so, since I did some reading today and found that the "recommended treatment" generally doesn't cure cancer of the lymph nodes, requires regular vet visits and sedation, and extends life an average of six months. Sure, have your cat for six more months; they'll be miserable for the cat, but, hey! Again - fuck that.

We appear to be looking at two to six months, with a very slight possibility of longer. We need to be on the lookout for difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite. We'll talk to his regular vet about possible pain management. Hopefully, she'll be willing to do that, even if we don't get an official oncologists' OK.
eaweek
Oct. 27th, 2017 01:17 pm (UTC)
God, how fucking insane that is! JFC, pet care should not be as complicated as people health care (which is bad enough). Make the poor little guy as comfortable as possible and give him a painless send-off when the time comes. This is emotionally so difficult; that the oncologist is making it logistically difficult even to get an appointment... and refusing even to talk to you over the phone... is reprehensible.
kaffyr
Oct. 28th, 2017 06:19 pm (UTC)
We think that, now the specialist has emailed Phil's records back to his regular vet, we can go there (a much, much shorter distance of about 10 minutes' drive), she can check his lymph nodes and discuss a regimen of palliative care. BB believes that we should call in the goodbye vet when it becomes clear he's hurting, rather than try pain meds, since they just zonk him out, and he hates being medicated, so it would be counter-productive to give him a few extra days. Much as I hate to agree, he's right. So I'm hoping Phil makes it to and through Christmas. Cross your fingers.
strannik01
Oct. 29th, 2017 02:35 am (UTC)
Damn. I'm so, so sorry. And I wish that there was more I could say.

Edited at 2017-10-29 02:38 am (UTC)
kaffyr
Oct. 29th, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)
Thanks - there's nothing else you need to say, my friend. We figure we have two to seven months left with him, and we'll spoil him rotten until he starts showing he's in pain, then we'll ease him off to the rainbow bridge. We rescued him off the street years ago, and we've been very lucky to have him for as long as we have.
strannik01
Oct. 29th, 2017 03:23 am (UTC)
And I'm sure he appreciated having you as owners.
kaffyr
Oct. 29th, 2017 03:38 am (UTC)
Heh. I'm not quite sure who owns who ....
flowsoffire
Oct. 29th, 2017 07:25 pm (UTC)
Oh no :( I'm so sorry, my dear. *hugs you*
kaffyr
Oct. 29th, 2017 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the hugs - a few days on, we're less unbalanced, and have reached some important decisions, as I know you saw in a later post.

*hugs you back*
flowsoffire
Oct. 29th, 2017 07:40 pm (UTC)
Indeed. Still, this is always a painful time to go through ♥
kaffyr
Oct. 29th, 2017 07:49 pm (UTC)
You'll definitely get no argument from me there.
eve11
Oct. 29th, 2017 09:05 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear of this :( Poor guy. To put him through all that ear surgery stuff and then have this be the ultimate diagnosis must be heartbreaking. I completely understand your reasons to not put him through chemo or radiation and all that, even though I know that must be heartbreaking too. ((hugs))
kaffyr
Oct. 30th, 2017 01:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for the hugs - we're in a better place about it now that some time has passed, and we know how we're going to deal with him; mostly it will be a case of spoiling him stupid rotten, and then easing him off to the rainbow bridge when he starts feeling pain.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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