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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

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.

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