a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: And more firedrills

Friday, April 17, 2015

And more firedrills

SUMMARY: Continuing the timeline.

I'm wiped out, crushed, bruised, stabbed, thoroughly broken-hearted, and struggling to even breathe. Still in shock and grieving 20 ways. I can barely believe any of this.

I've gone from losing my wonderful Tika a month ago, to the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer 3 weeks ago in my Dad (for whom I've attended some oncology appts), to finding that I'm losing my wonderful Boost to cancer.

A week one wouldn't want:

I went from Friday
--Boost has some things going on that are odd but doc can't find a thing wrong with her so let's do some tests--
to Saturday and Sunday
--Boost eating slower and slower and acting slower and slower--
to Monday
--Boost's liver, kidney, pancreas, and blood numbers are bad--
to Tuesday
--Boost definitely has liver disease that can be eased somewhat depending on the cause but it's not good, oh and the chest X-ray shows some things that could be bad or maybe not--
to Wednesday
--yes she has cancer in multiple organs but her blood clotting is too bad to take a biopsy so it's my choice that that's the end of it--

to Thursday.

First thing in the morning, a friend through agility who's a vet offered to look at Boost's info if I wanted. So, sure, of course I would (grasping at straws, indeed).  I called my vet to ask them to fax Boost's info to my vet friend. Late in the morning, i called her to confirm that she'd received the info. She thought that there's a chance that it could be lymphoma rather than the other bad thing that's been diagnosed (and everyone's guessing w/out a biopsy). And lymphoma--if Boost can tolerate the treatment--she says can be slowed way down with an excellent (yes excellent) quality of life for maybe 6-7 more months.  Which is a good percentage for a 10-yr-old life.

So I call the recommended oncology place. They can't get me in until Monday without a vet calling them.

So I call my vet friend, who calls them, who then calls me back, and I call them to confirm the appt that she set up for 9:00 tomorrow morning.

All of that takes me to about 1:00.  And I'm having periods where I'm having trouble breathing.  This is not asthma.  I tried to work but couldn't. Sat in the car and did some deep-breathing relaxation exercises, some mindful meditation (OHHHH that was hard to do) and finally slept for an hour.

Then, to wrap up the afternoon, a visit with Dad and his oncologist where they're going to up the chemo dose since it's being tolerated OK at a minimum dose.

I'm useless for any purpose. Play with Boost, who still drives to the ball but wants to stop and rest quickly and often.

I barely slept.  Mind whirling around my choice to go see the oncologist. I had said that I wasn't going to. And then gave in to my own despair, and I'm not sure that's the right choice. But I'll go. And this makes me clearer--if it requires too much medical commitment for Boost, we're not doing it. She's not going to spend a lot of time in vet's offices or hospitals. And I don't really think that I want to spend many thousands of dollars for that little return for her or me. This actually is helping me to clarify my feelings and thinking.


This place's parking lot has a lovely, peaceful setting with benches and lawn. 

And, Chip wants to mention, many, many, many trees.

The specialty vet place has more very busy receptionists
 than my vet has employees in his entire practice.

A very nice other patient who was waiting for her cancerous cat said
she loves taking photos, too, and would I like her to take a photo of both of us?

Another vet visit? When will the inhumanity end?

Met with the oncologist, who reviewed the records and Boost's history and symptoms up to now. We talked for a while.

Basically, she came back with what I went over with my vet--Boost's clotting factor is too low to do a biopsy without the risk that Boost would bleed out and die right there. She added this-- that they'd have to do probably 2 platelet transfusions just to get to where they could do the biopsy.  She also confirmed my vet's feeling that anyway Boost's condition is pretty far advanced, so it's likely that the treatment wouldn't be effective at this point.

Because, not only everything else, but Boost's body is breaking down more all the time, as now she has some jaundice which she didn't on Wednesday when my vet checked, and now she has a heart murmur (likely result of low red blood count) which she hasn't had with both of my regular vets checking her Friday/Tuesday/Wednesday.

Oncologist wasn't enthused about doing transfusions or attempting treatment, and I was absolutely not even interested in doing that. We left with a prescription for prednisone. This is supposed to actually ease some of the problems with and symptoms with the liver and her appetite. For a while.

In other words, essentially she's in hospice care. Besides the prednisone, I have that prescription for tramadol (same as me) and famotadine (pepsid) and the antinausea drug. And that's it. Might or might not take her in again if some specific thing seems to go awry that might be something they could ease or fix, but I'm leaning towards not.

Today, I cannot work or do much of anything. I'm going to try to sleep and do more relaxing and meditation.


Over the last week, smooth floors have suddenly lost their evilness.  Apparently feeling ill leaves one with no energy to concern oneself with demon-spawned floor coverings, since obviously they can no longer hurt you more than you're already hurting. Dammit demons of all kinds.

Lobby--evil floor? Not. But Boost would like to mention that there is
a perfectly serviceable exit door that seems to be available for immediate use.

Examination room--evil floor? Not. But Boost would like me to notice that there is a perfectly serviceable exit door that we don't seem to be currently using at its highest utility value.


  1. Our Cat feels we keep our doors unnecessarily latched and likes to explain this in great detail, especially when there are fluffy or feathery snacks to be seen out the window.

    1. We just don't understand their essential needs so they must explain them to us. Even so, sometimes we don't pick up the ball and throw it.

  2. Oh Ellen. Even when I'm crying with you I'm laughing at Boost's antics. Such a good girl.

    1. Yes, welcome to my world. Just exactly like that.