October 11th, 2009


Cautiously optimistic

Thanks as always for all the support with all the Oreo stuff going on, everyone. Last night and this morning, we were both complete messes. VES is busy on weekends, since most regular vet clinics are closed, and that's probably why it wasn't until about eleven o'clock last night that we finally got a quote for the surgery. So how much is it going to cost? Waaaay more than we have. And so we were convinced that our cat was going to die, because we can't afford the surgery, much less any subsequent treatment. In the meantime, our cat is locked up in this horrible place full of strange howling animals, and all we can think is that we might need to put him to sleep.

This morning, we went to visit Oreo at the clinic. Yesterday, he had seemed very interested in hiding. Today, he seemed much more interested in escape. He would not hold still during the visit. It was funny when the nurse first brought him in, because he was hiding in the OMNI bag and refusing to come out, growling and hissing. Then we got the bag off of him and he saw us and quieted down. But mostly seemed interested in escape. Or maybe just looking around, since he seemed to want to jump off of the examination table and onto the counter, in a corner of the room with no doors to escape from. At any rate, we were convinced that we need to take him home.

Sarah was the one kind enough to drive us, and we didn't want to make her late to church (her ward meets at nine, ours meets at eleven in the same building), so we brought our church clothes and changed at her place, then rode over to the church at nine. We had a bit of an ulterior motive, because we figured if we got to church early, we'd have a strong chance of running into a member of the bishopric, who could then maybe give us counsel and help and stuff. So when we got to the church, we went straight to the waiting area outside the bishop's office.

The first person who spent any time talking to us was our Relief Society president. She told us about when her cat had a mysterious illness, and the vet couldn't find anything, so her family just guessed and put the animal on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. When she mentioned the anti-inflammatories, my jaw just about dropped. Of all the things they had told us they had drugged Oreo with, none of them were anti-inflammatories, and if this whole thing isn't caused by cancer, it's caused by inflamed intestines. And yet I just talked to the doctor and didn't ask if they'd tried that. Hm.

Anyway, she also suggested getting blessings again, so when Brother H was the next person to notice our very sad faces, we asked him for just that, and they were very helpful and comforting, and since we got them, we've felt much better about life, and about Oreo. We're still cautious in our optimism, but now we feel more able to cope with things. (Incidentally, one of the blessings we got said something about remembering the lessons Joseph Smith learned in Liberty Jail, so when Brother H caught us again, he mentioned that there had been an article in the Ensign on exactly that just last month, so we thought we'd link to it.)

We called the vet again this afternoon, and told Doctor N (we've got like three doctors on this case now) that we can't afford surgery, so we're going to go the Prednisone route. She says that the most common cancer in cats is GI lymphoma, which Prednisone can hold off for at least a few months. We still have hope that, since he passed stool yesterday morning (which he hadn't for a couple of days), it was a really bad case of constipation that swelled his intestines or something. When I presented the theory to the doctor, she said it's possible, but the ultrasound showed that the intestines weren't contracting the way they should, so it's not so likely. But we can still hope! While preparing for the worst, just in case, of course.

At any rate, Doctor N said Oreo's active and he's eating (yay!!!), and his eyes are bright, and he's even getting used to being at VES--looking around to see what's what, meowing at other cats, etc.--so now we don't feel so bad about leaving him there for another night to get his fluids and make sure he keeps the food down. And maybe start him on the Prednisone (but we might take him back to his regular doctor for that). So even if Oreo does have cancer, we should have him for a few more weeks, at least. And when he comes home, he can hide under whoever's blanket he wants. (When we visited this morning, the nurse told us that they had given him a blanket to hide under, but he kept wrapping it around his IV tube, so they took it away. At least he still had the OMNI bag to hide in.)

Today I'm thankful for Sarah being kind enough to drive us to the vet so early in the morning, getting to talk to our Relief Society president, getting blessings from Brother H, Oreo being in much better spirits, and Oreo eating!!!.