Tricksey is declining. She’s having trouble swallowing, even butter. And, she’s afraid of us. She runs away from us and hides under beds – even when we are offering her butter.
I think she knows something is happening, but she doesn’t know what’s causing it.
The tumor is big, and growing. She doesn’t like us to touch it – we assume it’s painful. But, she’s hanging in there. Dejectedly. Occasionally, she still acts like the cat she used to be, and that’s nice. But mostly, she just begs for butter. It’s her new favorite thing in the whole world. If I step into the kitchen, she sits by the fridge and waits for butter. First thing in the morning, she waits for butter. She won’t eat her normal food unless she gets some butter, first. I can’t say no.
Saturday afternoon, T came in from off the porch and sat down in front of me. Her right pupil was wide open but her left one was a thin vertical slit. Over the next 12 hours it got back to normal, -ish. It’s still a little wide, but at least it reacts again.
We’d been wondering how and when the tumor was going to start visibly affecting her. I guess this was the first sign.
And, maybe I’m reading too much into this but… twice now, I’ve seen her go into the hall closet, walk right up to the cat carrier she rides in when she goes to the vet, sniff it a bit, then walk away. It’s on her mind, apparently.
Vet confirms that the lump in Tricksey’s neck is cancer, and is inoperable.
We have some steroids to maybe help slow it down.
But she’s officially running out her clock. And then we’ll have to stop it for her.
I’m not ready.
Now, Tricksey has two big lumps in her neck, at the location where the tumor was removed. And they don’t feel like lymph nodes to us. One is very large and flat, the other is small and hard.
She seems perfectly healthy, though. She’s not lethargic; she likes to play more than she ever has; her appetite is very strong (especially now that she’s learned about butter – her new favorite thing in the whole world).
Back to the doctor.
Here she is on a cat tower I built for them last month. I made it with steps so they could get to the top since neither of them can jump like they used to. I never quite figured out how to make the carpet sit right on the corners. But, the cats don’t care about that.
These things are really expensive to buy. But, unless you can get the carpet for free, they’re not cheap to make, either. $20 for the wood, $20 for the rope, misc screws and stuff. Carpet was free from a carpet store – it was a small scrap, maybe 10 sq ft. But if I had to buy it, the best I could find was a 35 sq ft piece from the hardware store – $30.
The vet did a biopsy on the lump in Trickey’s neck. And his conclusion is: an overactive lymph node. Probably a reaction to an infection somewhere. So, she’s on antibiotics for a few days. If that works, nothing to worry about. If it doesn’t, more tests.
Cancer…. man. What a drag. My wife is a survivor, too. And she knows all about how any little strangeness in the area where the cancer was becomes reason for anxiety.
Last night I was checking out Tricksey’s neck, looking at the place where they shaved her for her radiation treatments, to see how the hair was growing back (very slowly). And just below that, I noticed a big new lump growing under the skin. So, it would seem that the cancer is back? So much for ‘low chance of recurrence’.
And just yesterday morning, while she was hiding under the bed, I told her that she didn’t have to hide because we weren’t ever going to take her to that vet again. Sorry, T.
Optimism is always punished.