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.
T's starting to feel better, I think. Better enough to sleep in a shoebox, anyway.
Tricksey is done with her radiation treatments. They've stressed her out terribly - not the radiation itself, but the pre-treatment fasting, the drive to the vet, the time in the cage, the anesthesia, the side-effects of the anesthesia that keeps her awake and confused for 36 hours, the days of hangover after that, the fear of me in the morning. She's stopped grooming herself. She sleeps much more than she used to. She doesn't purr much anymore.
We postponed last week's treatment because we wanted to give her a rest, and it definitely helped her. But, yesterday she had to go get that last treatment. And she's all stoned and miserable today.
But, the doctor says there's nothing wrong with her, physically.
What a drag. At least it's over.
T now hides from me when I get up for work (under the guest bed, she's not that good at hiding). She's learned that sometimes when I get up for work she has to go to the vet.
Telling her that she only has to go to the vet on Wednesdays doesn't help.
iPhones have this weird little feature that lets you take ultra-short (3 sec) movies instead of taking boring old still pics. They call it "Live".
I accidentally took a 'live' pic while taking a flash pic of Tricksey's radiation markings.
And then I found an app which would turn that live pic into a GIF.
And now I'm off to learn something else.
The radiation beam has to be applied to exactly the right place, so as to avoid over-irradiating sensitive areas like her spine, brain, eyes, etc.. To that end, the vet shaved one side of her face and neck and drew alignment marks on Tricksey's neck with a Sharpie.