Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Tanner Celebrates

Today, July 23, 2015 I am incredibly thankful.  Today marks one year since Tanner was diagnosed and started his treatments for Renal Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.
We started the journey with many unknowns and a super cute shaved belly!  This shaved belly would stay with us for the rest of our treatments.  For many months, it was the only outward sign that Tanner was going through anything at all.
As treatment continued, other outward signs began to appear, as the chemo took its toll on his body.  In the photo above his potassium was low, so he was weak in the back legs and wobbly.
This photo shows some bruising from one of his aspirates needed to determine if he was in remission or not.  Thankfully, he was in complete remission at this visit!  This was in January 2015. 
Tanner is a survivor! 
It took a few months of being off treatment for Tanner to truly bounce back medically.  The undercoat of his fur has returned.  The shaved belly is mostly gone.  He has gained back two of the pounds he lost and eats like a champ!  My boy is a blessing and I am thankful for him, all the vets that have helped his through this disease and continue to work with him, and for you our blogging friends.  We could not have made it through this journey without your continued prayers, words of encouragement and support.

Our journey isn't completely over, as Tanner will be monitored for the return of lymphoma for many more months, and hopefully years to come!

I thought it would be neat to look back at our journey and add up Tanner's treatments and procedures.  Since July of last year Tanner has had:

22 Visits to the Vet School in Raleigh
12 Visits to his regular vet
11 Abdominal Ultrasounds
33 pokes for blood work
17 rounds of chemotherapy
3 Aspirates of each the kidney, spleen and liver
2 overnight stays at the vet school
1 Echocardiogram
1 Neurology consult

I'd say that is enough to have earned a HUGE party!!  Let's Celebrate!!!

Grab your party hat!

There's yummy fresh fruit

Spoils of the sea 

And all sorts of other snacks and treats...

Help yourself to a party favor and stay as long as you want!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wacky Wednesday

Today's Wacky Wednesday is brought to you by Oliver.  He is the official nut of the family and is always doing something crazy it seems!

Today, we find Oliver discovering lettuce...Enjoy!


Here is the YouTube link if the above doesn't work.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner went to the vet on Friday of last week for his annual visit.  The vet was VERY impressed with how good he looked.  Tanner has gained half a pound since seeing the vet last, which was 4 weeks ago.  Great job Tanner!
At the appointment, we talked about all that has been going on with Tan.  The vet felt that Tanner's weird aggression was probably a seizure, or a blood clot could have broken off and lodged in the brain causing problems for a bit.  He doesn't feel it is a brain tumor because he said those are usually very fast growing and we would be seeing a lot more signs.  He also didn't think it is the lymphoma spreading because Tanner is gaining weight and doing so well.  He totally agreed with a wait and see approach.

Tanner was checked for arthritis and his back left hip is extremely stiff.  We are continuing to give the Adequan weekly but have increased his dose slightly.  He also mentioned that glucosomine can help with the kidneys, so we should continue with the injections because they may be benefiting more than just his stiff joints.

Tanner was given his rabies and FVRCP injections and we decided he has had enough blood work this year that we can skip!

Tanner does not have to go back to the vet until the end of AUGUST!!!  I'm going to try and get his appointment on the 31st, so we will have 8 more weeks off...this is so exciting!

Update on Tanner's Medication Schedule

Morning Pills
Atenolol, Benazepril, Potassium

Evening Pills
Atenolol, Clopidogrel, Potassium

Monday - Wednesday - Friday
Injection of Pepcid

Monday - Thursday - Saturday
Sub-Q Fluids

Injection of Adequan

Thank you all for your continued purrs and healing thoughts sent to Tanner...we could not have made it through this year without your support!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mancat Monday

Today's Mancat Monday is a flashback as well...I was going through some photos and realized that I had a photo of each of my black fellas sitting on the dining room table.  I'm thinking I may get one of those frames with three photo openings and put these in it.
This is crazy but sweet boy that left me way too soon.

Gorgeous Smokey...we are coming up on a year of your trip to the bridge.

Oliver is a total nut and has brought such joy to amazes me when I see him and a photo of Devon how much they look alike.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Wacky Wednesday

Today's Wacky Wednesday is brought to you by Oliver!  Many of you commented when Oliver was a kitten about how incredibly long his tail was.  In fact, his tail was so long that when he walked, it didn't stand up curled over his back and would touch his head!  Well, this long tail makes for a great built in toy...Oliver loves to chase his tail...Enjoy this video.


If the video above doesn't play, you can watch it here on YouTube.

Do your cats chase their tails?

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner and all the cats had a great week.  They enjoyed us being home an extra day for the 4th.  I certainly wish we could have three day weekends every week!
A package came with some great brown craft paper...Tanner used it as a tent.  This was his safe spot when our neighbors shot off some fireworks. 
Tanner and Cousin Pirate enjoying a nap.

This week, Tanner goes for his annual vet visit for his Rabies and FVRCP shots.  I'm not sure if they will do more blood work or not but we'll see.  We are almost 1 year out from his diagnosis...what a wild year!  I believe a party will be in order on D Day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner continues to do well for the most part.  He went to the vet school last Thursday for his monthly recheck.  Of course, they shaved him a bit!  This time they did a full ultrasound, a couple of aspirates and he had a neurology consult.  Short answer - Still in remission!
The ultrasound showed some changes to his pancreas and spleen.  They aspirated the spleen but did not find any evidence of lymphoma.  The pancreas is too sensitive to aspirate, so they presume it might be scar tissue from his bought of pancreatitis earlier this year.  His kidneys looked good still, and his blood values came back unchanged.  He is slightly anemic again, but that seems to come and go with him.  He does not have to return until the end of AUGUST!!!! 
You may be wondering why we had the neurology consult..well June 14th, I came home from cat sitting to find all the bedroom doors closed.  I called to Auntie to see what was going on...she had had to separate the cats because Tanner snapped and was attacking anything and everything that he saw.  Oliver and Sophie were in one room.  Tanner was in the room with Auntie and Pirate and Georgie.  Tanner had a strange look in his eyes and was quite scary.  I finally grabbed him and put him alone in the bathroom to calm down.  After a while, I went to see how he was doing and took him some snack.  He was purring up a storm in the bathroom and ate like he was starved.  I wanted him to spend a bit more time chilling, so I went to leave.  He wanted to come out, so I tried to block him with my foot on the way out, but he came out anyway.  I called to Auntie that he was out, and she headed back up the stairs to help me.  We didn't want the whole thing to start over with his attacking everyone...since they were all spooked!  Tanner turned to me and was swatting at my legs...Auntie tossed a towel over him and back in the bathroom he went.

We left him in there about an hour, partly to give him time to settle, but also to give the other cats time to become less scared.

We went up to go to bed and wondered how we were going to manage during the night, but hoped everyone would be back to normal, now that some time had passed.  Well, Oliver is like an elephant and he did not forget that his momma had attacked him!  As soon as he saw Tanner, he flipped out...growling, hissing, puffing out his tail and generally scaring everyone in the house again.  Tanner saw this as a challenge and went after we go again!

I should note that no cats or people were injured in these events...a lot of swatting and squealing mostly with some wrestling rolls thrown in.

Tanner spent the night in the kitten room, with a litter box, food and water, alone.  The night was peaceful.  The next morning, we let Tanner out and all was well for the most part.  Oliver still growled some when he saw Tanner and would not go in the kitchen with Tanner, but Tanner wasn't bothered by his actions.  When I got home from work that day, everyone had made up.

That night, Auntie did something loud and spooked Oliver and we started up again.  This time though, when you called Tanner's name, he would stop and walk away.  A much more normal response than what we had the night before.  Everyone stayed out during the night and we slept peacefully.

This is actually the second episode that Tanner has had in the past few months.  I mentioned it to a friend and she says that her dog does something similar and her vet has concluded that the dog is having a seizure.  Another friend says her cat does this about every two months, and is also taking Plavix like Tanner.

I mentioned all of this to the technician when Tanner went in, and they wanted Neurology to come over and do a quick workup on him.  They did not find anything abnormal on their consult, which is good.  They have recommended some testing (MRI, CT Scan, etc...) to rule out a tumor.  Lymphoma also has a history of spreading to the central nervous system, so these tests could check the spinal fluid for cancer cells.  However, at this time, we are just going to wait and see.  My theory is always "It will get worse or better".  If it gets worse or more frequent, then we may can try to figure it out. 
In the meantime, Tanner is enjoying playing with this new string.  His green "girlfriend" string is behind him.  We have cut our fluids and pepcid injections in he only gets poked 7 times a week instead of 14!!  

I also bought some "Safe Space for Cats" by Jackson Galaxy.  When we notice attitudes are shifting or emotions are running high, we give the downstairs a good spray.  It is hard sometimes with multiples to know when something is just behavioral or when it could be worse.

Well, that is a long update...I would love to hear your experience with fighting and how you have been able to address it.  Does anyone have knowledge of seizures in cats?