Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner continues to do well with his treatments.  Yesterday was Doxorubicin, which is the third chemo drug in his protocol.
Over the weekend, we had some beautiful weather here in North Carolina.  We took advantage of it and let the big cats have a little outdoor time.  The babies still can't be trusted to not be wild (not sure they ever will), so they stayed inside.  We did open the windows and bring in fresh catnip, so don't feel too bad for them!
Tanner enjoying a stroll in the yard...heading towards the garden with the catnip!
 Score!  Tanner found the catnip...he had to fight with the tomatoes for a prime spot though.  The garden has gotten a touch out of control! 
Tanner and Pirate having a meeting under the tree.  They are not allowed to go past this tree when we are out...So far, no one knows how to climb the tree either...do your cats know how to climb a tree?
Tanner spots the babies in the window...hey guys!  The babies would go from window to window watching the bigs!
Today is Cousin Georgie's 1st birthday!  Happy Birthday Georgie!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

Well, I forgot to do a Tanner Tuesday post, so we'll do it today...
Tanner is doing well.  Last week, we repeated the ultrasound and so the boy was shaved again :)  Here are the specific results of his ultrasound.  I'm going to need to to google some of these terms!
Abdominal Ultrasound (Sept 2nd):
-Markedly improved, but persistent subcapsular tissue of the left kidney
-Resolved right renal nodule, but persistent perinephric steatitis
-Mild splenic lymphadenopathy
-Improved jejunal and colic lymphadenophathy

REMISSION STATUS: Strong partial remission

This week, the chemo was in pill form, and thankfully, they let me give it at home.  He still had to run over to his regular vet for a quick CBC, but was back home before he knew it!  We waited to hear from the vet school to make sure his counts were high enough for the pills.  They were, so I gave them at home.  He gets a total of 75 mg of cyclophosamide (a 25mg pill and a 50mg pill)  The 50mg is a bit large, so I think next time I'll ask for three 25mg's.  Tanner is a champ at taking pills, but these were larger than his regular heart pills, so it was more of a challenge.  Auntie and I wanted to make sure he didn't get too upset taking them, so I would give the pill, and then she would offer him a small spoonful of ice cream to wash it down!  Then he would get the next pill and another small spoonful of ice cream.  When we finished, he just sat there waiting for another pill!  I think that plan worked just fine!!  Mary Poppins was right...A spoonful of sugar DOES make the medicine go down!
Tanner continues to eat well and play hard.  He doesn't know he has cancer, and he doesn't seem to realize he is getting meds for it either.  Thankful for no side major effects!
He has been sneezing some since last week getting the vincristine.  We are doing lysine in his food.  Everything is clear and isn't effecting his appetite or behavior.  We'll see next week when he goes in what they do about it...last month, we took a week off from chemo and treated with antibiotics.  Now that this seems to be a pattern, I don't know if they will treat with antibiotics but still give the chemo, or once again, make us wait a week.
Well, that's our update this week...looking good for Tanner!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Mancats Adjusting

This weekend was spent trying to establish a new 'normal' in the house, one without Smokey.  I am thankful for scrapbooking and friends that provided a nice opportunity to be productive, instead of dwelling on the loss.  I do not have regrets about the decision I had to make for Smokey, but I still miss my snuggle bug.  It is especially hard at night when he would lay on my shoulder, like a baby while we watched tv, and then he would share my pillow throughout the night.  I keep telling Tanner and Oliver to "step it up" but they haven't taken to snuggling yet!
Oliver does not seem to notice that Smokey is gone.  They were not close, so I am not surprised.  When Ollie would try to snuggle in the bed at night, and would get too close to Smokey on the pillow, Smokey would bite him in the butt!  I can't blame Ollie for not being too eager to share the pillow with me!
Tanner is doing well, both physically from his cancer treatments, and emotionally.  He doesn't seem upset about Smokey.  They were not overly close either, as Tanner was much more attached to Devon and now Oliver and Cousin Georgie.
Cousin Sophie is the one taking it the hardest of all the cats.  She has wandered around the house looking in all of Smokey's spots looking for him.  We gave her time on Thursday evening and Friday morning to smell him, and see that he was not feeling well.  It will take her some time.
Cousin Pirate is excited to have the best bed in the house!  He has taken over Smokey's spot in one of the beds at the fireplace.
Here are a couple of photos of Smokey from Thursday and Friday of this past week.
Getting in some final snuggle time on Friday morning...my sweet boy just did not feel good. 
Thursday night laying on the couch on his favorite wool blanket.  His arm is wrapped from the catheter.  He had needed it all week to get fluids, and the vet just left it in to make things easier on Friday.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog and sent purrs to Smokey.  Also, thanks to those that have left comments on Facebook for me.  I appreciate your compassion and understanding.  Sometimes it takes another cat lover to truly appreciate what you are feeling and experiencing.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Updated: Just heard from the vet...Smokey is not responding to treatment at all.  His numbers have not improved.  He is telling us it is time to go.  Smokey will be crossing the bridge in the morning, at home, in his favorite bed, surrounded by love and family.
Today, I am thankful for the blogging community and friends!  Thank you all for the support you are showing me and Smokey, (and Tanner) at this time.  Thank you Ann for the wonderful graphic and for spreading the word about Smokey.
Smokey is at the vet for day three of fluid therapy...he seems a bit perkier today, is walking/standing better, and is cooperating at the vet's office!  He still does not want to eat much, if at all, on his own.  The vet used a syringe yesterday and fed him 1/4 can of AD food.  I hope if we can support him and get some more food into his system, he will feel better and want to eat on his own.  Eating is something we have struggled with for months though, although not to this extreme!
Today, he will have his blood work rechecked, and I hope we will see the numbers going in the right direction.  If not, other decisions may need to be made.  The vet has listed his prognosis as "guarded" at the moment, so we are taking things slow and are thankful for any small improvements we see.
I'm not exactly sure all the meds he is getting at the vets office, but this is what I do know:
- Cerenia (nausea)
- Clavamox (antibiotic)
- Something to help bring the phosphorous levels down
- IV fluids
A couple of things I am truly thankful for are:
1) Timing - so thankful I did not treat the Hyper-Thyroid at the radiation center earlier this year when we determined he had a problem.  I have had many wonderful months with my Goose!
2) I am thankful we held off on doing the blood work until August, and did not do it at the visit in July...the pet sitter would have been dealing with this problem because I would have been out of the country!
3) Very thankful that Tanner is doing well, and at least for the time being, I am focusing my main attention on one sick boy instead of two.
Things happen for a reason, and at the right time!
I appreciate all the comments on the last post, and the suggestions many of you made about alternative care options.  I plan to research those suggestions and may be contacting some of you for more information!
Thank you all for the continued purrs and prayers!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What a Week Wednesday

This has been a crazy roller coaster of a week, and it is only Wednesday!  Let me back up a bit for some background info...long post...
Smokey went to the vet on August 20th, for his bloodwork and FVRCP.  His bloodwork came back showing that his thyroid was high again, even on meds, and I was to increase the dose to twice a day.  The kidney values came back consistent with where they have been, high normal, but not extreme or overly concerning, given his age.
Smokey starts hanging out under a chair or under my bed more and more.  He comes out to eat some, but not a ton.  He still comes to my bed at night and shares the pillow with me.  He asks for a few snacks throughout the night, but not as many as he had been asking for.  I figure, his thyroid is acting up, so it will take a few days for the medicine to regulate the levels. 
This pattern continues.  On Labor day weekend, I have to be out of town, but Auntie is there watching over everyone.  I come back home Sunday night, and Smokey is weak and stumbling around when he tries to walk.  I also notice he is dehydrated.  Auntie says he has not been eating well at all.  So we jump into action...100ml sub q fluids, appetite stimulant, and nausea pill given.  He eats a bit but is very wobbly, and it is difficult for him to walk.
Monday rolls around and I give another 100ml's of fluid, another appetite pill, and decide to give some pain meds in case that is the cause of the stumbling.  The weakness continues and seems to grow worse over the course of the day.  He looks stoned!  He still makes it to the bathroom to pee, and still tries to eat when food is placed in front of him, so am just not sure what to do.  Take him to the emergency vet or not?
I knew his regular vet would be in the office on Tuesday, so he went there as soon as I got Tanner dropped at the vet school for his appointment.  She ran a bunch of blood work, and tests on the urine I had captured, and basically it came back that he was in complete renal failure!  It has been less than two weeks since our last blood work.  In addition, he is anemic and his bilirubin levels were high.  The ultrasound techs were there so they did an ultrasound to see if there was a blockage of some kind in the liver...there is not.  His bile duct is inflammed some though.
She kept Smokey yesterday at the vet and ran fluids all day through an IV.  He was also given some pain meds and antibiotics.  He is back there today to receive more fluids and meds.  He is still a bit on the wobbly side, but is trying to eat a bit better.  He still makes it to the litter box to do his business.  He still purrs when petted.  He still has fight in his eyes.  So I continue to give him a chance.
At the house, I have set him up in the kitten room, so I can close the door and confine him a bit.  This way, his litterbox, food, water and bed are all very close together.  The kittens can't bother him either, so he can have some peace and quiet and focus on healing.  I hope to see some improvements on his blood values today.  My goals to determine quality will be 1) the weakness improving or going away completely so he can walk around better, 2) Personality to return to a point where I see the old Goose again, 3) Eating well on his own without having to be forced or overly encouraged, and 4) Much less hiding under the chair, but being out and about like a regular family member again.
Purrs would be appreciated for my special boy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner is actually at the vet school today for his recheck and chemo.  They are doing blood work, repeating his abdominal ultrasound, and hopefully starting his next round of chemo, which will be the Vincristine (IV med).
Here is a short video of Tanner loving on his favorite bed and blanket.  He is doing quite well, and still does not realize he is sick or taking medicine!
Preliminary results from the vet show that the mass on his kidney is completely gone!  One kidney still has a thickened wall, so he is not in complete remission, but has had a good response to the chemo!  We are very pleased with these results!
They did start his next round of chemo today...the vincristine should be administered soon, and he will be ready to come home!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner continues to do well with his treatments!  This week is rest week, so only a blood draw was needed yesterday.  His levels are all good still.  Next week, a repeat ultrasound will be done to see how his cancer is responding to the treatment, and he will more than likely start round two of the chemo protocol.
Last night Tanner was playing hard with his crinkle balls...here are a few short clips.
Playing with the ball until it disappears under the stove...

Auntie saves the day and retrieves the stuff from under the stove.  (Ignore the pieces of dry kibble that emerge!)

Tanner picks his favorite and continues playing!

If the videos don't work above...here are the links to them on YouTube