Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all from our family to yours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner spent yesterday at the vet school, receiving his third chemo drug in the protocol.  He was given doxorubicin via IV.  He was quite spirited according to the vet, and very chatty!

He had an additional urinalysis done today, because when they checked his renal values, they were elevated.  His phosphorus was also elevated, so they thought he was dehydrated.  The urinalysis showed that the urine was weak, and not overly concentrated like it should be if you are truly dehydrated.  They want to recheck the values next week, and are concerned that he could be starting to show signs of chronic kidney disease.  They do not think these values have anything to do with the cancer, but it could be a side effect of the chemo he received today.  For now, I am to try to push liquids as much as possible, and see if the numbers improve on their own...maybe it is a fluke this week.  So I am adding water to his canned food, and will give his some tuna juice :)

I thought he was going to get a rest week next week, but he will be going back in for bloodwork and to start the next, and hopefully last, of the protocol rounds!

Keep those purrs and positive thoughts coming for Tanner!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner had a nice day yesterday.  He went for a quick trip to his regular vet for bloodwork and then right back home!  I received a call in the afternoon that his counts were fine to receive his chemo pills at home.  The ice cream trick still worked, one pill, then a small bite of ice cream, then another pill, etc...He wants to walk away after getting his pill, but then the spoonful of ice cream brings him back.  The boy loves sweets and just cannot resist!
Tanner loves popcorn too, especially cheddar popcorn.  I love the Chicago Mix, which contains both cheddar and caramel.  Tanner always comes over to help me with my snack!  He will be your best friend as long as you are holding a plate or bowl of food! 
Tan has also been helping with wrapping the Christmas presents.  Santa has gone a little crazy with stuff for this boy, but some years you just need to be spoiled!  He is such a good sport about most everything. 
He has also been asking to play a lot more than in the past few months.  Over the weekend, he asked me to play...I said, 'Show me, what do you want to do?'  He escorted me to the kitten room where the tunnel and most toys are located.  He hasn't done that in a while.  I selected a favorite string toy, and he even ran through the tunnel a few times!  I loved his energy level, and his playfullness!
One more stay at the vet school before Christmas and then we will be done for the year.  We are all looking forward to the holiday break and being home together!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mancats Remember Devon

Today is two years since Devon ran off to the bridge.  He is still missed today, although we see a lot of him in Oliver!
This is a typical Devon photo...I'm cool, and I know it! 
Every now and then, he would let his guard down and do something "cat like"  *gasp*  He did not think he was a cat, and this was so beneath him :)
Devon, you were a good baby, and you are missed every day.  You loved to help make the canned food by licking the empty cans.  You loved to lick the butter.  I will say that I have enjoyed not cleaning your 'dancing' in the litter box :)  I wonder how many more ways you would have found to "not" be on the island in the kitchen?  I miss trying to guess why you have puffed your tail out and are running around the house like a mad man!  I miss the ever-so-infrequent times that you would lay beside me on the couch, and put your paw on my leg.  It made it all the more special because it was rare.  I know you are enjoying life at the bridge and I can't wait to see you again one day!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Today, Tanner is focusing on staying warm!  He spent the day at the vet school yesterday, getting another shaved belly :)  They did the abdonimal ultrasound again, and started the next round of chemo.  The ultrasound showed stable disease.  It was recommended to change the chemo back to every week and see if that will kick start his system to kill off any remaining cancer cells, so that is what we are going to do.  He only has two rounds remaining.
Tanner found the heated bed...he loves it!
The vet is also wondering if the thickening of the kidney walls, that has been present since round one, is possibly scar tissue.  She wants to do aspirates next time he has the ultrasound to see if it is scar tissue, or cancer.  It could be that he is in complete remission, but this tissue makes his kidneys look abnormal. 
Tanner has always loved to be covered with warm he is on the towel for his carrier, and a fresh blanket!
Tanner has already beaten the odds for a partial remission cat.  Normal time before relapse, or death, is 3-4 months from original diagnosis.  Tanner is now entering his 5th month since diagnosis, and going strong!
I ordered this belly band for Tanner off Etsy, and while it fits beautifully, and is quite warm (fleece on the inside), it makes Tanner unable to walk and move!  MOL
Tanner has beaten the odds several times in his life already.  For those that don't know his story, he ws buried in the litter box by his mother when he was born.  He was found alive, barely, and taken to another nursing mother.  She took him in as one of her own, but he was so small, compared to her actual babies, that after 13 days, it was decided to just pull him off and bottle raise him.  That is when I got him.
He also has HCM, and has been taking meds for that disease for 10 years now.  Tanner has beaten the odds here too, and was given a very slow progressing form.
Tanner's plan for the next few weeks will be as follows:
Dec 15th - regular vet for bloodwork, chemo at home
Dec 22nd - day at the vet school, IV Chemo
Dec 29th - REST WEEK
Thanks for checking in on my special boy.  Please keep sending healing purrs to him, they are working!!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Mancats Open Secret Santa

Our Secret Santa package arrived on Friday, and instead of waiting until Christmas, we went ahead and opened it!  We were excited to find that our package came from....Frostin's Chronicles - Munchkin, Ashlyn and Cosette!
Tanner and Cousin Georgie check out the box... 
Oliver came over to see as well...what's in here? 
Tanner was very excited to help this year...just look at all those goodies! 
Tanner jumped right in the box...I think he could smell some yummy catnip! 
I'll just take a quick rest here, if you don't mind... 
Orange and Green crinkle balls!  These were a big hit! 
A new jumping string!  We will make good use of this...we love to jump and play! 
Tanner was right...there were TWO wonderfully strong catnip toys in the box!
Oliver posing with the loot...we are some lucky kitties this year! 
Even the mom got a couple of really cute ornaments for the tree!  Thank you Frostin's Chronicles for our wonderful package!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Secret Santa Paws

Last night, we all worked to get our Secret Paws package ready for the will go out one day this week.
Cousin Georgie inspected the box for us and decided it was a fine box!
Tanner made sure I was doing a good job with the wrapping of the presents!   
Oliver wants to know if we are sure this present needs to be sent?  It sounded like a lot of fun, and he kept trying to steal it! 
Are you sure it's all going to fit? 
Still looking for that one prized package :) 
I think it is under here... 
You packed these in too well...I can't get it out anymore! 
My work here is done...everything is in the box!
And yes, Oliver has stepped on this softer gift, and put holes in the wrapping.  We hope our friends won't mind :) 
The finished box...Here Comes Santa Paws!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Mancat Monday

Mancats are a bit crazy.  When cleaning the bathroom, where some of the litter boxes live, we sit fresh ones on the kitchen floor.  It never fails that someone will need to go, as soon as they are emptied!
This time it was Oliver...he just couldn't wait until they were back in the bathroom.  I guess it is fun to potty in the kitchen! 
He does a good job of covering everything when he is finished, unlike some cats that run out of the box like their tail is on fire when they are done!
Where is the most unique place you have pottied?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

 Tanner spent yesterday at the vet school getting bloodwork, examination and the iv dose of doxorubicin.  He did well with his treatment, even though there were tons of dogs in the clinic when we checked in that morning.  I like dogs, but I do wish dog owners would be a bit more respectful of the cat in the carrier and not allow their dogs to come over to him.
Here's Tan on the way home...his eyes are big and drugged because they gave him a light sedative to administer the IV, since it runs over 20 minutes and they needed him to be still.  Tanner was bumped up to his larger blue carrier, since his weight has been creeping up some.  He weighs 15 lbs 13 oz right now.  The oncologists love that he is eating so well and doesn't appear to be fazed by the chemo.
As we were leaving the vet school, a rainbow appeared for us...I hope you can see it.  We will take this as a good sign for Tanner!
Medicine Update - Tanner is now finished with his prednisolone!
Sophie Update - We have been trying the Spirit Essence by Jackson Galazy and see some improvements.  We ordered "Peacemaker".  We spray it on the blankets where Sophie lays most of the time, and also on Tanners bed.  Sometimes we spray our hands and rub it on Sophie.  She at least seems to be directing her angst more equally to all the boys and not targeting Tanner.  She is going to the vet on Dec 8th and Auntie will talk about other options.  In the meantime, she continues getting her pain meds daily, for arthritis, and we will continue using the spray.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone this year...we all have so much to be Thankful for!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Yesterday, Tanner had to made a quick trip to his regular vet for a CBC, to determine if he was eligible for chemo.  All looked good, so we did our chemo and ice cream routine last night.  This time, instead of pills, he was given capsules, and they seemed to go down a bit easier for him.  I will try to request those next time too.
Right now, our biggest issue at the house is with Cousin Sophie.  She does not like Tanner at the moment and will squeal and hiss and fuss at him, even if he just walks into the room with her.  I don't know if she is smelling something different about him because of the cancer or the drugs, or if she is experiencing a problem herself.  This has been going on for sometime now and we are not sure exactly what to do about it.  We have moments of peace and moments of unrest in the house. 
We have plugged in feliway, but have not really noticed an improvement.  Has anyone tried any of the essential oil blends by Jackson Galaxy? 
I will be asking the oncologists if Tanner can resume wearing his calming collar.  I don't want to give him anymore pills at this time, but feel that the problem really lies with Sophie right now anyway.
Otherwise, Tanner has two weeks off from treatment before heading to the vet school on November 24th for another dose of chemo.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mancat Monday

This is an older photo from the spring, but these two still enjoy time together. 
Tanner and Oliver are enjoying life these days.  Oliver is proud to announce that he is no longer afraid of my bedroom, and will enter freely, by himself to sleep in the bed!  We don't know what spooked him, but for a couple of months, he would not come into my room.  Of course, this was upsetting because I love having my boys sleep with me at night! 
Tanner continues to do well with treatments.  His fur has thinned out a bit more on his side and his thighs, so I will speak to the doctor in a couple of weeks when we go back to the vet school.  It doesn't appear to be bothering him, so we will just moniter. 
I have been terrible able taking pictures of the boys, but vow to do better!  Things have been a touch crazy, including helping a friend with her new baby (human).  I've spent a few days at her house, and plan to go back next week for a few days.  She is a sweet girl, but I am more thankful than ever for my furry boys!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner is less than thrilled to be trying on Halloween costumes this year.  We only put out a couple of decorations because of two crazy pants young cats :)  But that didn't stop us from pulling out the costumes!
The real reason many of you are here, is to see how Tanner is doing with his cancer treatments.  Yesterday, Tanner spent the day at the vet school getting blood work, a urinalysis, and his chemo - Vincristine.  Then we got some good news...Instead of weekly treatments, his protocol has switched to every other week! It seems as you progress through treatment, things begin to taper...
So this will be his schedule for the next round in the treatment cycle...
10/27 - Vincristine given at vet school
11/3 - Rest week
11/10 - Cyclophosphamide given at home, quick blood draw at regular vet
11/17 - Rest week
11/24 - Doxorubicin given at the vet school
12/1 - Rest Week
12/8 - Next round begins, Abdominal Ultrasound repeated to see how we are doing
During this time, his Prednisolone dose has also been decreased again.  We are now giving 1/2 tablet every other day.
Less pills and less travel will make for a happy Tanner!  He tolerates things very well, but I know he will appreciate the change in frequency.  The rest weeks still count as part of the protocol.  His protocol is 27 weeks long.  We are currently on week 13, and if all goes well, week 27 will be February 2, 2015.
Thank you all for the continued purrs...they are working!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

On this Tanner Tuesday, Tanner is enjoying a complete rest week!  He did not have to go for blood work yesterday.  He is spending his time playing hard, enjoying extra snacks, and hanging out with his brother. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy TockTober Day

Tanner's tocks and the shaved belly...enjoying some outdoor time! 
Oliver isn't so sure about showing his full tocks, so this will have to work for him...
We didn't remember to celebrate last year, so these were Ollie's tocks back then...he's grown just a bit this year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner spent yesterday at the vet school.  He received his IV doxorubicin chemo alsog with some blood work and an exam.  Next week will be a complete rest blood work needed, so Tanner will not need to travel again for two whole weeks!
He is a good passenger in the car.  He talks some and is quite curious about what is going on.  He sits in the back seat, in the middle, so I can aim the air vents at him.  He will let you know if he is too warm...he prefers to be a bit on the cool side when he rides!  On the way home, he will talk and talk when we first get in the he is telling me all about his day.  Then he settles down until we turn into our neighborhood and he starts talking again. 
After a good snack, he will find a nice place to sleep for a while. 
When I spoke with the doctor yesterday, I asked about the chances of achieving a complete remission, since he is still just showing strong partial.  She said it is hard to say, that the next ultrasound could show more improvement, no change - stable, or worsening.  She said some cats never achieve full remission, and also that many don't make it to the point Tanner is now before their cancer becomes resistant to the drugs.  She said he is the poster child right now for his cancer type and chemo protocol because he is doing so well, and that while we haven't achieved complete remission, we have had improvements at both ultrasounds, which is positive. We don't want to jinx ourselves, but I hope he will continue to do well, and beat this thing!
She is also going to research other cases like Tanner to see what the plan would be, if we made it to the end of the 27 week protocol, but still had not achieved complete remission, but he was still stable and doing well.  What options do we have then?
I am simply enjoying the time I have with my boy and hope he will be around for a long time yet to come!  We will continue to fight as long as he is doing well.  Thanks everyone for continued purrs and prayers!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

As the wooden art piece on the shelf says, "Life is Good" for Tanner at the moment.  Monday was chemo day for him.  We went for a quick blood draw at our regular vet's office and then back home.  It was a very quick outing for Tanner and he was thankful.  The vet faxed the results of the bloodwork to the vet school, and they called and said we could give the chemo.  Tanner takes 75mg of cytoxan.  The last time we did this at home, they sent us a 25mg tablet and a 50 mg tablet.  The 50mg tablet was HUGE!!  I asked for 3 of the 25's this time and that is what we were given.  They are still a bit big, but manageable. 
I got the ice cream from the freezer...Auntie had picked up fudge ripple this time :)  I scooped a small spoonful (all vanilla) and called Tanner over.  He took his first pill, and licked the ice cream.  We repeated this three more times until he was done.  Then he was given another small scoop of ice cream on his plate.  He was a happy camper and did not mind his pills!
He is doing very well with all of this, and the only time he is worried, is in the morning when I come downstairs to go to work.  He always thinks I'm going to grab him!  I try to reassure him that he is done for the week, but he still avoids me.  Because of this, I've changed up when I give him his morning heart meds.  I have them upstairs and we get them as soon as I get up.  Then we have some playtime before Auntie is dressed and heads downstairs, playtime is over then because she is going to give breakfast!
Thank you all for following along with my boy on his cancer journey.  If you have any questions about anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tanner Tuesday - Interrupted

We interrupt this Tanner Tuesday post to bring to you the celebration of Oliver's Gotcha Day!  One year ago, this baby came to live with me.  He was a tiny fella, about 3 weeks old.  You can read a good bit about how we "got" him on his introduction post.
Ollie immediately tried to show Tanner who was going to be the boss...
Tanner loved his new baby.  They have been and still remain the best of friends... 
Oliver loved Smokey from the beginning too, but it took Smokey a while to warm up to the new pesky baby in the house! 
Oliver got a new cousin in November...Cousin Georgie was brought in to give Oliver a playmate his own age.  They became fast friends! 
It's been a year of new experiences and wild times, but Oliver has shown that he belongs in our family.  I am thankful everyday for the facebook post that mentioned the poor little kitten at the shelter and the decision to adopt him!  Here's to many more years with you Oliver Hughes!

Friday, October 03, 2014

One Month

One month since
- I held you and snuggled
- I shared my pillow with you at night
 - You were waiting on the bathroom counter when I finished my shower
- I watched you struggle to move around due to weakness and the "big arm"
 - I had to give you fluids
- You gave me head butts and talked to me 
- I worried about whether you were eating enough and saw you refusing all food
- I rubbed your soft paws 
- I worried whether you were in pain 
- I petted your loved having your belly rubbed!
- I heard you purr
- I saw your face light up when I came home
- You did your "cute" pose
- I told you I was sorry that I couldn't fix you this time
- You woke me in the night by touching my face with your paw
- You purred in my ear as we snuggled and I "fussed" at was a fun game for you
- You drank from my cereal bowl at breakfast
- I told you that you were my boy and to never forget

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner spent yesterday at the vet school.  It is the start of round three of his chemo protocol, and that means it was ultrasound day.  Even though Tanner's belly had just a small amount of peach fuzz, he was still shaved again.  I'm thinking someone needed to practice :)  The preliminary results show that he had
-Improved renal appearance (still abnormal)
-no new lesions concerning for lymphoma
Remission Status remains: STRONG PARTIAL REMISSION
He was given his vincristine injection along with some zofran.  We came home with the chemo pills for next week, but will need a quick blood test before we give them.
While hanging out at the vet school, he ate his can of food that I sent with him.  I always try to send a special flavor for him, and I'm glad to know that he isn't too stressed to not eat!
We are now to the point of reducing the prednisolone again.  Tanner will take a pill every other day.  We have gone from twice a day, to once a day, to now, every other day...progress!
He is on week 9 of a 27 week protocol, and doing well.  Thanks for all the continuing purrs...they are working!