Saturday, 2 January 2010

The cat and her nemesis - lymphoma

The cat is 17 years old. This is her story so far.

23rd November 2009:
She has a kidney removed - there is a tumour the size of a tomato attached to it. Her subsequent biopsy confirm she has lymphoma.

14-20th December:
She starts chemotherapy. For two days afterwards she is very sleepy and not eating but waking up only to drink water. On the third,fourth and fifth days she is suddenly bright, alert, eating and drinking. She is on antibiotics and steroid tablets. She eats them with her cooked chicken. On the sixth day she starts having diarrhoea. On the seventh day day she starts vomiting bile and her diarrhoea increases.

21st December:
She is due to have her second chemotherapy but her blood tests show that her white blood cell count is so below the lowest acceptable range she is in danger of becoming septic. Her chemotherapy is stopped. She is given fluids and antibiotics intravenously and kept in at the vets until 6 pm. She returns home. At first she seems ok. She eats a little, drinks then sleeps. From 1am she is meowing constantly and has diarrhoea and vomits more bile 4/5 times.

22-23rd December:
She is admitted to the vet hospital. I visit her for a few minutes and sneak in a tub of chicken for her. She is in a roomy cage with drips and wires attached to her paws. She is looking very bright and slightly annoyed. Next door to her is another cat looking shell-shocked. There is a scrawled note attached to the cage: "M, stray. Found under bridge next to pub. V. friendly".

24th December at 4.30pm:
She comes home.

25th-30th December:
She and I have a quiet and peaceful Christmas. We both eat well, sleep alot, potter around.

28th December:
She has more blood tests. Her white blood cells have returned! She is still very sleepy and at 4am wakes up, howls once, wets the duvet, howls a second time and ditto.

31st December:
Her blood tests show that her white blood cell count has stabilised. She is given chemotherapy dose at "half strength".

1 January 2010:
She howls a less ear-shattering howl but still wets the duvet.

2 January:
She has not eaten and is sleeping. She wakes up to drink water. Her haunches are thin but she spends a long time preening and cleaning herself. She rolls on her stomach when I pet her. She purrs, falls asleep. Later, I hear her eating. She vomits all this out. She drinks a lot of water and falls asleep.

No comments: