KJ (owlmoose) wrote,

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Cat news

Something I have been dealing with for the last month, but not posting about: we have a sick kitty. Our black boy, Lexi, seemed to be losing weight last fall, but we couldn't be completely sure. Then, in December, he got more obviously sick: vomiting, diarrhea, low energy. So we took him in. The vet confirmed that we weren't imagining the weight loss -- he had lost two pounds since his last visit, not quite a year earlier, and although Lexi is a big cat, that's still a lot of weight for a kitty to lose. And so the testing began. It took a few weeks, a couple of blood tests, an ultrasound, and a biopsy, but we finally have a diagnosis and a treatment plan: he has small-cell lymphoma, and will be in treatment for the next year.

This diagnosis sounds scary, and it kind of is, but considering that the worst case scenario was much worse (mass-cell lymphoma, which can only be treated with full-scale chemo and has a poor outlook regardless), it actually came as kind of a relief. The medicine for small-cell is one that we can give ourselves -- a pill, three times a week, along with prednisolone (a steroid similar to prednisone), which he's already taking. He'll be on the cancer meds for a year, getting regular blood tests and check-ups along the way. It's not going to be cheap, but it could also be a lot worse, and we're fortunate that we have the savings to cover it.

In truth, I'm not as worried about this as I could be. He improved dramatically just from being put on the prednisolone -- his gastric distress stopped almost immediately, he got his energy back, and he's eating a lot. So I have hope that he will respond well to the rest of the treatment as well. t's hard to know what will happen. He could respond well to the medication, go into full remission, and live a normal kitty lifespan (he's 10 and a half now). He could respond badly and be gone within a few months. Or it could be anything in between. Time will tell, and of course that's always true. So for now I'm doing okay.

It's a little odd for Lexi to be sick. Tori was always the cat with the chronic health problems, and it's weird to think of her as the healthy, stable one. (But she is -- the vet has been very happy with her status at her last two check-ups, and we're cutting back to every six months instead of every three. So that's good news, anyway.) I'll keep you all posted, of course. He's a good boy, and I hope it all comes out for the best.

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Tags: cats, personal

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