There is bad news and good news since I last updated.
Yesterday morning when I called the clinic for an update, the news wasn’t promising. The vet techs said that she still wasn’t eating and that she didn’t seem to have the spunk she’d had before. I started slowly falling to pieces at this point. Dr. Brown called me back around 10am to say that things were not improving and we needed to make a decision about how to proceed; to do the biopsy or not. I drove over to the clinic, alternately crying and talking on the phone to my mom and Lisa as I went. Trying to figure out what I should do.
Upon arrival at the clinic, they brought Mac into an exam room so I could visit with her. I brought her favorite brush and gave her some good brushing. She seemed less lively than the previous evening.
Dr. Brown came in and talked to me about what my options were. As she was still not eating on her own, they did not want me to just take her home, as she would most likely just dehydrate and slowly starve to death and it would be painful. Not wanted. They had ruled out everything they could with blood work and the thought now was that it was probably either a lymphoma in her digestive track or irritable bowel disease, both would require a surgical biopsy to confirm. But I just didn’t want to put her through surgery, especially with her heart condition. I was a mess trying to make a decision. The vet did tell me there were still medical options for treatment, but they were more just a guess and a hope without the tests to confirm anything. Prednisone was the suggested treatment, for if it is irritable bowel disease, that would be the treatment, and if it is lymphoma, it would at least improve her condition for a few weeks before becoming ineffective. I had already decided I wasn’t going to treat a lymphoma. I’m not putting a 19 year old cat through chemo.
But I still wasn’t sure what to do. The rational part of me wanted to do the biopsy because I wanted to know I was choosing the correct course of treatment or that I knew there was nothing more to be done. Since my vet clinic has multiple vets who have all seen MacGyver before, I asked if I could get a second opinion, which was gladly given to me by Dr. Conant. I trust her a lot as she is very straight-forward. In the end she said she wouldn’t do the surgery if it was her cat and then asked who I was doing this for; me or Mac. Obviously, mostly for me at this point. But my main goal was for her not to suffer needlessly. I decided on the Prednisone treatment in the end. They let me stay and sit with her for as long as I wanted. I stayed another half an hour or so and then left.
I stopped into my office to check a couple of things, but I didn’t stay as I was really just distraught. I spent the afternoon at home furiously knitting. It seemed to occupy my mind the most easily. I was slowly beginning to come to terms with the fact that she probably wasn’t going to come home again.
I went back to the vet clinic last evening for another visit. She still wasn’t eating on her own, but we had another nice visit with brushing and some sunbathing.
After that visit, I thought I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that she really wasn’t coming home, because if she won’t eat on her own, that’s a sign that she is just done.
Of course, nothing is easy to come to terms with. The vet called me about a half an hour ago as I was starting this post to say that she has started eating some on her own now and that if I want, I can take her home today and continue treatment at home. I’m going to go over to the clinic on my lunch break to talk with the vet and see what the full details are. So its good news in the short term and I will enjoy her for as long as she’s able to be with me.
Thanks for all the encouragement and good wishes. I’ll continue to keep you all posted.