Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Cold Day and No Hot Water!

Here we had temps in the high 70's for a few days, and at the present time, it is only 47 degrees out there! Add a breeze to that, and it feels quite chilly!

I got up yesterday morning to no hot water. I checked the breaker box, and sure enough, the breaker had kicked off. I turned it back on and later had hot water again. Well, today, the same thing happened! So, since I am on the Water Heater Repair Plan with our power company where I pay $4.95 each month for this service, I called their 800 number. About 10 minutes later, I received a call back from a technician. He had one service call before mine, so he was here within a couple of hours. Lo and behold, I needed a new tank! Mine was leaking into the overflow pan, which I had never even thought to check. I asked the technician how much it was going to cost me, and he said nothing! When you sign up on this plan, it covers repairs and replacement. I hadn't even been on the plan for a year yet. So those plans really do pay off in the end. So I now have a brand new Whirlpool hot water heater in my storage room! Glad that mess is over with! Now on to better things....

Tomorrow "Sweet Pea" starts her radiation treatments in Greenville, SC. I will be taking her in early each morning and bringing her back home each day. The first day is an all-day thing since they consult with NC State University via computer video so as to get the radiation set to the appropriate area, etc. A long day ahead for "Sweet Pea" and me. For a non-morning person, I will have my alarm clock set for 4 a.m. for the next 4 weeks. I have to allow at least an hour and a half to take care of my own cats before I leave each morning, plus the same for myself to have breakfast and to get ready. The thing that is going to be hardest for me is going to bed early. I am strictly a night person. Once I get the "ole bod" in a routine, things should go smoothly. We just pray that this radiation cures "Sweet Pea." She has an excellent chance and deserves this chance, too. We all love her so!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Meow News Update

Update on the cat situation with my children's precious kitties....On Monday, we spent the day in another city with my daughter's cat, "Sweet Pea," as she was scheduled for a CT scan that day, along with x-rays and bloodwork. The report came back 24 hours later from NC State University. She has no cancer at this time, although she had what they call a dirty perimeter or something, which means, medically speaking, that there are tendrils outside the incision area (that would eventually turn into more tumors) that need to receive radiation treatments. So starting this coming Monday, we will be traveling back and forth with her 5 days a week for the next 4 weeks to and from the wonderful Upstate Veterinary Specialists facility. They have a separate cancer wing there with oncologists on staff. She will actually receive a total of 19 radiation treatments. Each day she will have to be anesthesized for the treatment. In by 8:30am and should be ready to go home by 11:30am each day. Her prognosis looks very promising. Cost of the CT scan was $1,670 and the radiation treatments will be $6,000. My daughter already has spent over $1400 on the previous 2 surgeries. Then after that there will be another CT scan done to be sure all tendrils have been destroyed, and, at that time, it will be determined if she will need another surgery to remove more of the surrounding tissue. The doctor said maybe no further surgery will be necessary.

I met my son at this same facilty on Tuesday as his kitty, "Punky," was to have a CT scan done. Bless her little heart, she has cancer of the mouth, and it has spread into her nasal cavity. Surgery isn't even an option for her, and her prognosis is 3-4 weeks, at best. She is on pain medication every 8 hours, and we were told that as long as she continues to eat and drink, she should be allowed to continue with life. When she stops eating and drinking, then it will be the time to give her that one last gift....her release from suffering. She is still playing and everything, although the one side of her little face is swollen from the tumor in the jaw bone and surrounding area. The oncologist who is handling both cats' cases said by the time this type of cancer becomes visible to the owner, it is already too late to do anything. This type is very rare to be found in the mouth. At another specialists facility in a different city, my son was told they could remove her jaw and half her nose, but that wouldn't buy her but just a few more weeks of life, so why put her through such a radical surgery? If it would cure her, absolutely, we would have chosen the surgery. We got her at our local shelter here almost 17 years ago when she was just a tiny kitten, and she has had a wonderful, loving home and a long life.

Needless to say, our entire family is very upset about both cats. They are members of our family, and we love them dearly, but all we can do now is place both of them in God's hands.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Blessed Easter

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,

so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

Easter, being the chief Christian feast, commemorates the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. A feature of Roman Catholic life is the Easter duty, by which every member is required to receive communion sometime between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday. Painting and rolling eggs and wearing new clothes are Easter customs. There is no development of social festivities comparable with those of Christmas. Over the years, we have established a few of our own Easter festivities such as a mother-daughter baking day and a big ham dinner with lots of home baked goodies, as well as a little store bought candy, for dessert.

Today was not only a blessed day but also a fun day for our family. We always have gone "all out" for every holiday, but Easter always has been such a special day for us. The love we show for one another warms our hearts immensely, and the hugs have to last us until we all can get together again.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The BIG 7-0

Well, last Friday my ex celebrated his 70th birthday! He certainly doesn't look his age. Our daughter had a family birthday dinner for him on Sunday. Roast beef, potatoes and carrots, cooked together, was his request, and it was delicious! Then came the chocolate cake with chocolate whipped icing and ice cream...need I say more? It was just so-ooooo good!!! A fun afternoon was had by all. What a joy it is to have a daughter who loves to cook!!! And she was probably thinking what a joy it is to have parents who love to eat (and discuss politics)!!! She made enough food for an army and sent leftovers home for us all to enjoy over the next few days. What a great family day we had together!

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Sweet Pea"

Well, we've been having quite a time with my children's cats. Two weeks ago, my son's older cat "Punky" had a cancerous tumor removed from her mouth. She will have surgery soon for removal of the entire upper jaw on the one side. She is 17 years old and, actually, a very healthy little kitty. He was told by the specialist that the cancer has not spread and was slow growing. We adopted her from our local shelter. I will post photos of her when I write about her surgery. We love our pets like children!

My daughter's cat "Sweet Pea" had surgery Tuesday of this week. She had a malignant tumor removed last April from the back of her neck, and we are afraid it has returned. She had 3 tiny little bumps the size of BB's (remember those dreaded BB guns?) this time. Biopsy results could possibly be back sometime today. Needless to say, we have been praying for a good report.

She was one of 7 little kitties my friend Melanie and I rescued during the winter of 1995-96 out of some woods that backed up to a new subdivision. Someone had dumped them there to survive on their own! Maybe they thought the new homeowners there would take pity on them and give them homes, but that didn't happen! I was making a run morning and night to those woods to feed them each day for over 3 weeks, while we caught them. This was one I had spayed and tested and all shots, etc., as I had found her a home with a young girl of 18 that I met at a local pet store. Well, 6 days later, I received a call that they no longer wanted the cat. So I, being the animal lover that I am, went and picked her up.

At the time, we were living with our daughter while we were having a new home built, and I already had 4 cats of my own, and our daughter had one, also. The cats were the reason why we were living with her, as no apartment complex would accept 4 cats. Then when the "moving day" finally arrived for us to move into our new home, my daughter said "Sweet Pea" couldn't go because her "Buster" had fallen in love with her! So "Sweet Pea" had a home of her own then, and a wonderful home, too, I must add! She has been babied and pampered like no one would ever believe!

So it was absolutely devastating to us all last year when this terrible tumor was discovered on her neck. Those feline leukemia shots are to blame, so I refuse to get them for any of my cats ever again! Mine are all strictly indoor cats and are at no risk for this disease. Well, "Sweet Pea" has an incision 5 inches long with 17 staples this time. The vet said he wanted to make sure he got everything in case there were any other little growths that couldn't be felt yet. She is doing fine now and wearing her little "doggie" shirt. Last time she got her back foot in the incision and ripped it open and had to be taken back to be stitched up! So I got her a little doggie shirt to wear so she couldn't get to her incision. She wears it quite well, considering it is a "doggie" shirt!

Hopefully, this will be the end of it for awhile. She is such a sweet cat, and the vet tech said she was so good for them for all she'd been through. We will never be without pets in my family, and I, myself, have a LOT of cats that eventually will have to face some sort of illness or surgery. As I told both of my children, you just take it "one day at a time" and when the end does come, you just have to tell yourself that you gave them a better life than they'd have had without you.

I notice it's been almost 2 months since I have posted anything! When you work every day, it's hard to find time for the things you enjoy, but I am going to try to write more often from now on.