Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sweet Pea's Final Surgery

Sweet Pea

I know it's been a good while since I posted, but things have been busy around here. My daughter's beloved little Sweet Pea had to have surgery again. She was clear of cancer at her last checkup on April 6, but on Mother's Day, May 12, I discovered another lump on her shoulder. The cancer had returned! That was 3 times in that same exact spot! So, after discussing the pros and cons of this latest surgery, we had to give her another chance. The oncologist said when this type of cancer returns like this, it comes back with a vengeance! So on May 18, her left front leg was amputated, including the shoulder where this cancer seemed to return each time. This was the only way to get rid of the cancerous tumor, so we had no other choice but to go this route at this time. Sweet Pea had her surgery on that Monday and was discharged on Wednesday. I met my daughter there on Tuesday, the day after surgery, over her lunch hour so we could visit Sweet Pea. I have never heard that cat so much as meow her entire 14 years of life, but that day she actually was communicating with my daughter! Everything Tammy said to her, Sweet Pea responded with a little meow. I was absolutely stunned!

She was confined to a 2x4-foot crate for 2 weeks, but I was there every day with her until Tammy got in from work each evening. We let her out of the crate several times a day to walk a little and gain her strength and confidence. Her appetite was unbelievable! She had no problems at all adjusting to 3 legs...none whatsoever! The first thing she did when I got her home was hop into her litterbox and use it! She now gets around as if she had 5 legs...up and down the stairs and jumping up onto the bed and sofa. Just amazing! She is receiving a new kind of chemo for 6 rounds, given at 3-week intervals. This is the same kind Buster has been getting, and his tumor this time disappeared entirely after only 2 treatments! He has just one more round of chemo to go, and Sweet Pea has 5 more left. It doesn't make them sick at all. The only effect it has on them is that can lower their white cell count, so they are usually put on antibiotics to ward off infections. Their blood is checked every week. Sweet Pea cannot receive any more radiation treatments now, as it has to be 2 years between treatments so that the skin can heal thoroughly. But she is going strong once again! She has gained over 2 extra years of life since her first cancer surgery, so we feel it has all been worth it. We would do this for our child, so why not our pet? I have seen many 3-legged dogs getting around like normal, and cats are no different....they adjust so well, and you'd never even know she had just 3 legs to see her running around. The surgeon was very optimistic about her surgery as he removed as much of the surrounding tissue as he possibly could, and the lab report came back that there was no cancer in that surrounding tissue. Maybe this surgery bought her another year or two...who knows? She's going to be a hard one to let go as she has been just the best cat! But we do know know when to do that last thing for her.

My little feral kitty, Miss Cookie. is doing well! She had 6 more ounces of fluid drawn off her chest 2 weeks ago, but the internist added another diuretic called spironolactone, to her meds, and this is the longest she has gone without having to have fluid drawn off. She is due for another cardiac ultrasound this week which will tell us how her little heart is responding to the heart medication. She really is a great little kitty!

As for myself, I have been battling an addiction. I am addicted to Farm Town, a game on Facebook! It is normal for me to stay up all night harvesting others' farms and replanting my own! LOL I am not alone, trust me! There are many others in the chatrooms on Farm Town who speak of their own addictions! It is really fun, and the hours seem to fly by! Before I know it, it is daylight! So, blogging has taken a backseat lately to it...and I apologize...but I do plan to visit all of you this week and catch up a little!