We’ve had a rough week here in Kitty Chemo Cancer-Land.
Based, on blood work results last week, Bella restarted her meds. I was happy about this because she did really well on them the first time around, had plenty of energy, and a good appetite. Since being off of them, her energy and appetite had gone downhill so I was hoping that she would bounce back and put the weight back on. Her three hour oncology appointment last Saturday was also positive. Her blood work was within normal ranges and her chest x-rays were clear.
Unfortunately, this week I’ve come home every day after school to a little pile of watery cat puke. Watery because she hasn’t actually been eating enough to puke up any solid recognizable food. I was also able to confirm that she has diarrhea. Not a pretty thing to confirm, but bless her little kitty heart, she has made it to the litter box every time. The appetite loss, lethargy and diarrhea are, of course, all side effects of her chemo meds that she somehow avoided during the first round.
Her oncologist said to discontinue her meds and suggested that I take her to the regular vet for a physical. So I found myself after school on Friday staring at scattered piles of papers that I had hoped to organize and grade after school, thinking about how stupid I was to commit to proctoring the ACT on Saturday morning, and knowing that I had exactly an hour to pack up my desk, pick up a package at the post office, and shove my poor girl in the carrier hoping that she did not pee on me or herself on the way to our vet appointment.
My cat’s cancer is exhausting me and I feel like a selfish whore every time I think that. I can’t imagine how successful I would be if I had to take care of a human with cancer. Every day is a new set of worries, reactions, coaxing- I have to sit beside her while she eats or she won’t eat and will let Miles bully her away from her food– and questions. At least a person would be able to understand why the doctor has to take blood, be able to tell me how she was feeling, and be able to understand that food is kind of essential.
During every new trip to the vet, I think about my friends and colleagues who have dealt with cancer and wonder how in the Hell they made it through and were able to function without it completely consuming every aspect of their lives. Maybe it did though, because they are sentient humans who get the added benefit of their minds wandering to dark places when not otherwise occupied. I guess that’s my end of the job in this relationship.
Bella has started some anti-nausea medication. At the vet on Friday, she was dehydrated and had lost almost two pounds which is huge when you only weigh 10.3 pounds to begin with. I can see and hold on to her backbone. She feels like a furry ball of nothing when I pick her up. She started doing better last night, eating more and hanging out rather than hiding in her “cat sauna” all the time. She was actually sleeping on my bed when I woke up this morning which is a positive improvement.
I have some additional thoughts on mortality and aging, but this is depressing as fuck and quite frankly, I should have just written about mediocre strippers to cheer myself up. Plus Prairie Home Companion was playing John Lennon songs because they’re in New York this week and the anniversary of his death just passed so that fucking sucked the life out of me.
I’m going to post this and then go bake things to thwart the world’s mission to bum me out.