The dropping of the other shoe

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Well, this is an update I had hoped to NEVER make… but I’m sure we all know that’s just not the reality of animals with cancer.

Fredo has been coughing/heaving/blah blah for a couple months now.  At first I thought it was maybe a blockage in his digestive tract, because he’d always been prone to vomiting, but in these cases, he wasn’t actually vomiting up anything.  SO, then it changed into probably a respiratory issue for me (probably asthma, based on what I’d seen online and from the Tripawds forum), and I made an appointment for him this week.  Then I chickened out and canceled it.  Then he had these little attacks every day this week, and I knew I had to just do it… face the music, I guess.

SOOOO we went to the Cat Care Clinic in Orange, CA (this place is amazing).  I loved our vet.. it was new for us, as all his previous care had been given in Arizona.  So anyway I was a little hesitant about that, but whatever.

LONG STORY SHORT… it’s not asthma in his lungs.  An x-ray showed white blotches in his lungs, which she said is consistent with metastasized cancer, which I had been expecting and dreading.  I just had a feeling.  Nothing with Fredo has ever been benign, so why would this be different?   The vet feels that, at most, he has six months left to live.  We have discussed this possibility many times over the past two years: if cancer returned, we didn’t want to put him through vigorous treatment for our own selfish reasons.  So, we have decided to keep him comfortable with medications until we feel he’s deteriorated beyond a positive and comfortable quality of life.

She prescribed us some steroids and a bronchodilator as well as some pain medication.  He’s not super psyched about those, obviously.. so we’re going to have to get creative with some Greenies or something to make sure he eats the medication.

So, this sucks.  I just felt that this was coming, and I knew before she even said anything that it would not be good news.  She said we were lucky to have two more years with him, given the aggressive nature of the cancers (plural) that he had.  One of which is extremely rare in cats, of course… and now I’m going to be working from home, and I can spend all sorts of time with him until he’s gone.

I’m also taking this opportunity to get my other kitty into the vet for a check-up and dental exam, so I can get her insurance.  HOPING that we never need it.  Fredo, incidentally, has some terrible cavities too (somehow we were so preoccupied with everything else that we missed that) but they will remain untreated because the vet isn’t comfortable putting him under anesthesia.  They don’t seem to be hurting him though or affecting his diet, so that’s good so far.

Wish I had better news.  Such is life as the owner of cancer-prone animals, though.

I will always be thankful for the community I found here.  It truly made this whole experience so much more bearable for me.

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