I had enough foresight to get a couple of paw prints from Zoe before she died. I had them tattooed on my shoulder along with a little grey swirl behind – it’s a bit hard to see in these pictures, but I’m happy with it overall. Zoe and I went through a lot together and she supported me during some tough times…now I’ll always have her little paws on my shoulder no matter what.
I had to put Zoe down yesterday. I miss her so much already, and (for such a tiny cat) her absence is profoundly noticeable.
Just wanted to write a quick post to let you know I’m alive. Bored, but alive. You see, nothing of interest has happened over the past month, so I haven’t wanted to subject you to any tedious details (of which there are none). It is raining now – it seems like rain has been frequent during the past few weekends – which I like.
Zoe is not doing well. I think we’re nearing the end of the line for her – a few more weeks maybe. Surprisingly, it is not her cancer that is the problem, but our inability to regulate her diabetes. She has lost so much weight, but for now, still seems happy. I’m trying to be aware of the day when she gives me that look…and will try not to ignore it out of my own sadness and need to keep her around longer. My poor kitty.
Teddy continues to be a pain in the ass. We had been doing really well with not peeing in the house, but starting on Friday, he has gotten it in his head that it is ok to both pee and shit inside. At least a couple of times each day. I’m thinking his days are numbered too…but for different reasons…and he *is* almost 16.
Jesse, of course, is fat and happy. Oblivious, aloof. Ah, the typical cat.
I hope you are all well, staying warm in February, whever you are. I’m enjoying today’s holiday, staying in bed and catching up on my blogging. I just wish I had more interesting things to share…oh, and if you haven’t joined facebook yet, maybe you should. I’m a bit more active there than here lately!
I’ve decided that I need to get away and have a little change of scenery, and take a real vacation. Not a vacation where I need to move anyone, take care of any animals, or worry about family obligations. It appears that, when I take these factors into consideration, I haven’t had a real vacation since I went on a cruise to Mexico back in January 2007. Yes, 2000 and SEVEN. So I’m thinking that I’d like to do a little backpacking/camping, since it has been tooooo long since I’ve been outside for any length of time. And, I’m thinking that I’d like to take this trip maybe late October or early November. Which leads me to a couple of limitations I have – first, money. I need to go on the cheap. While I may have some annual leave hours in my account, I don’t have a lot of money (Zoe has not been very helpful in this department lately, as my below post might have hinted at). So, camping/backpacking seems to be a good way to go, for the most part. Which leads to weather – I’m more inclined to do a desert trip, since the desert will be warmer during the day and good for trekking. And then there is the issue of me going alone – which I would love to do – but I’m not sure it’s the safest option. I’m not worried about people, really, but more about car trouble, being bitten by a snake, or breaking a leg or something like that. But, I really do want to get away from any crowds and be away from people for a while.
6:07 am – wake up call from Zoe meowing and demanding food
9:30 am – phone call with friend Brenda in Minnesota, learned the meaning of the word “gitchy”
10:42 am – drive Zoe to Acacia for her monthly catupuncture session
12:24 pm – finally leave Acacia after learning that Zoe has lost 3/4 lb. (down to 5.4 lbs) and opting for a full panel blood test
1:09 pm – arrive at Joanne’s to figure out what to sew for class; pick out easy pattern for a closet organizer and black fabric featuring skulls and roses
1:54 pm – scarf down a chicken pita pocket prior to sewing class
2:00 pm – sewing class starts
3:14 pm – realize that I fucked up and cut large strips of fabric only half the width they were supposed to be
3:16 pm – realize that I knew I was going to fuck up and breathe a sigh of relief that I had purchased lots of extra matching fabric
4:42 pm – leave sewing class a little early
5:00 pm – walk into apartment as vet calls, telling me that Zoe’s blood sugar is extremely high and that she’s definitely diabetic and that she needs to get to California Vet Specialists asap for insulin
5:42 pm – arrive at CVS with Mom and a very pissed off Zoe
8:17 pm – finally leave CVS with Mom and even more pissed off Zoe, who has had an insulin shot and been taken off her cancer meds, along with instructions to come back Sunday morning for another blood glucose check
9:08 pm – give up on finding anything good on tv, read in bed, sleep
7:02 am – wake up call from Zoe, feed her food she doesn’t want to eat
8:17 am – take Zoe back to CVS
10:30 am – retrieve Zoe from CVS, who has been given fluids and instructions to come back again on Monday for another recheck
Current time – blog blog blog, realizing that I spent almost $600 on Zoe’s medical needs in the past 24 hours
Stay tuned for more excitement!
Happy New Year, everyone! I know it’s almost the end of January, but not a whole lot has been happening. I’m trying to get over a cold that I’ve had since before Christmas – it keeps flaring up every week or so and I have to take a day or two off work. I’m anticipating that my boss will call me in some point soon to ask me what’s going on, suspiciously inferring that I must be “faking it”. Unfortunately, my accrued sick leave is taking the brunt of my actions – my coworkers think it’s stress-related, and I tend to agree.
Zoe is doing well – she’s pretty stable, and has resigned herself to the fact that she must get pills shoved down her throat twice a day. She’s not gaining any weight, but she’s not losing any either. And, her last round of acupuncture went relatively well – she resembled more a pin cushion (and the vet resembled less a bloodied puncture-wound victim of feline fury) than her previous visit. I’m not sure the acupunture and herbs are doing her any good, but Zoe seems pretty content and happy for the time being.
I’ve mostly been trying to catch up on my scrapbooking – I’m finishing up 2005, which was a challenge because 1) 2005 pretty much sucked ass and who wants to revisit that; and 2) half my pictures were film, and half were digital. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m doing all my scrapbooking digitally, so I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time scanning photos and other mementos during my lunch break. I’ve got a pretty good handle on Photoshop Elements now, so making pages is easier, but still time consuming. Anyway, it’s coming along.
That’s all for now – I finished watching Season 2 of The Office and am looking forward to seeing how the Pam and Jim cliffhanger turns out in Season 3. Okay, I’ll admit that I have a bit of a crush on Jim too – he’s a perfect match for Dwight’s evil Machiavelian (is that how you spell it?) tendencies, and he’s kinda cute, too.
So, for all of you who are wondering how my Zoe is doing, here’s the latest. After starting her on chemo about a month ago, my vet and I decided to take her off the treatment after a week; she was throwing up every day, her appetite had really decreased, and she’d gotten really dehydrated. For the next couple of weeks we worked on settling her stomach down, getting her appetite up, and making sure she stayed hydrated. Before I knew it, my old Zoe was back – she’s put on a little weight (I think the prednisone is really helping with that), and is drinking plenty of water. I discovered that if I pretend that I’m getting myself a glass of water, she can’t help but drink from “my” glass. She also likes to eat her dry food from these little desert dishes that I have – kind of like those on the “Fancy Feast” commercials. Anyway, my vet wanted to try the chemo again, but at a reduced dose and frequency. We had to get the chemo specially formulated because it’s such a low dose, but after one week of treatment, Zoe seems to be doing ok. She has thrown up a few times, but not like before, and she’s still eating, drinking, and running around looking cute. We’re taking it week by week, and this week was good – hopefully, they will continue to get better!
Well, today I gave Zoe her first does of chemotherapy. It turns out that, based on the biopsies taken from her stomach and small intenstines, she has small-cell lymphoma, which is a low-grade (as opposed to high-grade) lymphoma. Zoe’s oncologist is really nice – he’s located at the California Veterinary Specialst Oncology Center located really close to where I work. I started her on prednisone pills a couple of days ago, and then picked up her Leukeran from Costco today. Fortunately, these medications will only cost me about $60 a month; unfortunately, they are both pills which Zoe must swallow – the prednisone every day, and the Leukeran three times a week. I’m going to think seriously about investing in a full-body suit of armor.
Actually though, the last few days, Zoe’s appetite has been very good and I think she’s put on a little weight in the last week (I’ve been spoiling her with some veeeeery good cat food – I think Jesse has been packing on the pounds as well). Dr. Proulx said that if a cat had to choose a cancer to have, most smart cats would choose small-cell lymphoma. The rate of cell-growth is very slow, and most cats, given treatment, just continue to live with the disease. Zoe is average age for getting this disease, and apparently, if treatment goes well, she still should have several good years left in her. About 90% of cats taking this chemo treatment do very well – no vomiting or diarrhea or anything. But, I’ll need to keep a close eye on her the next couple of months. Zoe has a follow-up visit with Dr. Proulx in two weeks, at which time she’ll have a blood count done and a check up to make sure she’s doing ok.
So, it’s a relief to know what is going on with Zoe, but I’m not too excited about the diagnosis. But, as each of Zoe’s three doctors have said, it could have been a lot worse. All the vets have been very nice and caring – my regular vet even called me after she found out what the diagnosis was, just to see how we were doing. Anyway, wish us luck –
I know, it has been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. But really, it was pretty much just pictures from Jes’ wedding and my trip to San Francisco that I wanted to post. Work has been very busy the last couple of months now that David is back as my supervisor, and when I get home I pretty much just want to chill. But there’s still a couple things going on – the first thing would be my cat, Zoe. She’s 13, and people tell me that’s old for a cat, but I disagree that it’s old for Zoe. But, over the past year I’ve been noticing that she’s been losing some weight – getting very bony and skinny. So last weekend I brought her to the vet – she lost 2 lbs over the past year (which is a lot, considering how tiny she is), so they took some blood to run a full panel, and also took some urine for a urinalysis. Zoe was not happy about it, and enjoyed even less the vet force-feeding her a deworming pill (it took 2 vets about 10 minutes of fighting to get a 6.9 lb cat to eat one pill). The urinalysis showed some blood in her urine, so I have to give her antibiotics twice a day for about two weeks (ask me how much Zoe likes that). The blood could just be an infection, but it could also indicate other problems with the kidneys or bladder. But, her blood panel turned out good, except for her thyroid, which looked borderline high. So, they sent for another test – negative for hyperthyroid. So, last weekend cost me about $350. I went back yesterday with Zoe – they took x-rays and didn’t see anything wrong, except that she has no body fat, which makes her organs difficult to see. But no kidney or bladder stones, or major tumors were evident. The vet suggested another specialized blood test to check for pancreatic function and malabsorption – I’ll get the results back on that this week. It was still too soon to see if she still has blood in her urine because she’s only been on the antibiotics for a week. The bottom line is that I’ve spent almost $600 and I still don’t know what’s wrong with my kitty. She’s acting normal and everything – she may just be getting old. I don’t know, but she’s my buddy and I’m not quite ready to accept that she’s at the age where stuff starts to go wrong.
Speaking of going wrong, oh, Teddy Bear. He really is getting old. A couple of times in the past month, as we’ve been out walking, he’s pulled himself so hard on his leash that he starts choking, falls over, and then has a hard time using his back legs. I don’t know if it’s a seizure or what, but he’s still his normal annoying self, so it’s hard to say. Today I noticed that one of his yucky back teeth is loose – I hope it falls out so that I don’t have to take *him* to the vet again! Last time we went it was also very expensive.
And speaking of expensive, let’s talk about my car. Last Friday I was on my way to work and I decided to stop and grab a sandwich for later. I was gone two minutes, came back to my car, and it wouldn’t start! I called AAA, who came out to tow me to my mechanic, and the car started right up. What’s up with that??? So, I drove it to my mechanic – turns out some dumb sensor in the starter was broken. That set me back about $150, but I guess it could’ve been worse.
Man, at the rate things are going, I’ll never have enough cash for a vacation!
Good things though – I finished the wrap top that I started sewing a few months ago, and made good progress on a skirt. So far, it’s awesome. I’ll probably finish it next year some time. Also, I’m getting back into my digital scrapbooking – I’m a little overwhelmed with Photoshop Elements, but I purchased an instructional CD that focuses on scrapbooking with Elements. It should be very helpful.
That’s it for now – I hope that’s enough. I’ll be in touch!
I recently purchased Photoshop Elements 5.0 so that I could start digitally scrapbooking. I’m kind of behind in my scrapbooking and part of the problem is that I’m so perfectionistic and making pages using paper and adhesives and cutting stuff out and all that takes so long to do – I haven’t started any pages recently because it’s just too much of an undertaking. So I decided to go digital and have my pages professionally printed – it’s actually quite cost effective, and is fast and easy to do. Plus, since I’ve been using my digital camera exclusively, I don’t have to print photos out and cut them up – one more step I can skip.
Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. I purchased Elements and have been trying to learn how to use it. And the best pictures to start practicing on, I’ve found, have been pet pictures! So here are pictures of Zoe, Jesse, and Teddy – I’ve lightened and warmed them up, increased the contrast, and used a glow filter. Cute, huh?