Thursday, September 4, 2008

MaddyWatch: Fever! in the morning; fever all through the night? Hopefully not.

Maddy had her biopsy surgery today, wherein the vet opened her tummy and looked at all her organs, plus took biopsies of her lymph nodes, liver, and a few places on her intestine. The vet told me that her lymph nodes were really enlarged, so honestly this was most likely cancer. The point of the biopsy results would be to tell us what kind of cancer. Her red blood cell count was really low, and they had problems with her blood pressure being too low, so they recommended that she spend the night--again--at the vet hospital. Did I want to come get her now or later?

Ethel met me outside with a box of tissues. I may not enjoy working on the same projects as her, but she's a very good friend, and that's how she and I need to stay. She consoled me some, then said, "With this kind of news, you're done for the day. Just go get her and take her to the hospital so you can relieve your mind."

So, I picked up Guy on the way to the vet's office, and we picked up Maddy and got her to the hospital in record time in early rush hour traffic. The whole way there, and evidently also att he vet's office, Maddy was friendly, occasionally chirpy, and annoyed by the IV stick still wrapped on her left front leg. She moved around a lot in her soft-sided carrier in my lap, occasionally peeking out to watch the traffic going by. A few minutes after we got there and they took Maddy into the back (they were expecting her), here comes the vet we saw over Labor Day weekend: "Maddy's fever is up to 106.2, and we're really worried about that. Her red blood cell count is steady but still low. Her blood pressure is still really low. We're gonna try to bring the fever down and the blood pressure up, so hang tight."

She came back about half an hour or so later. "Good news, BP is at 98; I want her in the 100s, though. Her fever's already down to 105.2, so that's a good sign." She further explained that in order to get her red blood cells up, she wanted to do a blood transfusion, and that tomorrow morning, Maddy would either a) stay with them to recover through the day, b) be transferred to the oncology department (yes there is such a thing for animals), or c) be transferred back to my regular vet to recover further through the day.

Let's not even think about the cost of all this. Here's the deal: when you take on a pet, you make a promise to care for this creature to the best of your ability. I am so far able to afford everything I've done for Maddy, and as we get a diagnosis and find out how far long whatever she has has progressed, we'll further evaluate costs. But ultimately, I have to be able to look into the eyes of the creature in my charge and say, "I did my best." I also know that only so much of what's going on right now is in my control. The whole time we were in the waiting room of the vet hospital, I just prayed and beseeched "Maddy, if you have to go, you can go, baby. I wish you'd stay with me, but you can go if you need to. Do what you have to do. Do what you have to do. Do what you have to do."

Do what you have to do. I suppose that's all any of us can be asked to do. I weep at the thought of waking up and losing her tomorrow. Granted, she was acting fine and she was stabilizing, but just as I was getting calmer about Maddy's situation, this happens. I was getting hopeful that she didn't have cancer, and now it's almost totally confirmed. Kellye, to his credit, commented that he bets Maddy isn't done yet, that from my descriptions of her she's only used up 3 or 4 lives so far. Ethel affirmed that in any endeavor, especially those involving the ones we love, we do your best and leave the rest to God. Guy has been semi-supportive in weird ways. On the one hand, he only put his hand on my knee as I wept and gasped bitterly in the hospital waiting room, and I sense that he completely disapproves for the money and time I'm spending on Maddy. On the other hand, he drives us to the appointments and does a fast and fine job, and he also has taken several walks with me over the past several days, just going with me when I need to get out of the house and get away from the panic gripping my stomach and head and eyes. So, I'm not yet going to get in his grill about some of his behaviors.

I'll keep updating as conditions warrant. I just pray for my little kitten and hope that she pulls through, and if not, that St. Francis and Bastet take her with gentle care and without pain.

Update, 9/5/08, 8:21am:
Maddy made it through the night pretty well. Her fever came down, her BP and her blood proteins and red blood cell count went up, and she even ate a little food. So, I took her back to her regular vet this am to spend the day, and if she can keep her values stable, she can go home tonight. Thank you to everyone with your good wishes!


Miss Kitty said...

Ohhhhh. All of us at the HKC are praying to St. Francis & Bastet for Squaddy and for you. [crying hard now]

Mile High Pixie said...

plz not foar 2 weeep, AnT Kitteh. I'll call the vet after a bit and check in.

ms. kitty said...

Thinking about you and Maddy and Guy today while cherishing my own sweet kitties. Said as Loosy casts dagger-eyes at Lily who got to my lap first this morning at the computer. Max, of course, is outside on the prowl, having deposited his first kill of the day on the deck, then going back out for who knows what. How can we do without these dear friends? I'm so sorry you are going through this but glad Maddy has you at her side.

Suz said...

Best wishes to you and Maddy and Guy.

BaxtersMum said...

It may feel like the end of the world, but its not.

Maddy will do what she can, as will you and Guy.

Don't borrow trouble, and as Baxter made very clear to me once- don't waste today with worries about tomorrow - if you have limited time (IF!!!), don't spend it anticipating how awful tomorrow will be.

Take today as the gift it is, and love your kitteh and thank her for being your friend. And then, when she pukes up a hair ball on your pillow, you can get back to life as usual.

Hugs to you both. Maddie needs her mum right now - so you be super Mum and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.

I know its hard. We're all rooting for your Maddy!