Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scylla, Charybdis, and Maddy

The vet oncologist had okay news, but nothing spectacular. While lymphoma is common in cats, Maddy's has advanced somewhat--it's in her lymph nodes and not just her intestine. We can do an oral chemotherapy at home, or a more aggressive IV chemo at the vet oncologist's office. That would be taking her to the office once a week for 2 months, then every other week for another 3-4 months. Optimistically, she might live another 6 months symptom-free after the 6 months of IV chemo, then it'd be a one- or two-month downhill slide ending in euthanasia. I don't know what our results will be like with the at-home oral chemo pill, probably darker/shorter. The IV chemo is also about $4,000 total over the 6 months, the at-home pill less, but I don't even know how much less.

Guy and I haven't really talked about it yet. I told him what the oncologist told me, but we haven't had the should-we shouldn't we discussion. Probably tomorrow during our walk--it's the kind of talk that needs to happen when you're kinda doing something else, like driving, which is when we usually have our deep discussions. However, Guy started going for walks with me after Maddy first got sick. I just needed to get out of the house, and Guy would go with me to walk and relieve some anxiety.

Guy is frankly a bit hit-and-miss on the consolation. When there's something he can do, he's pretty helpful. The walks, for example. Also, he's bought dinner or had us end a weekend morning walk at a breakfast place now and then, which is a relief of mroe than one level, for sure. He's been kind to Maddy, and he even--and I have to be honest, this surprised me--offered to help with Maddy's vet bills. But the actual consolation is, well...at the emergency vet's last week after Maddy crashed post-biopsy surgery, I was shaking and weeping in the waiting room. Guy patted my knee with one hand, and I felt him twitching a little. I looked over, and I realized he was playing Tetris on his cell phone with the other hand. He's playing fucking Tetris while I'm losing my mind from panic and fear and grief just 3 inches from him. I'm finding that if I'm shaking and weeping, he has no idea that he needs to put both arms around me and hold me and pat me and say something kind like "I'm sure we'll make the right decision" or "Whatever happens, Maddy won't suffer and you've done a good job." But if there's something to be done, like active doing, he's right there and almost psychic. Perhaps in another eight years I'll have trained this quasi-autism out of him.

So, we're weighing our options. Either way, Maddy has to take prednisone for the inflammation caused by the cancer cells. The conversation with the vet oncologist went thus:
Vet: So, prednisone is a type of steroid, which will help Maddy gain weight.
Pixie: But...will it raise her batting average?
Vet: [pauses, then bursts into laughter] I don't think it will, sadly! Is she any good on the field?
Pixie: Look, if she can bat at least .250 and play right field, I'm sending her to the Rockies. They're not doing too well this year.
Vet: Well, prednisone isn't that kind of steriod. She'll just gain some weight, and she may even balloon a little.
Pixie: [eyes wide] Like Jerry Lewis? Puffy-ass Jerry Lewis?!
Vet: [leaning on exam counter with laughter] Yeah, more like Jerry Lewis!
Pixie: [looking at Maddy on the table] Maddy, you can have your own telethon now!
Vet: [sits down on stool, laughing]


BaxtersMum said...

i have found that boys are dumb, but take good direction.

"Guy - put down the fucking toy and give me hug. Lots of hug."

Not nasty - just direct. Usually when Y chromosome is being "insenstive" its just because they are uncomfortable with the not knowing what to do, and they don't know better. Most (if they are good guys, and Guy is) would appreciate a little "Yo, here's what to do when I do X"

It makes them less uncomfortable and gives them a job. Thought process: "Ah...She's doing A, and it is awkward...wait, she said I'm supposed to B when she does A - SCORE!! I'm DOING IT RIGHT!! "

boys. Can't live with 'em, often don't want to live with out 'em.

Miss Kitty said...

I take it Squaddy can bunt, too?

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Over the years, we've treated two different cats for two different forms of cancer, neither of them what Maddy has. However, one of them got 6 comfortable months at home on the oral chemo, and one seems (cross fingers) to be going into remission. Obviously YMMV, but that's my experience, FWIW. Good luck! Maddy's lucky to have you looking after her.