Thursday, February 26, 2015

Today I Lost The Good Fight And Had To Say Goodbye



This morning at 6:45 am I lost my fight with cancer. The tumor that was in my liver would never go away despite how hard I fought and how desperately my human mom tried to find the miracle that would make it disappear forever. 

It was two years ago, in December that I first became ill. I was vomiting and losing weight and had developed a heart murmur. This led to the suspicions that it may be cancer. In July 2013 of that same year, I was diagnosed at Auburn University with the neuroendocrine tumor that was in 80% of my liver. Even back then, the vets didn't expect me to be around long. 

They didn't know how tough I was!



After going through two rounds of different chemo drugs, we stopped them last February 2014 when I got extremely ill. I stopped eating and got a really bad cold which caused ulcers in both eyes that were very painful. Mom thought that was it for me, but she prayed and prayed that I would get better. She had to syringe feed me for over a month because I wasn't eating on my own at all and she was afraid that she was going to have to make that decision that no pet mom or dad wants to make.

But I miraculously got better because I am tough!


After I bounced back from that and I started eating on my own again, my human mom decided find a vet that does acupuncture and Chinese herbs. It was a 45 minute to an hour drive, but mom thought it would be worth it.

And it was! I am tough!

My quality of life for the past year, doing acupuncture at least once a month was pretty good. I had to take all my meds and got nauseous sometimes, but other than that, I was doing the same things as the other cats in my household (eating, sleeping,  hanging out) AND I was still Alpha cat to the end!


This is me begging to go outside. That was my cute, pleading look! Worked almost every time!!







Things were going alright until this November when I started having severe pains and was diagnosed with pancreatitist. I was put on steroids, which helped that issue, but caused my immune system to be depressed which isn't good for cancer.


Then a week and a half ago, while mom was out of town, the pet sitter found me unresponsive on the bathroom floor. The vet suggested euthanizing at that time, but mom said no since she was out of town and I had done this before just not in the bathroom, usually by the litter box. She told them to make sure I was out of pain and comfortable, but she really didn't think I was going to make it through the night that night.

But I did! Cause I'm tough!





The vet kept me for four days then mom picked me up and took me home. That was last Thursday. My paw was swollen from the IV and got infected.

That was bad.

On Sunday, mom had to take me to the emergency vet to get my paw lanced and get antibiotics. I had stopped eating and was pretty much just laying around all the time and having trouble going to the litter box.


I am tough, but my body just had too much the past two years! The tumor had taken its toll.

Last night mom fed me and gave me my meds and fluids. I was settled in my carrier at first so mom just carried me in it to the bedroom to not disturb me. Mom got up to check on me as usual and found me lying in my litter box around 3 am.  She picked me up and took me to bed with her.  She noticed I was sort of limp and letting her hold and cuddle me way longer than I normally do. I wouldn't stay in the bed at first.

Then I started having trouble breathing.

As she got ready to take me to the vet, I was getting worse. On the way to the vet I started having seizures. The 15 minute drive to the emergency vet was the most terrible thing!

When we got there mom tried to fill out the paper work as I was seizing. They took me back to put the IV in and mom heard me crying out and tried to come in the surgery room to rescue me, but they made her leave.



She was very, very upset.

Finally, they gave up trying to put the IV in and brought me back out to mom. They gave me a sedative which settled me down and mom held me in her arms.


At first she couldn't let them give me the drug that would take me away from her forever. The vet left the room so she and I could be together by ourselves as we had been so many, many times in the wee hours of the night/morning at home or on our way to the emergency vets. 

Mom held me, looked at my face that she loved so much because she knew this was the last time she would ever get to hold me, pet me, look at me. 

She said goodbye. and said she was sorry. I know she tried everything and loved me dearly. I have never felt so loved. That's why I fought so hard to stay cause I know how much she loved me and wanted me with her and I want to make her happy.




I gasped one big breath, but it was sooo hard. Then a few minutes later another big breath. Mom thought that was my last one and then the vet was back in the room. Mom told the vet she thought I might be gone, but the vet could still hear my heart beating faintly.

Then mom gave the go ahead to let me go. I felt so bad leaving mom crying over me like that but suddenly there was no more pain. 

I was free! 

I know my mom will miss me and I know she loved me with all her heart.







I will wait patiently at the Rainbow Bridge for her until we meet again. I am with Precious and Amber and Boo and all my furry Facebook friends that I have gotten to know over the past two years who have gone before me over the Rainbow Bridge - Scottie the Rockstar kitty and Princess Cheese, Gabe the Kitty Cancer Warrior, Tuxedo Stan, Percent and so many more.








 I just wanted my mom and all my furfriends to know that I am pain free, running outside, listening to jazz and eating whatever I want! No more nausea, no more pain, no more meds needles and vet visits!

I am with you in spirit until we meet again. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures from the past two months. Sorry I haven't kept up with my blog, but sometimes you gotta be out there living life, not here posting about it. There's a time for everything and I used up all my 9 lives and then some!

Love and head bonks to you all!

Until we meet again,

   Phantom

March 2005 - February 26, 2015

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm In My Favorite Jazz Listening Spot





Front row, center, right in between the two speakers, listening to my favorite music. I do love the saxophone!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hanging With The Stars And Being A Little Dopey


I've been really tired after my recent selfie adventure as you can see from my selfie about. Here I am looking dapper as usual, but the past few days I have been sleeping more and not eating as much again. Today I am feeling better and started eating more on my own, but my human is also feeding me liquid food via syringe to make sure I'm getting enough calories. I have an allergy that makes my eyes constantly water and the ointment isn't really helping.

 I need stronger stuff!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

This Is Me Chilling To Some Coltrane





I love me some Jazz. This is the way to relax on a beautiful Sunday evening. Luckily, nobody is poking me with needles today since I started eating and drinking on my own. I only get fluids twice a week now and syringes of liquid food are down to around 3 or 4/day. My humans finally went back to Purina Naturals in my feeder so I started eating again. I had to protest and take a serious stand against the all- natural, holistic, grain free food!



Send me some grains!



And jazz... especially jazz!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Many Visits To The Vet



This past month has been tough. I stopped eating on my own totally for a while and had to be syringe fed and giving fluids. Recently, I started eating again a little but still have to be fed liquid food with a syringe and given subcutaneous fluids every day.

At one of my many vet visits I caught a really horrible cold/upper respiratory infection and had to go on antibiotics. It was very contagious so it wasn't long before Cadence came down with it too. He was pretty pitiful and making all kinds of funny noises. We both had to go to the vet and get shots and medicine. I think we have gotten over the worst of it. I don't have a fever anymore but I still have some congestion.

After not eating on my own for two weeks I suddenly decided to start eating, but only good stuff like tuna and chicken and a little of the Fancy Feast cat food we use to eat before I got cancer. The kind full of by products and wheat gluten.




My humans don't know what to expect from me. One day they think I'm a goner and the next I'm eating on my own and moving (slowly) around the house. Somebody has to keep order around here. I have work to do. Litter boxes and food situations to be monitored. It's tough being alpha cat!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Neuroendocrine Tumor - What Will Stop It Forever?


It has been a long time since I last blogged. I have been busy. Things have been mostly good. I got to see my boy at Christmas and spend some time with him again. That was good! I even helped him open his presents, but they weren't any good. No mice or catnip!!



The past three months I have been on a different kind of chemo than Palladia. Since the end of October I have been on Chlorambucil. It has worked very well for almost three months. My calcium levels have been down and all my other numbers have been in the normal range.

Unfortunately, the chemo/Chlorambucil may have stopped working. It's too soon to say, but my calcium levels are creeping back up and I have lost two pounds. I am throwing up once on most days, usually in the early morning hours. It is a small, watery, yellow-green color throw up and we are not sure what that means. I haven't thrown up in four days now so mom is happy about that.


Yesterday she took me to Bluepearl Specialty clinic in Tampa for my three month check-up. I was not happy about being left at that place since I prefer staying at home and cat napping all day. I gave her a big stink eye when she took a picture of me at the clinic. It was scary when she left, but they are very nice at Bluepearl. Except the blood taking part. I don't like having blood taken from my neck and then smelling like alcohol for the rest of the day. Cadence thinks I smell funny when I get home too.


The initial blood test results were not good. We found out I had lost two pounds. We also found out that my liver is larger than last time and the tumor has gotten bigger. My calcium has gone from 10.3 to 11.3 which is the high side of normal.

Mom knew something was going on with my calcium levels because I am drinking more. Sometimes I will jump up on the bathroom counter and wait for someone to come in and turn the water on. Sometimes I will drink and sometimes I will not. The vet joked that I just wanted to run the water bill up.

 Yes! I hadn't even thought of that! That would totally make dad upset. In the past I would love doing that, but now I just don't feel well.

Today I have spent most of the day sunbathing on the lanai. It's nice outside and not cold anymore.

We are waiting to hear back from the vet regarding what to do about taking the chemo pills (Chlorambucil). I am still on the heart medicine - Atenelol, the diuretic -Lasix and the appetite stimulant-Cyproheptadine.

It is harder to get me to take the Vital pet lipids and Celloquent from Vitality Science with ES Clear added. I don't like the way it tastes. I run and hide under the bed when I see it coming in the syringe. When I'm caught and forced to take it, most of it flies out of my mouth.

Life Gold Cancer drops and milk thistle drops from Pet Wellbeing are added to my soft food in the morning and evening, but since I'm not eating much of it, I'm probably not taking in very much of the drops.

Three months.

Three months on Palladia.

Three months so far on Chlorambucil.

Nothing seems to stop this tumor for long.

Three months.

Now we need to find something else to do.

Hopefully, something that will last longer than three months.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Moving And Not Feeling Good, Better Now Though!




The past several weeks have been a little hectic for me and my family. In October we moved back to Birmingham from Pensacola Beach for a couple of weeks to get our house ready to put on the market and to pack up everything that was left there.

During that time I had to go to Auburn University Small Animal hospital for the big four month checkup. I had been on Palladia for my cancer since July and Atenolol and Lasix for my heart since April.

They shaved my stomach for the ultrasound, took blood and poked and prodded at me while mom killed time at Dunkin Donuts. I didn't get an echo cardiogram during this exam because I'm not due for one until December.

The news wasn't good.

My tumors had grown and spread to more of my liver and my calcium levels were starting to go up again after being normal for almost three months.

The Palladia was not working anymore.

The vets suggested IV chemo, but that wasn't an option at that point because we were moving 8 or 9 hours away to the Tampa area so this was probably going to be my last visit to Auburn. The other alternative was a new chemo drug called Chlorambucil and an appetite stimulant/serotonin depressant called Cyproheptadine.






I took these two pills every day for almost two weeks. My appetite improved and I pigged out even on the grain free food that none of us cats really like very well. I started feeling better briefly.





We moved during that time to the Tampa/St Pete area and drove several hours. I did pretty good on the trip.



A few days later I became very sick. After 2 weeks on the new meds, I was sleeping more, not eating much again and feeling lethargic so mom stopped giving me the pills and called Auburn. They told her not to give me any more of the pills until I had my two week blood work. We had to find a new vet in Tampa. Auburn suggested BluePearl. They have an Oncology specialist there so mom made the appointment.




 Last Monday we went to BluePearl for my check up. I was already feeling better after being off the chemo for a few days.



At BluePearl they did bloodwork, a checkup, another ultrasound and also went ahead and did the echo cardiogram on my heart so we won't have to do it next month and they could get a baseline of where I am at right now. They were very nice and we felt very comfortable knowing they were referred by Auburn Veterinary hospital and the vet was an Auburn grad herself. It was a long day of testing and waiting for me and mom but...





Good mews!

The chemo was working. My calcium levels had gone back down to normal again. My tumors were the same - no bigger and no signs of spread, no heart murmur, but the walls of my heart are a little thick and therefore the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosis still stands, but I have no signs of heart failure.

Also, all my blood work was normal and liver levels normal, no signs of liver failure from drugs.

The vets suggestion was to continue the Chlorambucil, but every other day instead of every day and continue the Atenolol, but slowly wean off the Lasix.

Mom also started giving me the krill oil, herbal anti inflammatory and a little celloquent every day although I don't like it and always try to run. I do better with pills that syringes of liquids. Mom had stopped giving it to me every day when I started on the new chemo drug. She does think it makes me feel better though and is still looking for a holistic vet to help combine the holistic with the traditional.

So far she hasn't been able to find one. The one she thought she found never sent the herbal meds that were promised. We are not sure what happened, but don't want to go back there either because we would rather find a vet that combines both types of approaches since I am on chemo and have a very aggressive type of cancer.

I am doing much better right now taking chemo every other day and eating grain free food for the most part and doing the immune protocol along with milk thistle and a few drops of life gold cancer drops in my food.

Now mom is looking for another, yes ANOTHER, local vet to do bloodwork and regular exams. BluePearl is just a specialty vet and we need to find a regular vet to do bloodwork, get prescriptions, etc. We found out I had cancer right before we moved to Pensacola Beach and now we have moved again to St. Petersburg, FL. I have gone to my normal vet in Birmingham, AL, a vet in Pensacola Beach, FL, Auburn University Animal hospital, BluePearl, a holistic vet and now another vet in St. Pete.

This has been a long, tiring, scary, not to mention expensive process. Please pray for me to keep getting better and stronger and make this cancer go away forever.

Purrrs and headbonks to all my furrylicious blog readers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some Kitties Have Been Pigging Out At The All You Can Eat Kitty Buffet


It has been a while since I've blogged because I have been very busy doing important things. Napping and sunning myself is tough work. And every other day I get the Palladia pills for my cancer. I sleep most of those days away.

We just got back from a trip to Birmingham and listed the house with a Realtor so I guess we won't have people coming by on Sunday just to see me anymore. I'll miss some of those little girls that liked to pet me. There were two particularly LOUD ones that I will NOT miss!

I've been eating pretty good, but I don't really like the soft food from Life Abundance. I only like the hard food. I won't eat much of it even without the Nu Pet Granular sprinkled in it so mom knows it's not the Nu Pet Granular I don't like. I use to eat that all the time when it was sprinkled on the non-organic food we use to eat.

Mom got a book called "Raising Cats Naturally". It's about how we eat out in the wild and how cat owners can feed and take care of their pet cats that same way. It's a great resource if you want healthy happy kitties who are not already use to processed cat food. I'm not really sure how I feel about raw meat at this point in my life and I'm pretty sure mom won't be touching or feeding us any of that or any mice either so I'm pretty safe.

She might go all organic cat food on us, but I'm pretty sure she's not going raw. She doesn't even like cooking raw meat or touching it or even looking at it. She should have started us off with this when we were kittens. Maybe I wouldn't have cancer now.

Sometimes I do like a good crunchy dragon fly. Mostly, I just like torturing them, not eating them. Maybe she'll buy some mice for us to chase. That would be GREAT!!

I really love this catnip plant, but it lasted about a minute around here with all three of us cats rolling around on it and nipping at it.


 The wheat grass is growing, but still has a day or two before it's tall enough to eat. Wheat grass is much heartier and lasts longer around us pawing and chewing on it. It also has cancer fighting properties so mom likes for me to eat it every day.


 A strange thing has been happening around here while I have lost weight due to the cancer.

We noticed when we got back from Birmingham that Cadence and Ed were getting very fat and fluffy. Ed's face is so fat that his cheeks are bulging out and Cadence's head finally got fat enough for his ears and they've both got little fat bellies now.



With the emphasis on FAT!

How much were they eating out of the self feeders while we were gone?Does the Blue Buffalo food for sensitive stomaches have more calories than the Life Abundance food?That's the food they had because we still had some left and mom's trying to use it up. I get the Life Abundance food.

Mom's thinking it's time they went on a diet. There may be some diet cat food in their future.

They are both big chunks now. I better start eating better so I'll get my muscles back.


There can only be one Alpha cat around here and that would be ME!

Meow!