Forewarning: This will be a long, rambly post. I want to first say ‘thank you’ to each and every person who has shown us love and support these past few days.
Last week I shared that Mason hadn’t been feeling well or acting like himself. He was lethargic, kept to himself, and he was hardly eating. We also noticed his cute pink nose was pale and that he was running a fever. Starting Saturday night/Sunday morning at the end of May, he began getting sick. I was all over the place with wanting to take him back to the vets while wanting to avoid any more stress on him. By Wednesday night, though, I realized we had no choice. I took him back on Thursday morning, and the walk-in vet clinic referred me to their affiliate vet who could do much more in-house. They ran a complete blood panel as well as did X-rays on his abdomen. Later that afternoon, the vet called with the results: most of his blood work looked unremarkable except for high calcium, high WBC count, and anemia. The X-ray was also obscured by something, so again we were referred but this time to the Animal ER Hospital. I left my meeting and flew over there to get him. Our next plan was for an abdominal ultrasound. I waited in one of their exam rooms for the ultrasound tech to complete the test. Results showed he had ascites from his liver as well as what was determined to be a UTI. I was devastated. I did not keep it together. They allowed me to see our sweet boy before I left. I cried the whole way home. Matt made our dinner while I showered.
Friday morning I went to Maker’s Donuts for a free donut and had taken a photo. Later I deleted all food photos because I had no desire to document them. I didn’t care. The doctor called to discuss the results from testing the fluid. He reported that it looked “suspicious”, which made my heart sink. The oncologist would be looking at the cytology liver sample, they would complete a urine culture and cancer blood panel (this was later cancelled), and lastly run a test for SIP. SIP is a fatal feline virus that some cats are susceptible to. I left work after lunch and went to see him. The doctor waited to tell me in person that they are very certain we are dealing with lymphoma in his liver as well as a UTI. My head was spinning. Just two to three weeks ago he was healthy, happy, and he showed no signs of cancer. Now I was sitting with a doctor discussing a tube feed placement and chemo. I called both Kaci and Matt, who agreed we were going to fight like hell for Mason. The placed the e-tube and started his chemo on Friday. He also had begun antibiotic treatment for his UTI.
On Saturday, I spent around 4.5 hours just sitting and cuddling with him. My heart could’ve exploded with love and pride. He’s been so brave this whole time. When I had to leave quickly to use the restroom, he hid under one of the chairs. He “popped” out when I returned and wanted to be held. A nurse came in to walk me through a feeding. Afterward, they had to take him back for fluids and another ultrasound. I again left crying.
Look at that face <3 <3
Thankfully, the doctor called on Sunday morning to say he was ready to come home!! I ate breakfast, downed my coffee, threw on some clothes, and I went about 80-90 mph across town. Two sweet nurses walked me through his feeding and medication schedule as part of the discharge summary. He slept the whole way home but sat up when we turned onto our road. Matt was so so happy to have his boy home. He was pooped and slept under the bed for the afternoon. Kaci came over and was amazing and helped me organize his schedule. It’s just going to become our new normal for a little while.
I fed him twice yesterday and then this morning. I let him walk around if he wanted to since the feeding takes around 20-30 minutes total with water flushes and meds included. I woke up around 4:30 this morning and immediately got out of bed to check on him. I woke Rachel and Jackson, who thought it was breakfast time. Whoops. Mason came to me and hopped up to lay on my chest in bed. He then spooned against me before settling on my pillow. Matt woke up at 5:45 and saw him there, and we were both thankful. He’s showing interest in eating, but it’ll be slow process. He just laid underneath the lower rack of my clothes in our closet, and I fed him.
Rachel got distracted during breakfast by a spider hanging from the ceiling. Yikes! Gah she’s so cute. She is upset at Mason because he smells different. Whenever one of the boys gets home from the vets, she’s upset. Little diva. Jackson is doing well and spunky as ever.
Going forward, our plan is to take Mason in every three weeks for an outpatient chemo treatment. He’ll then get to stay with Kaci so that the medication won’t harm Rachel or Jackson. I’m waiting to hear back regarding the SIP results. I hope to god they’re negative. Please say a prayer if you pray or think positive thoughts for him. As incredibly angry as I am and as upsetting as a lymphoma diagnosis is, we’ll take this and fight over SIP. Again, thanks to all for the support.