Time To Party — Oreo’s Birthday Party!

This post likely won’t be as upbeat as usual, since my mood has really been tanking as of late.  But I figured I’d start out on a high note – Oreo’s birthday party!

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This past Sunday I threw Oreo a birthday party – his very first one.  Up until he got sick, it wasn’t something that I had ever really thought about.  I’m so glad that I decided to do it – Oreo had a blast!  He was so happy to see so many of his people friends (especially since usually he only sees most of them when he’s at my work.  Boy does he love seeing them even more when it’s not in a vet-setting!!), and he even made a new girlfriend!  After his party, we went for a little walk, and then Oreo passed out for seriously the rest of the day/night!

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I tried to get Burger into the celebrating spirit as well, but he really wasn’t in the mood for a party.  However, his mood quickly changed when he started to realize that he was recognizing people’s voices!  His grandma and grandpa were there, and then he realized that his girlfriends from my work were there!!  He used to love snuggling with them back when he was my sick little boy, spending just about every day at the animal hospital with me.  He spent the second half of Oreo’s party downstairs being social.  Frenchie on the other hand…she only made an appearance when I brought her downstairs to say hi to everyone; and then immediately ran upstairs and hid, not to be seen again for hours.

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This past week has been pretty exhausting.  My little old man has been in and out of my work and the emergency vet.  His name is Dium…named because when he first wandered into my house and we took him to the vet to e scanned and checked out, the vet wrote “DM” on his paperwork.  DM, of course, standing for Domesticated Male.  My dad, however, thought that the vet was naming him.  So he added a couple of vowels and went with it.  I’ve always called him Kitten Little.  He’s always been so tiny, despite his ferocious appetite.  He has always been my shyest boy; no matter how hard I worked with him, I have never been able to help him develop confidence.  I’ve always thought that it is, at least partly, due to the fact that he was declawed when we found him.  The only bold move he ever did was to race into my house during a snowstorm when my mom was going out to get the mail.  I knew where he lived, as he had found his way to my yard before; but when I took him back home this time, the house was abandoned with a “for sale” sign in the yard, and the window left open for the cats to come and go.

Last week, during the beginning of the snow storm, Kitten Little’s nose seemed to be extremely swollen and bloody.  My mind went to worst-case scenario – another nasal tumor.  My work was closing down early for the day due to the weather.  An appointment was scheduled for him for 2 days later.  I was at work at the bank that day and got a panicked email from my dad, that Kitten Little was barely breathing.  They were on their way to the vet with him, expecting him not to make it.  My vet quickly referred him to the emergency hospital with a laundry list of problems.  Again, we prepared for the worst.  I got an update from a friend at the emergency vet who sounded hopeful – saying that it looked like it may be just a really severe URI.  Which it was (…and still is).  In addition to his URI, he had lost a significant amount of weight – partially due to not eating for a few days prior to his hospitalization, and partly due to his newly diagnosed hyperthyroidism.  They also discovered a heart murmur – which hopefully is just because of his thyroid condition.  He spent 2 days/nights at emergency, and got to come home Saturday.  He then wound up spending Saturday at my work with me, because no sooner did my parents get him back home than did his nose start to bleed.  After looking at him, it appeared that he must have pawed at his face and ripped off one of the scabs on his nose.

Since then, he is slowly improving.  I brought him back into my job the other day because his nose was almost swollen shut, and he was pretty dehydrated.  By the time we got to my work, he sneezed out a HUGE chunk of mucus, and his nasal passages seemed to reopen.  We gave fluids, and he got to come home.  He is still extremely congested, and his nose is still pretty red, raw and swollen; but his appetite has come back with a vengeance.  We haven’t had to give him any of the appetite stimulants that we were sent home with.  He is due for a recheck next week, and if his URI is cleared up enough, we can hopefully get him started on some thyroid meds.  Which should be fun trying to get into him, seeing as how he bit his vet when she was trying to give him his antibiotic!  Literally the first time he has ever even TRIED to bite anyone, much less done it.  I was in shock.

Burger has been having diarrhea for the past week or so.  It’s not unusual for him, but normally it clears up within a few days.  This time, it started right before his mouth ulceration/UTI; cleared up for a short amount of time after that; and now is back…and AWFUL.  He normally gets baths every Sunday to keep him clean, but he’s been needing to get them once or twice DAILY recently.  He’s on a bland diet and getting a probiotic, so I hope that it starts to clear up soon.  This poor cat…can’t decide if he wants to be backed up with stool or have completely watery stool…he can’t just settle for something in the middle and have normal poos like everyone else.

One of the other family kitties, Cinder, has been acting a bit under the weather lately too.  He’s been licking his lips/the air a lot, his breath became TERRIBLE seemingly overnight, and he’s just been sleeping a lot.  I was finally able to look into his mouth the other day, and saw what looks like one of his teeth getting absorbed by the gum around it.  So, he has a vet appointment tomorrow, and I’m sure will need a dental cleaning/tooth extraction after that.  He is such a sweet boy, he responds to being called “Pretty Kitty” or “Key”, and will come running from where ever in the house he is when he hears his name.  He lived under our camper for 2 years, until right before Hurricane Sandy hit…the night of the storm, he decided suddenly that he would much rather live inside, and went right up to my dad, sat down, got pet, and then followed him inside!  Prior to that, the closest we had gotten to him was from several feet away – he wouldn’t run when we brought him out food, but that was it.  These days, he is truly my dads shadow.

Oreo had his new chemo treatment on the 8th.  For the first  3 or so days, he seemed to be responding pretty good to it – it didn’t seem to make him nauseous like his previous chemo did; but it just never completely eliminated the swelling of his nose/lymph nodes like that previous chemo did.  By the 1 week mark, his swelling was back to as big as it had been, if not bigger.  Yesterday, I woke up to my bed, myself, and Oreo covered in blood.  He must have had a bleed in the middle of the night – it didn’t seem to be a big one, but every time he sneezed he would spray blood everywhere.  That seems to have decreased to the equivalent of a runny, blood-tinged nose, which is still going on.  A few minutes ago, he sneezed so hard he smacked his head on the ground, and his nose started bleeding pretty heavily.  I was able to get that under control pretty quickly with ice and pressure, thankfully.  I just have this sinking feeling that another big bleed is in our future, and it scares me and devastates me at the same time.

With all of the health issues my pets have been having lately, my anxiety and depression have been completely through the roof.  Oreo’s issues are obviously affecting me the worst.  I had a small nervous breakdown last night when I was trying to go to bed… I was crying pretty hard and my nose stuffed up.  I blew one side, but then realized with the other side completely stuffed it must be how Oreo feels with his tumor blocking one nostril.  It was so uncomfortable and hard to catch a full breath…the thought of him feeling like that every day crushed me.  I totally lost it, and cried myself to sleep for the first time in a long time.  He seems to be a bit sleepier than usual – but I bumped up his gabapentin from 1 pill to 2 pills once daily (I can bump it up anywhere up to 2 pills 3x a day; but it hits him pretty hard, so I don’t want to get him on too high of a dose if I can avoid it); so I’m hoping the mild sedation is just a side effect of that.  Otherwise he still seems happy – he still wants to play and go for walks, he still gets excited and bounces around at the mention of going for a car ride.  I am getting so scared that his time is approaching.  I’m terrified of not being able to make that decision for him, or of waiting too long…and I’m even more scared of what I may do when I lose him.  He is my reason for living.  I love my kitties, but it’s nothing compared to him.  I honestly don’t think that I could love a human child as much as I love him.  He’s been there for me at the absolute lowest point of my life after my accident…I really think he is the only reason I walked away from that.  He has saved my life in more ways than one.  He is the reason I wake up every morning.  WIthout him, I would be lost.

Over the past 4 months or so, I’ve had this strong desire to just pick up and move away from my town.  I think it’s due to how strong my depression has gotten lately…I just want to pack up everything and start a new life somewhere else.  I will be in debt for probably the rest of my life from all of the vet bills I’ve had over the past 3 years.  I don’t feel like I really fit in anywhere anymore.  I feel like I have no one other than my parents, who aren’t very good with other people’s emotional problems, or very easy to even talk to about things like that.  I have so many people around me, but I’m not really close to anyone anymore, and most of the time, I just feel 100% isolated.  All I can think about now is just giving up and trying again somewhere else. The only things holding me back are: 1) my mom’s health issues, and 2) the thought that I might immediately regret moving away once I settle in.  I feel very lonely a majority of the time and I’ve been feeling that sticking around here really isn’t worth it anymore.  To top everything off, I’ve been having very bad back and neck pain over the past few days, causing what seems like a permanent headache.  It’s excruciating, and causes vision in one of my eyes to become blurry.  It started out with spasms in my back, at the area affected from being hit by the car.  The next day, it had spread into my neck, and was radiating into my head.  No amount of asprin or hot compresses have seemed to help it.  I don’t know what I did to trigger it; but it’s awful.

I guess that’s enough about that… I doubt anyone will really make it this far down without any pictures in the post to keep it lively, but I just needed to get everything out one way or another.  I’m sure keeping it all in was making it even worse; so maybe writing about it will at least help.  I just feel so lost lately and don’t know what to do anymore.  I just need a break.

Happy Birthday to Oreo <3

Happy birthday to my baby boy!!  Oreo celebrated his birthday this past Wednesday.  I just cant believe this little guy is ten!

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Where did the time go!   Oreo had a great time opening presents and eating cake on his birthday, as did his kitty brother and sister who seemed to think it was their birthday too.

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I have his official birthday party scheduled in a few weeks; i’m hoping that a few of his best doggy friends and human friends will be able to make it!  I also hope that he’s able to have a good time without getting himself TOO excited and getting a nosebleed.

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Speaking of nosebleeds…last week, Oreo had his scariest one yet.  It went on for around an hour, and I couldn’t get it to stop for the life of me.  He was sneezing out huge blood clots, and you could see that he was starting to panic as well.  After about 20 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to stop the bleeding on my own, I had to bring him into work.  I was supposed to work at the bank, so I had to call in there for the first time, and i had my dad pick us up and drive us to the vet.  I tried to keep him calm for the ride, but he still got a lot of blood all over my dads car.  Luckily, he loves his “Grandson” and wasn’t mad at all.  My vet and coworkers were able to stop his bleed, and cleaned him up for me since he had blood everywhere.

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This Thursday we go back to his Oncologist to try his new chemo protocol.  I’m pretty nervous about it, if for no other reason than that I’m not sure how exactly it’s going to play out.  I know his doctor had said that he wouldn’t recommend sedation previously, but I don’t know how they’ll get him to stay still for several hours otherwise while he gets an IV chemo drip.  If I were there laying next to him he might be fine, but I’m sure that’s not allowed given the sort of drugs they’ll be dealing with.

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We’ve hit the 1 year mark since we’ve been actively fighting this thing.  A year ago he had his nasal scope, which showed us his tumor for the first time, and nasal debulking, which scraped out as much of the tumor as possible.  I remember being so worried during the whole procedure, and feeling so helpless afterwards.  He was miserable, bleeding a ton from his nose, and so drugged up on meds that I couldn’t get him to even stand.  Fast forward a few days later when he got his Fentanyl patch removed, he bounced back to his normal, happy self within the hour!  You can take a trip down memory lane with all of that here –>  http://diaryofacrazypetmom.com/fuck-cancer/

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Today Oreo and his kitties have had a lazy relaxing day, while I’ve been trying to get some stuff cleaned up and organized – I still have some boxes of things at my parents house that have to be moved over here; but since my space here is so small, I really have to go through and decide what I REALLY want to keep…and give everything else to Goodwill.  I’m about ready to take Oreo to get his weekly fries – I think this week we’ll try out Burger King fries.  Those are the fries that lured him into my car the day I found him, after all <3