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Deciding on Amputation for 15-yr old cat Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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Canada
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30 January 2018 - 10:24 pm
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Hi Crystal, Spirit, amd Kiko

Thanks for the continued encouragement & well wishes! I hope everyone's week started off nicely & you have less snow (or none at all!) there than we do! 

Crystal you’re such a sweetheart! Here you are having a family crisis and you’re being so sweet to ask how we are all doing! Thank you! My family had a lovely weekend. 😉

Here are some pics through the years of Spirit "Whitey" aka the Tiny Loving Man, etc.

Spirit “Whitey”, Tiny Loving Man...you are incredibly beautiful! A very special boy both inside and out! Those eyes! My gongases, I am absolutely smitten!😻
Keek, the sleek! Mum will be a tech geek shortly and get us some pics of you as well little darlin!”

 You can see his Westie love/sister, Angel, in one. I don't have any uploaded elsewhere online that include Kiko, (dropped off social media a couple years ago around the time we adopted him), so will have to upload them somewhere to be able to link them here. I haven't quite figured out how to quote other comments in multiple parts here in the forum, so hope my reply style is ok! I should know how to do this, I'm still considered a millenial! 😛

Angel is a little sweetheart! It’s no wonder Spirit was in love with her!
I hope my earlier comments on the picture uploads were more of a help than a hinderance?

The past 48 hours have been rough - Spirit only ate 1 1/4 meals and threw up yesterday morning. I gave him Buprenex last night hoping it would help but he only licked a little wet food a few hours later. I've tried 7 different foods - 5 types of wet food, including his fave seafoods, and dry, even cooking fresh ground turkey - but he just sits in front of them, like he wants to eat but wants something else. Not even sardine juice helped.

I’m sorry to hear this my darling, you are doing such a good job of keeping your boy comfy. I understand, as do many others, just how hard it is to try and force feed and medicate our babies!
I have always said to Paul, that giving the medication is probably one of the most difficult parts of the process, they don’t understand why we are forcing them and they always try and please us don’t they?!

 I had a long cry to myself after giving him the smorgasbord last night to no avail.

Oh how we understand those heart and gut wrenching moments alone, when we wish to god that we could do something to change the circumstances! Life can be seem so cruel, when we have to face such horrors, but when offered the choice of meeting Spirit and having this beautiful spirit in your life, or to never have met Spirit and live without the pain of dealing with his disease...! And please don’t answer that, it’s sort of a hypothetical question really, ‘cause I don’t think there would be a question if choice, would there?!

Of course Kiko was pretty disappointed that he could not partake in the 7-course feast, but I gave him a little extra of the cooked turkey along with his regular meal.

Oh I think Kiko forgave you very quickly when offered the peace keeping morsels!

I called the vet and my regular is not in today, but they said I could pick up some Mirtazatine. I'm not fully into this option based on giving it to the Westie before and her having tremors and vomiting after, but it's an option. I tried to find some bone broth already made that didn't have onions in the blend (bad for cats, eh?), but no luck.

You can always speak with your vet regarding other options. Onions can be deadly to both dogs and cats. im surprised that this medication is used on animals at all!!

I read up on the Neoplasene treatment, Holly,(that's my mom's name too btw!),

None of us are surprised by this synch are we?!!! 😉

I wonder if you wrapped Mojo's paws, Petra, or have any tips on tumor care/bleeding tumors of the digits? 

I’m sorry my darling, I don’t have much advice in the way of wound care in this regard... Mojo had knocked his paw on the chest when jumping up one day and it opened up one of his tumours, I had tried using warm compresses on it to keep it clean, but I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t too long after that that I asked Paul to help me make the most difficult call of Mojo’s life! You are being a warrior in taking care of your boys feet!

I did however, read an awful story of a lady in the UK I believe, who had her cat taken away and is not allowed to have animals because she was treating her cat's cancer with manuka honey! ........so the poor lady had her kitty taken and was punished for doing what she might have been doing if she had seen a vet/gotten x-rays anyway, and the kitty had to be separated from her and have his leg amputated even though it did not help!

That poor, poor woman and the poor darling cat! My heart just wrenches hearing that story! There are worse things that people do and a blind eye is turned! There are not enough emojis to show how I feel right now!:(

I'm so glad I got answers before doing an amputation, although the surgeon said it's still an option, depending on the growth of the internal tumors... to help with quality of life if the internal is slow-growing... Idk. I just got the CT images in email today and a very brief description of what I was looking at. I feel like there should have been an official report attached or something (especially for the cost!)
I’m sorry, but from what I understand the cost of a CT scan can be, they should have you in for a consultation and answer any questions you may have!

As far as suggesting that amputation is still a viable option after seeing additional masses in the lungs or the lymph nodes for that matter.....???? I am not a vet, I am not suggesting anything... but that is not the typical way of thinking, so far as I have come to understand on this site...?
How often would you have to do a Ct Scan or X-ray, to see if it’s slow going, before you decide to amputate? If you you decide to amputate?! I’m not sure what to say in this regard ...

so maybe if I can read a report it will tell.

Oh you poor thing! You shouldn’t have to try and deciphering that report by yourself! You must call up your specialist and tell them that you absolutely need a follow up to the scan to go over the results. There should be no charge for this as far as I’m concerned!

He had mentioned the bronchial area being compressed by one of the tumors, which might have caused coughing, when we saw him post-CT. I wonder too if that has something to do with him not wanting to eat... ?

Quite possibly darling, along with his very sore paw.

.
I haven't been able to speak with an Oncologist yet either, but left messages for the one a few hours away to call me back.
Good luck sweetheart in getting some proper answers to your very razzled mind!
Petra - Thanks again for the kind words! I'm happy you've been feeling Mojo's presence more through this connection and glad to know he's watching out for Spirit too. Yes, Crystal & Petra, solid names indeed! 

I can assure you that there are definitely other forces at work in the universe that have brought us all together to try and make this terribly difficult journey, hopefully a little bit easier for you and Spirit!

thanks for the quote from your niece... so very true! Gotta take the bad with the good, eh? It also makes me think of that George Carlin one, that buying/adopting a pet is akin to signing up for a future tragedy!

Yeah, I couldn’t live without my fur babies!

I hear you on staring into the eyes of your fur baby... he has definitely been trying to communicate with me. But also I see he's been in pain lately and as a cat mom, that's super hard to see, as you prob know!

Yes, we all understand completely!

It's truly a blessing to have connected with this group, and it means a lot to me to find others who have been through similar hard situations with their beloved animal friends. Even moreso blessed with the synchs of Mojo & Spirit's journeys! 

Thank you on behalf of Mojo! The synchs are amazingly quite obvious! 😉 When I first asked Rene if I could post a blog journaling Mojo’s cancer, I really wasn’t thinking that there would be another case similar to his... but just in case, I wanted to let people know that a small toe problem can actually be a small piece of a much larger picture that needs to be looked at! I am grateful to Tripawds for many reasons as well and this is yet another example of how much of a difference that Tripawds.com makes on people’s lives!

I'm so lucky Spirit is such a loving guy and that I've been able to have such a true, dear friend as him besides me for so long. He's really one-of-a-kind. <3 (Aren't they all?  >^_^<  ) I'm hoping he'll come around and eat something tonight on his own. If not, syringe feeding it is...  

You are both very fortunate to have found one another! True friendship runs in both directions and you can’t have one without the other right?! It is obvious how much you love each other and that bond will never break ever! Mojo is a perfect example of that fact!

Please keep sending the good vibes Spirit's way! Love & good wishes to you & your fur babies! 
-Crystal, "Whitey" and Keek the sleek

I am praying for all the good vibes to come your way! Love your boy Crystal just as you are doing, that’s what he needs most from you and an open heart and mind to make all the best choices for him! You both know that you are doing your very best for him and your courage is obvious!

Take good care and all the very best
Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his Pride >^..^<

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

Michigan
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31 January 2018 - 6:43 am
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Thanks for the continued encouragement & well wishes! I hope everyone's week started off nicely & you have less snow (or none at all!) there than we do! 

We will continue sending well wishes for Spirit and you!! We received a fresh dump of 6 inches of snow here ⛄️
Spirit Whitey aka tiny loving man is one very handsome kitty. His blue eyes are BEAUTIFUL ! Nice to see Angel Westie too.

I haven't quite figured out how to quote other comments in multiple parts here in the forum, so hope my reply style is ok! I should know how to do this, I'm still considered a millenial! 😛

Petra gave you the instructions for quoting and your reply style is normal and purrfect, we don’t use the quotes until we have been here too long;) No worries either way is good! Millennial or Generation X or whoever does not matter we all learn as we go. Post as you have been! Or play around when you have time!

I don't have any uploaded elsewhere online that include Kiko, (dropped off social media a couple years ago around the time we adopted him), so will have to upload them somewhere to be able to link them here. 

I say good for you for dropping off the social media I am likely the only person to agree with that move;) Yes you can open a free blog and load your pictures there and blog if you wish or just use it for photo storage to post in the forums .

The past 48 hours have been rough - Spirit only ate 1 1/4 meals and threw up yesterday morning. I gave him Buprenex last night hoping it would help but he only licked a little wet food a few hours later. I've tried 7 different foods - 5 types of wet food, including his fave seafoods, and dry, even cooking fresh ground turkey - but he just sits in front of them, like he wants to eat but wants something else. Not even sardine juice helped. I had a long cry to myself after giving him the smorgasbord last night to no avail. Of course Kiko was pretty disappointed that he could not partake in the 7-course feast, but I gave him a little extra of the cooked turkey along with his regular meal.

I’m sorry to hear Spirit passed on 7 different types of food. The only thing I did not see you mention was baby food Gerbers Chicken & Gravy, Turkey & Gravy or Ham & Gravy. Our guys love the turkey and gravy others swear by the chicken and gravy. It is not a balanced food and its not organic or hormone free etc. at times like this we throw all those beliefs out the window to get them to eat. This is when you try anything. Spirit not eating any cat not eating can become even more serious quickly!

Did you warm any of the wet food sometimes that is all it takes.

I called the vet and my regular is not in today, but they said I could pick up some Mirtazatine. I'm not fully into this option based on giving it to the Westie before and her having tremors and vomiting after, but it's an option.

Mirtazatine is worth a try. I did not have luck with it in a senior kitty. He became super agitated and angry on it. Some people have had luck with it so I don’t want to bash it based on our experience. I did better by stimulating the senses which you already did so I don’t think you have anything to lose? You can always try it and if there is a reaction stop. Me, I would try warming the foods and different types as you were.

Get Hills A/D at the vet you can syringe that food if need be. He might readily eat it too? It’s a great food for times like these and it is balanced. They will give you the proper syringe & show you how if your not comfortable doing so.

I tried to find some bone broth already made that didn't have onions in the blend (bad for cats, eh?), but no luck. I've made bone broth for the Westie in the past but it takes like a day to cook and is quite the process... not sure if it'd be worth it at that point? He hasn't had much of the CBD/coconut oil either, whereas before he would finish what was on the spoon, now he's had a few licks yesterday and today then just stops. I tried to syringe a little wet food into him mid-day today, mixed with warm water and he was really unhappy about that.

No onions for cats!! Bone broth you can get on chewy’s we have ordered some and both the guys loved it. Pricey too! I think you need to focus more on the food and getting food him in now. Treating the symptoms that are making him not want to eat. Whatever that is. Once you get him eating yes try some bone broth if you want. 

I read up on the Neoplasene treatment, Holly, (that's my mom's name too btw! & if that is Purrkins in your pic, he's her fave color of cat), and discussed it with my regular vet over the phone on Sunday, thanks so much for the suggestion! I did not call Buck Mtn because I wanted to see if it was even something my vet would ok first.  She hadn't heard of it but pulled up info while we were on the phone and saw a bunch of "gone wrong" cases and was very cautious about it. She said if we wanted it, she'd ok getting it, but did not get into administration - if I would have to do it or ? I probably will give Buck Mtn a call to find out more, though I know they are also trying to sell their product! From what I read, it might not work for where the tumor is located, as it's in the crux of the digits/where digit was removed and it looks like this stuff burns away the healthy tissue if you get it on healthy tissue too, which might be unavoidable in that location. I did put CBD in coconut oil on it for the past two wrappings and the tumor looks better overall/less bleeding/not growing significantly. I wonder if you wrapped Mojo's paws, Petra, or have any tips on tumor care/bleeding tumors of the digits? 

Why am I not surprised your Mom’s name is Holly 😉
Yes that is Purrkins avatar picture he is one of our favorite color kitties too he is our second male ginger tabby or orange kitty we also have his brother who his black and white tuxedo kitty. They are both special guys!

We did not try the Neoplasene obviously but it was a option so I cannot honestly say. I just remember him saying he would work with the traditional vet. Our holistic Vet would have been administering but how? We didn’t get that far into the discussion.

I figured it might be a option for Spirit? I would want you to discuss it with a Holistic Vet who has experience with it and I am sure they would tell you all the pros and cons. I figured Buck Mountain might know who uses it a Holistic Vet you could talk to.  I hate when we have zero options. The last thing I want you to do is have a bad experience with it. Do the research or skip it all together. Just threw it out there just in case it was a option again have not used so cannot say one way or another. I'm sorry I wish I knew more!

I also ordered manuka honey after someone in a cat cancer group suggested it to me to put on the tumor. Looks like there is evidence that it can slow growth up to 30% alone,  but 60% if combined with chemo. I did however, read an awful story of a lady in the UK I believe, who had her cat taken away and is not allowed to have animals because she was treating her cat's cancer with manuka honey! I think it might have been the same situation where the cancer was already internal, but perhaps she didn't see a vet to know for sure. Neighbors thought she was not treating the cat's cancer right, and maybe she didn't get to vet to diagnose and should have... but when they took the cat away and rehomed him, immediately a vet amputated the leg (I wonder if they bothered to x-ray the lungs?) but the cat had to be euthanized not long after bc of the cancer (prob because it was already internal!). I was pretty saddened by this, because essentially she was doing palliative care and the amputation clearly did no good, so the poor lady had her kitty taken and was punished for doing what she might have been doing if she had seen a vet/gotten x-rays anyway, and the kitty had to be separated from her and have his leg amputated even though it did not help!

The Manuka honey cant hurt thats for sure! I’m sorry to hear about that story.🤬 

I'm so glad I got answers before doing an amputation, although the surgeon said it's still an option, depending on the growth of the internal tumors... to help with quality of life if the internal is slow-growing... Idk. I just got the CT images in email today and a very brief description of what I was looking at. I feel like there should have been an official report attached or something (especially for the cost!) but I don't have that and was unable to reach the surgeon when I called today to discuss the images. I still don't know for sure if the lymph is definitely involved or if it's strictly the lung, so maybe if I can read a report it will tell. He had mentioned the bronchial area being compressed by one of the tumors, which might have caused coughing, when we saw him post-CT. I wonder too if that has something to do with him not wanting to eat... ?

I am glad you got some answers as well. Not that they are what we hoped for. In my opinion and that is all it is - I do not understand why you don't have more definitive answers on a CT? You paid big money for a CT you should have all your answers or clearer answers that is why you chose the CT and why it was recommended !  Plus a full report!  Call today and discuss all of this with him.

Write your questions down before calling so you do not get sidetracked while on the phone. Or have you Vet call him and get the answers.

I haven't been able to speak with an Oncologist yet either, but left messages for the one a few hours away to call me back.

I would call again until I got the Oncologist, your Vet might be able to call and get you in sooner, the very least have a consult over the phone?  I think you need to be treating Spirits symptoms now, his cough. His not eating.  They can treat the symptoms, make Spirit more comfortable. That is what is most important at this time. 

Please keep sending the good vibes Spirit's way! Love & good wishes to you & your fur babies! 

No need to ask we are and will continue !!

Please keep us posted and Spirit you have to eat for Mom buddy ! 

Hugs!

Holly & Purrkins & brother Saxton or Sexy Saxton as Petra likes to call himwinker

heart

Virginia
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31 January 2018 - 1:53 pm
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As usual, cannot add anything to the insightful knowldge Holly and Petra have gone over with you in superb detail. I can definitely ditto getting additional informationr and clarification on the CT!   I'll also add that,as Petra already mentioned, some Vets are now proponets of amputation even if mets are visible.   Obviously each case has it's own "specifics" 

One of the comluter geeks can find the blog where a Vet discussed that topic.

I can say that the pictures of your crew are ADORABLE!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I can say that no one could provide more love and care than you have, and are, to your precious pack (present and past).

I can also add that none of this medical gibberish means swuat to Spirit!!   He's not listening to anything they are saying!

I can add one bit of information abput Manuka Ho ey that you may already know.

** In order to get legitimate medical grade Manuka Honey, you'll want to chexk the UMF number.  Generally the higher the nimber the better.  A UMF #5 is good, but a UMF #10 is even better.   Two brands that I "think"  are pure and certified COMVITA  and also KIVA.  Do your own research though and come to your own conclusions.

Hope Spirit's tummy is better .  Not eating off and on is probably somewhat "normal" on this crazy crapshoot of a joirney.

We're all continuing to send healr energy and e dless great rimes ahead!

Higs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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3 February 2018 - 8:36 am
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 Hi Crystal, Spirit and Kiko

I just wanted to pop in and let you know that you are in my thoughts. As I am sure you are in the thoughts of a few here! heart

I am sending through cuddles and chin rubs and tons of comforting energy!

Keeping you in my thoughts and hope you are keeping well. Please don’t feel that you have to respond in kind! Its just kisses we’re sending through! heart

Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his Pride >^..^<  😉 heartheartheart

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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17 February 2018 - 4:26 pm
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Hey all, has it really been this long? Wow! Feels like no time but also furever, if you know what I'm saying?

I hope this finds you all warm & well! I read your messages here a few days after they were posted, and they gave me great comfort and happy tears, thanks again ladies for your prayers & caring! heart
Maybe you saw my comment on your Stu-versary blog post, Petra? ^_^ Very nice to see pics of your gang & more synchs on the musician in the family tip! 🙂

Thankfully, Spirit is still with us, and had some really great days, and some really bad days since I last posted here. The coughing has completely stopped for a couple weeks now, so perhaps it was connected to the first surgery and tubes they placed down his throat, or maybe the supplements I've been giving him have helped with whatever was making him cough? It makes me less worried about the lung situation, for sure. Again, Since they were unable to aspirate/test the mass in the lungs, there is no real assurance of what exactly it is inside...  

Giving him mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite really was a life-saver, although I had difficulty getting him to take the 2nd 1/4 pill dose - I guess they taste pretty badly - and had to have the vet help me with it this past week. It definitely works for a few days to get him eating on his own, and he even purrs while eating! I can't complain about that, and it seems to give him some pep/comfort overall, though I wonder about long-term use of it. He had to be syringe fed a few times prior to trying the mirtazpine + when I couldn't get him to take the dose + this morning (tonight is when he'd be due for his next 72-hour dose, so it seems like it's lasting less than 72 hours).

The tumors on his paw have gotten worse/spread - but are still only on that one paw/ankle. I'm re-evaluating doing an amputation at this time, because he's in great pain. I see it every night when I cleanse his paw & rebandage it, how he reacts to touching it - I mean, it just LOOKS painful anyway. It's at the "stepped-on-a-landmine" stage again now... and he got off his bandage yesterday while I was in the bathroom and I came out to a bloody mess and him licking at it. 🙁 The vet said we'd feel/know if there were other tumors on the other legs/paws, before they would show up as bone issues in X-ray, and so far no others have been noticeably effected! 

I'm having such a hard time gauging whether or not to do the amputation at this point... of course, sooner is better, and otherwise I feel like he's going to get to a point of pain with this paw where I'm going to have to consider euthanization. But maybe that would be the best decision if it's going to pop up somewhere else? Still, it hasn't yet, so I feel like there's hope, but Idk!
As you may recall, I'd been all set to go through with amputation if nothing had been found in the CT scan of his lungs (even pre-paid for the surgery!), but then had the call that masses were found, and the surgeon presented it in a way that doing the surgery would not be advised. Unfortunately, they did not provide me with a size of the lung mass so we could compare vs. the size given in the first X-ray months ago. I feel like that would have been helpful in determining the growth rate of the lung mass(es). When I called to ask about it, the tech that I've had issues with @ surgeon's office called me back and said that it was 1 cm, and that her info was the same as what I had - but I had no size listed/noted at all on my full CT scan report that finally came through. So that was confusing... especially since the Radiologist from the first X-ray had gauged the mass at 11mm (1 mm larger). I feel that if she only had the same report I did, which had no size noted, then maybe she was looking at the old X-ray info/11mm... but Idk. And if she was able to somehow get this accurate 1cm reading from the CT scan, then that could mean it hasn't grown much. It is near his heart too... This is copied from the report:

FINDINGS:
following general anesthesia, 2 mm contiguous slices of the thorax were obtained pre-and
post contrast administration. In the caudal mediastinum immediately ventral to the esophagus, a round
to oval soft tissue mass is seen with patchy ring enhancement. This is contiguous with the mass
involving the ventral aspect of the right caudal lung lobe, which appears to wraparound and indented
the right caudal lobar bronchus. This mass does not appear to extend to the chest wall. Enlargement of
the right hilar lymph nodes is seen ventral to the right middle lung will bronchus.

ASSESSMENT:
enlarged thoracic lymph nodes with ring enhancement, and focal infiltrative process in
the right caudal lung field as described. Considering the age of the patient, neoplasia is most likely.

Discharge Instructions:
A thoracic CT with contrast was performed today. The CT revealed that Spirit has a mass in his caudal
mediastinum, above his heart (that appear to be enlarged lymph nodes) and that the lung adjacent to
that lesion also appears involved (has a mass in it) and the bronchus to that lung is being compressed.
Unfortunately the mass is in a location that we were unable to sample it today. We do not believe that
the mass in his lung spread to his toe, but it is possible that the tumor on Spirits toe has spread to his
chest.

I'm surprised with the bronchus compression and mass being near his esophagus, that he is no longer coughing... Could it be the supplements are working? I found a pretty extensive protocol via pathwithpaws site (I think that's it!), including medicinal mushrooms, IP6, artesimin, etc... and ordered the recommended items asap. It's been hard to get him to take everything when he was refusing food, but he's been on enough of them (albeit sometimes less than the recommended doses, having to space things out around Buprenex, CBD too) for at least a week and a half - to maybe show a difference? But maybe not soon enough for his paw...? I've used the Manuka UMF 15+ (thanks Sally & gang for looking out on the UMF tip!) even mixed with CBD full-spectrum drops for at least a week on the paw itself... If this is slowing the growth, I'd hate to see it without!

You're so right Sally - that none of the medical gibberish matters to Spirit... what does is that he's in pain though. It's really hard for me to know if he'd be able to bounce back in happiness with the amputation... Obviously he'd be out of immediate cancer-tumor pain, but the surgery pain would be real...  I know the CBD and Buprenex are helping right now... and I let the vet give him an Onsior shot on Valentine's Day too... He'd been on oral Onsior for maybe 7 days a week or so before then, and I stopped because it seemed to be effecting his appetite. Since they gave him Mirtazpine too, I figured the appetite would be better, but like I said, had to syringe feed today, (though he seemed to want to eat, none of the 7 options I gave him he actually ate), so it's not lasting as long as the first 72-hour dose did. He lost about .5 lb since the last weigh-in... at 8 lbs 6 oz currently :/ Skinny little man! Still, even with Onsior, CBD and Buprenex, that paw is painful! Since nothing else has manifested in the other limbs/paws, but keeping in mind the lung potential, and that this may end up being FLDS... what do you guys think about amputation at this point? Is it too risky or could it only help? Ahhh... I'm going crazy about it. 

I'm really done with the surgeon who did the CT scan - he hasn't even called to check up on Spirit, and I was in tears that morning because of our interaction with him, so I'd need to go to the vet where I had the last X-rays done, which offers no overnight care, which would mean us picking him up and going through the rough first night post-op on our own, which I know seems to be doable, but rough, eh? The CT scan hospital /where original plan to amputate if lungs were clear was is the only place that offers overnight care, but we were still planning to get a big cage to keep Spirit Kiko-free during healing process, so we'd need to do that & get a small litter pan to put in there, etc... We called that vet to see when he could potentially do the operation, but he did not get back to us today. He's in tomorrow so we'll check back then. 

I found a Facebook group that was specific to Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma, though no one else's kitty has that type of cancer on a paw - just Spirit and Mojo heart, they're all on the jaw or mouth. They've had some decent tips and suggestions on diet/supplements.

Maybe I will get around to starting a blog here, but if Whitey's not a tripwad (yet), would it be blasphemous?! For now, I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years! sleepy 

Looking forward to spring! The birds have already begun to come around, but the more the merrier for the kitty boys to enjoy from the windows.
Happy & healthy wishes to you & your furbabies!superstar __/|\__
With gratitude,
Crystal, Spirit & Keek the sleek!

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spirit333 said
Maybe I will get around to starting a blog here...would it be blasphemous?

Not at all! Thank you for sharing all this information.

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17 February 2018 - 7:49 pm
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Hey Crystal good to hear from you!

Maybe you saw my comment on your Stu-versary blog post, Petra? ^_^ Very nice to see pics of your gang & more synchs on the musician in the family tip!

We did see your post in Stewies blog and were happy to see you and Spirit! We have been looking forward to your update!

Thankfully, Spirit is still with us, and had some really great days, and some really bad days since I last posted here. The coughing has completely stopped for a couple weeks now, so perhaps it was connected to the first surgery and tubes they placed down his throat, or maybe the supplements I've been giving him have helped with whatever was making him cough? It makes me less worried about the lung situation, for sure. Again, Since they were unable to aspirate/test the mass in the lungs, there is no real assurance of what exactly it is inside...  

We are really happy to read Spirit is having some great days!! Glad to hear the coughing has stopped. The lung situation is still a situation. I understand you dont know what it is as of type.

We do not believe that
the mass in his lung spread to his toe, but it is possible that the tumor on Spirits toe has spread to his
chest.

From what I do understand the tumor has mets to the lung or visa versa and they believe in their notes it has mets from the toes to the lungs. I still do not understand why we have so many questions after a CT? 

Giving him mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite really was a life-saver, although I had difficulty getting him to take the 2nd 1/4 pill dose - I guess they taste pretty badly - and had to have the vet help me with it this past week. It definitely works for a few days to get him eating on his own, and he even purrs while eating! I can't complain about that, and it seems to give him some pep/comfort overall, though I wonder about long-term use of it.

I would not worry about any long term use of it, it is working !
Eating is the utmost importance in cats! #1 Spirit has to eat, use the drug if it is working! Please do not question more right now you have enough questions trust me take this one off that list right now. This is the least of the concerns right now .

The tumors on his paw have gotten worse/spread - but are still only on that one paw/ankle. I'm re-evaluating doing an amputation at this time, because he's in great pain. I see it every night when I cleanse his paw & rebandage it, how he reacts to touching it - I mean, it just LOOKS painful anyway. It's at the "stepped-on-a-landmine" stage again now... and he got off his bandage yesterday while I was in the bathroom and I came out to a bloody mess and him licking at it.

The vet said we'd feel/know if there were other tumors on the other legs/paws, before they would show up as bone issues in X-ray, and so far no others have been noticeably effected! 

No new xrays were taken of any of the limbs correct? I am sorry to hear the paws are landmines! You need answers to some very important questions. Yesterday ! GRRR This is unsettling to us all, I have no doubt and feel terrible for you both!

I'm having such a hard time gauging whether or not to do the amputation at this point... of course, sooner is better, and otherwise I feel like he's going to get to a point of pain with this paw where I'm going to have to consider euthanization. But maybe that would be the best decision if it's going to pop up somewhere else? Still, it hasn't yet, so I feel like there's hope, but Idk!

As you may recall, I'd been all set to go through with amputation if nothing had been found in the CT scan of his lungs (even pre-paid for the surgery!), but then had the call that masses were found, and the surgeon presented it in a way that doing the surgery would not be advised. Unfortunately, they did not provide me with a size of the lung mass so we could compare vs. the size given in the first X-ray months ago. I feel like that would have been helpful in determining the growth rate of the lung mass(es). When I called to ask about it, the tech that I've had issues with @ surgeon's office called me back and said that it was 1 cm, and that her info was the same as what I had - but I had no size listed/noted at all on my full CT scan report that finally came through. So that was confusing... especially since the Radiologist from the first X-ray had gauged the mass at 11mm (1 mm larger). I feel that if she only had the same report I did, which had no size noted, then maybe she was looking at the old X-ray info/11mm... but Idk. And if she was able to somehow get this accurate 1cm reading from the CT scan, then that could mean it hasn't grown much. It is near his heart too... This is copied from the 

You have far to many questions still that we can not answer, I am so upset for you, you paid for the CT and you still do not have the answers you paid for. That makes me angry for you! What about posting some of these questions in our Ask The Vet forum?


FINDINGS: following general anesthesia, 2 mm contiguous slices of the thorax were obtained pre-and
post contrast administration. In the caudal mediastinum immediately ventral to the esophagus, a round
to oval soft tissue mass is seen with patchy ring enhancement. This is contiguous with the mass
involving the ventral aspect of the right caudal lung lobe, which appears to wraparound and indented
the right caudal lobar bronchus. This mass does not appear to extend to the chest wall. Enlargement of
the right hilar lymph nodes is seen ventral to the right middle lung will bronchus.

ASSESSMENT: enlarged thoracic lymph nodes with ring enhancement, and focal infiltrative process in
the right caudal lung field as described. Considering the age of the patient, neoplasia is most likely.
Discharge Instructions:
A thoracic CT with contrast was performed today. The CT revealed that Spirit has a mass in his caudal
mediastinum, above his heart (that appear to be enlarged lymph nodes) and that the lung adjacent to
that lesion also appears involved (has a mass in it) and the bronchus to that lung is being compressed.
Unfortunately the mass is in a location that we were unable to sample it today. We do not believe that
the mass in his lung spread to his toe, but it is possible that the tumor on Spirits toe has spread to his
chest.

I'm surprised with the bronchus compression and mass being near his esophagus, that he is no longer coughing... Could it be the supplements are working? I found a pretty extensive protocol via pathwithpaws site (I think that's it!), including medicinal mushrooms, IP6, artesimin, etc... and ordered the recommended items asap. It's been hard to get him to take everything when he was refusing food, but he's been on enough of them (albeit sometimes less than the recommended doses, having to space things out around Buprenex, CBD too) for at least a week and a half - to maybe show a difference? But maybe not soon enough for his paw...? I've used the Manuka UMF 15+ (thanks Sally & gang for looking out on the UMF tip!) even mixed with CBD full-spectrum drops for at least a week on the paw itself... If this is slowing the growth, I'd hate to see it without!
You're so right Sally - that none of the medical gibberish matters to Spirit... what does is that he's in pain though.

Is Spirits pain being managed with what you are giving him now? If not please discuss this with the Vet tomorrow.  No matter which route you go Pain Management is key! If it is not being managed they can help with the meds and tweaking them or changing them. We have to speak up for them.

You are in a tough spot and I understand the torture of what to do not to do!

I think at this point one question you NEED to ask yourself what can you live with?

What decision can you live with taking the leg knowing it may or may not be giving him quality of life? Not taking the leg and managing the pain? You have a nagging sense to you Crystal please take some time and breathe and listen! Whatever that nag is listen to it! That is your answer!

What we need to do is get you feeling ok with one decision no matter what happens. I hate to say these things like that but that is where we are. We cant make the decision for you but we can help you see all the angles maybe ?

What can you live with and what can you not live with in the best and worst case scenarios. Play both out in your mind and how do you feel? Which decision can you live with ? Play the worst case out, are you still glad you took the leg or are you wishing you did not take the leg? What do you feel is the BEST for Spirit? 

We are here with you on this journey either way.

It's really hard for me to know if he'd be able to bounce back in happiness with the amputation... Obviously he'd be out of immediate cancer-tumor pain, but the surgery pain would be real...  I know the CBD and Buprenex are helping right now... and I let the vet give him an Onsior shot on Valentine's Day too... He'd been on oral Onsior for maybe 7 days a week or so before then, and I stopped because it seemed to be effecting his appetite.

Amputation is a major surgery it will be painful and to compare those? I don’t have that answer. Both need good pain management! Both I believe can be managed.

Every cat that I have read about on the site in our time here that have been on Onsior had anorexia it is a side effect. Any reason that is the drug of choice? I would X that on my list, just my opinion when Spirit is having appetite issues. Ask for a alternative drug.

Since they gave him Mirtazpine too, I figured the appetite would be better, but like I said, had to syringe feed today, (though he seemed to want to eat, none of the 7 options I gave him he actually ate), so it's not lasting as long as the first 72-hour dose did. He lost about .5 lb since the last weigh-in... at 8 lbs 6 oz currently :/ Skinny little man! Still, even with Onsior, CBD and Buprenex, that paw is painful! Since nothing else has manifested in the other limbs/paws, but keeping in mind the lung potential, and that this may end up being FLDS... what do you guys think about amputation at this point? Is it too risky or could it only help? Ahhh... I'm going crazy about it. 

Has any of the surgeons said Spirit is a candidate for surgery?

I'm really done with the surgeon who did the CT scan - he hasn't even called to check up on Spirit, and I was in tears that morning because of our interaction with him, so I'd need to go to the vet where I had the last X-rays done, which offers no overnight care, which would mean us picking him up and going through the rough first night post-op on our own, which I know seems to be doable, but rough, eh? The CT scan hospital /where original plan to amputate if lungs were clear was is the only place that offers overnight care, but we were still planning to get a big cage to keep Spirit Kiko-free during healing process, so we'd need to do that & get a small litter pan to put in there, etc... We called that vet to see when he could potentially do the operation, but he did not get back to us today. He's in tomorrow so we'll check back then. 

Let us know when you hear and ask if Spirit is a candidate for surgery, ask about his pain being managed better, ask all these questions and see what they suggest or advise.

Maybe I will get around to starting a blog here, but if Whitey's not a tripwad (yet), would it be blasphemous?! For now, I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years!   

Starting a blog no matter which way you go is a great idea! It will indeed help you and help others that come along in the future. We look forward to reading your first post;)

Looking forward to spring! The birds have already begun to come around, but the more the merrier for the kitty boys to enjoy from the windows.

I think we are all ready for Spring a time for new beginnings and regrowth one of my favorite times of year. Nature resets at least here;)

Get some rest and keep Spirit as comfy as you can and make your phone calls then make your decision knowing the facts and out of love and that will be the best decision for you and Spirit. 

Bounce more off of us and we will do our best to bounce our ideas back and help you in anyway we can with whichever path you & Spirit take.

Did you try the gerber's baby food? I think you will be surprised Spirit might just lap that up for you! Also don't forget you can warm his foods. This is the time to pull out any food ! Throw all the beliefs out the door and get food into Spirit! Nothing else matters if you cant get him eating! Pain being managed better will help with the appetite too !

I hope we can help figure out what is best going forward. Please give Spirit a big cuddle and chin scratches from us please, We will continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers . 

Hugs,

Holly & Purrkins heart

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18 February 2018 - 7:47 am
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Morning Crystal, Spirit and Keek the sleek, 😉 😘 

you know I sat down last night and i wrote what i thought was a pretty good response to your post Crystal and it was a long one, just like yours and it went ‘poof’ into cyberspace when i hit send... 🤬 I’m sure you will can understand my frustration. Obviously Mojo didn’t like that one. So I am sitting here again getting ready to dive into your post... Please bare with me... it is on it’s way... You have both been on my mind, so there is no getting away from me now darling! 😘 

loving hugs and special nose kisses to Spirit and his Keek! 😘 

Petra, and gang 🐾 & >^..^< ❤️ 

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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18 February 2018 - 11:02 am
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spirit333 said
Hey all, has it really been this long? Wow! Feels like no time but also furever, if you know what I'm saying?

Crystal lovey, I know exactly what you are saying!!!! Time is of no essence right now my lovey, you are caught up in a whirlwind time machine called ‘’life really sucks sometimes!” Only Spirit matters, time doesn’t!!!
Spirit lovey, your name was chosen WAY before you came to this earth! You have obviously given your Mum a universe filled with love! She is already halfway to the moon and back for you and is willing to go again my darling, you reallly are one very special Spirit Boy!!!
My hope is that my post will bring you comfort, I hope that my words will come true... Sorry, it’s going to be a long one... I’m very good at writing Novellas! 😉 😘

I hope this finds you all warm & well! I read your messages here a few days after they were posted, and they gave me great comfort and happy tears, thanks again ladies for your prayers & caring! heart
Maybe you saw my comment on your Stu-versary blog post, Petra? ^_^ Very nice to see pics of your gang & more synchs on the musician in the family tip! 🙂

Crystal, I was soooo hoppy to see you post on Stewie’s blog, that was so sweet! Stewie says to send you many thanks! We are synched in so many different ways Crystal, I couldn’t begin to explain, but i love that music is one of them! We have a song called “All the Little Things” that makes me feel super grateful for all of my little things that are in my life every time I sing it and I know that all your ‘Little Things’ will add up and bring you tons and tons of love and comfort!! I am going to offer you my truths from my heart and I am in no way trying to tell you which direction to go in with Spirit... he will tell you that. 😚  I just want to share with you the difficulties and the joys that I had with my Munchkin during his very difficult journey with FLDS.

Thankfully, Spirit is still with us, and had some really great days, and some really bad days since I last posted here.

I am thankful for you too Crystal. I do know how hard this is for you!!!! I know that the world you are living in isn’t comfortable, it is a living hell!!! It is a time full of all things beautiful and strange and dark and ugly!!! But most importantly it is a world with Spirit! It is a world in which you can physically hold your boy and tell him that you love him! Im sorry that you have to suffer through so much pain, both of you!!! Reason has no bounds at this point and everything and nothing is possible!!!! I get it 100%!!!

The coughing has completely stopped for a couple weeks now, so perhaps it was connected to the first surgery and tubes they placed down his throat, or maybe the supplements I've been giving him have helped with whatever was making him cough? It makes me less worried about the lung situation, for sure. Again, Since they were unable to aspirate/test the mass in the lungs, there is no real assurance of what exactly it is inside...

Dr. Laurie told us that Mojo’s lung situation wasn’t going be his problem in his last days, in fact she said that the lung masses had probably been there for some time. The tumours in his feet, more specifically the one front paw, was going to be his downfall!!! 😭 Crystal as I have mentioned before, once Mojo knocked open that one lesion from trying to jump on on a bench with me, It was so clearly painful, as you see with Spirit, that I knew his time in his beautiful earthly fur pants, was going to be coming to an end. 😭 He noticeably slowed down from there on in, his treats were passé, his food was n’ah and his outdoor trips were only to his birdie tree and back and by this point i was carrying him everywhere! 😭 Mojo and I had many conversations... Daddy couldn’t listen! 😭 Would Mojo have survived an amputation of his arm at this point, probably not and I don’t think Dr. Laurie would have done it to tell you the truth.

Crystal, you and Spirit are blabbing up a storm! Gather all of the facts as you know them, even from DR. 👹! All information is power right? Make some phone calls and demand some answers, you have paid for them! Ask them again why they made their suggestion as to why they think it is a bad idea to proceed with amputation. Then call your vet who is willing to do the amputation and ask them if they think Spirit it truly strong enough to go through the amputation! It is a major surgery that takes EVERYTHING out of them for a few days, I saw this with Stewie. It literally and figuratively knocked him to the ground for a few days. Stewie was super strong going into his surgery!

Take all of this information (& it’s a lot my love!), close off all the lights, turn off your phones and have another chat with your Spirit, come to a decision that you can both live with! I know how hard this is Crystal... I understand the gut wrenching fear that you are living with every hour of the day! To see your boy in so much pain is gutting!!! I know it!!! Ive been there!!! 😭 😭 😭 My boy has been with us for a couple of days now and it’s not always made clear as mud, but he was telling me that we have to be in full support and love mode for you and for darling Spirit!!! I find it pretty amazing that my Munchkin cares so much for your boy! 😻 I think he’s in love! As am I!! 😚 

Giving him mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite really was a life-saver, although I had difficulty getting him to take the 2nd 1/4 pill dose - I guess they taste pretty badly - and had to have the vet help me with it this past week. It definitely works for a few days to get him eating on his own, and he even purrs while eating! I can't complain about that, and it seems to give him some pep/comfort overall, though I wonder about long-term use of it. He had to be syringe fed a few times prior to trying the mirtazpine + when I couldn't get him to take the dose + this morning (tonight is when he'd be due for his next 72-hour dose, so it seems like it's lasting less than 72 hours).
The tumors on his paw have gotten worse/spread - but are still only on that one paw/ankle. I'm re-evaluating doing an amputation at this time, because he's in great pain. I see it every night when I cleanse his paw & rebandage it, how he reacts to touching it - I mean, it just LOOKS painful anyway. It's at the "stepped-on-a-landmine" stage again now... and he got off his bandage yesterday while I was in the bathroom and I came out to a bloody mess and him licking at it. 🙁 The vet said we'd feel/know if there were other tumors on the other legs/paws, before they would show up as bone issues in X-ray, and so far no others have been noticeably effected!
I'm having such a hard time gauging whether or not to do the amputation at this point... of course, sooner is better, and otherwise I feel like he's going to get to a point of pain with this paw where I'm going to have to consider euthanization. But maybe that would be the best decision if it's going to pop up somewhere else? Still, it hasn't yet, so I feel like there's hope, but Idk!

Whatever you decide, know that it is with your heart and all your love that you are making this decision ... it is not an easy decision and nobody can make that choice for you, but whichever way you decide to go.... And if you are being offered a hope that is filled with realism, then hang on to all that hope and go with your decision with strength! We will be behind you 100%! We understand your fight, we totally get the battle that you are facing!! We all (your vets and specialists included) are your map that is showing you all the different routes that you can take. You and Spirit must make the difficult choice as to with path to follow! 

I must make mention here that Mojo’s toe tumours were not in his bones. They were in the soft tissue and getting larger by the day, but what did show up on the toe/limb X-rays were masses, nonetheless... 😭 

I often wondered and i still do, why we, Mojo and his Pride, were given such a bloody difficult and gut wrenching disease to deal with? Not only were we having to deal with the decision as to the ‘right time’ to call it for our boy, but we had to live with his pain too! 😭 As you understand 100% right?!!! 😭 I still don’t understand! And I still don’t know if I made the right call?!!! But I do know that right now I went through that, so that I can at least be here for you!! An understanding ear and voice, that may not be filled with proper wisdom, but please be assured that i am here filled with love for you both!!! 💞

Since nothing else has manifested in the other limbs/paws, but keeping in mind the lung potential, and that this may end up being FLDS... what do you guys think about amputation at this point? Is it too risky or could it only help? Ahhh... I'm going crazy about it.

I realize that I am asking a lot, but is it possible to get another X-ray of Spirits other limbs, prior to making any further decision towards amputation? I don’t have the right to ask this of you Crystal and it is ultimately a choice that you can or can’t make, it doesn’t matter, but I do know that with Mojo, the other tumours in his paws were not obvious at all to the touch or sight! We were going to amputate his ‘bad’ toe to get a biopsy done, but the appearance of the other tumours in his lungs and then in his other paws made the decision, no less difficult, just a lot easier on our Munchkin!

I'm really done with the surgeon who did the CT scan - he hasn't even called to check up on Spirit, and I was in tears that morning because of our interaction with him,

Please make another call and make a plea to them, telling them that you are desperate for some further insight! You are trying to make an educated decision that is going to affect both of your lives!!! Ask them why they are failing to follow through on a critical piece of the information. You need to understand why they would not recommend doing surgery!!! You need to understand the very expensive test that you had done for Spirit! They need to hear from you again Crystal, I know how hard this is for you! Can you get a friend who understands all the questions you have, that can make the call for you or with you? If I could I would lovey! Stay strong and give them another chance to explain...

so I'd need to go to the vet where I had the last X-rays done, which offers no overnight care, which would mean us picking him up and going through the rough first night post-op on our own, which I know seems to be doable, but rough, eh? 

Yes, anything is doable, especially with a warrior like yourself 😚!  We know how far you will go for your boy! 😘 Yes it is very rough!!! None of us will fib to you on that one! The first couple of weeks are rough and it is a very tough balance of the proper pain medication (critical!!!) and Spirits water and food intake (also critical!!!) Our fur babies are amazing in their resilience! But they also need to be in top shape in order to battle through! Spirit is a warrior, he will take on and do his very, very best for you Mum, no matter what you decide to do FOR him!!! We will be here for you 100% if you decide to go this route too! Please know this!!! 😘 💕 

I found a Facebook group that was specific to Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma, though no one else's kitty has that type of cancer on a paw - just Spirit and Mojo heart, they're all on the jaw or mouth. 

FLDS is very rare in Kitty’s, I am reading this time and time again, but because it is rare, it IS possible that Spirit DOES NOT have FLDS and possibly he has a rare type of Feline Squamous Cell Carcomoa?? What i have read though that if a tumour shows up in the limbs, an X-ray of the lungs should be done and if there are masses there, it is more than likely FLDS. From what I have read, most vets will not proceed with amputation when seeing the two together.

It is a true understatement when I say that you have an incredibly difficult decision to make in the next little while my darling and my heart in its’ fullest is there with you! I want to support you in any decision you make Crystal! After all we have been synched in so many different and beautiful ways! 💕 🐈 🎶 and more 💕 

Maybe I will get around to starting a blog here, but if Whitey's not a tripwad (yet), would it be blasphemous?! For now, I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years! 

Please and please write a blog for Spirit! He may not be a Tripawd, but he is a true Warrior and we all bow down and respect our Warriors!!! And the fact that Spirit has gone through a toe amputation, he is already giving invaluable information for others to read!!! He is truly worthy of his own blog!!! 🦁 👑 Mojo wasn’t a Tripawd either, but he and I have both been truly comforted by all of these amazing people on Tripawds and I feel far more settled in my decision with Munchkin since I told of his journey here on this site! Plus, we got to meet you!!! 💕 >^..^< 💞(((synched)))!!!  Mojo has done his job! He has opened up a discussion about FLDS in comparison to Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma and is making people more aware of the potential of this ghastly, horrifying disease! Thank you to both Mojo and Spirit for offering their journey for others to see, as difficult as it is for all of us right?!!!

Plus, Mojo will now be in his own blog for the rest of my life and them some... what more of an honor could I ask for!!! 💞

Lay down for a while and cuddle with your boy, rest while you can! A good nights sleep probably feels like a thousand miles away right now heh?!? I am sending more strength to you lovey! 💞

Looking forward to spring! The birds have already begun to come around, but the more the merrier for the kitty boys to enjoy from the windows.
Happy & healthy wishes to you & your furbabies!superstar __/|\__
With gratitude,
Crystal, Spirit & Keek the sleek!

You are surrounded by birds, love and tons and tons of healing Spirit!!! My boy and I are with you Crystal! Wherever your heart takes you,   We will be here to support you!!! Im sorry i can’t offer you the magic wand to take away all this pain, I would have used it a million times over by now!!! 

A million nose kisses to you dear Spirit! My whole being is with you right now! 💞 And to Kiko and Mum, I am embracing you with my heart and hope to keep you strong through out this journey!!! 💕

Many heart kisses from Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his beautiful Pride >^..^< ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

But most importantly Mojo, Munchkin baggy pants is there with you, I know this!!! I’ve ALWAYS  called him my spirit cat and that’s no lie lovey... he is soooo with you both right now!!!! He’s bringing sustenance to Spirit Boy! 😉 😘 

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 💖💫💞✨💖

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

Virginia
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18 February 2018 - 6:39 pm
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Hope you and Spirit  feel the love Crystal. heart  Yes youare BOTH WARRIORS.......And part of our family!

You jave gotten such INCREDIBLE input from Holly and Petra!!  They are the best!! 🙂

So I'll just send my love and give yiu a standing ovation for being such an outstanding advocate for Warrior Spirit!!   That sweet kitty KNOWS how much you love her and thatr all that mattersheart

Sending you lots  of hugs and clarity and sunny days filled with birds!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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21 February 2018 - 6:14 am
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Purrkins said

We are really happy to read Spirit is having some great days!! Glad to hear the coughing has stopped. The lung situation is still a situation. I understand you dont know what it is as of type.

No new xrays were taken of any of the limbs correct? I am sorry to hear the paws are landmines! You need answers to some very important questions. Yesterday ! GRRR This is unsettling to us all, I have no doubt and feel terrible for you both!

Is Spirits pain being managed with what you are giving him now? If not please discuss this with the Vet tomorrow.  No matter which route you go Pain Management is key! If it is not being managed they can help with the meds and tweaking them or changing them. We have to speak up for them.

You are in a tough spot and I understand the torture of what to do not to do!

I think at this point one question you NEED to ask yourself what can you live with?

What decision can you live with taking the leg knowing it may or may not be giving him quality of life? Not taking the leg and managing the pain? You have a nagging sense to you Crystal please take some time and breathe and listen! Whatever that nag is listen to it! That is your answer!

What we need to do is get you feeling ok with one decision no matter what happens. I hate to say these things like that but that is where we are. We cant make the decision for you but we can help you see all the angles maybe ?

What can you live with and what can you not live with in the best and worst case scenarios. Play both out in your mind and how do you feel? Which decision can you live with ? Play the worst case out, are you still glad you took the leg or are you wishing you did not take the leg? What do you feel is the BEST for Spirit? 

We are here with you on this journey either way.

Every cat that I have read about on the site in our time here that have been on Onsior had anorexia it is a side effect. Any reason that is the drug of choice? I would X that on my list, just my opinion when Spirit is having appetite issues. Ask for a alternative drug.

Has any of the surgeons said Spirit is a candidate for surgery?

Starting a blog no matter which way you go is a great idea! It will indeed help you and help others that come along in the future. We look forward to reading your first post;)

Bounce more off of us and we will do our best to bounce our ideas back and help you in anyway we can with whichever path you & Spirit take.

Did you try the gerber's baby food? I think you will be surprised Spirit might just lap that up for you! Also don't forget you can warm his foods. This is the time to pull out any food ! Throw all the beliefs out the door and get food into Spirit! Nothing else matters if you cant get him eating! Pain being managed better will help with the appetite too !

I hope we can help figure out what is best going forward. Please give Spirit a big cuddle and chin scratches from us please, We will continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers . 

Hugs,

Holly & Purrkins heart  

Hi Holly & Purrkins! 

I read your message the other day, & it was super helpful - thank you soooo much! __/|__ (Going to read others after I reply here! ^_^) It's really a blessing to have the support of you ladies! I have also been sharing tips/gathering more info with folks in the squamous cell carcinoma group. Some of it I really wish I'd come across sooner! But we can't turn back the clocks, eh?
I've been finding it hard to keep up with everything and make the most of my time with the kitty boys too, my sincere apologies that I'm not more on top of things here.

I included some bits of your response to answer qs, mixed in with an UPDATE on the Tiny Loving Man heart
Indeed, the lung situation is still real... and I have noticed that his breathing has more depth/loudness to it in the past few days, despite not coughing. I worry about that.

Correct, no new X-rays were done of other limbs because vet said nothing would show up in them if we couldn't feel it/see it already as far as tumors... he's a short-haired guy and I think that makes sense. It's just the one paw that has the tumors/looks like he stepped on a landmine, thankfully! I don't think I would even consider the amputation if something cropped up on another paw at this point. I've felt around for any lumps/changes pretty well, and the only thing that's concerning me is that I just noticed Mon night that there was a little darkening inside of one of his nails on back leg - and that's part of what was exhibited in the first digit that had issues, but it was more dark/noticeable and around the base of the nail than this seems right now. This seems to be inside the nail... not sure if it's nothing or something to be concerned about, since nothing else has manifested in other paws/limbs. If it was something, I feel it would probably only show after a week or two, from how the other one advanced. I used colloidal silver on it and some manuka honey just in case.

Spirit was doing ok with pain on the CBD & Buprenex overall, but when it comes to cleaning/rebandaging, it's almost unavoidable for him to be in lots of pain - where the tumors are, and how they are contorting his paw, I'm not surprised. He can't go unbandaged because of the open wound/bleeding. He also had that Onsior shot on Valentine's Day, which was supposed to last, but you're totally on point that it effected his appetite too. The only other suggestion I was given was Gabbapentine (sp?), which I think he's going to go on if he does surgery on Thurs anyway. Part of the "proud flesh" that's been bleeding on & off, is now the ankle tumor that cropped up and slowly got larger & larger and finally popped out the back part of his ankle / opened up. I feel like, short of numbing the area, I think he's taking all he can for pain killers atm. That said, he refused to have the CBD tonight, which has been the only thing he hasn't refused all along, even when he wouldn't eat he would lick it in the crystal/coconut oil form off a spoon. He had a large dose in the am though, + his Buprenex every 8 hours. He'll be due for Onsior next tomorrow eve. I'm still up so I'm going to try offering him the CBD on a spoon again. 

I keep meaning to mention that I always have heated their food 😉 They're spoiled like that! 😀 And I did pick up the baby food - turkey with brown rice/gravy style and he did end up eating it one time when he wouldn't touch anything else, thank you so much for suggesting it! *thumbs up*

I really appreciate your advice/wording of ways to think about the situation, Holly! It made a big difference for me. Considering how Spirit is in pain nightly and has lost a lot of weight, is hiding a lot, less active overall, and because I went through this with the first tumor on the digit that was removed (except not as much weight loss), then saw how much he turned around for the better after it/the pain was gone/removed, I feel like taking this pain away from him is the priority. If there was more clearly spreading to the other paws, etc, I think I would be considering euthanization as a way to do that in the coming days, over amputating the leg, but that's not the case. Gosh, I definitely DON'T want that to be the case either! But seeing him so unhappy lately - although Monday was a fairly perky day - and the nightly "torture" of the paw cleaning/bandaging, I know I have to do something for him.

So, I had a couple of phone convos with the vet where I had done the last X-rays / where I had considered doing the amputation before (no CT machine/ no overnight care). They are willing to do the amputation as palliative care to hopeful relieve his pain and restore his quality of life, with the understanding that it may buy him some time and take away the issue of dealing with his extreme paw pain/cleaning/wrapping daily - no guarantees of course, and  yes, still the lung mass is an issue. The hope is, amputation would also help restore his appetite (if the pain of the cancer is to blame), and he'd bounce back like a champion - then if something else cropped up later, we'll deal with that as it comes. But not to worry about those things right now, as the pressing issue is this awful, painful paw. They'd do a quick kidney value blood screen beforehand, but felt the other bloodwork from late Jan was recent enough not to do more, and same with not doing any X-rays, since the CT scan. This was Sunday I spoke with him, and he was booked for surgery this week, but recommended another surgeon with availability there at the same hospital. I was able to speak with the surgeon early on Monday, and we vibed right away and seem to be on the same page; he answered the q's I had and was kind, so I was feeling really good and Spirit was giving me signs of hope - eating and purring and being more active (aside from peeing the bed that morning - more on that later!) and I went ahead and made an appointment for Thursday to drop him off for amputation.

But since then, (and it's only been a few days!) I've been thinking, and not getting enough sleep and worrying, and some issues have come up in my mind, and maybe I'm just worried and paranoid but right now, I'm super anxious ! I noticed that Monday night and tonight, Spirit's breathing has been pretty heavy, like maybe the lungs have gotten worse? So I worry about that... and am going to maybe ask if they should do X-rays in advance? (Although the last x-rays they took were not well done according to my regular vet/ body was not aligned right, and their radiologist said the lungs were clear, but then CT scan was done proving that wrong). The positive, is that the heavy breathing seems to be only when he's stressed about cleaning/bandaging or syringe feeding, and he's still not coughing... 

I worry he's too skinny now to bounce back/heal well too - which I asked the vet about and he did say that was concerning if he was losing that much weight, as it could be due to cancer spreading, but it also could just be he doesn't want to eat bc of the Onsior, or the pain he's in. His appetite was not good today, so I had to syringe feed at night, despite giving him the Mirtazapine. 🙁  He's probably a little less than 8lb 4 oz now. Weigh-in on V-Day was 8lb 6 oz.

I'm also slightly concerned about the blood that's under that nail on a back leg that I mentioned above. I wish I could just wipe those negative thoughts out of my mind, but having seen the cancer come back so soon on the same paw, it's hard. I still am super grateful and happy it's been the only paw effected! I just worry...

As the tumors have grown and pushed through to the surface/opened up, he's lost a lot of blood too. I decided to try the Yunnan Baiyao I had from a few years ago with our Westie who fought 3 terminal illnesses (and whose kidneys we turned back around to the shock of doctors, through diets & supplements!). The expiration was still ok, so Sunday and gave him a little that night, on Monday & today - and it really seemed to help the blood congeal a bit more - last night and tonight were the least amount of blood loss in cleaning/rebandaging I've seen for days. Whitey ate well/had larger dose of it on Monday, and even seemed to perk up more!

Today was a less active/hiding day and he ate less on his own - maybe 1 1/2 meals total through the day. He mostly slept, and tonight, he ran off and pooped poopicon_png in the corner of the living room in hiding, (I saw him though), after eating a snack post-bandaging. Granted, it was a long night for him - getting him to take the Mirtazapine is very hard, and he spit out the first one, despite my having put it in butter and using a 2-person operation! They supposedly taste just awful - and last time I had them help give it to him at the vet's, because I'd had a hard time with it before. I think giving it to him in that office setting definitely made it easier. After that, we took about a 40 min or so break, hoping the Mirtaz would kick in, but he still wasn't eating, so we syringe-fed him, much to his dismay (He's such a sweet, gentle guy but having things put in his mouth makes him very upset, as we would also be, I'm sure!)... and quite a mess! Then took another small break and into the cleaning/bandaging. It all had to happen in the same timeframe bc that was the only time I had help to do it all.

He also peed in the bed on Sunday morning sad which I had picked him up to lay on (his favorite place to be!), since he's not been jumping up on couch/chairs or bed at all (probably too painful on the paw, despite the padding/bandage). Maybe that was why he peed - he was too uncomfortable to jump down onto the paw? My bed is really high up... I have those "pet stairs" to bring down from the attic that I picked up at a yard sale for free a few years ago, thinking of potentially needing them someday in the future, and plan to set them up post-op. He's a very clean guy and I've never had to bathe him, but he had the pee all over his feet and side, so Spirit's very first bath was the start to our work week, and sadly, I don't think it did his stress-levels any good to experience it now, when he's already got so much going on.

These are the first times in his life I've known of him going outside of the cat pan. I also found a little dried poop in the corner (super hard for me to get to it, had to crawl under tables that have giant aloe plants on them (like 100s of lbs aloe plants!) so he may have done it a few times over the past few days discretely. His poop has been super small too, but I am hoping that's just because of the small portions he's been eating vs. bigger meals at once. I'm going to mention it to the vet too.

You're totally right, I have this nagging, Holly, but I may just be a super worried mom? Idk. The pooping and peeing and stress and weight and breathing all have me second-guessing myself. I don't like having to make such a tough decision that's directly going to effect the life of another, but I guess that comes with the cat mom territory! I know I don't want Spirit to be in pain/suffering and the way things have been, he's not very happy right now in general. I'm calling my regular vet tomorrow to let her know what's up - she's been out of the office/off for a few days. She's all for the amputation, and even tried to have them do it at the regular office, where there is a very experienced doc/surgeon, but the hospital manager said that doc was unable to do it. 😕 Which is why I called the other place. 

So if this all goes down, we'll have to do the at-home 1st night watch/care. I have no idea right now what to expect, I'm just trying to get used to the idea of him without the limb and fretting over whether he has the weight/muscle mass to handle the transition. He'll have proper long-lasting pain med administered and meds to go home with, and the vet said that depending on how the surgery goes, he'd be able to discuss more on potential dangers/post-op care afterwards, which I get... We're getting a large coated wire-type cage tomorrow to set up with soft bedding inside & a small, low pan for litter, and plan to keep him separated from his brother, Kiko, in there while he heals up. Do I need to get some sort of cat shirt? Baby shirt? Anything you guys can think of that I might want to pick up that I'm not thinking of?

Super Stu! said
Morning Crystal, Spirit and Keek the sleek, 😉 😘 

you know I sat down last night and i wrote what i thought was a pretty good response to your post Crystal and it was a long one, just like yours and it went ‘poof’ into cyberspace when i hit send... 🤬 I’m sure you will can understand my frustration. Obviously Mojo didn’t like that one. So I am sitting here again getting ready to dive into your post... Please bare with me... it is on it’s way... You have both been on my mind, so there is no getting away from me now darling! 😘 

loving hugs and special nose kisses to Spirit and his Keek! 😘 

Petra, and gang 🐾 & >^..^< ❤️   

Hi Petra & gang,
Thank you! Thank you! for taking the time to re-write the response, I know that's really a pain when it disappears! I'm so grateful that you did take the time to! __/|__ I've had to write this in chunks because Keek the Sleek is in hyper-bengal mode, knocking all the magnets off the fridge every few minutes and flying through the air! Your words have given me comfort & also brought me to tears, but in the best way, I can't thank you enough. I know you know more than most what I'm going through... 

Super Stu! said

Crystal lovey, I know exactly what you are saying!!!! Time is of no essence right now my lovey, you are caught up in a whirlwind time machine called ‘’life really sucks sometimes!” Only Spirit matters, time doesn’t!!!
Spirit lovey, your name was chosen WAY before you came to this earth! You have obviously given your Mum a universe filled with love! She is already halfway to the moon and back for you and is willing to go again my darling, you reallly are one very special Spirit Boy!!!
My hope is that my post will bring you comfort, I hope that my words will come true... Sorry, it’s going to be a long one... I’m very good at writing Novellas! 😉 😘

Crystal, I was soooo hoppy to see you post on Stewie’s blog, that was so sweet! Stewie says to send you many thanks! We are synched in so many different ways Crystal, I couldn’t begin to explain, but i love that music is one of them! We have a song called “All the Little Things” that makes me feel super grateful for all of my little things that are in my life every time I sing it and I know that all your ‘Little Things’ will add up and bring you tons and tons of love and comfort!! I am going to offer you my truths from my heart and I am in no way trying to tell you which direction to go in with Spirit... he will tell you that. 😚  I just want to share with you the difficulties and the joys that I had with my Munchkin during his very difficult journey with FLDS.

I am thankful for you too Crystal. I do know how hard this is for you!!!! I know that the world you are living in isn’t comfortable, it is a living hell!!! It is a time full of all things beautiful and strange and dark and ugly!!! But most importantly it is a world with Spirit! It is a world in which you can physically hold your boy and tell him that you love him! Im sorry that you have to suffer through so much pain, both of you!!! Reason has no bounds at this point and everything and nothing is possible!!!! I get it 100%!!!

Hey, I figured out how to split the quote! 😀
I like how you put things, Petra! You definitely get it - and I appreciate your words/thoughts, long or short!
You're so welcome, handsome Stewie!
More synchs on the song too, one of my faves is "Little Things" by India.Arie! So true too... it's those little things that really matter the most, when it all comes down. I'm happy that I definitely have no regrets about not spending enough time with Spirit, because my kitties are my family, my life <3 and we've had so many amazing times so far together. <3

Dr. Laurie told us that Mojo’s lung situation wasn’t going be his problem in his last days, in fact she said that the lung masses had probably been there for some time. The tumours in his feet, more specifically the one front paw, was going to be his downfall!!! 😭 Crystal as I have mentioned before, once Mojo knocked open that one lesion from trying to jump on on a bench with me, It was so clearly painful, as you see with Spirit, that I knew his time in his beautiful earthly fur pants, was going to be coming to an end. 😭 He noticeably slowed down from there on in, his treats were passé, his food was n’ah and his outdoor trips were only to his birdie tree and back and by this point i was carrying him everywhere! 😭 Mojo and I had many conversations... Daddy couldn’t listen! 😭 Would Mojo have survived an amputation of his arm at this point, probably not and I don’t think Dr. Laurie would have done it to tell you the truth.

Crystal, you and Spirit are blabbing up a storm! Gather all of the facts as you know them, even from DR. 👹! All information is power right? Make some phone calls and demand some answers, you have paid for them! Ask them again why they made their suggestion as to why they think it is a bad idea to proceed with amputation. Then call your vet who is willing to do the amputation and ask them if they think Spirit it truly strong enough to go through the amputation! It is a major surgery that takes EVERYTHING out of them for a few days, I saw this with Stewie. It literally and figuratively knocked him to the ground for a few days. Stewie was super strong going into his surgery!(....

...)Please make another call and make a plea to them, telling them that you are desperate for some further insight! You are trying to make an educated decision that is going to affect both of your lives!!! Ask them why they are failing to follow through on a critical piece of the information. You need to understand why they would not recommend doing surgery!!! You need to understand the very expensive test that you had done for Spirit! They need to hear from you again Crystal, I know how hard this is for you! Can you get a friend who understands all the questions you have, that can make the call for you or with you? If I could I would lovey! Stay strong and give them another chance to explain...

Ahhh... I do know... And as you can tell from my update above, I worry about Spirit's ability to make it through this, but am trying to remain hopeful. I typed the response to Holly /update before reading yours, so this was especially heart-wrenching to read about Mojo. __/|__ The tumors on Spirit's paw - both the digit that was already amputated and what grew back/is there now, are indeed open/bleeding and very painful, and he's quite a trooper for bearing it as much as he has. Poor babies! It seems so unfair, I wish I could just take the pain on myself... I'm sure you know the feeling too! :..(

My regular vet seemed to think that Spirit would be able to bounce back from the surgery when she saw him on Valentine's Day... He was pretty skinny then, and the paw was open and huge. It's surprising to me to hear her faith in his recovery, even at his ripe old age. I want to have the conversation with her again w/what's gone on since & also talk to the surgeon/vet who would do the amputation again and basically tell him (that if the kidney values are good & all) to give call me with his honest opinion on whether or not he thinks that Spirit, with his age, weight, etc. would do well with the surgery, after he sees him. Of course that's cutting it close, and putting a lot of trust in the doctor - whom I've never met, but seems on point.

And you're right, maybe I should ask the #1 surgeon too why he recommended against the surgery, although... from what my regular vet said, they spoke and he admitted to her that he probably should have amputated the whole limb when he took just the digit! In the report, it points more towards my choosing to not do the surgery if a mass was found, although it was his recommendation indeed. It's been hard to get him on the phone/call-back the last two times I tried with q's on the size of the mass in the CT scan, so not sure it would be in time, but I can try! From the research you've done, you can see too that they generally do not recommend amputation if a mass is found in the lungs, so it might just be textbook recommendation.

Take all of this information (& it’s a lot my love!), close off all the lights, turn off your phones and have another chat with your Spirit, come to a decision that you can both live with! I know how hard this is Crystal... I understand the gut wrenching fear that you are living with every hour of the day! To see your boy in so much pain is gutting!!! I know it!!! Ive been there!!! 😭 😭 😭 My boy has been with us for a couple of days now and it’s not always made clear as mud, but he was telling me that we have to be in full support and love mode for you and for darling Spirit!!! I find it pretty amazing that my Munchkin cares so much for your boy! 😻 I think he’s in love! As am I!! 😚 

I have felt Mojo's presence here with me too, I hesitate to say, but I could have sworn I saw a "ghost" kitty twice in the past week! :O
It was dark both times and in the dining room I glanced and saw what looked like the tail and back legs of what could only be described as a light/hologram looking cat run by. I thought maybe it was just one of the boys and my eyes playing tricks on me in the dark, but they were both fast asleep on the bed when I looked for them! :O Whether it was Mojo visiting, or maybe one of Spirit's old housemates/brothers/sisters, Idk! But I appreciate his loving presence watching out for my little guy. heart Thank you for sharing his story and connecting with me, it's a blessing to be able to relate these struggles and tough choices with someone who's been there! Thank you Petra & Mojo! __/|__

Whatever you decide, know that it is with your heart and all your love that you are making this decision ... it is not an easy decision and nobody can make that choice for you, but whichever way you decide to go.... And if you are being offered a hope that is filled with realism, then hang on to all that hope and go with your decision with strength! We will be behind you 100%! We understand your fight, we totally get the battle that you are facing!! We all (your vets and specialists included) are your map that is showing you all the different routes that you can take. You and Spirit must make the difficult choice as to with path to follow! 

Indeed, I know no one can decide for us... I was so sure when I spoke to the vet and made the appointment. I had gotten good vibes from the vet, and Spirit, and it felt really right, like my heart was at peace and that was going to be the way forward. Then these thoughts began to plague me again after him peeing on the bed, and not wanting to eat/losing more weight, seeing the blood in the back nail, pooping in living room, not jumping up on any chairs, bed, couch, etc. 😛 But again, it could just be symptoms of his pain and this could relieve him. I know he must be strong going in though, so it's a battle... I syringe fed him because he desperately needs to keep up his nutrition and weight to be at a decent point going in. My indecision / second-guessing the whole thing, I feel somehow might be a lesson for me to stick with a decision and follow through on it... Not the easiest/nicest way to learn this, if so!

I must make mention here that Mojo’s toe tumours were not in his bones. They were in the soft tissue and getting larger by the day, but what did show up on the toe/limb X-rays were masses, nonetheless... 😭 

I realize that I am asking a lot, but is it possible to get another X-ray of Spirits other limbs, prior to making any further decision towards amputation? I don’t have the right to ask this of you Crystal and it is ultimately a choice that you can or can’t make, it doesn’t matter, but I do know that with Mojo, the other tumours in his paws were not obvious at all to the touch or sight! We were going to amputate his ‘bad’ toe to get a biopsy done, but the appearance of the other tumours in his lungs and then in his other paws made the decision, no less difficult, just a lot easier on our Munchkin!

He's a short-haired guy, so maybe easier to feel these things than with longer hair like Mojo's? I've asked multiple times if X-rays should be done on the other paws/limbs and what they could show, & the vet assured me that x-rays wouldn't show anything that we wouldn't be seeing/feeling already with this type of cancer/to the tissues. The vet looked him over pretty well on Valentine's Day and I have as well, only finding that blood in the nail recently.
Before the tumor on Whitey's digit that was removed, it was so bad, it was damaging the bone, which I guess is what can happen once the tumors are so big/out of control they push into the bones... so to clarify, Spirit didn't/doesn't have tumors in his actual bones to the best of my knowledge. The ankle tumor... probably wrapped around his bone there or is split on both sides & really two tumors, because it showed up on the top of his ankle and then was on the bottom as well (like a ball) not long after. It's surely one of the more painful ones 🙁 Idk what kind of effect they are having pressing on the bones there, but it can't be good!

I often wondered and i still do, why we, Mojo and his Pride, were given such a bloody difficult and gut wrenching disease to deal with? Not only were we having to deal with the decision as to the ‘right time’ to call it for our boy, but we had to live with his pain too! 😭 As you understand 100% right?!!! 😭 I still don’t understand! And I still don’t know if I made the right call?!!! But I do know that right now I went through that, so that I can at least be here for you!! An understanding ear and voice, that may not be filled with proper wisdom, but please be assured that i am here filled with love for you both!!! 💞

Thank you again, I'm truly honoured and grateful for the support you & the other ladies here have been showing me, it's really helping me to keep going through all of this! Petra rocks! 😉 There's so much more stress to my situation too w/only having help to syringe feed or bandage, etc at a certain timeframe at night, (so just hoping he eats more during the day on his own!), living with a person who isn't always compassionate, etc.

Yes, anything is doable, especially with a warrior like yourself 😚!  We know how far you will go for your boy! 😘 Yes it is very rough!!! None of us will fib to you on that one! The first couple of weeks are rough and it is a very tough balance of the proper pain medication (critical!!!) and Spirits water and food intake (also critical!!!) Our fur babies are amazing in their resilience! But they also need to be in top shape in order to battle through! Spirit is a warrior, he will take on and do his very, very best for you Mum, no matter what you decide to do FOR him!!! We will be here for you 100% if you decide to go this route too! Please know this!!! 😘 💕 

What should I know going in? Maybe I need certain supplies I haven't thought of? Questions I forgot to ask?

Please and please write a blog for Spirit! He may not be a Tripawd, but he is a true Warrior and we all bow down and respect our Warriors!!! And the fact that Spirit has gone through a toe amputation, he is already giving invaluable information for others to read!!! He is truly worthy of his own blog!!! 🦁 👑 Mojo wasn’t a Tripawd either, but he and I have both been truly comforted by all of these amazing people on Tripawds and I feel far more settled in my decision with Munchkin since I told of his journey here on this site! Plus, we got to meet you!!! 💕 >^..^< 💞(((synched)))!!!  Mojo has done his job! He has opened up a discussion about FLDS in comparison to Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma and is making people more aware of the potential of this ghastly, horrifying disease! Thank you to both Mojo and Spirit for offering their journey for others to see, as difficult as it is for all of us right?!!!

Plus, Mojo will now be in his own blog for the rest of my life and them some... what more of an honor could I ask for!!! 💞

Lay down for a while and cuddle with your boy, rest while you can! A good nights sleep probably feels like a thousand miles away right now heh?!? I am sending more strength to you lovey! 💞

You are surrounded by birds, love and tons and tons of healing Spirit!!! My boy and I are with you Crystal! Wherever your heart takes you,   We will be here to support you!!! Im sorry i can’t offer you the magic wand to take away all this pain, I would have used it a million times over by now!!! 

A million nose kisses to you dear Spirit! My whole being is with you right now! 💞 And to Kiko and Mum, I am embracing you with my heart and hope to keep you strong through out this journey!!! 💕

Many heart kisses from Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his beautiful Pride >^..^< ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

But most importantly Mojo, Munchkin baggy pants is there with you, I know this!!! I’ve ALWAYS  called him my spirit cat and that’s no lie lovey... he is soooo with you both right now!!!! He’s bringing sustenance to Spirit Boy! 😉 😘 

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 💖💫💞✨💖  

Bless you Petra, bless you Mojo! I definitely want to tell Spirit's story in the future, tripawd or not - you're right! It's a great feeling to know others have been in similar situations and to learn from and help one another through. The Tripawd support is incredible, you guys are THE BEST!!!! I hope Spirit's journey can help others making these hard decisions one day too. For now... going to try to get some more CBD and food into the Tiny Loving Man and see if I can get some answers from the vets/update regular vet.

🙂 Thanks for the love Sally & gang! __/|__

Sending love & warm wishes to you - Holly, Petra, Sally, Jerry,  and to all your lovely heart-stealing "creatures of love" as I call them - 4-and 3-legged alike <3

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21 February 2018 - 6:17 am
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PS - My prayer hands are not coming through as intended... __/|\(backslash)__ big-grin

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21 February 2018 - 9:32 am
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Hi Crystal ,

I don’t think you will be surprised to hear I was thinking of you both this morning! I was looking further into the SCC  actually and then I see you have posted…..

Nope we can not turn back the clocks but what we can do is learn from the past eh? Life is a full of lessons.\

Indeed, the lung situation is still real... and I have noticed that his breathing has more depth/loudness to it in the past few days, despite not coughing. I worry about that.

Bring this up today with your Vet PLEASE! It could be the pain causing this it could not be, just bring all these concerns up to the VET!

Correct, no new X-rays were done of other limbs because vet said nothing would show up in them if we couldn't feel it/see it already as far as tumors... he's a short-haired guy and I think that makes sense. It's just the one paw that has the tumors/looks like he stepped on a landmine, thankfully! I don't think I would even consider the amputation if something cropped up on another paw at this point. I've felt around for any lumps/changes pretty well, and the only thing that's concerning me is that I just noticed Mon night that there was a little darkening inside of one of his nails on back leg - and that's part of what was exhibited in the first digit that had issues, but it was more dark/noticeable and around the base of the nail than this seems right now. This seems to be inside the nail... not sure if it's nothing or something to be concerned about, since nothing else has manifested in other paws/limbs. If it was something, I feel it would probably only show after a week or two, from how the other one advanced.

As we have said before we are on this journey with you, with whatever path you decide to follow .

I am going to be honest and hope you take this as just that my honesty and think on it ok?

You have spent a lot of money on diagnostic so far with not enough answers. Now with this back leg toe, PLEASE schedule the x-ray on the limb/limbs before proceeding with the amp tomorrow. 

X-rays are the cheaper and I wish that would of been done rather then the CT at this point, it would of saved you money and likely save time and worry etc. It will assure you this is the right thing to do in my opinion! I would want to be sure that the one paw is the only limb involved before proceeding. (this is just me & my opinion)take it for what it is worth.

I used colloidal silver on it and some manuka honey just in case.
Spirit was doing ok with pain on the CBD & Buprenex overall, but when it comes to cleaning/rebandaging, it's almost unavoidable for him to be in lots of pain - where the tumors are, and how they are contorting his paw, I'm not surprised. He can't go unbandaged because of the open wound/bleeding. He also had that Onsior shot on Valentine's Day, which was supposed to last, but you're totally on point that it effected his appetite too. The only other suggestion I was given was Gabbapentine (sp?), which I think he's going to go on if he does surgery on Thurs anyway. P

You can use Gabapentin either way surgery or no surgery. Gaba can be used as a pain relief drug and it also helps with phantom limb (nerve pain) in animals. It is best if you can start that ahead of time before the Amp. Purrkins was on Gaba 14 days and Buprenophine for 12 days. We did not start the Gaba prior too. I did not know enough at the time and would have with the info I know now. I would get it today if I had known I would of stated this earlier. Sorry.

Part of the "proud flesh" that's been bleeding on & off, is now the ankle tumor that cropped up and slowly got larger & larger and finally popped out the back part of his ankle / opened up. I feel like, short of numbing the area, I think he's taking all he can for pain killers atm. That said, he refused to have the CBD tonight, which has been the only thing he hasn't refused all along, even when he wouldn't eat he would lick it in the crystal/coconut oil form off a spoon. He had a large dose in the am though, + his Buprenex every 8 hours. He'll be due for Onsior next tomorrow eve. I'm still up so I'm going to try offering him the CBD on a spoon again. 

Please ask for a different drug ,the Gaba is a great drug for amp surgery, the anorexia could be form pain, from the Onsior, from the cancer. That is why we try not to make things worse in the anorexia part if we can help it. I personally would not use the Onsior .

I keep meaning to mention that I always have heated their food They're spoiled like that! And I did pick up the baby food - turkey with brown rice/gravy style and he did end up eating it one time when he wouldn't touch anything else, thank you so much for suggesting it! *thumbs up*

Great on heating the food! I should of stated this earlier with baby food make sure the ones you get have NO onions we have only used the meat and gravy only ones. Turkey & Gravy, Chicken & Gravy, Ham & Gravy.  Gerber ones are the preferred taste in cats. 

I am glad Spirit liked the one you tried either way, make sure it has no onions in it.

I really appreciate your advice/wording of ways to think about the situation, Holly! It made a big difference for me. Considering how Spirit is in pain nightly and has lost a lot of weight, is hiding a lot, less active overall, and because I went through this with the first tumor on the digit that was removed (except not as much weight loss), then saw how much he turned around for the better after it/the pain was gone/removed, I feel like taking this pain away from him is the priority. If there was more clearly spreading to the other paws, etc, I think I would be considering euthanization as a way to do that in the coming days, over amputating the leg, but that's not the case.

We are just trying to help you Crystal this is how we have to think. What can we personally deal with. I mean worst case scenario is always pawsible with any surgery. So we think of all the pawsible outcomes and hope and pray we made the call we can feel ok with. Not that it would be easy, just one we can not say OH NO I SHOULDNT HAVE .

Be strong make the decision and stand strong in it knowing the facts. We are out of time here. 

This is again why I WOULD suggest xrays of the second limb (toe)! Make sure and you wont have that doubt should I have etc...

Gosh, I definitely DON'T want that to be the case either! But seeing him so unhappy lately - although Monday was a fairly perky day - and the nightly "torture" of the paw cleaning/bandaging, I know I have to do something for him.
So, I had a couple of phone convos with the vet where I had done the last X-rays / where I had considered doing the amputation before (no CT machine/ no overnight care). They are willing to do the amputation as palliative care to hopeful relieve his pain and restore his quality of life, with the understanding that it may buy him some time and take away the issue of dealing with his extreme paw pain/cleaning/wrapping daily - no guarantees of course, and  yes, still the lung mass is an issue. The hope is, amputation would also help restore his appetite (if the pain of the cancer is to blame), and he'd bounce back like a champion - then if something else cropped up later, we'll deal with that as it comes. But not to worry about those things right now, as the pressing issue is this awful, painful paw. They'd do a quick kidney value blood screen beforehand, but felt the other bloodwork from late Jan was recent enough not to do more, and same with not doing any X-rays, since the CT scan. This was Sunday I spoke with him, and he was booked for surgery this week, but recommended another surgeon with availability there at the same hospital. I was able to speak with the surgeon early on Monday, and we vibed right away and seem to be on the same page; he answered the q's I had and was kind, so I was feeling really good and Spirit was giving me signs of hope - eating and purring and being more active (aside from peeing the bed that morning - more on that later!) and I went ahead and made an appointment for Thursday to drop him off for amputation.

If I can be so bold again in my opinion and our experience we have been told pre-anesthetic bloodwork values for any surgery or procedure has to be current. On a healthy animal a month just might be ok, Depending on the case, especially if anything was abnormal in the last bloodwork? I am not really clear on why they can use Jan bloodwork.

This is just me and our experience make sure they are testing everything needed for preanesthetic bloodwork please to ensure Spirit gets thru the surgery.

But since then, (and it's only been a few days!) I've been thinking, and not getting enough sleep and worrying, and some issues have come up in my mind, and maybe I'm just worried and paranoid but right now, I'm super anxious ! I noticed that Monday night and tonight, Spirit's breathing has been pretty heavy, like maybe the lungs have gotten worse? So I worry about that... and am going to maybe ask if they should do X-rays in advance?

YES do the xrays and rule this out once in for all!

I worry he's too skinny now to bounce back/heal well too - which I asked the vet about and he did say that was concerning if he was losing that much weight, as it could be due to cancer spreading, but it also could just be he doesn't want to eat bc of the Onsior, or the pain he's in. His appetite was not good today, so I had to syringe feed at night, despite giving him the Mirtazapine.  He's probably a little less than 8lb 4 oz now. Weigh-in on V-Day was 8lb 6 oz.

This is concerning to me as well.

I'm also slightly concerned about the blood that's under that nail on a back leg that I mentioned above. I wish I could just wipe those negative thoughts out of my mind, but having seen the cancer come back so soon on the same paw, it's hard. I still am super grateful and happy it's been the only paw effected! I just worry...
As the tumors have grown and pushed through to the surface/opened up, he's lost a lot of blood too. I decided to try the Yunnan Baiyao I had from a few years ago with our Westie who fought 3 terminal illnesses (and whose kidneys we turned back around to the shock of doctors, through diets & supplements!). The expiration was still ok, so Sunday and gave him a little that night, on Monday & today - and it really seemed to help the blood congeal a bit more - last night and tonight were the least amount of blood loss in cleaning/rebandaging I've seen for days. Whitey ate well/had larger dose of it on Monday, and even seemed to perk up more!
Today was a less active/hiding day and he ate less on his own - maybe 1 1/2 meals total through the day. He mostly slept, and tonight, he ran off and pooped  in the corner of the living room in hiding, (I saw him though), after eating a snack post-bandaging. Granted, it was a long night for him - getting him to take the is very hard, and he spit out the first one, despite my having put it in butter and using a 2-person operation! They supposedly taste just awful - and last time I had them help give it to him at the vet's, because I'd had a hard time with it before. I think giving it to him in that office setting definitely made it easier. After that, we took about a 40 min or so break, hoping the Mirtaz would kick in, but he still wasn't eating, so we syringe-fed him, much to his dismay (He's such a sweet, gentle guy but having things put in his mouth makes him very upset, as we would also be, I'm sure!)... and quite a mess! Then took another small break and into the cleaning/bandaging. It all had to happen in the same timeframe bc that was the only time I had help to do it all.

Mirtazapine can be compounded into a different form, to use easier and for Spirit to tolerate better, please ask the vet on this ASAP as it will need to be compounded but it will ensure you are getting the meds he needs without that being a added stressor for Spirit and you! It can be compounded in a transdermal gel, tiny tabs, chew treat, paste etc. I would go for the gel that way it is no fuss. I think he will need this for a bit so I would look into the compounded meds. In the meantime what I do to make bitter medicine is use tuna water. It will mask the nasty taste! I pulverize a nasty tasting med I know is ok to pulverize in a mortar and pestle and add a bit of tuna juice, syringe it back up the syringe to syringe to Spirit.  

Here is a link Administering Medications to your Cat

He also peed in the bed on Sunday morning  which I had picked him up to lay on (his favorite place to be!), since he's not been jumping up on couch/chairs or bed at all (probably too painful on the paw, despite the padding/bandage). Maybe that was why he peed - he was too uncomfortable to jump down onto the paw? My bed is really high up... I have those "pet stairs" to bring down from the attic that I picked up at a yard sale for free a few years ago, thinking of potentially needing them someday in the future, and plan to set them up post-op. He's a very clean guy and I've never had to bathe him, but he had the pee all over his feet and side, so Spirit's very first bath was the start to our work week, and sadly, I don't think it did his stress-levels any good to experience it now, when he's already got so much going on.
These are the first times in his life I've known of him going outside of the cat pan. I also found a little dried poop in the corner (super hard for me to get to it, had to crawl under tables that have giant aloe plants on them (like 100s of lbs aloe plants!) so he may have done it a few times over the past few days discretely. His poop has been super small too, but I am hoping that's just because of the small portions he's been eating vs. bigger meals at once. I'm going to mention it to the vet too.

You're totally right, I have this nagging, Holly, but I may just be a super worried mom? Idk. The pooping and peeing and stress and weight and breathing all have me second-guessing myself.

What is the nagging feeling Crystal? You didn’t say?

A cat peeing and pooping outside of the box is a indicator of quality of life when we are at this stage. It could be because of the paw being painful. This I am not sure of and I would further rule out the other limbs before proceeding. But if you are ok proceeding without x-rays proceed.

This is about Spirit and you, what you feel in your heart is best for you both.
If you feel Spirit is strong enough to go thru surgery then proceed. There are never guarantees with the piece of crap disease just has guidelines and the rest we hope and pray for!

We all understand the choice you are in! We all have been there, your case is more complicated and not so cut and dry as ours was.

I do not want you to proceed and question your decision IF it doesn’t turn out the way you envision. Be as realistic as you can be.

What I will tell you is some people question in recovery "did I do the right thing?"  I did this day one, because Purrkins flopped like a fish and I was beside myself ! This is not what I read, everyones cat was up right away. Purrkins was in the hospital 3 nights 4 days . This was too long for Purrkins but he was in great care. He never moved in the hospital only scooched . When he got home he was majorly drugged and confused and happy etc. I think it was all too much to grasp. Within an hour I didn’t second guess my decision again.(try not comparing Spirit with others recovery some will be the same but all differ in some manners) 

This is major surgery and to come home the same day is another set of challenges. You will HAVE to get a emergency number to call if you need help! A 24 hour place that can help you if you need help! A number to call in case of emergency or medical help questions. In Spirits condition especially. Many people do bring kitty home the same day, when no overnight care is available. Or they cant afford it. It is doable but be prepared it is not easy.

Recovery is no picnic either way, what is most important is pain management and Spirit not being active. We kept Purrkins in a spare room and Purrkins recovered in the closet. All kitties will want a secure hiding place to recover in. Purrkins chose the closet . If you going to use a cage I would drape a blanket over it to provide some comfort to Spirit. 

Will you be able to get some time off work to stay with Spirit? Someone has to be with him at least the first couple of days. I was super fortunate and was able to be with Purrkins thru all of his recovery. I know we all cant do that. But please assure that someone can be with him if you cannot . Pain medication is not optional this has to get into Spirit!

I don't like having to make such a tough decision that's directly going to effect the life of another, but I guess that comes with the cat mom territory!

Yes this comes with the territory! For better or for worse and tough decisions !

I know I don't want Spirit to be in pain/suffering and the way things have been, he's not very happy right now in general. I'm calling my regular vet tomorrow to let her know what's up - she's been out of the office/off for a few days. She's all for the amputation, and even tried to have them do it at the regular office, where there is a very experienced doc/surgeon, but the hospital manager said that doc was unable to do it. Which is why I called the other place. 

We do not want Spirit to be in pain/suffering either. Please do let her know today what is up~!

Do you know how many amputations this surgeon has done? Did you ask? Will they be taking the scapula too? 

So if this all goes down, we'll have to do the at-home 1st night watch/care. I have no idea right now what to expect, I'm just trying to get used to the idea of him without the limb and fretting over whether he has the weight/muscle mass to handle the transition. He'll have proper long-lasting pain med administered and meds to go home with, and the vet said that depending on how the surgery goes, he'd be able to discuss more on potential dangers/post-op care afterwards, which I get...

You will NEED more then the long lasting pain injection those usually last 3 days and that is not enough pain management we see this time and time again, people have to take kitty back in for another injection, so be prepared for that come home with pain meds oral or take Spirit back for another injection. 

You want to stay on top of the pain not be chasing the pain. This WILL make the difference in recovery you do not want Spirit in pain this is why your are taking the limb. I cannot stress that to you enough. Come home with enough pain medication or be prepared to get more ASAP if needed please.

We're getting a large coated wire-type cage tomorrow to set up with soft bedding inside & a small, low pan for litter, and plan to keep him separated from his brother, Kiko, in there while he heals up. Do I need to get some sort of cat shirt? Baby shirt? Anything you guys can think of that I might want to pick up that I'm not thinking of?

We used a baby onesie we got permission from our surgeon to use the onesie and no cone. Please ask . Here are directions to what I did for Purrkins. DIY Baby Onesie/T-shirts Cone of Shame Alternative

I would stock up on foods for Spirit & you;) anything you think might spike Spirits interest in recovery get! Please !

I do not feed Purrkins tuna and fish on any regular basis even though he would live on it and love it. I have my own beliefs and prefer to feed him what I believe is good for him. What did I feed Purrkins in recovery FISH I got tuna and salmon, chicken and herring etc. Purrkins ate for me, not like normal and that is to be expected but he did eat for me! I knew going into this appetite might be a issue and I went against all my beliefs for the greater good. I bought a assorted mix of canned foods.  It worked and I would do it the same way. I would be ready in your case to syringe feed Spirit. Again I am not a fan of Vet foods myself BUT there are times when I would use it and have. AD food can be syringed and it will be Balanced. Get the proper size syringes from you vet no matter what and food to be prepared to syringe feed if Spirit does not eat.  I am a broken record here but you must get food into Spirit along with his meds MUST.

Talk to the Vet ASAP and let us know if your are on for amp for tomorrow. Remember (just in case your in the whirlybird mode) not to give certain supplements prior to surgery!! I know we discussed this before but whirlybird mode is normal right now so just a friendly reminder if you didn't stop some please tell the vet everything Spirit is on before surgery. 

We will be thinking of you both and please update us as soon as you can.

Sending love & warm wishes to you both lots of prayers and tripawd power coming your way!

Holly & Purrkinsheart

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21 February 2018 - 10:28 am
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Hi Holly & Purrkins! Thanks for your fast reply & care! It means so much to me, you're a sweetheart! 
I only have a few moments to type right now so please excuse the scattered response ~

I'm waiting on calls back from regular vet & surgeon to keep them up on things & ask more q's.

Spirit is having a no-eating morning again (despite Mirtaz given last night) so I'm already worried & can't syringe feed until I have assistance. (I've tried on my own, it's not good). He seemed like he wanted to eat, but I tried 6 different foods -warm, of course 😉 and he wanted something else that I apparently don't have! Not even the baby food he would touch.

Oh, I def will stockpile the foods though! I do know about no onions winker I tried hard to find a pre-packaged bone broth that had no onions to no avail. Good to mention it though, thanks!
Up until the SCC diagnosis, I have avoided giving the boys seafood more than as a treat now & then too, but with picky Whitey, it's whatever gets him to eat right now, so I feel ya!
I'm wondering about this AD food you mentioned though? I do have a couple of syringes the vet gave me before that I've been using when he's needed to be fed that way - pretty small, but it gets the job done!

I'm not planning on giving any supplements today except curcumin (turmeric), and did mention the supplements to the surgeon, and asked about stopping beforehand, but he didn't seem to be too worried about it! (Prob lack of knowledge on herbs). He even said the Yunnan Baiyao might even be helpful pre-surgery bc it eases bleeding... but idk about giving that to him. 

If I can get Gaba today, I will & will speak to vet about giving that instead of the Onsior. The Onsior shot might be out of his system by now, and the surgeon is the one who suggested the oral Onsior in the morning tomorrow with a tiny dollop of food (pre-drop off).
Thanks for the suggestion on different compound of Mirtazapine! Considering they knew I had trouble administering it/they helped with pill on V-Day, I'm surprised they didn't make the suggestion. I actually did try crushing the Mirtaz. and to get him to have it in liquidy fish food like tuna and sardines, but no bueno. So syringing might be best if they don't offer another compound of it.

The x-ray I mentioned considering would be for the chest to see if the mass has spread since he's been breathing heavy. But again, that would require them to take good x-rays, and considering the lack of consensus on radiographs thusfar, it might just be another blurry unknown. But if it had gotten really bad, I figure they could see.
 
Idk if you saw my reply about asking multiple times about paw x-rays, but my vet has said nothing would show up if I'm not feeling it/seeing it already unless it was effecting the bone already. I don't quite understand it, but I do know it was pretty obvious for me to see when the first tumor started to swell up! I'll ask again w/surgeon and make sure everyone is aware of the blood in the nail situation, though it's not enlarged at all.

I'm already feeling like I need to postpone this because I'm so nervous about everything, but Idk when next surgery day would be, might be next week --- and more chance of spread, etc. through lymph.

I definitely don't want to end up saying "Oh no, I shouldn't have," which is why this has been so hard to decide. That's really the nagging feeling, I guess - be unsure which path might lead to regret, and trying to pick the best option for Whitey. This could go either way because of his condition and the uncertainty with this disease, so the risk vs relief needs to be worth it. 

I am planning to be home with him, yes indeed! & Will be sure to put a blanket over the cage, good idea. The only 24-hour care place around here is where he had the CT scan... and I could take him there for overnight care after picking him up from the other vet, but it's super expensive. 

The fish flop sounds pretty scary, but encouraging to me that you too second-guessed yourself and then your mind was set at ease after he settled in.

The surgeon would be taking the shoulder thingy too, yes & if he can get all of the lymph nodes from the area, those as well. He was at the 24-hour vet for 8 years, and some other place too - said he's done many of these amputations.

Great about the onesie, thanks so much for the link! ^_^ 

If I have to, I might be able to do a blood screen at my regular vet tonight, if she thinks it's necessary - she didn't seem to think so the last time I was there (V-Day) nor did the new surgeon/vet. Both vets said with the Onsior & other meds the liver values will be off anyway, but main concern is the kidney values, so it'll be tested tomorrow morning, but an inhouse basic test that's not comprehensive bloodwork. I think the last full one was Jan 26th. 

Gotta run now! Thanks again so much!!! You've been a huge help to me, *bows* 
Lots of love heartheart Crystal, Spirit & Kiko Rei

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21 February 2018 - 10:31 am
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OMG, the pics of Purrkins in the onesies!clapkissheart

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