Friday, September 23, 2011

Still Kickin'

I have been bad about keeping up on Hawk's life despite his major progress in the past few months.  There have, however, been some recent issues that have arisen with him.  Although Hawk is living in the lap of luxury now, he has obviously had a tough go in life (to say the very least).

His weigh has decreased rapidly in the past month or so and he's noticeably tired.  When I found blood in his litter box, I knew it was time for him to go in.  Luckily, he is more accepting of human hands and has grown to be tolerant of being picked up, held, and pet.  A lot of you Best Friends folks will remember  this milestone moment:

And he hardly hated it! The trip to the vet, on the other hand, was pretty rough on him.  

Hawk spent the day getting x-rays and full blood work-ups and pokes and prods.  Dr. Severs ruleed out any kind of parasites and couldn't find any indication of intestinal blockage. She called me this afternoon to tell me that Hawk's thyroid tests came back only slightly elevated which is apparently normal if an animal is sick or not feeling well. 

Then the conversation turned to what it could possibly be and there are two options at this point : irritable bowel syndrome or some type of intestinal cancer, more than likely lymphoma. 
Yes. Lymphoma. 

There is a world of difference between discussing other people's cancer and a cancer that (could now possibly) be in your home.  My heart sank.  I know Best Friends is losing these Pahrump cats on a daily basis (quite a few in the last month, actually).  And I also knew when I decided to adopt him that I would be up to my eyeballs in vet bills someday.  The key is someday. Not a year and some later. Not when he's finally started to come around and grow to be a "normal" cat. Not this soon.  

At this point, it could be either ailment, but in reality, it's bad either way.  Dr. Severs thinks he may be older than he actually is, but it could also just be his past trauma aging his body at a rapid rate.  In any event, I was left to make a decision of what road of treatment would be the best for him to take: a smattering of liquids that were to be administered twice daily for a few months or a biopsy of his intestine that would rule out the threat of cancer.  Unfortunately, the Superior Animal Hospital, despite its newness, doesn't have the option of an endoscopy to preform the biopsy which means that they would proper put him under and cut in through his abdomen.  The problem with this (aside for the glaring invasiveness) is that I've never known Hawk to be big on grooming himself.  There was an incident a month or so ago that we were forced to semi-sedate him and spend hours cutting mats off of him.  Some cats groom, some don't and Hawk falls in the "not so much" category.  Taking the grooming issue into consideration and adding an open wound, such as an incision from a surgery, is asking for an infection.  An infection on top of his current mystery illness is a death warrant.  

So where it stands now is I'm $500 in the hole and Hawk is on three different prescriptions that I have to give to him twice daily for the next month or so.  I'm adamantly opposed to a biopsy at this point because I'm hoping (with every fiber of my being) that these medications will help him gain back the weight he's lost and get him back in fighting shape.  

The silver lining to this story? He is been an absolute trooper throughout this whole ordeal.  ....Except for the first time I had to give him his antibiotics. He refused to swallow them and sat staring at me with a fire of defiance in his eyes while he drooled every last drop of his medication out of the corners of his mouth.  No lie, he looked like Hooch, from Turner and Hooch. And thanks to copyrights, I am unable to link the famous drool scene from that film, but I think this is probably closer. 

Finally, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who already knew this news and contacted me asking if I needed help financially.  I am overwhelmed by your continued support - without boundaries- in Hawk's journey. Thank you. Thank you so much. 

1 comment:

Genie, Oliver's mom said...

OMG! I just went through this with my Linus two months ago! We did the biopsy, which actually was worse for me than for him ($3200 later......) and thankfully, it is a rare form of IBS that is being treated with meds-he's getting cyclosporine and doing much better. The vet scared the poo out of me too thinking it was lymphoma but he's only 4 so I did what I thought was best to find out. I hope Hawk is doing better, did the meds help? I will keep you both in my prayers.....