My Precious Boy   Leave a comment

My Precious Boy by Lady Birchwood
My Precious Boy, a photo by Lady Birchwood on Flickr.

My 17-year-old tomcat, Bubba, has his appointment tomorrow morning at the University of Minnesota Small Animal Hospital for an abdominal ultrasound. His blood work in mid-May indicated that he is dealing with pancreatitis. The ultrasound tomorrow is to take a closer look at those abdominal organs and see if there are any masses or irregularities to help us determine a cause for this problem.

Often there is not a definitive cause for feline pancreatitis. It may be recurrent and the only treatment is supportive care until the episode runs its course. On the other hand, it could be related to something serious going on (i.e. cancer), and I’ve given my okay for a fine needle biopsy to be done of any abnormal areas suggesting this. I’ve already said to my vet that we’re not considering chemotherapy if it turns out he’s got cancer. We’d care for him and keep him comfortable for as long as we can and then we’d say goodbye and end it peacefully. That diagnosis would give me some information to go on when deciding how to treat and when to treat his symptoms. I would probably treat a recurrent pancreatitis of unknown cause more determinedly with supportive management than I would a diagnosis of cancer. With a diagnosis of cancer, I would tend towards easing his pain with euthanasia because the situation can only get worse with time.

I’m nervous about tomorrow. Last week when the appointment was made, I was going to send Bubba to the hospital with Dale who is on vacation this week. I’ve changed my mind. I need to be there, so I’m taking a vacation day tomorrow. I can then talk to the vet in person who will be performing the procedures, get my information firsthand, and ask any questions I may have. Dale is an engineer. I’m an RN/Medical Laboratory Scientist. My ‘take’ on the situation and my questions may be different from his.

The thought has overwhelmed me on a couple of occasions that he may be diagnosed with a terminal illness. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to deal with that. I haven’t gotten my feet under me yet over Katie’s death in February. To lose her brother soon after just seems like too much. I’m praying for more time with my boy, for his sake and mine. Generally, I feel like I can deal with the things that life hands me, but I’m wondering how much more loss I can handle so close together.

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Posted May 31, 2011 by StPaulieGrrl in cats

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