Monday, June 27, 2016

If I could save time in a bottle...

I've put off blogging for SO long, I've almost forgotten how this all goes anymore. We've seriously had so much going on lately, blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. It's honestly still something I'm not sure I want to start back up. It's just really hard to throw away something that I've done for 8 years now, so you can see why I want to at least TRY and keep it going. I guess I'll see how this update of sorts goes and we'll go from here.

I'm going to address the most important updates first, back burner things will come last. Obviously, the most important subject over the past month has been Zoe, so we'll start there. My last blog was on Wednesday, May 25th. I was discussing that our old vet diagnosed Zoe with FIV and told us that she wouldn't recommend doing the surgery. She told us to watch the mammary mass on her belly and to let them know if it started to grow. That was NOT okay in my book, so like I stated in my last post I contacted two other vets and decided on Hick's Animal Hospital in Poplar Bluff.

Zoe's next vet visit was on June 1st at 4:00 in the evening. The vets office was packed, so we took this as a good sign. Our "old" vet in Fredericktown was never packed. After waiting, we finally got called back and got to speak with Dr. Hicks, a super nice lady that really seemed to know what she was talking about. She was kind of shocked by the size of her lump and said that it didn't feel like normal mammary tumors. She ran a CBC on Zoe, which still revealed the low WBC count -- it was 3200 this time. I'm not sure if it was an even 3000 last time and it went up some or what. Anyways, the vet didn't seem troubled by the count. She said it was low, but not low enough to postpone the surgery, which she wanted to do asap. She scheduled the surgery for the following Tuesday with a drop-off the day before.

Que nervousness!

Sunday night I could barely breath, eat or sleep. I worried non-stop and cried periodically throughout the day/night. Monday was even worse. I was completely out of it and felt like I was going to faint. We dropped Zoe off at the vet 15 minutes before closing. I've never felt so cruel and abusive in all of my life. I started crying in the vets office while the receptionist went to check on some things with Zoe's kennel. I was able to stop myself for a short while, but not for long. A man came out and took Zoe in her carrier. The look on her face as he carried her away was my breaking point. I turned to leave and barely made it out the door before I was in tears. I wasn't alone in this, LaVaughn was the same.

We sat in the car for a good 10 minutes before I was able to compose myself enough to drive. I finally stopped gasping for air and was able to pull out of the parking lot. Monday night was like a dream. Nothing seemed real, everything just kind of blurred together. Going to sleep was a welcome peace as I knew it would bring the next day quicker than sitting and worrying all night.

I woke up a little before 11 the next day and immediately called the vet to check on Zoe. Thankfully, she was out of surgery and in recovery! I was told to call back after two, which was a miserable wait. LaVaughn and I showered and headed towards Poplar Bluff just before two. I called from Piedmont to see how things were. I was put on hold for what felt like an hour as the lady went back to check on Zoe. She came back with the sweetest words I've heard in a long time.

          "She did good, she's going good and she can be picked up after 4."

I thought I was going to faint! The drive to Poplar Bluff was one of the best and most peaceful drives I've had in a long time. Picking her up from the vet was such a warming feeling that I'll never forget. Getting her home was another, she was on cloud 9! Her incision also wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, which was a good thing!

Then the dreaded waiting game began. They sent the tumor off Wednesday and said the university should get it Thursday and there was a small chance we would hear back from them Friday, but it would probably be Monday. Well, Monday came and went and there was nothing. I called early and late on Monday, but they hadn't heard anything. Same thing on Tuesday and again on Wednesday. When I called Wednesday (this was on the 15th) they said that if I hadn't heard from them by the following Wednesday (the 22nd) to give them a call back.

Well the following Wednesday came and still nothing. I was a bundle of nerves this day because I had a feeling that we would hear something today. Well I called around 2:30 and was told that the vet had received the results and she would be with me shortly. When she finally came to the phone she gave me the heartbreaking news... it was cancer. Our vet said the she really didn't think it was cancerous due to how confined it was. Of course, I asked what Zoe's chances were and what % she had of it coming back. The vet said that there's a 50% chance of it coming back, but she can't really use those guidelines because Zoe's tumor was so small. She said that she simply doesn't see them that small and they're always large and a mess by the time she see's them.

This is good news! This should (hopefully) greatly reduce the risk of reassurance. Fingers, toes, hairs and everything crossed! We could use ANY type of good thoughts, prayers or anything else you have to offer!

As of right now we're trying not to think about it and just continue our lives like normal. If we stay stressed out, she'll stay stressed out. We're trying to stay positive and think happy thoughts and just cherish the time we have with her.

One more update while I'm on the subject of cats. When we picked Zoe up from the vet, we stopped by Walmart and picked up a couple gorgeous asiatic lily plants. Well, they stayed inside for the first day, then were moved outside to enjoy some son. Late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, we decided to move them inside. Well, shortly after we did that, I heard a crash coming from the kitchen. It was exactly what I suspected, Una knocked the plants over.

We rushed into the kitchen and picked them up. That's when we noticed a couple bite marks on the leaves. I immediately looked to see if lilies were poisonous to cats and was floored by what I read. Not only are they toxic, but they're one of the most deadly plants a cat can eat. It wasn't long after that, that LaVaughn found a missing leaf. We flew into panic mode and I was on the phone with an emergency vet. He told me to give her 1 tablespoon of peroxide to induce vomiting and to call back after. The only reason he suggested this was because it had been less than 20 minutes since she ate it.

Well forced it down her throat and waited in the bathroom with her to throw up. When that didn't work, we gave her another. She ran to the living room and (thankfully) started puking. And there it was, half a lily leaf. I was so relieved and thankful, you have no idea!

I tried to call our emergency vet again, but couldn't get through. I ended up calling one in Farmington and one in Perryville to ask what to do next. The one in Farmington said that she should be fine, but if we wanted to be extra cautious that we could bring her in and put her on an IV for 24 hours, but she didn't think that would be necessary. I tied and tried to get in touch with our vet again, but couldn't get through.

Around 6:30 that morning we finally decided to call it a night.

As soon as I got up the next day I called our vet and talked to the same guy. He concurred and said that she should be fine. I ended up calling close to 6 vets that day and got the same answers from all of them. LaVaughn and I were still sick about it and decided to take Una to the vet Friday to have her kidneys checked. After all, lily toxicity causes kidney failure, which leads to death within a few short days. LaVaughn took me to work Friday and took Una to the vet that evening for lab work.

Thank god everything came back normal! Her kidneys, liver and everything looked great. The vet (we were at Hillcrest this time) said that it takes a large amount of leaves to cause damage. Oh well, better safe than sorry. It wasn't all for nothing, though, it showed that Una's blood sugar levels were really high. She had just had a steroid shot a couple weeks before, which could be the cause, but he recommended that we get her re-tested in a few weeks just to be on the safe side.

So there's that. It was horrible, I was so sick over the entire thing, I wanted to die. I felt such a HUGE relief at work Friday evening when she called and told me, you have no idea. I'm hoping and praying that things are mellow for the rest of the year. My nerves honestly can't handle much more.

And needless to say the plants will NEVER be in the house again!

If all goes well I'll post a general update tomorrow with everything that's been happening over the last several weeks. Until then, thanks for reading...


And now, because I can, I'm going to spam you with loads of cat pictures from the past month(s):

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