It seems like I’ve had an awful lot of posts titled that lately. 🙂
I had a follow-up appointment today with the vet at the emergency center (AETC). There are basically two vets I’ve been dealing with. One is the night vet, and he is cool in his own way, but he talks really fast and intimidates the hell out of me. He also (IMO) seems to have a tendency to jump to the worst possible outcome. The other is an internal specialist, and she is really good with me. She seems more optimistic, too…which has its good and bad sides in this sort of thing. So, basically, the times I’ve talked about an appointment, I was seeing the optimist. When I’ve taken her in unexpectedly or at night, I was seeing the fast-talker. My attitude seems to waver accordingly. 🙂
So, I saw the optimistic doctor this morning. She actually has more expertise with the cancerous type things as well as cat maladies in general. She had compared the previous and current X-rays and did measurements using relative markers (that is, measuring the width of a rib versus the width of the growth and checking the proportions) and noted that they actually had not increased; it just seemed that way due to the different equipment and angle. She also doesn’t believe there’s any new growths. She thinks what we were thinking was a new growth was actually a shadow because Maggie was twisting when they did the X-ray. She felt Maggie’s belly first thing and noticed a new tender/swollen spot that wasn’t there before, below her stomach. Given that, she said she’d like to do a repeat ultrasound first, to see what the new swollen spot was. If the swelling was the intestine, it might allow her to get a sample without doing the endoscopy (which is the really expensive thingie). That sounded good to me, so we did that. (royal we 🙂 ) The swollen spot turned out to be Maggie’s pancreas. A swollen pancreas is an indicator for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She also double-checked the chest area and confirmed no new growths as well as verifying that the ones seen before hadn’t gotten worse in any way.
So, given that, she said she’d like to proceed with the endoscopy, and I agreed. I mean, I’ve been thinking on this a lot in the past day or so, and the one thing I concluded is that I want to know something. I don’t want to make a decision in the dark. If that means spending money, that’s worth it to me. (Now, spending money to prolong her life in a way that is not a full kitty life…that’s different.) So, I left her at the AETC so they could prep her for the endoscopy and stuff. They called me with results a little while ago.
They had to dose Maggie up pretty strongly to get her to go to sleep. That’s all she’s been doing at home lately, so that didn’t surprise me. She probably had the adrenaline going from being at the vet again and some stored up energy. (I should also note that I syringe fed her about six mL of cat-sip kitty milk product and a few slivers of chicken last night around 8pm, so she had some kind of food in her although not much. And FWIW, she lost another 3 ounces in 36 hours.) Anyways, the endoscopy revealed:
* no growths in her esophagus, stomach, and upper intestine
* no pressure being put on her esophagus from that growth on her lung
* redness and swelling in the upper intestine consistent with IBD!!
No confirmation yet…we won’t get the biopsied samples back from the pathologist for another 3-4 days…but the vet decided based on this that we definitely should start her on treatment for IBD (using prednisone) on the assumption that’s what it is…and see if we start seeing results from that while we’re waiting on the pathologist results. So it’s beginning to seem like my kitty is going to be a happy kitty again soon. Yay! 🙂
PS – I know it may still be false hope. I’m remembering that, too. I’m just letting the optimism take hold right now, because it’s much better than the constant fear.