Sorry for the lapse in posts. I’ve been super busy with work, family stuff, and of course, taking care of Maggie.
Here’s what you’ve missed.
And of course, several vet visits and weigh-ins.
Maggie has started snuffling. We noticed it around the end of March, and it’s gotten progressively worse. We were scared a fistula might have formed somewhere. We took her to one of her usually scheduled vet appointments and asked for their advice, which was to take her over to VSG. We managed to make her an appointment to go over on the 4th, and were told that it was unlikely a fistula had formed, as she didn’t meet the criteria for it. Things to look out for are:
- Loss of appetite; at that stage, she was eating less, but not much less
- A high temperature; Maggie’s temperature was within the healthy range
- Foul-smelling discharge from the nose; although Maggie did have a lot of nasal discharge, it was her breath that smelt fouler
We went away happy that it was likely not a fistula causing the issue, but also none the wiser as to what was causing the issue. We ended up taking her back to VSG a few days later. We couldn’t see our usual vets so we saw another one. We left her at VSG so she could have a CT scan and some blood work done.
We had to leave her overnight as it wasn’t until after 4pm that she could get in to have the scan done. We went to collect her the following morning. At the appointment, the vet showed us the scan. The tumour has been resistant to the Palladia with Maggie, has come back, and has invaded her nasal cavity, and part of the left side of her face (the good side). She’s currently breathing through a tube around 5% of what she should be breathing through. That’s why she’s been snorting. It’s also why she’s stopped eating; when Mum puts food out every morning, she runs into the kitchen, takes a sniff of the food, and walks away. She can’t smell. We’ve been syringe feeding her. When we take her to her vet appointments now, they’ve also been syringe feeding her. She has cancer cachexia, so regardless of how much she was eating prior to this, she’s lost a lot of weight. As of today, she’s 3.31kg which is 70g above her lowest.
She’s also been put on a different chemo drug. We’ve been told that this is pretty much the last option for her. The particular drug is harsh on her kidneys and attacks both cancer and white blood cells, so VSG has to administer it once every 3 weeks to allow time for the white blood cells to regenerate. Maggie has kidney failure, so it really is a last ditch effort. There is another drug that could have been tried, but if this one doesn’t work, the earliest she could safely be given it is 10 days after the dose of the one she’s currently on. It’s excreted in urine and faeces, so we have to segregate her from the other two cats for the first two days after it’s administered with a separate dirtbox. None of the cats have enjoyed that. D’arcy cries during the night, and Rosie has been incredibly worried whenever we have to feed her, as Maggie doesn’t tolerate it well.
Mum has been sleeping on the floor with her in the lounge at night, and Dad lies on the floor in the kitchen trying to coax her to eat on her own.
The most heartbreaking thing about it is that, although she’s struggling and is incredibly uncomfortable, she still seems happy. Maybe ‘happy’ isn’t the right word… perhaps ‘loyal’ would be more apt. She still purrs as loud (and snuffly) as ever. She loves brushies and face scratchies. When Dad sits down, she runs to him to give him loves. She gives us so much affection. I was home from work yesterday and I set myself up on the lounge floor with my duvet and laptop, and I put the TV on for us, and she spent the day sitting with me on the floor. She cried whenever I left her to go down the hallway to get something. She knows we’re upset and I feel like she’s trying to be extra affectionate to try and comfort us. She doesn’t like us being upset as much as we don’t like her being uncomfortable.
The vet said that if the drug is going to work, we should see very quickly. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing those changes. I’m afraid she has weeks or even days left.