A very sad day…

Maggie May went to VSG this morning for her chemo, but unfortunately didn’t survive the anaesthetic.

Apparently it all happened very early on in the procedure, and very quickly; the vets didn’t even get a chance to take her blood to test or give her a proper physical examination. It was just too much for the poor little baby.

When we picked her up from VSG, she looked so peaceful and comfy. Because she died under the anaesthetic, she wouldn’t have been in any pain. Prior to going under, the vet said that she had been quite smoochie and cuddly with all the staff there, so they had given her a bit of a cuddle. I think Maggie knew.

The vet said that she’d had a look inside Maggie’s mouth, and the tumors had grown and locked her jaw semi-shut, which is why we were having so much trouble feeding her. She said that if Maggie had survived, we would have had major issues with that very soon.

On the way home with her, I kept looking in her cage, expecting her to move or snuffle, but deep down I knew that wasn’t going to happen. We’ve brought her home and left her in a place away from the other two cats until we get home from work where we will give them a chance to see her. She will be cremated tomorrow.

I’ve told Oliver, all of my close friends, and one of my aunts (the other one couldn’t care less, I’m sure), but with Priya being in South Africa she won’t have checked her phone yet. I feel really terrible that that may be the first thing she wakes up to on her phone. She loved Maggie dearly, although she was allergic.

mde
Maggie with Priya.

She was so good last night. She woke me up a few times, but she got really cuddly. She cuddled in nice and close. She spent most of the night cuddled up on my right upper arm, while my left arm cradled her. These are the last photos I have of her alive this morning. She was so comfy in bed. It was such a shame we had to disrupt her. Over the last few days she’s been yelly, discovered her love for the toilet and shower, given Dad and I loves, been quite good with her food (we changed the type of syringe we were using), has been outside on her own, demanded to go out on the deck with D’arcy, and has gotten really cuddly with me at night time. She’d had a really good night and a great last few days.

I thought I’d leave with some of my favourite photos of her. She was, and still is, our littlest bubbie girl.

Advertisements
Read more "A very sad day…"

Got through the weekend

We’ve had a mixed weekend. We still have to check in with the vet, and I think Mum’s going to do that later today.

Maggie still sleeps with me most of the night. I think she gets up periodically to have a big drink, but I always wake up with her on my bed.

She didn’t have a bad sleep last night. She slept for about an hour under the covers with me with her little head out. She got really comfy and stretched her arm out and turned her head upside down for a short time. She was very quiet; no snuffling or snorting.

We had another cuddle this morning before breakfast. In all honesty, she was terrible to try and feed this morning. She really resisted and we had to re-wrap her twice. She just spat and sprayed the food all over the place.

I went home with Dad to feed her her lunch just before. When we got in, Dad looked behind the TV and she wasn’t there, so he said she was probably in my room. He was right. As soon as I got to my bedroom door, Maggie got up and got off the bed. I thought she was going to gap it initially because she’s gotten to knowing what is coming next, but she didn’t. She came to the door and waited. I gave her a pat and her tail stood up and she looked at me lovingly. She tried to clean her nose with her paw (all by herself!) then turned around and jumped back on the bed and started chattering away to me. I got on the bed and lifted the blanket and she went underneath. She had a quiet rest for around 15 minutes until Dad was ready with her food.

Again, she was even more terrible to feed. We had to re-wrap her twice, and she growled the whole time. We did manage to get a bit of food into her though. I’m actually really surprised at how much energy and strength she has, considering she’s a very sick cat that weighs just over a third of what she should weigh (last weigh in weighed her at 2.92kg; a 30g loss). None of us believed it when the nurse at VSG said this to us, but I can safely say that she has earned the title of ‘ferocious’.

After feeding, I put her back on my bed under the covers, and she settled down. She was comfy, though miffed.

Her face has closed up nicely. It’s not weeping or bleeding, and doesn’t seem to be causing her as much pain as it was a couple of days ago. I do still think it’d be beneficial for her to have some kind of topical pain relief for that area and her nose, but I’m not a vet so it may be that the risks aren’t worth it, or there may not be any topical pain relief that’s suitable for wounds. I don’t know.

19401067_1296175030499059_1616055087_o
Not looking as terrible as it did.

I have found a few little lumps around her neck and face that are just over the size of a pea each. They don’t seem to be causing her any discomfort, but we know it’s not a good sign.

Oh. And Maggie did big poos in the dirtbox. She hasn’t done that in a while, so we were pretty excited.

Read more "Got through the weekend"

Slowly downhill

I went home with Dad at lunch time to feed Maggie today, and she wasn’t very good with it. Mum used to help Dad to feed Maggie, but one day Mum had a family meeting and we discovered that Maggie tolerates me a little more, so now that’s my job. We gave her three tubes of food, but I think she probably only swallowed about two tubes. She spat the rest of it out.

19181772_10210593906457240_51052042_o
Grouchy! Feeding time before I got involved.

In general, she seems cold and uncomfortable, except when she’s cuddled up with me on my bed. I make sure that she’s with me all the time that I’m home. Because of that, she’s happy and comfy a majority of the time. I’m not complaining; I get to stay in bed in the warm.

Excuse all the snotty, dribbly patches on the sheets and walls… I’ve decided not to worry about it. Maggie can’t help it, and most of those marks are made when she’s at her comfiest.

I’ve discovered a patch on her right cheek (the bad side) where the fur has been matted together with blood or some other secretion. I’m not sure what the stuff is, or what’s happening on the skin beneath the fur, and it’s a bit hard for me to see. I showed it to Dad last night and he brushed it off, but I showed it to him again at feeding time today and now he wants to have the vet take a look at it. I’m not sure when that will be.

Both Maggie and D’arcy have been more sociable. D’arcy, in particular, has been very sooky. He waits on the arm of the couch every day for Mum to come home. He licks her and purrs and cuddles right up to her. This is not entirely usual for him. She takes a photo of him almost every night. This gallery shows the sheer number of nights Mum has sent me a photo of D’arcy cuddled up to her on the couch.

Rosie has also been a bit more cuddly. She’s cuddled up next to Mum on the couch, and enjoys cuddling up near D’arcy on Mum’s bed. She usually keeps to herself and is quite a loner, but since Maggie has taken a turn for the worse, she’s needed more affection and support.

Read more "Slowly downhill"

Going downhill again

We’re on the downward slide again. Maggie has stopped eating again even with the anti-nausea pill, so we’re going to start syringe-feeding her. She’s snorting again and her lymph nodes are quite inflamed. Either that, or she’s growing another tumour in her neck. This seems to be making mouth-breathing slightly difficult and she’s also finding it hard to get comfy to sleep. She gets a lot of discharge out of her nose and Dad has to clean it several times a day. I brought her up to sleep in with me the other night (little shit decided the middle of my single bed was the perfect spot for her) and she did relax and stop snorting after a while. We’re going to take her to the vet tomorrow, and then to VSG for her chemo. Hopefully things perk up a little bit a few days after her next chemo.

Read more "Going downhill again"

Weeks or Days Left :(

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:

  1. Loss of appetite; at that stage, she was eating less, but not much less
  2. A high temperature; Maggie’s temperature was within the healthy range
  3. 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.

weight

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.

Read more "Weeks or Days Left :("

VSG Appointment

Maggie had another appointment at VSG today. She cried literally the entire way in the cage.

We got there about half an hour early. We usually leave super early because it could take us half an hour to get over to Mt Albert, but it could also take us two hours, depending on the traffic. We went through the Mt Albert McDonald’s drive-thru to grab some breakfast before heading to VSG. This is about the fourth or fifth time we’ve done that with Maggie in the car, and she is always interested in all the different food-smells.

17349148_1196057860510777_99687728_o
“What’s this??”

We had a bit of a wait in the waiting area, despite being there right on time. That was fine, as we got to meet a few of the other patients while we waited.

Maggie was 3.64kg, which was a little less than what she weighed on Tuesday. VSG’s scales seem to weigh her less, and she also hadn’t had a chance to have anything to eat before going this morning. The oncologist was happy with her weight regardless.

I brought up with the oncologist that I’d found a lump in her throat, around double the size of a pea. It just sits there and moves around under the skin when you feel it. She had a feel and could feel it too. She said that it’s possibly just a lymph node that’s still inflamed after her surgery, but that we should definitely keep an eye on it in case it isn’t. I’m happy she’s aware of it in any case.

Maggie obviously fought the vets today while being given her medication. They’ve added Metacam onto the list because we said that Maggie had been out of sorts each time she has her Palladia, now that she’s up to 3 a week. Since her blood work was excellent again, we’re going to need to manage the side effect of her going off her food a bit. She frothed at the mouth again today. This is pretty normal when she gets stressed out taking her meds.

She had a little bandage on her back leg from where they took her blood again. I took it off this evening because she always gets a bit irritated having them on. It was green with little black paw prints on it ^_^

Read more "VSG Appointment"