I'll preface this by saying that to my knowledge, everything is fine with the tiny bun, and today's difficulty had nothing to do with my pregnancy (other than my pregnancy symptoms not helping the situation). Today was tough because of my other kid, my fur-faced baby. Or as Jeeves calls him, the Little Guy.
He looks especially chubby in this picture, but he is actually not that chubby - 12lbs 12oz, which is not so bad.
We took Abbott to the vet on Saturday, which was super traumatic, mostly for me. The vet was running behind and so we had to sit in the waiting room for about 45 minutes, which was not fun. But the thing I love about my vet is that once you're in with her, she's very thorough and you never feel rushed. I explained what was going on with Abbott and the first thing she noted was that he does seem to have lost weight, especially along his back, where his spine is more pronounced than it used to be. I had noticed this too, but wasn't overly concerned because he is a heavier cat and weight loss is usually a good thing for a heavier cat, especially since I cut down on the amount of food I was feeding him. Anyway, we talked about the water drinking, and she agreed he should be tested for diabetes, but she wasn't too concerned about it because the amount of water Abbott is drinking each day (3 oz) is not a lot, and diabetic cats will drink a lot of water.
Then she started palpating his belly, and he started letting out these sad, upset meows. She noted that she could feel something "hard" in the intestinal area. She thought it could possibly just be some constipation, but she was concerned about lymphoma - cancer of the lymphatic system. Unfortunately lymphoma can't be diagnosed through blood tests (which is how we were going to deal with the diabetes, other renal disorders, infections, etc.), and the best way to test for it was ultrasound. Ultrasound is expensive, but it would give us a definitive answer and it wouldn't require sedation or cause Abbott any pain. So we decided to get the blood work done that day and have an ultrasound done today (Monday).
Today we took Abbott in to the vet in the morning and we went off to work. In the afternoon, my vet's office called and asked me to come in to go over results and fetch the little guy. When I went into the vet's office, she started off with "It's good we did the ultrasound," and my heart sank a little. All of Abbott's blood work came back normal - no diabetes, no renal problem, no infection. The vet palpated his abdomen this morning, and she could still feel the hard mass which made her doubt that it was constipation. Ultrasound confirmed - poor Abbott has intestinal lymphoma. They aren't positive, but they think it's high grade, which means it's spread to other lymph nodes, probably in his lungs.
We talked about treatment, and between my vet's opinion and my own personal beliefs about how much medical intervention you should give to a pet, I decided I did not want to put him through chemotherapy. I realize that chemo is the standard protocol for this sort of thing. But with a cat, you can't explain to them that the reason you're putting them through something stressful and painful is for their own good. I would do it if it could cure him, but chemo doesn't cure feline lymphoma, it just gives you a little more time. And if that time is spent with my cat vomiting and miserable, well, it's not worth it. My vet thinks that the oral medication has a similar outcome with less side effects, so I decided to go with that for now. Unfortunately, with treatment, we probably only have 3 to 6 more months with Abbott.
I find this crushingly sad. He is a good, sweet cat, a constant companion to me. He is the first pet I have owned in my life that was truly mine - all my pets growing up always loved my mom or my sister best. This is my first pet who preferred me to all others. I got him three weeks after I moved into my very first solo apartment because I was lonely. When he was a kitten, he would curl up on my chest and purr like a motorboat. When Jeeves (who is allergic) and I started talking about moving in together, I told him I was bringing Abbott with me, and he should go to an allergist. My rationale - I've been with Abbott longer than I've been with you, so if you need to take pills to make this work, so be it. Happily Jeeves developed an immunity to Abbott and his cell phone is now filled with pictures of the little guy. He has more pics of Abbott on his phone than he does of me.
One of the things that makes me exceptionally sad about all this is that Abbott might not get to meet his little brother or sister next year. My mom will never get to meet my kid, and I worry all the time about whether Dad will be around to meet our kid. But now this? Now we lose Abbott too?
The one bright spot in this is that he seems to generally feel fine. Other than when his belly is being palpated by the vet, he's not in any apparent pain, he still loves grooming himself, and cuddling, and eating expensive cat food. I'm hoping the medicine will keep things like that for a good long while.