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Bob's Battle with Lymphoma: Transformation.

I suppose that like anything else, sooner or later, regardless of whatever the bad news is, you get to a place where the hard edges of pain, soften and you find a new routine. Your heart may be aching, but you have to find a way, right?

Bob's been transformed in the past month, from a sweet (and some times bratty) elderly gentlecat to a frail old man. Bob's thinner. Down two pounds since September of last year. Bob's coat is greasy and he belly is bare from being shaved for surgery just before Christmas. His eyes are the most startling. They seem sunken and dark. Not as sparkly as they once were. Bob used to have quite dilated pupils and there were times when he's look up at me and he'd remind me of Puss in Boots from Shrek. He was very good at that look whenever I was trying to eat dinner and he'd want a bite of something off my plate (which, I have too often given him).

©2001 Dreamworks SKG

Bob has a new routine. He's being treated for a URI (of course, he can't just have cancer and FIV+). One of the meds makes him hungry, so every two hours or so, he finds me or he follows me around so if I get up, I can get him some food, too.

He eats his many small meals. I give him treats. I have to give him a few pills, so more treats with that, too. Bob's been coming upstairs, which was rare. I think he's driven by hunger, but some times I wonder if he feels a bit clingy? He's never been a lap cat. He was so heavy my Mother, who used to have Bob, discouraged him from sitting on her lap. He could sit with his front paws on one leg, so that's as far as Bob will go on us, too.

The days are spent on the good old heated cat bed or lying under my desk in the sunshine. It's common to see most of the beds filled as the sun makes up for the thermostat being kept very low.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The “Under the Desk Gang” at it again.

Today I realized there's another problem facing Bob. I won't swear but imagine the “F-word” right here...I think Bob has ringworm.

Last week when we met the oncologist I mentioned the skin issue on Bob's head. He didn't want to deal with it-not his thing. He said it should be cultured and that we couldn't do chemo if it was ringworm because it would set the ringworm off like wildfire. I really thought that the ringworm was on the way out, but I was wrong. Bob's head has more lesions and the fur has come off most of the back of his ears. I've been treating it with goldenseal and giving Bob sulpher, per my homeopathic Vet's suggestion. I don't know if it will help. It's too soon to tell. All I know is that this could prevent me from doing ANY more Chemo for Bob until this is resolved. If so, that would mean another MONTH lost. Conventional treatments are VERY toxic and take a month, so I'm not sure we can even DO that. I need to talk to Dr. Larry and the Oncologist. This is all so twisted and confusing. It's tough enough trying to figure out how to manage the cancer.

bob, blitz, spence, mac.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen, Bob, Spencer & MacGruber leaving me to figure out where I can lay down so I can go to sleep, too.

I wish I could make Bob smile or see him appear to be happy again. I don't know if I will ever see that perky look on his face, the big begging eyes, the swat with the paw to get my attention. Bob has been transformed and with his change, I change, too. I'm so gentle and careful. I'm not so mad all the time. I'm letting things roll off my back. All that matters are the days I have left with Bob. I know I'm going to mess up what should be done for him or when or how it's done, but in the end, all I want is for Bob to be happy again.


Robin, you and Bob and all your kitties are in my prayers. I'm so sorry about all you are going through. In May, Vincent of Rikki's Refuge posted how Rikki's looks at quality-of-life issues and letting go:

I found these thoughts to be comforting when I had to make a difficult decision recently. I truly hope Bob bounces back to his Bob-ness and has many more happy years with you.


This is really hard for me to say - cuz I'd spend anything to help my cats. I think that Bob is giving you so many signs about what to do. The first and foremost thing is what is best for Bob? It's starting to look like the cards are just stacked against this poor man and no matter how much you do, it's not going to help him and only prolong his discomfort. My BFF just had to make the hard decision to let her baby go because the treatment was worse than than any quality of life he would gain.

I'm sorry, but I think you need to let him go and stop his suffering. I'm crying now ...

I would like to help you a little bit with your financial situation - can't afford much but I would like to make a small donation - how can I do that?

Use the "chipin" widget to the RIGHT. It's gray and green. Just press the "ChipIn" button and you can send a donation that way. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Bob's Vet bill is up to $7500.00 so every bit helps!

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