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We'll Never Really Know for Sure: Part Two

The tree that crashed into our driveway has been chopped up, thanks to Connie's sweetheart, Howard. He came over with mighty chain saw in hand and attacked the fallen tree with surprising gusto. I helped clear the brush away while we both sweated under the hot, steamy sun. Howard was great. He cut the tree back much further than I hoped. So much so that I won't have to call in the arborist to finish the job.

If only everything was so easily managed.

Got his stripes back.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The "M" on Bob's forehead returns.

Yesterday I wrote about taking Bob to get his eleventh chemo and that the Oncologist remarked at how proud he was of the care we were providing Bob. He said that most people would have given their cat Prednisone for a few weeks, then euthanized the animal. He seemed clearly impressed with our willingness to go the distance for our cat. I didn't really understand. It's Bob. We aren't just going to let him have a shortened life because it's inconvenient or expensive. It's HIS life. He deserves to have every good day he can.

Sweet Bob.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

My joy at Bob's clinical improvement was short lived. The next day I got Bob's blood test back. His ALT (liver function) was over 1000. This is very bad. From the first day I took Bob into my home almost five years ago, Bob's ALT has never been normal. Before Bob had surgery to remove half of his liver (which was cancerous) last December, it was 1400.

Bob on Deck Spencer Looks.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer looks out onto the deck while Bob enjoys his afternoon in the sunshine.

Last month Bob's ALT was about 400. For him, even being 300 higher than normal, that was good. 1000? Not good. Not good at all.

Looking into your heart.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

I've been religiously giving Bob Denamarin, which I had hoped would help strengthen whatever was left of his liver. I thought it was working and, maybe it is. Maybe it would be worse without it? Dr. Joe called me to talk about the ALT. We discussed whether or not we did another ultrasound to see if Bob's liver showed signs of further cancer. We both agreed it was pointless. If we looked at his liver, we'd have to get a biopsy if they saw a mass. Then Bob would have to have more surgery to take away even more of his liver. His recovery from the first surgery was about two to three weeks. At his age, with FIV+ and lymphoma, it just didn't seem kind to put him through that all over again when they might find out the cancer was all over his remaining liver.

Closeup on the deck.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Dr. Joe said that elevated ALT can also spike cyclically so maybe, just maybe, Bob's liver isn't in such bad shape. It was nice that he said it, but I took it as a reminder that although Bob's whiskers have grown back on the top of his head and although his fur is slowly returning here and there, that Bob has two types of cancer. The liver cancer, we thought was excised and considered to be gone, but maybe just enough was left so the cancer could continue to grow? We'll recheck his blood work next month when we do the twelfth chemo.

Nyah. Still Bob_sm.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob being Bob.

Dr. Joe and I discussed if there were any other things that I could do to help Bob. He suggested adding Proanthozone to Bob's diet. Maybe it would help. At this point, there isn't much to lose.

Bob's story isn't over yet. And truth be told, Sam and I are both surprised six months have passed and this shaggy sweetheart is still with us. I'm so grateful for each day and I'm still surprised that Bob continues onward. Bob's even become more social with us and likes to sit half on my lap and half off-something he had to do with my Mother because he was too heavy to sit across her legs. The other day he sat on me, burbling, the sound I call his nutty purr. It's a charming sound. It makes me forget to be sad for a little while.

Bob's good like that. Even in his darkest days, he finds a way to make me smile.


You're doing so much good for Bob, Prudence and I are sending our prayers and positive thoughts your way.
(aka @tildatoo)

Bob's a fighter. We're purring and praying that this was just a flukey bloodtest and that things are not as bad as they look.

The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

It is always something, isn't it. We are sending tons of purrs that Bob will continue to do all right even though the blood work stinks. Thinking about ya.

Bob is looking very well for a sick kitty. You must, indeed be taking good care of him.

I think he's trying to say thank you!

I think you're doing the right thing - I will keep him in my thoughts. Enjoy every day!

such hard times. Breathe.

Sending love and furry headbumps.

Wow, Robin, it sounds as if you had a stressful few days there, and your intuition correctly warned you of impending unsettled weather challenges and heatlh challenges for Bob. You obviously have a very big heart, as shown by your willingness to do anything possible to help Bob heal. I truly hope and pray that he will respond to all the treatment and to all your love.


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