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Jill's Journey

Hopping her way towards a (hopefully) cancer free life three legs at a time

How am I supposed to leave for work?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 11:55 pm on Monday, December 15, 2014

When these are the faces I get as I’m about to go out the door in the morning??? PLEASE DONT GO TO WORK TODAY MOM PLEEEEASE!!!!!!!!!!

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Happy TWO YEAR ampuversary Jill!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 10:31 am on Friday, December 12, 2014

Two years.  There are so many words I can use to express how I feel when I type those words, but none of them adequate enough to really explain it.  Overjoyed, thankful, elated…the list can go on and on.  What I really feel is just an overall feeling of peacefulness and sense of pride that we’ve gotten to this place.

Being completely, totally, brutally honest, I NEVER in my wildest dreams would have predicted this outcome.  I hate to say that outloud.  But it’s the truth.  And while this journey has brought us to this wonderful moment, it was a journey filled with moments of fear and doubt.  You hear the diagnosis: Cancer.  What???  How can that be?  Then you get the treatment plan: Amputation and Chemotherapy.  Then you think (or at least I did) – will the cancer kill her or will the immobility do her in?  But then the panic subsides, and you look at that little face that has entrusted you with their life and you decide to fight.  And fight we did.  I made the decisions for her, but she put up the fight.

Now two years later, she is so happy, so healthy.  If I didn’t go through it with her, I would never believe this kitty ever had cancer.  She’s getting a little pudgy, weighing in at just under 12 lbs.  I looked back today at her records from day of surgery and she was 10.75.  To me, that’s a nice healthy sign :)

My little baby girl – you had a whole team behind you of wonderful vets and family….but you did this.  You got yourself here.  I am so happy I still get to snuggle up to you everynight and morning.  You are the most sweet, loving little being and it makes me such a proud Mom to see you so happy and healthy today, just enjoying your life snuggling with me and begging for treats.

I love you little girl.  Thank you for teaching me so much about love and strength.

Always,

Mommy

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3 days after amputation:

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Today:

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Tripawds.com-aversary!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 11:51 am on Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two years ago today I got the most dreadful phone call of my life.  The lump I found in Jill’s leg was indeed a metastasis and her leg would to be amputated.  I was lost.  Wandering around like a lost soul, looking for answers.  Googling away.  Nothing on google was helping.  Google “Cat” and “Osteosarcoma” and you come up with a whole lot of unhelpful information.  Then I stumbled upon tripawds.com.  Well, I thought, this looks like a dog website, but what the heck, they all look like nice people, maybe they can help.  And help you all did.

My post, December 3, 2012:

New here – Kitty with cancer :(

“I found this forum while googling many things in search for some answers.  I guess right now I just need some support….

My 8-year-old Kitty Jill was diagnosed with a very rare tumor on her toe in June (on her right hind leg).  Her toe was amputated and pathology came back that it was osteosarcoma, but the margins were clean, and the rest of her leg looked great, lung xrays perfect.  Her vet and oncologist agreed that she needed no further treatment.

Now, 6 months later, I find a lump behind her thigh (same leg).  I brought her to the vet last week who did an xray (xray looked great, bones all clean) and needle aspirate and it came back bad news, it is some kind of sarcoma.  Since a biopsy was not yet performed, we dont know what it is.  The vet believes since it is the same leg it is a metasis (forgive my mispellings please :) , however there is no way to know unless we do a biopsy.  The vet consulted Jill’s original oncologist who thinks we should, at this time, amputate her leg.  The vet wants to talk to one more oncologist at the lab where the pathology was done, but it looks like this will be the suggested route we take.  We will of course of have to x ray her lungs again to make sure they are clear first.

I am scared to death really.  I dont want to take this poor babys leg off if it is only going to give her 6 more months.  Does anyone have any advice/help?”

Ah how silly I sounded!  But what a mess I was.  And you all came to my rescue.  Just a few short hours later I had so many responses and felt SO MUCH better.  The amount of support we have received since that post – my gratitude simply cannot be put into words.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE to explain how much this community means to me.  How much it really saved me.  How much it saved Jill.  I went from a fearful Mama to an empowered one full of knowledge about our situation.  Thank you Rene, Jim, Jerry and Wyatt.  You will never ever ever know what you have done for us and for so many others.

With gratitude forever and always,

Erica & Jill

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THANKSgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 10:08 am on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This year, Thanksgiving happens to fall on the exact day that just two years ago I felt a hard marble sized lump in Jill’s leg.  I don’t like to dwell on dates, but I do know it was around Thanksgiving, because I had just celebrated being thankful for Jill surviving a scare earlier that year when she had her toe amputated and we all thought that good enough margins were achieved for her to have narrowly escaped the fight of her life.  So I went back to look at her records like I do sometimes when these days loom and saw that the date fell on 11/27/12 when I called her vet to bring her in for an aspirate.

After her toe was amputated and she was diagnosed with OSA I was told to watch for a limp.  She starts limping – bring her in!  I studied her walk, never took my eyes off her when she ran around.  No limp.  But on 11/27, I was petting away, she was purring away, happy, “healthy” as can be and the instant my hand felt that marble I knew.

We all know the story from there, so on this Thanksgiving I want to say thank you.  I’m not saying thank you to anyone in particular.  I’m not a spiritual or religious person.  So I’m just saying thank you out loud – giving thanks that  we are one of the lucky few who have made it this far.  So thank you.  Thank you universe.  When I look at her, all I know is I feel gratitude.  Gratitude that we’ve come this far with barely any hiccups.  Ok, a FEW hiccups – but nothing super significant.  Maybe I’m just thanking luck.  We all know with Osteosarcoma it’s a dice roll.  So thank you dice :)

And thank you to my Jill.  This weekend I had a terrible cold and you did not leave my side the entire time (picture below).  I hope I paid that back to you plenty when you didn’t feel well and I hope in your own little kitty way you understood that.  I love you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone – THANK YOU for always being there for us.

xoxo,

Erica & Jill

Mommy doesn't feel well

Mommy doesn’t feel well

GOBBLE GOBBLE WHERES THE TURKEY TREATS

GOBBLE GOBBLE WHERES THE TURKEY TREATS

Belle’s Visit!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 9:42 am on Monday, November 24, 2014

Jill Here!  Hi Everybuddy!  Well my friend Belle was here for a nice visit but now she had to go home to my Gramma and Grampa.  We had lots of fun.  We cuddled and chased each other.  We had one little mishap and Belle had to go for a Baf!  She got POOP all over her bum.  How gross?  She was so ashamed, so was crying and hiding and wouldnt even eat her treats.  So undignified.  I would never get poop on my bum!  But she came back from her baf with pretty bows in her hair and smelling all nice like.

We found out that Belle loves to eat cheese and really loves to eat gobble gobble.  But you CANT tell Gramma k?  Belle is not allowed to eat hooman food!!  But mom likes to give her some just as a little treat.  Just because maybe shes a little homesick you know?  Belle only likes to eat my food when shes here she doesnt like to eat her dog food, but its so silly because I like to eat her food!  Mom sez its ok because its only for  a few days.

Here are some pictures from Belle’s visit and a video of her playing.  Watch she gets sooo stracted, she tries to jump on me!

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An Ampuversary Surprise!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 2:55 pm on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jill Here.

Today is my 23 month ampuversary! Can you believe that? 23 months without my leg!? WOW time goes so fast when you’re a little kitty.  Mom sez to me on Monday night, “Jill a big surprise is coming just in time to celebrate your ampuversary”.  A big surprise!? I think….what can be bigger than brudda? Maybe a bag of treats so big I can dive into it?

No.  MY GRAMMA AND GRAMPA came to visit me and they brought my Belle!  Gramma and Grampa only came for just a little bit, but enough time to get some hugs and snuggles in BUT they left Belle at our partment and she is staying for TEN DAYS!  What a treat for my ampuversary!

Heres some pictures from our visit.

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Oh BROTHER!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 4:24 pm on Thursday, November 6, 2014

Jill Here.

Brother is sickly!……but that’s not the worst part…..because he is sick WERE NOT ALLOWED ANY FOOD.  How is this fair?  I ask…HOW!?  The injustice of this.

Mommy brought him to the vests the other night because he had a tum tum ache.  He was puking everywhere he even got it ON ME.  Poor brother.  He is not used to going to the vests.  I am the usually the one to go which is why we have a pink girl case.  He wasn’t very happy about being in a GIRL case.

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Anywhoo.  The vest says Jack has a tum tum ache and is not allowed food for 24 hours.  Which means I CANT HAVE FOOD.  Because fatty will FREAK OUT if I get food and he doesnt.  I guess its ok because when I had to fasted for my surgery he couldn’t have food either.  But.  Still.

I do feel bad.  You can tell Fatty doesnt feel good.  He’s all snuggly and clingly like with mom.  Usually I dont let him so close to mom at night when we go to bed but last night I decided I would let him be next to her on the pill pill.  Isn’t that nice that I figured out that he needed to be there instead of me?

Mom says to say not to worry, brother is going to be ok, as evidenced by the scale at the vest.  He is still steadily gaining weight not losing any.

Here is my poor brother looking all sadly like (probably just wanting some tention from mom).

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A Letter to my Cat is HERE!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 10:57 am on Thursday, October 30, 2014

It really is true!  Jill is in a real life book!

I didn’t really believe it until I saw it with my very own eyes.  In July 2013, I got a phone call that the wonderful people putting together the book A Letter to my Cat read the letter I submitted online and wanted to come do a photo shoot with me and Jill.  I thought someone was playing a trick on me to be perfectly honest.  But it was true!  And now a little over a year later, my beautiful little one is along side celebrities and their kitties in this heartwarming book.

It is such a honor to be able to share Jill’s story.  To be able to show the world that a cancer diagnosis does not always mean the fight is over.  To be able to show the world that the word that once felt like a punch in the gut to me: “amputation”, does not mean the end of your kitty’s very happy life.  This all means the world to me.  I never thought in a million years when Jill was diagnosed with osteosarcoma over 2 years ago that we would be where we are today.  This fight has been hard.  It’s been emotional, trying and at times heart wrenching.  But it’s also been a lesson in strength, love and a reminder that every single day I have with Jill is a true gift!

Here are some photos of Jill at her photo shoot and checking herself out as a published kitty! (and some of Jack as well, can’t leave him out!)

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OH MY CAT I'M IN A BOOK!?

OH MY CAT I’M IN A BOOK!?

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Where's my book???

Where’s my book???

Am I famous too Mom???

Am I famous too Mom???

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And here sneak peak video of the book!  Jill and I are featured at 2:41:

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Happy Gotcha Day Jilly!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 12:19 pm on Friday, October 17, 2014

Ten years ago today I reluctantly went to meet a 7 week old kitten to see if I was interested in adopting her. I had been told by my mother’s friend (who had been fostering her and bottle raised her since she was 2 days old) that she was the sweetest kitty she had ever fostered.

I did not want another cat. Jack was PLENTY kitty for me and my 500 square foot apartment. But Jack was lonely. He was ripping out all the fur on his arms and the vet told me that he wanted a friend.

So off I went to Long Island to meet this little kitten who was named “Sweet Pea” on petfinder and, truth be told, didn’t look that cute in the one small picture they had of her on the website. But then, she was handed to me…..and the purring hasn’t stopped since. She curled right up and nuzzled right into my neck and gave me one of her hugs. She was home.

So thank you Jack for being a neurotic, anxious son of a……and thank you Jill for curing Jack of his anxiety (he stopped ripping out his fur almost immediately). Happy gotcha day Jill – thank you for loving me, thank you for letting me love you and take care of you.

Here is a picture of her sitting on my lap the day I got her and one of her and Jack about 2 weeks after.

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Happy 22 Month Ampuversary Jill!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 11:06 am on Sunday, October 12, 2014

Today is 22 months since Jill’s leg was amputated!  She is just doing terrific and I can’t believe how the time has flown by.

This month brought wonderful news.  We went to the oncologist last week and got a great, clean bill of health.  Jill’s x-rays and blood work shows that she remains cancer free!

We also got the great news that Jill will be featured in the upcoming book A Letter To My Cat.  The book will be published on October 28th and we are just SO EXCITED! I can’t wait for the world to hear Jill’s story and see her beautiful little face.  I suppose I’ve now added “manager” and “publicist” along to my list of services I provide for little Jill amongst other things I was already: “Slave”, “Pillow”, “Feeder”, etc.

I am just so proud of my little girl.  I look back at the photos and videos from the day and week of her surgery sometimes and can’t believe she ever went through that.  She truly lives life to the fullest and is the happiest kitty I have ever seen.

xoxo,

Erica & Jill

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