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Jill's Journey

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


Filed under: Uncategorized — rica55 at 10:39 am on Monday, October 5, 2015

I’m going to try to make this as concise as possible….I just haven’t had the energy to write as it’s been such a roller coaster of a week.  There’s lots of info involved, but I’ll try to summarize as best as possible!

My poor Jack began vomiting two Thursday’s ago (9/24).  But really, a cat vomiting? No big deal, it happens.  He was vomiting bile and foam though so I was slightly concerned.  I brought him to the vet the next morning and they kept him for the day while I went to work to monitor him and take blood, urine, etc.  From the outside he looked fine, just a bit dehydrated.  His CBC and Chemistry was completely normal.  So he came home that night and they told me to give him dinner as he hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours at that point.  As soon as we got home, he went to his water bowl and 20 minutes later he was throwing up again.

Saturday morning I called the vet.  They told me to bring him in that they would give him fluids, do an stomach x-ray and run one more blood test (a test called fPL specifically for pancreatitis).  So I left him there all day Saturday.  Upon picking him up they showed me the x-rays, all looked normal and the fPL test would be back tomorrow.  Otherwise they recommended doing an ultrasound on Monday, but they assured me he should be fine and hydrated (they gave him plenty of fluids) until Monday.  ALSO  he has a mass in his mouth where his tooth was extracted in March.  They removed some tissue from it and sent off for a biopsy….

Saturday night – he becomes REALLY sick.  Throwing up so much he is just dry heaving constantly because he has nothing in his stomach.  I call the vet first thing Sunday morning.  They recommend I bring him to the ER to do the ultrasound ASAP (regular vet cant do it until Monday).  I ask if the fPL has come back.  Yes – it has…I ask them to email it to me.  Normal range is 0-3.5…his is a 14.  Off to the ER we go…

Poor guy is so miserable.  He now hasn’t eaten in 72 hours and can’t drink any water.  They admit him to start him on fluids, pain meds and anti nausea meds and to do the ultrasound. They’ll call me as soon as it’s done, but all signs are pointing towards pancreatitis.  Few hours later they call – his pancreas is inflammed and he has a few nodules on his liver, but since his liver values are normal, they aren’t concerned.  “Older cats” can get those nodules.  So the plan now is to admit him for lots of good fluids, etc.  Someone will call in the morning with an update.

Monday morning.  A resident calls me to tell me upon speaking further they think it would be wise to do a guided fine needle aspirate of the liver nodules (for a ga gillion dollars of course).  Wha?  No way I say.  Let’s at least wait until the biopsy on the thing on his mouth comes back.  In the meantime they are going to run another blood test to see how his levels are doing.  Monday evening.  Resident calls me back.  Blood looks fine except he has some “unclassified cells” that unfortunately looks like it’s pointing towards lymphoma.  Say what?  She starts going on and on about how lymphoma is treated and cats handle chemo very well….yes I tell her…I KNOW.

Panic sets in.  I start emailing everyone I know with any kind of medical background including Jill’s oncologist who tells me she isn’t sure this points to lymphoma at all….WHAT!?  This resident just basically told me it’s all but certain that’s what it is and they need to do the needle aspirate on his liver.

I visit him that night in the hospital and he is just miserable.  Still won’t eat.  He hates being in a cage.  He really is the type that is always moving around and he hates being confined.

Tuesday morning.  I call the resident and tell her I don’t want to do anything until the mouth biopsy is back.  I explain that I have a relationship (unfortunately…or fortunately depends how you look at it!) with a veterinary oncologist who doesn’t think this necessarily means lymphoma.  She understands and doesn’t push me to do anything.  Tuesday early evening she calls me – Jack has EATEN!  Yay.  I visit him that night and he looks WORLDS better.

Wednesday morning – Mouth biopsy is back – NOT cancer.  Phew.  Some kind of gingivitis infection something or other.  Resident calls, Jack is doing so much better and can come home tonight (thank you lord because it costs $1500 to keep him there a night with the fluids, etc.).

So here we are.  He has been home since Wednesday and is doing a lot better.  He seems to be a bit achy, he’s moving around pretty slow.  But that’s to be expected, he’s been through somewhat of a trauma.  He’s been shaved all over and his arms are pretty black and blue from all the IV’s.  But he’s eating and drinking quite well.

So where to go from here?  Did he stop eating because his mouth hurt him which caused the pancreatitis?  Does he in fact have lymphoma?  Was it just pancreatitis?  Do we see someone about his mouth, his liver, his blood????? Oy.  For right now I’m going to monitor him for the next week or so and see how he does.  Right now I’m just glad he’s doing better.  For about three days there I was really worried.  I’ve never seen him so sick and it just completely broke my heart.  I felt so helpless not being able to understand what he needed.  And Jill….for 10 years I have insisted that Jack loves her so much and Jill is completely indifferent to him.  Apparently, not the case!  As seen in the video below, my little Jill who very rarely meows was crying and crying for him….

Where’s my Brudda!?

Poor baby Jack:

IMG_2357 IMG_2381

Nope, don’t want it:




Poor baby so happy to be home:



October 5, 2015 @ 11:31 am   Reply

AWE…. bless his little heart. I can only imagine how scary this whole thing has been for you, Erica! I am so sorry … I will hold Jack in my heart for a quick recovery and this being chalked up to a fluke thing!

Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little jasper too)


October 5, 2015 @ 11:45 am   Reply

Awww baby Jack. I am so glad you are feeling better. I know I have been praying and asking Sassy to watch over you as well. I am glad you are home where you will feel better. Your sissy sure did miss you. I know your mommy really missed you to.
I am glad that ugly “c” word wasn’t there. We will continue to pray and hope you have a full recovery.

Erica you know you can lean on us. I know this is rough and this time of year is rough on you & tiring.
Thinking of you

Michelle & Angel Sassy


October 5, 2015 @ 11:46 am   Reply

Poor Jack! I’m so glad he’s home and doing better now — and I know Jilly is too! What a heartache that must have been.

I’m glad you were strong enough to say ‘no’ to extra tests that probably just would have put Jack through even more un-fun experiences. At this point, you’ve got the experience and you know what’s up. That’s a great thing. What a good mamma!

I’ll bed it was just his mouth bothering him. Cats are… strange. The littlest things make mine stop eating. Moving the food bowl to the ‘wrong’ place. Switching out a piece of furniture. The throwing up is very scary, certainly. But maybe he found and ate something he shouldn’t have. — my Feral Barrel recently found rat poison in my kitchen pantry (the owners of my rental must have left it there… ugh) and was throwing up a storm. It’s such a scary thing to see your baby going through something when you can’t figure out what’s wrong. I know what you’re going through!

But now that things have calmed down, I’m sure all will be well. =)


October 5, 2015 @ 2:10 pm   Reply

Sending healing thoughts your way for Jack’s continued recovery!! Poor little guy!


October 7, 2015 @ 12:23 pm   Reply

Jack is so lucky to have a great mom like you Erica. I know that another vet education isn’t what anyone really wants but at least you have the know-how and talented vets to find out what the heck is going on. I hope you get some answers soon. xoxo

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