Tuesday, January 3, 2012
BUDDY AND CANCER
Yesterday, after I finished my post, I noticed Buddy's right eye was tearing. It would be a big cause of concern if his breathing was noisy or if he were coughing or sneezing - he wasn't doing any of that. He's had this problem before. My guess is that I need to clean (it could be from dust) or possibly he's allergic to me like I'm allergic to him. Who knows. We will have to monitor him and put ointment Dr. Young prescribed for him in his eye until it clears up.
Buddy also feels a bit light which might be an indicator of some weight loss. He needs to be weighed. For those of you who haven't done this, it's really a very simple procedure. Weigh yourself, pick up the cat and weigh the both of you, do the math and you have the cat's weight.
Mid-2006, we found what we thought was a pimple on Buddy's tail. We kept checking it but it never went completely away so off we went to Hope Vet. Doctor Young examined Buddy's tail and decided to biopsy the pimple. The results came back - it was cancer! Thankfully, it was a slow-moving cancer. Surgery was scheduled. When we reviewed what would happen the day of the surgery and what to expect post-op, we were told that Buddy's tail would be removed. I freaked out. Why? Couldn't a margin be taken and biopsied to make sure all of the cancer was removed? I just did not want him to lose his beautiful bushy tail. Sadly, it couldn't be done. Apparently the cancer was situated in a spot where big enough margins could not be taken so it was better to remove the tail.
Buddy had his surgery and adapted quite well to life without a tail. No balance issues as we were warned he might have. A few days' hospital stay post-op then Buddy was ready to come home. The Veterinary Technicians were charmed by him. He's a big talker and just talked and talked to whomever cared for him. They loved it. I, on the other hand, did not love the fact that he figured out how to use his Elizabethan Collar as a battering ram to get our attention. If you did not respond to him quickly enough (which was immediately if not sooner in his estimation) Buddy would hit you behind the knee with the plastic collar. Definitely not fun.
We managed to care for Buddy without incident except for one time when I accidently tapped his stitches with the back of my hand. Amazingly all he did was meow a very loud complaint.
Once the bandages were off and the stitches removed, Buddy looked like he was separated from his tail in some terribly horrendous accident. He had a 3 inch, hairless stump. We took to calling him Stumpy but that changed to Bugs once the bushy hair grew back in.
All in all, Buddy is a four-year cancer survivor, two months into his fifth year. He's an amazing little guy.