Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chloe is sick

My cat Chloe is 18 years old. I have had her since she was a kitten. Her mother was a beautiful Himalayan who was probably abandoned and became feral. She had a litter of kittens in a drawer of a dresser in our backyard storage building. One day, my uncle came to get the dresser with the intention of refinishing it. He called once he got home to ask if we would come please get our cats out of the drawer! There were three kittens altogether, two of them were too wild to catch and ran off, the third was little Chlo-bug.

She lived with me in my first apartment when I began teaching. She "married" John with me and became our first "child". She tolerated Caroline being born and slowly warmed up to her by the time she was about 3. Then when Rachel Rose came, she knew the drill and warmed up even sooner. When we moved into our house now, Chloe turned 12. We noticed then that she was going deaf. But her activity level remained the same. She would dart around the house on a whim and bat at your feet from under the bed. She loved being outside and would jump onto the railing of our deck and nap. Anytime we were gone for a few days, she would welcome us back by forcing attention from us. Anyone sitting on the couch was fair game for a jump in their lap and licks on their hands.

I noticed a couple of nights ago, that she seemed to be feeling bad - very lethargic, not eating, sporadic vomiting. I took her to the vet this morning to get checked out. She has an upper respiratory infection and a urinary tract infection. She has had both of these before, but not at 18 years old. They gave her an antihistamine and an antibiotic which she takes without much fuss since her energy is so low. I hope they will help. Right now, she is in our master bath since her urinary tract is bleeding. She doesn't like being stuck in there and she protested with a few muffled meows. But she's mostly just lying still and not moving around.

I have tried to prepare myself for Chloe's death many times. I know she has surpassed most average cats with her age and health up until now. It's still hard. I'm hoping she pulls through this. She means the world to me.

Anyway, I am physically doing okay. This last chemo might not have been the worst in degree, but it has lingered longer. Today is Tuesday and I'm just now feeling like getting off the couch, treatment was Thursday. My chest and throat have been pretty bad, too. The radiation burns are at their worst right now, I was told. They will start to get better but it might take up to a month. The burns on my chest are visible and feel like the worst sunburn you can imagine with sores interspersed. It itches, but if I scratch it then the stinging comes. I try to keep Aquaphor on it at all times and wear low-cut shirts without collars. It still hurts. And I imagine the inside of my throat looks the same. Swallowing can feel like shards of glass going down sometimes. I am figuring out what foods and drinks are safe and easy to swallow, but some of them don't taste right or they make me more nauseous. My trusty lemons are like acid now. Watermelon is still good, and so are baked potatoes, saltine crackers, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, and lemon italian ice. So much for eating healthy!

My hair has begun to fall out a little. Just a few strands at a time. I'm thinking it's going to be slow this time since my dose is less. But if it trickles out like this for a long time, I might get fed up with it and end up shaving it soon. I can't stand hairs falling into everything! But then again, as long as it's sticking around, I'll probably keep it the way it is. Hang onto normal for as long as I can!

Big thanks to Julie for dinner the other night!! My kids loved it and the lemon squares were delicious - easy to swallow and lemon-y!! There is now a website for the dinner schedule www.mealbaby.com. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it looks pretty easy - you just click on a calendar square and sign up. I appreciate everything being done for me and my family!!! And I deeply appreciate the prayers - keep 'em coming!!!


inaconley@bellsouth.net said...

You're a very brave girl, my darling daughter!! I love you and we're going to get past all these hurdles!!!!

Julie W. said...

Couches are good...they purposely make them comfy! When else are you able to lay around and get away with it?! Hang in there. We have silvadene (sp?) cream if that might help your burn to stop itching.

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