Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We've been enjoying December and Advent, setting up the tree, St. Nicholas came to visit and so much more that I want to document. I actually have been in a little notebook, but haven't much felt like posting as planned. Really, I was going to, seeing as we are staying home now for who knows how long, and I LOVE Christmas traditions.

Remember last spring when Ramses went through all sorts of tests, but ended up only needing 2 teeth pulled? (they were very very infected). When we came home from Thanksgiving he was again drooling blood onto my comfortor. Scared my poor best friend who had been watching the cats over the weekend. Thought, "Ok, it's that tooth Dr. Tom told us to watch out for." As it was I just couldn't squeeze it in to call for two days, so finally last Wednesday I dropped him off so he could be seen while I was still running around with the girls activities. We have the most wonderful caring vets.

That same Wednesday, Dr. Allison called back with the news that his remaining teeth are perfect, not even tartar present, and he's 13-14 years old! He has a tumor on his palate, looks like a HUGE canker sore, and deep. I agreed to some X-rays which came back clear, and his lymph nodes feel good. She gave me some faint hopes and we sent off a sample for biopsy. Unfortunately due to various reasons I didn't have much hope for the faint hopes, but they helped me hold it together for the girls this past week. We really haven't said much to them while waiting for test results, but he is receiving extra caresses and wet food.

Ramses was actually down a pound in weight, and now I realize that when he looked up at me in the kitchen the previous week he was not asking for fresh water (as he often does) but for wet food. Since being on the wet food he appears to have stopped bleeding from the lesion. He still drools about as much as some teething toddlers, but otherwise he is still himself, if not a little more affectionate after finally getting over being mad at me for bringing him to the vet in the first place. If you don't receive a Christmas Card this year it'll be because he has occupied my lap every night and I haven't the heart to put him off.

So, to today's news from Dr. Allison. It is mouth cancer - squamous cell carcinoma. Which is usually agressively invasive. They can surgically try to take as much as possible, but due to location know they will not get it all. Then we'd need to try Radiation or chemo. In the end, this would only buy him time. How much, no idea. I certainly don't want him to suffer more just for a few months. It's really hard to think about making these decisions when the only change you see is drool. We'll be finding more in the next few days as we hear from the internist who participated in his care last Spring who also happens to have an interest in oncology. Natasha has a band concert tonight and Rich is out of town, so we'll wait until Wednesday to start talking to the girls. Wish me luck, I cry at sappy commercials so this will be tough. And I've had a week to process some of the info.

Until then, any loud purring you hear would be that of Ramses getting extra loving and head scratching.


Amanda said...

Giant hugs to you, MJ!! That's so rough. Wishing you peace in the coming days as you gather your thoughts to talk with the girls. Maybe you could spend a few minutes taking pictures of Ramses to put together a mini album or something? If making the album is too tough, send me the pictures and I'll do it, okay? Honest!

MichelleJ said...

Love you Amanda. You are so very sweet. I will definately be including him in my December photos and making a paw print now, when he's still himself. I have scrapped several pages of him over the years - been looking at them :).