Buddy Update

Buddy is home now, but I’m bringing him back to the vet in the morning for a biopsy. They found scarring of the heart valve and I didn’t quite follow everything about the heart murmur except that it’s not going to require any kind of treatment, which I don’t quite get and will ask about again. I was just following enough to get that they were relieved to not find a more serious underlying reason for the murmur. Also, it was a good news/bad news thing and I knew that was the good news so I was already gearing up for the bad news. There’s been some enlargement of his lymph node(s?) and his intestinal wall so they want to do the biopsy.

At the end of tomorrow I will be broke and will have to break into my modest retirement fund. I’m trying to look on the bright side and be happy that I have it.
It could be worse. It would always be worse. Oh God. How much does chemo cost? I’m guessing the answer is: a lot.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

11 thoughts on “Buddy Update

  1. Hi Stacy – glad Buddy’s home.

    Tiger had two types of chemo. The first was a weekly pill, and it’s not horrendously expensive. The other type he had (we switched when the weekly pill started to be less effective) was more expensive because it required blood work each time – that’s a vet bill plus the blood work.

    Short answer – it doesn’t have to break the bank. It all depends on what he tolerates.

    Fingers crossed for you both…


  2. Thank you for telling me. They mentioned something called Leukeran, and I’m reading that some cats do well with this and prednisone, which he already gets, and the Leukeran doesn’t look too horribly expensive.

  3. So sorry about Buddy. It’s always a difficult decision when it comes to serious illness with our pets.

    Unfortunately, several of my cats tested positive for FIV some years ago, but they lived longer than expected due to good care. However, I chose not to extend their lives beyond a certain point, because the vet said they were suffering and FIV is always fatal–though it takes many different forms in cats. Plus, FIV is contagious. I didn’t know it was in any of my cats until the first one was diagnosed, a rescue.

    The two cats I have now seem healthy, but both are getting up there in years. I worry that the FIV will suddenly bring them down, and it is usually VERY sudden onset and death.

    Good luck with Buddy. You never can tell, he might rally and surprise everyone — I’ve seen stranger things.

  4. Leukeran was the pill (no bloodwork). That’s really where I was hoping this might go, honestly. Tiger improved hugely with it. (Java’s the cat w/ IBD, by the way. Tiger’s no longer with us, due to unrelated heart problems. Thought I should clarify.)

  5. Thank you guys for talking to me and for understanding. I’m going to try to take a deep and be hopeful. The Leukeran solution doesn’t sound too bad.

    Buddy is very clearly not feeling well. He’s spending all his time inside the one kitchen cabinet that isn’t child-proofed (because I don’t store anything dangerous or food in there). So he’s hiding.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about Buddy. I’ve enjoyed keeping up with his catploits and it’s hard to see that he is having such a difficult time. A few years back my Akita mix – Java – of 13 years was diagnosed with cancer. It was spreading fast and I refused to accept the fact that he was beyond any chance for remission. I did everything humanly possible to keep him going. In retrospect, I believe I did him more harm than good by exposing him to chemo in order to buy the brief time that I was able to extend his life. It is so hard to let them go, these friends; but, as they cannot choose for themselves, we must make the decision that serves them – not ourselves – in the best possible way. Peace be with you and Buddy.

  7. Stacy-
    Good luck today and I hope Buddy didn’t have too bad of a night. It’s hard to tell if cats just don’t feel well versus that they in pain. If your vet can tell any better, you might want to ask about liquid morphine unless they’re against that. I had never heard of it for cats before, but was given some last year for Stewart when he was pretty bad off. Just a thought.

  8. Hi Stacy –

    just checking in – how’re you holding up? How’s Buddy this morning?


  9. Buddy is at the vet now. I’m fine and not fine and thank you for asking!!

    Betsy, I totally asked about pain killers when I dropped him off, thank you for reminding me. They’re going to load me up with syringes since I’m okay with giving shots. (Shots are easier than pills, by the way, and I’ll always go for shots if it’s an option.)

  10. Stacy,
    Sorry to hear about Buddy. I remember feeling totally helpless when our Bagheera (our calico of 12 years) became ill very quickly and passed away. We did not face the same struggle you are facing, and our thoughts are with you.

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