July 17th 2010 10:55 am
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At 9:15am Pacific Time this morning, I made my journey to the Bridge.
I tried several times this week to tell you how sick I had become but every time I came here to tell you I just couldn't do it.
You see, my heart had gotten really, really big, my chest filled with fluids, and I was very weak. A cardiologist and my vet tried to help me get some relief but it was time to set me free. I was no longer the happy Mercy I once was, and any further treatment was too risky.
My vet and a few of the technicians shared tears with my parents this morning and made my pawprint in clay along with a lock of my fur. I am free of sickness now.
Mom and I had many private conversations during the past week, and this morning before my appointment Dad helped wrap me up in my Hazel Lucy tranquility blanket so Mom could take me for a stroll in the backyard on this beautiful sunny day.
I think you all know that I have always been my Mom's and Dad's favorite girl and we will miss each other so very much. And I will miss all of you.
We have had so much fun together here over the years, and I know I will be in good paws with my Catster Angel pals.
I'll be back soon as I have to tell you about the winners of my What's my Design contest, and anything I may have forgotten to tell you. Mom will also be back to tell you more.
I love you all....always.
July 3rd 2010 6:59 pm
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I wanted to wish all my friends a Happy 4th of July weekend and give you an update from my vet appointment today. After I do that, we won't be on the computer much this weekend, especially following my sister Joy's emergency surgery this week. Plus Monday is my Dad's birthday! I think we've given him some extra gray hairs this past week!
Last weekend after I got some fluids, it seemed like all I wanted to do was lick the sauce around food. Well, I got over that feeling the next day and started eating real good for the rest of the week. I've been taking my new high blood pressure pills too.
Mom was pretty confident that my vet appointment today would show that I've put on some weight. She looks at me enough plus she carries me too. She was right, I gained almost half a pound. If I at least maintain my weight or gain a little it is better than losing weight.
My blood pressure is in normal range now, so we think the dosage is right. My red blood cell count went down a little but I got another Aranesp injection today for my anemia. The vet smiled when she saw how pink and moist my gums were.
Although I've been acting good this week, Mom thought I was breathing a little heavier, but not with my mouth open. The vet saw this today, so they took x-rays without my having to be be sedated. They said I got mad but overall did good because I allowed them to get really good films.
I don't have fluids around my heart...I don't even want to talk about that part of the discussion prior to having the xrays done. However, there is an area on my right lung that the vet believes is consistent with walking pneumonia. There's a possibility it could be something else, but she believes that is more likely what it is, and with my temperature being normal and how good I've felt this week, I'm going to start taking another antiobiotic pill called Marbofloxacin. But, the vet is ordering a full CBC and the results should be back Monday night, so paws crossed it's nothing more serious.
On a different subject, my matching collar and tag set is on it's way! Anycat who hasn't played the guessing game on my June 23rd diary entry should do so within the next few days.
Thank you will never be enough for your support whether by pawmail, comments, or gifts. I'm sorry we are not around very much these days, but we are definitely busy keeping our parents on their toes, don't you think?
June 27th 2010 5:18 pm
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I just wanted to say thank you for your purrs, comments and gifts that you've left for me. I am lucky to have such caring friends.
I did get some subq fluids early this afternoon. Since I'm now taking the high blood pressure pill in the mornings along with my other pills, Mom wanted to wait until some hours passed before giving me the fluids. She was on her own since Dad works on Sundays, so she said a little prayer throughout the entire process and it went well. They have no regrets about stopping the fluids a couple of weeks ago as they believe that because I'm anemic that it was alot for my body to process along with the pills and B12 injection and I didn't seem to feel well after getting fluids.
Today I seemed to feel okay after getting fluids and have been alert and eating, but we can only take it one day at a time. I spent the day talking, purring when stroked and taking naps in sunny spots around the house all stretched out.
We're sorry I had the seizures and developed high blood pressure, but hopefully we will get those things under control.
So, it's been a decent day and Mom doesn't feel so frumpy. She goes back to work tomorrow but she'll be coming home for lunch every day as usual. The good thing is she can always work from home if she has to, but it's easier for her to focus on work when she's in the office.
Thanks again for all of your purrrrrrrsss!
June 26th 2010 12:34 pm
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I was taken to the emergency hospital late Thursday night after Mom witnessed me having a seizure. It was around 10:30pm Pacific and I was in the bottom of the wicker bunk bed in the family room while Mom was watching TV. Dad had already gone to bed.
It was over in about a minute and I opened my eyes wide and meowed. My parents then grabbed my medical file and took me to the emergency vet hospital, which is less than 10 minutes away, and they took me to the back right away for the doctor to see me. Then we all met in the exam room.
The doctor was talking to my parents about my history and he said my BUN and Creatinine levels were high and that my blood pressure was really high. My temperature was normal and I wasn't dehydrated. I was busy walking around the exam room while they were talking. The doctor excused himself and left the room for a couple of minutes as he was the only doctor there that night and was tending to several critical cases at the same time.
I continued walking around the room wondering where I was and then Mom saw me as I started to have another seizure! So Dad called for help and the doctor came rushing back in and gently picked me up with a towel and took me to the back again.
I got hooked up for IV and got some meds including Diazepam (valium), and had to be left there for the night. Mom called several times during the early morning hours to check on me and I was doing well, ate some kidney food, and was resting. Since she couldn't sleep she decided to fire up her laptop and catch up with work since she had taken Wednesday and Thursday off, and so she could take Friday off as well. No more seizures.
The emergency hospital opens from 6:00pm-8:00am, so Mom had to pick me up Friday morning to transport me to my regular vet so I could continue with IV there and be monitored. Boy, was I ever happy to hear her voice and told her so! I had a cute purple bandage on with polka dots on it. She says it is extra sad to be at the emergency hospital because people are there in the waiting room looking so glum, with many in tears.
Anyway, we had copies of my paperwork but by the time we got to my vet's office they already had faxed copies and were ready for me, so Mom left me there with a bag containing my food. They were going to determine by around 4:00pm how I was doing by rechecking my blood values and decide whether or not I had to be taken back to emergency for the night or could go home. I got to go home because my levels had gone down and I didn't have another seizure. I ate while I was there, too. My catheter was kept wrapped around my paw with a pink bandage this time in case I had another episode during the night.
I was so thirsty when I got home, ate some more, and relaxed. I slept between Mom and Dad the entire night without another seizure, so I got to have the catheter removed this morning.
Because of all this, we skipped my Aranesp injection on Friday but when the emergency doctor checked my blood levels, my hematocrit (HCIT) had gone up from 24 last Friday to 26 (normal 29-48) this week, so that is good. There was a discussion about possible side effects from Aranesp, but at this time they don't think that was the major cause of the seizures since the increases have been gradual. Since I have kidney disease, high blood pressure and am anemic, it can be complicated.
I'm going to start subq fluids again at home. Hopefully I will feel better with them now that my red blood cell count has improved and that I'm working on my high blood pressure. I'll get fluids tomorrow and Thursday, then I will see the vet again next Saturday for an exam and to have them recheck my blood pressure. I'll probably get another Aranesp injection then also. Plus, the emergency doctor had ordered a urinanalysis and culture, so those results should be sent to my vet soon.
I think I've covered what has gone on with me the past few days and today I have been fine so far.
My pal Gleek: Now I know what it feels like.
If you haven't already, you can still play my diary game in my last diary entry. Mom and I have been giggling at your guesses.
June 23rd 2010 12:14 pm
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I see that some of our friends have been playing games in their diaries lately, so I thought I'd set one up too!
The story: Some of you may recall that Sofie, Pebbles and I used to regularly wear a collar and heart tag. They were removed a few years ago to give our necks a break from the fur matting. Mom put a collar back on me just to see what my reaction would be, which was no reaction, so I decided I was up for some new accessories!
The game: Guess which matching set I picked. First cat to guess correctly will win a Trophy and a Star. All cats who guess correctly will win a Trophy. Every other cat who plays will win a rosette. Post the NAME of the set as a comment in this diary entry--no changes to your guess once posted. One guess per family.
Deadline: This is open until I receive my new collar and tag, which may take a couple of weeks, at which time I will announce that the contest is closed. Then I will post a picture of me wearing my new accessories and announce the winners!
***Sorry, Angel RA, Zack and Zoey, you're not eligible to play since you know the answer. Booooo! But when I showed them my selection they said it was SOOOOOO me!***
The collar and tag set was ordered from:
Guess which one of these matching sets I picked by entering the NAME as a comment. I'm only including those that have good pictures of the sets but they have lots of other cool designs. You can go here to see them all on one page:
All Matching Sets
Here they are individually:
Happy guessing and good luck!
June 19th 2010 2:21 pm
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Dad was the shuttle service yesterday for me and Quincy. He took Quincy for his treatment early in the morning and after he picked him up and brought him back home he took me to my 12:30pm appointment to get my third Aranesp injection.
I'm much calmer if I get to come out of my carrier in the waiting room when no other cats are around. The girls at the front desk giggle at me and say I'm cute. There were a few kids in the waiting room while their Mom and kitty were in one of the exam rooms, so even though they made alot of noise it didn't bother me and I let them pet me.
When I finally got into the exam room, a short while later I got a surprise! It was Mom, who came by during her lunch hour. The vet had just finished taking my temperature, which has been normal all along, and was listening to my heart which also sounded normal. For some reason she thinks I am funny, and I can't quite understand why, but I walk around and jump up and down on stuff in the exam room and go to her when she calls my name.
Then the vet left the room to get things ready so they could "spin" my blood to see what my number was prior to the injection. I was trying to get into my carrier so Dad opened the door. Well, the reason I wanted to go into the carrier wasn't to hide, it was because I had to poop, and so I did! Blame it on that thermometer! At least it was a good one and luckily my vet came back to get me because my parents had to vacate the room after that.
My hematocrit (HCT) needs to be between 29-48 and mine had dropped to 15 before I started the Aranesp injection. In case you're not familiar with this, they don't like to start the injections early because it's a human hormone and some cats will produce an antibody reaction to the drug so there is a risk involved, and this could still happen with me.
Anyway, after the first weekly treatment my HCT went up from 15 to 20, and yesterday after they spinned my blood it was up to 24(!) so I got another injection. Good news. Once I reach the normal zone (maybe even next week), I'll get the injection at home in two weeks and see how I do with that and continue from there. I won't get another blood draw to see where I'm at with everything else until my HCT is stabilized.
I've had another week of eating good, no sub-q fluids, no appetite stimulants. My gums are moist and I'm hydrated. But, I still need more calories because Mom says I am too thin. No barfies and I'm very alert. I really like the Clinicare RF liquid diet to go with eating my regular food and Mom just placed another order. She also tried to offer me some other foods this past week just to see if I changed my mind but I haven't, so I have to stick with what I *will* eat and I need to eat more, so Mom will try some other things again.
Our weather has been great around here, so I sure hope I can get out for a bit this weekend and sunbathe, which makes me sooo happy.
June 11th 2010 8:15 pm
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Guess what I've been doing all week? EATING! I'm mainly eating the beef & chicken food I told you about, the dry renal food, sometimes baby food for a snack, boiled chicken, and this week the Clinicare RF liquid diet arrived and I like that too! I haven't needed any "encouraging" all week and since I am eating good Mom is not going to try to change much for now.
Dad took me to get my second Aranesp injection today and I've maintained my weight though Mom would like to see me gain a pound. My red blood cell count has already improved, and I'm just below normal range now. Every patient is different and they say sometimes it can take two weeks for any kind of change to show up but that it should be gradual, so this is good news and I'm feeling it!
I think Mom is rubbing off on Dad because he's been taking pictures of the Welcome to Our Hospital board when he takes me to vet visits. The funniest name on the board today was "Urchin!"
My parents are reevaluating the sub-q fluids. Mom actually thinks that they may not be making me feel well and she definitely believes appetite stimulants don't make me feel well, but the anemia could have been one of the reasons too.
My vet says that from a medical standpoint I should get fluids but from a Mercy standpoint quality of life is more important. My parents are concerned about putting all the strain on my body and my heart when I don't have to have something immediately, so we'll see. I'm already getting poked weekly with a B12 injection and now the Aranesp. I'm sticking with my meds like the important Benazapril.
Anyway, just wanted to give you some good news for a change and also to thank you for your purrs, comments, and gifts.
June 5th 2010 12:45 pm
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Mom and I have been on a rollercoaster ride with my kidney disease and it's not the kind of ride you'd want to be on. After I wrote my last diary entry, Mom decided she had to "assist-feed" me with some Hills A/D every few hours along with the turkey baby food I was eating. I was sooo good about it. I'd sit up and Mom would put some of it in my mouth and while she gently held my head, I would sync-up with Mom's kisses on my face and smack the food around in my mouth and swallow it. I was a very neat kitty and didn't spit food out nor tried to hurt Mom!
Well, maybe that all helped because now "Mikey Mercy" has decided she likes beef! My choice is Purina ProPlan beef and chicken with gravy, and I eat mouthfuls. So if that's what Mikey Mercy likes, that's what Mikey Mercy gets! I like eating with my family and I don't forget to wash my face afterwards.
As I've said before, Mom has made many trips to various pet stores to buy me all kinds of foods that are supposed to be good or better for me, with by-products, without by-products, high quality protein, etc., but it's not good if I don't want to eat them, no matter what websites say, vets say, or people say, including Mom. So far I have kept all foods down. Mom just wants me to eat, and I just want to feel well enough to want to eat, so that is what we need to work on. Mom did order some Clinicare RF liquid diet just to have handy. I'll let you know if I like it!
Now to my lab results. As Mom suspected, my Bun and Creatinine levels are worse, discouraging, but we're not giving up. We've been watching my red blood cell count because I'm anemic, and that got lower too. I have many blood levels that have stayed normal like phosphorous, calcium, sodium, and potassium. So, Mom and Dad had a long conference call with my vet Wednesday night and by that time we learned she had consulted with a specialist from the same place that Quincy goes for his chemo.
I'll be splitting my weekly fluid dosage of 200ml into two 100ml sessions per week, and I'll continue with my weekly B12 injection, and daily dosages of Benazapril and Pepcid AC. One of the reasons we are not yet increasing my fluid dosage is because Mom thinks I feel yucky sometimes afterwards so we have to be careful, but we have to get my anemia in control. I also have a different appetite stimulant to try, Cyproheptadine, since the last one, Mirtazapine, made me feel icky.
Since Dad had the week off, he went to a special pharmacy and picked up a prescription of an injectable compound of Aranesp and also iron for my anemia. Then he took me to see the vet yesterday. If no other patients are in the waiting room, I get to come out of the carrier and walk around. I walked around the couches and jumped up on the back of them to look out the window. Then I decided to be funny and started walking down the hall to check things out! Dad had to get me and put me back on the couch with him.
I do have some very good news. I have gained a pound and Dad made them weigh me three different times. Mom did the same thing last week when they said I had lost weight and had to do it herself to see. We know I am absorbing my sub-q fluids so that's not the reason for sudden weight gain. Maybe the scale was off last week but I don't care, it's still good news.
I got my first injections of Aranesp and iron and didn't flinch. I will have an in-house CBC done weekly to make sure I am getting the right dosage so we may not see any changes for a couple of weeks. I can get the injections at home later on if needed. Thank you to my sweet Dad who made three follow-up appointments for me without being asked to so that he can take me on Fridays, one of his days off, and the same day he takes Quincy in for treatment. He also took some good notes for Mom too.
My gums are still nice and pink. I am not considered "clinical" by my vet, especially because of my behavior, strength, with no vomiting or potty accidents, for example, so I don't need IV or a blood transfusion right now. I will admit though that Mom had asked them to find out what type of blood I have so that we can be prepared for the future if it's needed, and now we know I am type A.
I even found out that when you get a kidney transplant it costs a gazillion dollars and you get to adopt the donor cat!
We hope these changes will help me. Mom thinks about me all the time, even while at work, so she is glad she can come home during lunchtime to check on all of us. Dad reminds her that we all have to think positive, but they know we have to be realistic too.
If there comes a time where it seems you are hearing from our family even less, please forgive us because we are preoccupied with our rollercoaster rides.
Mom considers this website her bible:
Tanya's CRF website
She also belongs to both a CRF and Anemia group on Yahoo.
Thank you for your continued purrs and friendship!
Mercy the beefeater (this week)
May 31st 2010 2:04 pm
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Have you ever seen the the Life cereal commercial from the 70's featuring Little Mikey and his two brothers? Dad has been calling me Mikey! You can find the commercial on YouTube but it goes like this:
Brother 1: What's this stuff?
Brother 2: Some cereal, it's supposed to be good for you
Brother 1: I'm not gonna try it!
Brother 2: Let's get Mikey!
Brother 1: Yeah!
Brother 2: He won't eat it, he hates everything!
(Mikey eats the cereal)
Brother 2: He likes it! Hey Mikey!
I went for my one-month recheck last Saturday and apparently I've lost another pound, in spite of Mom's efforts to offer me food as often as possible. When I am high up on top of the cat tree, she even gets the step stool to stand on it to offer me food and I do eat, but apparently overall I am not eating enough.
You should have seen me at the vets. I was walking around and jumping on furniture and rubbing up against her. Then while she was talking to my Mom and Dad, I sat on the exam table trying to join the conversation. I didn't like the fact that they were talking about me like I wasn't there!
So, the vet recommends some high calorie food that may not be the best for me and you know what? I hate it..it's too rich. I tried some high quality protein holistic foods also that many of you like and they make me gag and I don't like them. I like meat baby food, my dry kidney food (sometimes soaked in fresh chicken broth, treats, and regular food that the others eat. So, I get to eat any kind of cat food I want right now, and right now I am eating regular food and have some new varieties to try.
I also got a new appetite stimulant but I haven't tried it yet. Actually, Mom thought I ate pretty good today (so far) so we'll keep working on it. I doubt there is a combination my Mom hasn't tried with all the foods and extras.
I'll get my lab results next week, and we are preparing for the fact that my numbers may look worse based on the way I've been eating or not eating, but I will tell you one thing, that so far I am a strong kitty. I still climb, stretch my limbs, sit up, groom myself, and talk.
I thought fashion models were supposed to be thin, but they said they'd rather I be a plus-size kitty model right now!
Please accept a group thank you from all of us for the food gifties you've been sending us. I'm afraid we won't be able to join in on the fun. Mom attended the funeral of her stepsister yesterday, and Baby Kyden's Grandpa is very ill in the hospital. Kyden never got to meet his Grandma (one of Mom's sisters), as she passed away two years ago.
Kyden actually commented on one of the photos I had taken with him. His Mom later said had she known she wasn't going to be cropped out of the pictures that she would have sucked her tummy in! They are both such crack-ups, and if you want to see more of this baby boy, he said I could post the link to his blog. He just went on a cheap date. I knew the girl couldn't resist his "Bang" video:
As for Quincy, he is back in remission after his first treatment during this second round and he'll get more treatment for as long as his body can handle it, and while he can live a good quality of life, which he has been!
I hope you're enjoying the Memorial Day weekend!
May 23rd 2010 6:14 pm
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My human cousin Christy (Mom's niece), her husband Mike and baby Kyden came to visit! I was upstairs but as soon as I heard voices I came running down the stairs and jumped up on the display counter so I could take a closer look and check the baby out! It was my first time seeing Kyden and he sure smelled good. And do you know he has his very own blog? Wow.
I asked Kyden if he eats baby food like I do and he said he does but that his Mom makes him homemade baby food. Even my Mom doesn't do that! Then when they went and sat down on the couch in the family room I got on my favorite peach bed pad and hung out with them. As usual, Pixie was in the living room when they walked in and she never left her spot. The rest of the cats went into hiding so Quincy and I were left to do all of the entertaining.
Speaking of Quincy, some of our friends who have been following his diary know already that he completed his chemo protocol but during his one month checkup it was discovered that the lymphoma had unfortunately returned, so he is starting the same protocol all over again. So between the two of us, we are keeping our parents very busy.
I'll be going to see the vet for a recheck this Saturday so at the least I hope we have maintained my "numbers" if we haven't improved them. I continue to put Mom to the test but overall I have energy and eat though what I choose to eat is a big adventure sometimes.
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