Jossan, a year after

My love Jossan had a great summer, she was healthy and happy and got to go out in our garden, lie in the sun, crawl through the bushes and eat the grass and hunt the flies.

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Jossan outside in our garden, summer 2016

If you remember, we have discovered Jossan’s mammary cancer about a year ago and she underwent a total mastectomy after that. After complications related to the cut not healing well, we have changed the clinic, they revised the cut, got out the material that was irritating her and she healed fast and well after that. All was a total happiness again.

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Jossan, summer 2016

Just about a month ago, her blood values were checked, she was X-rayed and she was considered to be in a remission with no signs of cancer. And then, not even two weeks after the happy news about her being seemingly cancer-free, I was cuddling with her on the sofa before going to sleep, when I felt a little lump in her right front armpit. And one even smaller next to the first one, and one more… there were three of them and they were like a pea, and half a pea and a peppercorn. And so I started getting cold chills and soon a full blown panic attack.

It was back, or we missed it, or it was a microscopic, and grew. Jossan looked at me with her pretty loving eyes wondering why am I worrying. They always feel what we feel.

I called and booked a time at the new clinic the first time next morning. We met a veterinary, and got booked an appointment with an oncologist, for a counseling and deciding what to do.

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Jossan and her daughter Electra, summer 2016

I broke in tears at the oncologist. He was very nice and emphatic, but I was not prepared to talk about feelings and perception of life there. I am tough, I think, when we talk about medicines, studies, possible treatments. Facts and possibilities I can talk about easily, relatively disconnecting my emotions, but I cannot, without being prepared, talk about my love for my cat and what life means for her and how she sees it and why we feel and do the things we do.

Joakim could not join us for our appointment, but we have already talked before about the money issue and other things and decided that we will do whatever it takes, if we can save her, without her suffering (a few days in stitches is fine, that she would forget, and we two are close then, she sleeps on me all the time and cuddles, and that closeness is also good). We will pay for it however much it costs (will probably go over the max sum what insurance covers).

The talk to the oncologist went well, besides that part with me crying a bit (while Jossan was happily jumping around and exploring the oncologist’s office). We have decided to remove what I discovered, look for more and remove what more is found, too, during the surgery. Since she was x-rayed and examined very recently, we knew that the cancer did not spread (visibly at least) yet, so we still could hope for the best after this operation. I am a firm believer in surgery against cancer, that if possible, it is the best treatment. We’ve met before, cancer and my close family, both human and pets (a dog), where surgeries were successful and the cancer was gone after them, for good; in one case after only one operation, in another after an extra surgery. Jossan will also receive Metacam, half a dose, every day, for the rest of her life; it is an anti inflammatory medicine that can inhibit some of the tumor cells.

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My ❤ Jossan

Jossan was operated this morning and the veterinary has called me recently; she is well and the operation went well. they took out those three lumps I found and checked her in detail for more; they found two more 1-3mm big and removed them; one in the middle of her abdomen, another close to the back leg. She has only small cuts and very few stitches. So now I am almost crying from relief that she woke up and she feels well. I cannot wait to see her in a few hours. My heart. ❤

The first day after the operation

The first day of Jossan’s recovery went well, considering the circumstances. The night was a bit tough. She did not want anyone in the room, beside me, so the other cats had to leave. I hugged her and tried to get her to eat some, and she did. Small portions. She did not get sick or threw up. She was in pain last night, in spite of the opioid analgesic she is getting (Buprenorphine). Today she seems to have less pain. I am giving her the painkillers according to the schedule.

We both were tired today, but I was happy I could help her feel a bit better by being with her, she takes care of me when I am not well, and now I take care of her. It is love. Our other cats are like that, too.

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Today Jossan looks better.

Today it was better, she wanted to be around other cats, so I carried her to the living room. I worked from home, and I sat in the dining room and could see her all the time (we have a big open space kitchen/dining room and living room connected, no doors). Leroy and Miii were allowed to come close and Leroy even was allowed to lick her head a bit. Jossan is the queen, she decides.

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Leroy, Miii and Jossan. It is warm under, the radiator is on. The cats love that place.

Joakim and I changed her bandage in the afternoon. It was soaked with blood (she bled right after the surgery, it is not new blood), but the cut looks good. No infection or something odd. It is very long, about 30cm and a lot of tissue is removed under. I washed it with saline and we put new sterile pads over it, taped a bit, and the body-sock went back on.

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Omnomnom, tasty! Jossan eats when I bring her the food on a small plate.

Jossan is sleeping and dreaming now, ‘talking’ in her sleep as I type. She basically just is resting, does not move much at all, but she ate well, small portions, bigger than last night though, and went to the litter box, which made me very happy. So far her recovery is great. My tough girl. 🙂