Recovery

Yesterday I was so happy I cried.
Jossan has healed and, after months spent in her little body sock, stitches after the cancer operations, infection, complications, depression brought on by the loss of her best friend, she is whole again. Happiness!!!
She is purring and grooming herself her and I am helping (on the pics, she loves to be brushed. Not much hair, but she enjoys it. Leroy is half-napping behind her).

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She is still sleeping curled next to me and is in my lap almost all the time when I sit down at home. My heart is filled with love and I am happy she is well now.

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Two weeks later

Last two and a half weeks went both fast and slow, part like a dream, part like a nightmare. At moments it was very painful, sometimes I felt sedated by chemicals produced by my own body. We have capabilities to both hurt and heal.

Our focus shifted from primarily grieving to taking care of Jossan. After her second operation she got complications – a part of her cut would not heal, and close. The infection she got was cured by antibiotics she got, but the edges of the cut healed each for itself, and did not meet here and there.

I feel that she was not sewn that carefully after the operation, the upper part of her chest was sewn so-so; I tried to tighten the knots after a week, and managed with a lot of patience and work. Jossan trusts us 110% and was calm and waited for me to untie and then tie again the problematic knots of her stitches. That helped, the cut healed, but not everywhere. We went to the vet twice again, and they booked a surgery (the third one!) acutely in case the hole does not close, on 30th of December.
The hole did not close, partly because of the too eager nurse who cut of about 1-1,5cm from the thread ends on our second visit, in spite of my objections (“It is plastic, it irritates her skin”, she said.” Yes, but it will get untied”, I said, “there is a reason that surgeons leave them that long!”). She cut them of anyway, and the stitches went off in the evening and Jossan got to have a surgery.

On her revision surgery they trimmed the edges of her skin that did not close and pulled them together and sewed them again. My poor cat got to recover for two weeks longer than we expected at the first place.

The biggest problem in her recovery was not the hole that would not close; it was that she got depressed and would not eat, LillMupp’s death made her very sad, he was closest to her of all the cats. So, I fed her, carried her around on me, lied next to her during the days and nights. She was so sad, we were sad. It all was dark.

Yesterday, finally, the hole (that was not sewed properly again, IMO, and I tightened it, again!), closed and Jossan started eating more and more. I see it finally turning for the better and the future looking brighter.

The good news is also that they did not find any cancer on her other side. The tumour she had there was benign. That and the fact that all was discovered early and removed early, gives her relatively good prognoses, for a cancer type that usually has medium to very poor prognoses.

I hope she will heal fast now, when she started eating on her own (I do not have to feed her for hand all the time anymore) and the cut is closing. The most important is that she got stronger than her sorrow. She is very tough.

I still am very sad and grieving. It will take time to think about it less, but feelings of love and pain and loss will always be there. They will move more to the background with time.

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Jossan, January 2016, recovering

My ever rational brain figured out one thing while I was half-asleep two nights ago; after LillMupp died, I felt like swimming in dark cold waters under a night sky without stars all the time. That night in my bed my mind understood which is the straw I’ll be grabbing.

My straw was Jossan and her little warm body next to me, in the bed. There is so much beauty in love between her and me, that gives me physical feeling of energy and light and warmth in my heart. I love my husband and my other cats very much, but right then it was Jossan and her loving me, and her needing me and me helping her and loving her and nourishing her back to health that became my straw and the source of love and beauty I felt in my heart again, in the middle of all the sadness and darkness.

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. 🙂

Albert feels fine

Albert feels well, and behaves as usual, except that he is much more at my side. Last night he slept in our bedroom and we closed the door so the other cats would not disturb him. Leroy was a bit upset, he protested for 5 minutes from the other side of the door.

Albert thought that all the attention was very nice. He cuddled and slept next to us all night.

I started working again today, but Jocke is at home with the cats, he has one more week of vacation. Albert ate this morning and he seems fine. And he is so happy. He is not weak or anything like it, he is moving and behaving as a strong healthy cat. The whole Friday drama feels so unreal.