Update on the Grey Phoenix Beast
So. Today we took Phoenix in to have his spleen aspirated, in order to test the acquired tissue and determine the type of cancer.
The vet called less than 2 hours after I dropped him off and started the conversation with, “So, Phoenix is looking really good… ” at which point I agreed that he’d been eating better, was being a very good boy and eating the pill pockets with his prednisolone in, and in general had a good energy level and appetite. He was also waking me on a regular schedule for two breakfasts. (I have determined my cat is at least part hobbit, but that’s hardly a post…)
He agreed that he looked very good, and had gained weight and had good energy and… was going to drive us all crazy. “I can’t find his spleen by standard palpitation and obviously don’t want to just go poking around with a needle. We have a few options…”
Those options involved getting an ultrasound tech back out, or perhaps even exploratory surgery. But in general, since he was responding so well to the steroid and his lymph nodes had even shrunk (which was a good thing – yay shrinkage!/bad thing – one less thing to try to aspirate!), perhaps we should just stick with the least invasive treatment method. If it is lymphoma, well… eventually, that will become obvious. If it’s not… If it’s the mass cell… perhaps the steroids will be enough for a time, and we can avoid the splenectomy for a bit.
In some ways, it’s utterly frustrating. I still don’t know what’s wrong with my boy.
In other ways, it’s honestly probably the least stressful for him. He’s happy. He’s getting wet food almost as much as he wants it, and nibbling at dry when he wants, and treats when he likes. He’s encouraging his sister to play tag and other kitten games, and even occasionally coaxes us into cuddling, scritching, petting, or otherwise loving on him. (He has to work so hard for those extra snuggles, we are heartless I’m telling you.)
He’s too young for any of this. But I have to keep reminding myself, other than feeling low on energy or just tired… he doesn’t know what’s wrong. If we can help him feel well, that’s our job as pet parents. To help him feel his best and take care of him. So I have to try my best to live in the moment, do our best to help him feel well, and try not to drive myself crazy with wondering exactly what is wrong with him.