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Sweet Pea – Soft tissue sarcoma at 16

~ Two Months You’re Gone ~ Two Months Too Long ~ Miss my sweet girl.  Sometimes the loss of her still doesn’t feel real……

November 9th, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

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I am still in a bit of denial that my Sweet Pea is gone ~ one week today. It still doesn’t seem real, but I’m taking things one day at a time. I am so thankful for all the replies to my previous posts and for your words of encouragement, they have helped. A few folks asked that I share more about Sweet Pea when I was ready. While the pain is still raw and the tears come easily, I find that talking about my girl helps my heart, so here is a bit about how she came to be part of our hearts and home…….

~ We were out shopping for some furniture one day in the fall of 2001 when my husband asked if I wanted to stop and look at some rabbits. That was a bit unexpected but I said “sure”. It wasn’t too much longer after stopping that we were walking out and heading home with a kitten (our first). Oh what a blessing she was and what joy she brought to our home, I remember in the beginning we both couldn’t wait to get home from work to see her and spend time with her. We didn’t name her right away as we wanted to see what came naturally or what name seemed to fit her personality. In the meantime as I would play with her I would call her a sweet pea, and well, that name just seemed to stick. My husband said that he never heard me laugh so much or so hard as I did in those early months after bringing her into our home. She loved playing with a string on a stick or with the laser pointer, and she absolutely went crazy over anything mint! She was truly a good kitty. More than a few cats have joined our family since we first adopted Sweet Pea and she never gave any of them any trouble. After a few initial hisses establishing she was queen she was fine with them and they understood her position. And who could have known the path our lives would take having adopted her?!? She opened my eyes and heart to the world of felines. The journey is too long to share here, but today I have a small 501c3 cat rescue in the Charlotte, NC area and I believe it all came about because of that one fateful day that Sweet Pea chose us to be her people. I am forever grateful for the 16 years we had with her, and for all that she gave and taught me. She will always be my first kitty love, my girl. I miss her so much………

{The 2 pictures with this post are of Sweet Pea shortly after she adopted us in the fall of 2001}


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September 15th, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

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Sweet Pea’s leg was sent off for biopsy and we received the results on Tuesday 9/5: “Given the fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of presumptive sarcoma, the biopsy results are a bit surprising – Adenocarcinoma. The pathologist is concerned that this tumor is a metastasis from a separate primary site. We did not find any primary tumors on staging prior to surgery, but there was atelectasis noted in the right lungs per the radiologist on the chest x-rays. If Sweet Pea’s appetite does not improve significantly in the next 7-10 days I think it may be worth rechecking chest x-rays without sedation…..” – This meant that there was a chance that the amputation did “not” remove all her cancer as we initially had hoped it would given the presumptive diagnosis of sarcoma. Sweet Pea had not been eating on her own for some time and we had begun syringe feeding her. Through everything, though, she was still losing weight. Sweet Pea had a bit of a rough day on Thursday 9/7. She let me know that evening that she couldn’t fight any longer and I knew we couldn’t put her through anymore. On Friday 9/8 with the assistance of Lap of Love we gave Sweet Pea the one final gift that we knew without a doubt would bring her peace. We helped her on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge……..Godspeed my baby girl. You changed the path of our lives the moment you adopted us. We miss you so much and will cherish the many memories we were blessed to make with you.

September 12th, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (10) | Permalink

The night we brought Sweet Pea home after her surgery she was interested in food, not eating like she was famished, but definitely more interested than she had been and it was good to see her ‘wanting’ to eat. I think she was really happy to be home and we were definitely happy to have her back home. Unfortunately her interest in food didn’t last and so we had to start syringe feeding her. She also found the kitty tent/bed to hide in and at first I was ok with it if she felt more secure, but after a couple of days it seemed that’s where she wanted to stay all the time. In fact when I went to get her out of it one night I realized she had peed in it and was just laying in the pee……..{heartbreak moment; big frown}. I realize now that that incident was a blessing in disguise as I decided to throw out the tent and after that Sweet Pea just started laying out in the open on the bed, which is what she did prior to her surgery. I was happy to see this and it hit us then that we needed to encourage her along and not let her hide away. Understandably all that she has been through in the last several weeks had taken its toll and her confidence and her “normal” had been greatly shaken. We needed to make her feel extra loved, spend extra time with her and give her lots of praise for all that she did do and let us do.

I contacted the vet to ask about the amount we were supposed to syringe feed Sweet Pea since we had never done it before. I also mentioned the pee incident as well as asked if we should “strongly encourage” Sweet Pea to be out and about. The vet confirmed our thoughts on getting Sweet Pea up and about and she gave us a suggested feeding amount via syringe. She also suggested that we put Sweet Pea in the litter box about every 4 hours. I was happy to have some better direction on caring for our senior girl and I’m happy to say that all has gone well. What I found was that if the litter box was close by, Sweet Pea would go in it and use it. This means that during the night when she is sleeping on the bed, there is also a litter box on the bed (I know, some might cringe), and if Sweet Pea is laying in her favorite chair in the living room, there is a litter box within 3 feet of her. She has used it every time since making this adjustment.

This past weekend (Labor Day weekend) we have seen some baby steps. She comes out of the room when the door is open and will hang out with us in the living room. Her walking is still a bit unstable (it’s still so soon after surgery and she’s a bit weak from all the weight she has lost) and she will stop and rest after a handful of steps, but she is getting better about remembering to take her time and that her one leg is no longer there for support. I feel that this will continue to improve the more she is up and about and as she regains some weight/strength.

Another baby step is that she has begun drinking out of the water dish on her own again. My hope is that she will move on to the food dish next!!

September 5th, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink

On 8/29/17 Sweet Pea had her front left leg amputated. I was beyond nervous, but at the same time somewhere inside I was glad that SOMETHING was finally being done. The vet ran more blood work in the morning prior to surgery in case something had changed (due to Sweet Pea’s continued weight loss), but thankfully that came back good. Sweet Pea came through her surgery just fine…..WHEW! They kept her overnight and she came home late afternoon on 8/30/17.

Our first experience with a surgery like this on any of our fur kids, yes, we were nervous to say the least. The first thing she did upon exiting the carrier was go straight to the litter box. It was neither graceful nor really even a “walk”, but she made it and I was both impressed and encouraged, although it was clear we would need to help her along while she learned how to get around with her new situation. Surprisingly, though, by the end of the evening we could already see that her gate was improving. And another encouraging thing for me was that she seemed interested in food and though she only ate small bites, she did that several times.  I had told myself that I will breathe a big sigh of relief when I see her interested in and eating food on her own. This night I was feeling optimistic!

August 31st, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (7) | Permalink