I got a call from the vet today – and he left me a voicemail with a very upbeat tone.
So I called him right back.
We repeated blood work on Lily on Tuesday and the results came back almost identical (super high calcium, everything else perfectly normal – even her blood sugar implying that she is in remission with her diabetes). Dr. Dan (the vet, not my therapist) told me that he “just isn’t convinced that this is definitely cancer, so (he) called an internist for another opinion.” I love this vet… he is such a terrific guy! Anyway, the internist agrees that something else may be going on instead of lymphoma and wants Dr. Dan to run a special blood test to look for the “something else.” They are looking for something to do with her thyroid, because it just doesn’t make sense that only her calcium would be elevated if worse things (cancer) were going on. A big factor in this is that Lily is acting perfectly normal – loving, happy, hungry, thirsty, using her box regularly, spending time with us and her other kitty friends, and tolerating Matthew’s affection. Dr. Dan says that this type of behavior is not normal for a cat with aggressive cancer.
Now – I know we’re not out of the woods at all. I know that she very likely could have cancer, lymphoma specifically. But this is good news. I am cautiously optimistic (man alive, I learned and lived that term going through all the IF 3 years ago!) that we may not be dealing with cancer. If she does have a thyroid issue (and I can’t remember what he specifically called it), it will need to be controlled which will be complicated and difficult, according to Dr. Dan, but it’s manageable.
I am good at managing sick kitties. Lily never missed an insulin shot when she required them twice daily. My prior cat, the BEAR, never missed a daily heart pill. I can manage whatever they throw at me.
So – this special test is being run while we’re in Florida and Dr. Dan said that the timing is fine – that we’re not pushing things by waiting a week.
He even chuckled on the phone with me. Because of this, I’m feeling pretty good!
April 5, 2013 at 3:05 am
This is GOOD news! And, damn, you have the best vet ever!
(Seriously, I think you have some of the best medical professionals ever – both for you and for your kitty. Why do you think that is? Luck? Or have you gone through a lot of people before reaching all of these?)
April 5, 2013 at 8:54 am
We’ve got some awesome medical schools in Iowa – both the medical school and veterinary school are in the top 20 in the nation (16 for general med, 17 for vet). I never gave this much credit when I was young, but I now know how lucky we are for being such a small state, especially when it comes to the veterinary school. When I lived in Chicago and went to many vets looking for the right one for the BEAR, many of the vets I met with went to Iowa State, and both of his specialists graduated from there. I also went through a few OB/GYN’s in Chicago looking for one I liked, so once I moved here, I knew how to cut through the BS and save myself time. Dr. H was a total fluke though. 😉 They assigned me to him when I couldn’t get in with the OB I’d worked so hard to find, and that worked out great (and he did NOT graduate from Iowa – he’s a DO, which I prefer)! I think any time you’re seeing docs who work with students and work in a teaching capacity (both my OB and vet do this), you’re going to get better care. They seem more open to others’ opinions. Just my thoughts though! Oh – and both schools take residents of Iowa before out-of-state residents (being state universities and all) which means that many of the students then want to stick around Iowa, which works out great for us as well!
Dr. Dan is awesome. When we had Lily’s diabetes diagnosed, the clinic switched us to Dr. Dan permanently for all three of our cats. I’ve been told time and time again by others that we’re seeing the best vet in Des Moines, but that we’re paying for it too, which is fine by me!
April 5, 2013 at 4:11 am
You really do have an amazing vet! I’m so glad things might be turning around for Lily. I’ve been keeping her in my thoughts ever since first reading about this. Do keep us posted and know that she has lots of good thoughts coming from the KY herd. xoxo
April 5, 2013 at 8:56 am
Thank you, Belle!
Hey – B is headed to KY at the end of the month. Going to “bourbon country” with is buddy. When he told me, I thought of you immediately!
April 6, 2013 at 4:48 am
Oh exciting! I have a few great recommendations for him to stop at on the bourbon trail, actually!
http://limestonebranch.com/ is a super small batch moonshine distillery. It’s awesome. The owner is descended from one of the first big bourbon distillers too.
And http://www.kentuckyale.com/town-branch is in Lexington and it is lovely and is my personal favorite bourbon to-date! Let me know if he is in need of any dining recommendations in the Lexington area, too. I can surely hook him up 🙂
April 5, 2013 at 7:17 am
Well I will be cautiously optimistic along with you. I agree with NBR though that this is good news and it’s great that the vet is doing all he can to find the root of the problem and not just taking the easy route saying “yeah, it’s cancer” when that may not be the case. Hoping the blood results come back and say it’s NOT cancer!
April 5, 2013 at 8:57 am
Thank you! It’s hard NOT to be optimistic right now. I feel like we got a second chance for her… which I know is not the case. But it feels that way 🙂
April 5, 2013 at 9:34 am
Will think good thoughts for your kitty…sounds like your vet is very proactive. Snuggle her close!
April 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Thank you! She’s been extra snuggly lately – I’ve been loving it!
April 5, 2013 at 10:22 am
PHEW! What great news… well, we think. I’m very curious to know what they diagnose this as, it does seem very weird to just have her calcium elevated. Glad she’s at least happy and snuggly and eating in the mean time. 🙂
April 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm
Right… we don’t know… but I’m very hopeful! She sure doesn’t seem like a sick kitty.
April 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Oh my gosh, what a relief! You’re not out of the woods yet but at least there seems to be some sunshine peeping through the trees! Really continuing to hope for good news for sweet Lily!
April 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Thank you! Lily appreciates your thoughts too 🙂
April 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Yay! I’m so glad there is a chance your mews mews might be okay. Keeping all appendages crossed.
April 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Thank you! We shall see next week…
April 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm
Did he say thyroid or PARAthyroid? I didn’t know cats could get an overactive parathyroid, but that would definitely cause high calcium, and is one heck of a lot better than some cancer causing it. This is great news!
April 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm
You know, I’m not sure. I want to say PARAthyroid now that you say it, but I’m not sure. Do you know anything about it?
April 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm
Sorry for taking forever to comment here as I’ve been out of town. How is your kitty doing?? So glad to hear that the doctor is staying quite positive and it may not be cancer. Whatever happens, I am hopeful and hoping she will be okay! So tough dealing with sick animals 😦 We lost not one but two donkeys and a cat around the time I got pregnant with Lids and it was tough. Thankfully nothing bad since then *knock on wood*, with two baby donkeys due in the next few weeks.
April 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm
We will know more next week. How sad that you lost so many friends around the same time. It is so hard.. but we keep doing it and getting more pets to fill the void.
Please post about your new baby donkeys! I want to hear all about them!
April 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
This is great news. I so hope that your cat doesn’t have cancer. But I’m glad to hear that whatever is in store for you and your cat, that you feel confident caring for her. That’s so important. Animals are difficult to care for because they’re so tough and they can’t communicate with us…at least not with words.
April 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm
You are right – they ARE hard to care for! It’s amazing how “normal” they act even when the vet says they’re in pain. They’re tough little cookies.