Mar. 3rd, 2017

flexagon: (catnip)
This week hit its apex yesterday with a thousand-dollar vet visit followed by a ten-plus-hour workday to a hard deadline. Everyone's self-assessment was due, including for me and for my three reports who are up for promotion.

The amusing crossover between the two: I'm realizing that backing assertions up with numbers and evidence works in nearly every area of life.

Me: I really love my cat...
Person: Aw, of course you do.
Me: Yes, she turns 19 in a month, and I've had her since she was 8 weeks old.
Person: WOW.

So as for that vet visit, it was at the New England Veterinary Oncology Group, and it was a follow-up to Nala's surgery six weeks ago (we'd found out after that successful surgery that the lump removed was indeed cancerous). The vet clearly came in with the assumption that my cat was dying, and soon; he told me a lot about the terrible odds before even doing any tests, and how this usually kills cats within three months. How it spreads (locally, but early and fast), the high odds that it had spread before surgery even though the surgery went well, how our various options for aggressive care are limited by Nala's age and kidney issues. Also how nobody knows a whole lot about treating anal sac carcinomas in cats, because they're very rare; they're more of a dog thing.

Off he went to do tests, anyway, his respect for me bolstered by my use of the phrase "palliative care". Ultrasounds, X-rays, a rectal exam, and kidney panels... I waited in the room and read a book that [livejournal.com profile] apfelsingail recommended I buy last Christmas, and the badass lady character did rather cheer me under the circumstances.

The know-it-all vet came back looking about an inch taller. Want to guess what he found? The rectal exam revealed no palpable growths or bumps, only a scar from surgery. The kidney numbers are better than they were at surgery time. The ultrasound showed... smaller-than-usual kidneys, which is in line with known kidney troubles... and nothing else. The X-ray showed ribs and lungs and the body of a fine, durable feline. HELL YES.

So my cat is an odds-beating BAMF, even if she is now an elder stateswoman, and she went away from the oncologist with no follow-up visits planned. Perhaps that vet will test first and talk later, next time.

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