Wednesday, October 12, 2016
A LITTLE ABOUT A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING
It's October 11 and I haven't written for two months. I think that the recovery from six months of chemotherapy and radiation has been much worse than I ever imagined. Meanwhile, we rescued two kittens from a No Kill Shelter about six weeks ago and they have distracted me somewhat from my own ailments. They are darling but full of illnesses themselves. Viruses have given them terrible coughs and sneezing, and stomach issues. But in the end the final straw was when we saw their fur starting to fall out in places around their heads and on their paws. We have taken them to three Vets and found that diagnosing their ailments isn't that scientific. We have forced tons of Amoxicillin down their throats and experienced their withdrawal from us. Finally when we stopped trying to administer the meds they came back to life and happiness. But then this skin ailment took over. So we took them to a third Vet who diagnosed ringworm. And somehow I realized that I had a spot on my arm as well. I rushed off to Kaiser Urgent Care to be given over the counter meds for it. But no one said, you must wash everything in hot water and hang out in the sun. You must wash everything with a bleach solution and preferably not sweep or vacuum so you can kill all the airborne spores that aren't easily killed. No one said that it is easily spread, and highly contagious. So now I just stay home and only go out if I absolutely have to do so. I have applied the medicine religiously and the spots are going away (they showed up on the bridge of my nose). But my lack of immunity to anything means it may pop up again.
And meanwhile we are boarding the kitties at the Vet where they are getting their meds properly administered and are together in a cage. But we feel completely guilty about it. There is nothing we can do but try to get them healed, clean our house thoroughly and many times, and rid my body of any infection. I haven't wanted to write about this even though I know that ringworm (NOT A WORM AT ALL) is as common as Athlete's Foot. In fact, you can use the same medicine for it. You cannot use creams on the kitties because they lick it off. But the meds, I believe, are toxic to them. I will be amazed if these darling cats live very long given all the torture they have had to go through.
In some ways I wish the No Kill Shelter had warned us more -- they did say they might carry some disease and to keep them separate for a week. We didn't heed this because we have a tiny house and nowhere to really isolate the kitties. One remedy we may try is to keep them in a separate building on our property until they test clear of the spores. That may be best for me as well although I still worry about how their psyches are faring. It is also very expensive to house them at the Vet. I'm sure they are delighted to have them knowing how much money they will take in.
Meanwhile, I still have symptoms that don't go away. I have neuropathy of the feet which seems to be getting worse, not better. I have feet that swell up by the end of the day, so I have to sleep with my feet elevated on a towel to try to bring down the size. I was told I need to wear a mask any time I go out in public because my immune system (two months after the last chemo) is still compromised. I have a persistent cough and going up stairs knocks me out (my stairs - about 21 up from the street). I am dizzy and the tendency to hit my head is fairly prominent and persistent.
I took these photos so I wouldn't feel so badly about having them at the Vet. They seem to be a good and caring bunch there and know how neurotic we are about this. They are together in a cage which isn't large but is bigger than the one they lived in at the No Kill Shelter.
They are free to roam in the exam room. When we visit them, we can take them out of their cage (they are together) and let them roam outside there as well. There are no other animals in their area which is probably good. No scary big dogs who are kept in the next room. The Vet seem to be able to keep the animals well segregated. They only let us visit at designated times in order to control everything but they keep records of all that they do - partly because they charge for everything they do. Giving pills, changing pee pads, throwing out poop box, etc. etc. are all written on a chart. The meds are administered in the morning early before the clinic opens.
One day we will have to visit and have them show us how to administer pills. It wasn't easy giving them liquid so I can imagine pills will be much worse. Neither of us is patient unfortunately. And I am having an operation on my wrist on Thursday and will have my wrist in a cast for two weeks for it to heal, even though it's a minor operation to remove a ganglion cyst. I have to be put out because it is in a dangerous place over a major artery or nerve (I forget which though it seems to be both). Perhaps that's why this blog post is titled "a little about a whole lot of nothing" because if it weren't for cancer, this wouldn't even be worth mentioning.