Escape, Acupuncture, and Cuddles

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Things are still going pretty well with Raz, Kho, and their hoomans. Raz is continuing to find her new normal. She even escaped to the forbidden basement last weekend! Every once in a blue moon I let them down to the shared basement we have with our two upstairs neighboring apartments. There is a TON of junk down there, and it’s a dusty place. BUT apparently we have a slight mouse problem, so if I let them go down there, maybe getting the cat scent will help to scare them off. That’s my theory, anyways…one of our upstairs neighbors is terrified of cats (…-_-…), so I don’t let them go down unless I’m absolutely positive she won’t be around. But last Saturday, Raz found the door to be slightly ajar, and she had a BALL! It was her first time using stairs, and she did just fine.

In the few days that followed, she was a little more painful than she had been before, but I believe it was because she overdid it a bit in her basement adventure.

 

Last Thursday was our first visit to a holistic vet. I didn’t know what to expect! But the staff and doctor were so sweet, and I could tell Raz felt comfortable there (though she usually does fine at the vet anyways). The doctor spent an hour and a half with us, getting to know Raz and her story. She then proceeded with acupuncture. It was my first experience with the practice, and I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive. But Raz responded really well and was relaxed the entire time! She started on my lap, and there was one point where she jumped off, but thankfully the needles stayed put and she didn’t move around anymore during the process. The TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) doctor explained that the acupuncture will help cool the body down (she tends to run warm, especially where the incision/cancer was), and it will help get the “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) moving normally, which will help regulate normal cell division. We also went home with Wei Qi Booster tea pills, which will act similarly to encourage normal cell division, and hopefully build her immune system up so it can fight off any bad cancer cells.

It’s all a little strange to me, but I’m willing to try it if it will increase Raz’s chances! 

To update Raz and Kho’s relationship, it’s better than ever! The two of them snuggled together with me TWICE in the last week. It has been so special to see the two of them getting along as if they were kittens again.

 

Don’t mind my roommate’s legs…he’s wearing shorts.

This Thursday we are celebrating one month! My roommates and I will celebrate Raz’s first statistic buster (she was given 1-2 months). Here’s to a continued recovery and remission!

 

 

Cassie (meowther)

Raz (tripawd sister)

Kho (monkeybutt brother)


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She Jumps!!!

So, really quick. Raz has already surpassed my expectation…last night we were practicing sitting, shaking, and jumping, and she did it! Several times! With a couple assists and after watching her brother a few times, Raz finally got the confidence to jump up on her one leg! Yay!!!

The Good Times

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We are two weeks since surgery.

At the vet, right before she removed the stitches

Raz is doing so well! She is playing, eating (like a pig), and just loving every moment. You would never know that she lost a leg two weeks ago. Meowther (me) has been much more of a wreck than she has! I’ve let her stay out of the kennel at night the last couple nights, and today is her first day of freedom all day. She got her stitches out yesterday, and the incision looks really good, except that it had already started to heal over the sutures.

Raz was thrilled to be able to clean the incision! 

I’ve been spoiling Raz and Kho more than ever with little treats…I’ve always been very sparing with them, rarely opening the treat bag. Now they each get at least 5 per day! I trained them to sit, shake, and jump for treats when they were little. One thing I’ve read on here is the “physical therapy” for the three legged critters, and strengthening their cores. Raz has been sitting for the treats, and she is shaking her paw most of the time as well! Still trying to figure out the balance with that. I’m most excited to see her starting to jump! For that trick, they jump on their hind legs and grab onto my hand to retrieve the treat. I have Kho do the trick nearby so Raz can see him, and she has started to try! I predict that within a week, she’ll be hopping up and fully extending her one back leg to get that treat. 😉

I made it! …now what?

Raz has pretty much been doing her own exercises since I’ve given her more freedom: creating her own obstacle courses, and doing what hopping and jumping she feels appropriate. She finally made it up to her favorite spot in the cat tree last week. I had blocked it off in the few weeks before surgery, back when we still didn’t know what was going on. She wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t like the idea of her staying up there for hours and hours. So now that it’s an option for her again, she has been enjoying her favorite spot.

AND the monkeybutt Kho is getting along so much better with Raz! I think the Maryland surgery smell is pretty much gone and he realizes that she is indeed the sister he has always known. Sometimes he gets a little too curious with her now-more-revealed bum-hole, so she gives him a warning. But they give each other little boops and sniffs of affection, and it’s awesome to see!

They really do love each other, I love their little bits of affection. <3

I am so grateful for this site, it’s been such a comfort. I have pretty much come to a peace about letting things take a natural course from this point, going the hospice route when we get there. I am currently waiting for a local oncologist to consult with my vet as a last ditch effort. The doctor we saw at our vet office offered a similar poor prognosis yesterday. I just want to know from a cancer specialist that there really is nothing that can be done. So far from what I understand, chemo might add only a couple months, and radiation is a painful, expensive, and time-consuming treatment that might only add a year. I’ll wait and see what the oncologist says, and we’ll go from there.

Raz was always slower to cuddle, making sure the human was fully settled before hopping up. Now she takes allllll the cuddles she can get!

In the meantime, Raz is teaching me that every single moment counts, and to live each one filled with joy, good food, and snuggles. Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments, blog posts, and forums. What a wonderful community this is!

Cassie (meowther)

Raz (tripawd sister)

Kho (monkeybutt brother)

Results…

Yesterday I FINALLY got the call from Maryland, the one I’d been dying to receive. The one I’d been dreading. I still had 5 hours left to teach high schoolers and be a calm, composed adult around my students. My heart broke a couple hours later when I got a text from a roommate that she was energetic and playful, showing very few signs of being 7 days post-amputation.

The biopsy findings revealed that the tumor was a fibrosarcoma, grade 3. They were able to see cancer-free margins, but barely, and according to the surgeon, it will probably only take a month or two to take her from us to the rainbow bridge. Chemo might add a couple more months, and radiation might add a year, but neither of those treatment options seem fair for how little time they would give her.

I took her in today to get a couple bumps looked at; one is a seroma, and the other is the muscle flaps (technical terms…) sewn together. Thankfully the vet didn’t feel any tumor-like lumps or bums. Based on how aggressive the tumor was, once we start to see tumors, the lungs will not be far behind. She did try to give a little hope and said that they do surprise us sometimes with many extra months, and I’ve found that to be true in many of your stories here on Tripawds. It’s very encouraging to read things like that, but sometimes that isn’t enough to stop the visions of bringing her to the vet one more last time, or bringing her home for a minute so Kho can smell her body to say goodbye.

I’m trying not to cry as I type this…it’s not working. 

The summer is fast approaching, and from mid-July to mid-August I leave on tour to teach a drum corps. I’m doing my best not to dwell, but it’s hard to imagine leaving her if she’s still doing ok, or if a tumor forms before I leave. Plus I’ll be moving at the beginning of July. I’m so overwhelmed with all this and how fast it’s happened. How does my beautiful, healthy, sweet-as-can-be Sheherazade have an aggressive cancer? And then guilt sets in with how many people suffer from cancer, and Raz is an animal. It’s so many emotions and thoughts, my brain is exhausted!

For now, we take each day and enjoy it. Raz has pooped about 4 times since surgery, and she played for the first time in over a month! Tonight she climbed up the side of the dog crate, much like a monkey, and made it to the top! I’m so proud of her and how she’s adapting. She’s being well-spoiled, and I’m trying to be fair and love on Kho just as much, so he doesn’t get jealous.

Enjoying all our time,

Cassie (meowther)

Raz (tripawd sister)

Kho (monkeybutt brother)

 

SHE POOPED! And is pooped…

Raz pooped today!

Just a quick one tonight. Raz convinced me that she was ready to go for a walk. So I put her in her pretty blue harness and we walked around the apartment. She was insistent on going to her normal hiding place under a bed, but I picked her up and brought her to another spot so she would have to walk back.

We made some pit stops where she stopped and ate her brother’s chicken. She had to take the hardest route possible–made her own obstacle course.

I guess I won’t need to create obstacle courses for some DIY PT. She’ll do it herself!

AND THEN SHE POOPED! I have a big litter box that Kho the monkeybutt uses right now, and it has one end that is lower, but of course she hopped right over the tall end.

No modified litter boxes for this stubborn girl!

I picked up some ThunderSpray, and as an early observation, it seems to be helping a bit. It took stinkybutt longer to hiss at Raz than before, so fingers crossed!

Baby girl is tuckered out now, and so am I! Goodnight!

Cassie (meowther)

Raz (Sheherazade, newbie tripawd)

Kho (Khovanschina, monkeybutt)