July 21st, 2013
|01:09 am - Worst-case scenario realized.|
After the scare on Monday there was a week of sad quiet, of a cat just lying around the house and people wondering how to help him best. Then Abbie had an ultrasound appointment on Friday which brought everything crashing down.
The results were the worst we could fear for: Pancreatic cancer which has spread to his chest. They didn't even need to suggest a biopsy; the masses were large enough in the ultrasound. Life expectancy was quoted in the weeks-to-months range. It's terminal.
We have treatment options, but they're all invasive. I'm not about to put a 16-year-old cat through surgery or chemotherapy. At least when people get chemo, they are told what they're going through and what will happen. The cat, he won't know what the hell, and he is suffering enough. Also, I am not about to drop thousands of dollars just so the cat can live to suffer for a few more days, weeks, whatever. I have decided to instead see him through the last of his days and make sure he is as comfortable and as peaceful as he can be.
So it has come to pass that our house has turned into a Cat Hospice. (It's true; it says so on the living room door.) There's a floor AC unit to keep him cool and he's got his favorite box and two bowls of water and if I knew where he'd put Catnip Frog last, I'd go get it for him. He is eating dollops of baby food sporadically; I can get him to take one or two spoonfuls before he decides it's time to go lie down somewhere else. But he's not eating enough. This ritual occurs twice, maybe three times a day. He's drinking water, and I've got unflavored Pedialyte but we haven't tried that yet.
He lapses. Some times he licks my hand when I pet him and he meows in greeting; other times he just lays out on the floor and quietly acknowledges the possible existence of other lifeforms around. Today I felt especially terrible because I'd picked him up and moved him to the cooler room and when I knelt down to let him go, he poured out of my arms and landed splat on the floor. He didn't bounce back. He always bounces back.
I don't mind telling you I am completely overwhelmed and exhausted to the point of despondency. (Or is that despondent to the point of exhaustion?) There's so much to do in the next month and change: Find a new apartment with Sonya and wonder how the hell we're going to pay for it; prepare my rooms here for people to see; prepare to move for September which means putting all my worldly possessions in boxes and spending money for professional movers since I am never ever ever moving again without a car; settle into the new place and deal however with the cat (how am I going to move a terminally ill cat?!) Plus I've got 40 pages of radio script to write for the beginning of August, not to mention revising two other scripts and giving notes on others. And all I want to do is go to sleep or engage in activities which require as little energy and conflict as possible. I'm beginning to think it impossible. This is one of those terrible cases in life where if there were only one of these Particular Situations going on you could handle it reasonably well, but when they all come crashing down together, you crumple. Today, tomorrow, for days after, I am aluminum foil.
Abbie, I hope, will feel not a shadow of fear or pain: only your love, which is constant. My heart is with the two of you who will stay behind.
Deepest sympathy. The entire situation is horrid, and the things piling on other things don't help at all.
It won't alleviate the need for professional movers, I'm afraid, but our car will certainly be available to help with the move. It has a surprising capacity for a little red Honda Fit.
Ah, Spatch, it's an exhausting set of emotional tasks to do. wish you all the strength you need.
I'm sorry. It must feel overwhelming and I know how it is when you want all your attention to be one place but there are so many other things going on in life. Gentle hugs to Abbie (and you) and may the road be peaceful and painfree for him.
|Date:||July 21st, 2013 01:15 pm (UTC)|| |
Wishing you the strength you need, and a peaceful heart.
Particular Situations rarely come in convenient isolation; this is the curse of true randomness. Wishing you the best.
|Date:||July 21st, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)|| |
Abbie has had a high quality of life and lived to a ripe old age. He has had many wonderful adventures which are well documented. For now, take some deep breaths, turn on the A/C and read aloud some good stories. Make it through this week and see what happens.
Edited at 2013-07-21 01:55 pm (UTC)
What he/she said.
I have no words. Aside from ouch, which isn't very satisfactory.
am completely overwhelmed and exhausted to the point of despondency. (Or is that despondent to the point of exhaustion
Of course--how could it be otherwise?
You're making Abbie's last days as comfortable as possible. Really, in the face of death, that's all we can do. He is loved and safe with you. Speaking for myself, I think I couldn't ask for more, on my way to death.
Be gentle with yourself in your expectations of yourself. I'll be thinking of you, Sonya, and Abbie.
I'm so sorry.
I've been rereading all his old poems. He is a very wise cat.
Is there any way the radio script can be delayed by a month?
|Date:||July 21st, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Thinking of you all, and wishing you comfort.
I send you and all of yours and all of Abbie's many *hugs*. I'm so sorry.
Thinking of you and Sonya and Abbie. *hugs*
|Date:||July 21st, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)|| |
*hugs* We're thinking of all of you.
So sorry. But glad he has you to make his time as comfortable as possible.
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)|| |
I'm very sorry. I hope Abbie is comfortable and you have some loving time together now.
Let me know if there's anything I can do.
I know what you mean about any one of these things being bearable and manageable, but all of them together being Too Damn Much. It sucks so much. I'm sorry.
*sends you many, many hugs*
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)|| |
I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. I've enjoyed reading about him over the years.
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)|| |
Poor Abbie! He has been a very lucky cat to have you as his person. I'll be thinking about you and him.
A few cents here:
You're in tough times and dealing with a lot of tough things at once. It's understandable to be frazzled, even panicked. It's OK to grieve for Abbie. And it's OK to look forward to the results of the upcoming move.
Take your time. Pet Abbie. Pack a box of books--thoughtfully or pensively, your choice. Talk with the Benevolent Overlords of Theatre and put the script aside for a little while. The cast and crew will still be around. If this is the script is for very very late in the year then it really is OK to take another week or five. I'm pretty sure the cast will do better with a somewhat late script that rocks instead of something you don't consider up to par that gets constant tweaking. If it's the script for two weeks from now, I suggest the following: write the sides now. The rest of the script can wait until after auditions if it has to.
Oh, and come moving time, see if it's possible to get enough local people to help with a bucket brigade. If you can rent a truck, get several friends with cars, and feed the people well, you might save a ton on moving costs. I admit it might be tough to find such a truck right now but I think it is still possible.
All my best. If there's anything I can do, please let me know.
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)|| |
Last time we moved, we had a bucket brigade of sorts for packing, too. We did a lot of the packing ourselves, of course, but we also had a couple of packing parties: "Come put the stuff in our common rooms in boxes, and we will give you pizza and action movies and eternal gratitude!" It worked pretty well. That was how we got all of our (many, many) books packed in a single afternoon.
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC)|| |
Oh, G-d. This is the WORST part. It's devastating after your loved one dies, but I think the part before is even worse.
|Date:||July 22nd, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm so sorry. Of course everything is happening all at once; that's the way of Particular Situations, and it's awful.
All good thoughts to all of you, and to Abbie at the end of his long, happy run.
*sending strength and a way to find catnip frog*
I'm sorry this is all happening at once.
I'm so sorry to hear about Abbie. My sympathies, and I hope you are able to take care of yourself and that things go as smoothly as possible while going through so much simultaneous stress.
I have enjoyed the many and varied adventures of Abbie T. Cat over the years, and am very glad that he has such a loving person to handle his day-to-day schedule for him. Good staff is hard to find. All good thoughts to you, Rob, and your lovely fiance Sonya, and to Mr. Abbie. May he give you much love until he's ready to depart.