Friday, November 26, 2010

The Love Of A Cat? Guest Blogger, "Andygirl"

Caren heard my story on my blog from another reader, popped over and
immediately offered to let me tell my story to you here today. I can’t tell you how incredibly kind that is. Gratitude seems to be my dominant emotion lately.

I joke a lot that I’m a cat lady. And I guess it’s true. I’m not a cat hoarder,
but I’m a single woman with two cats whom I spoil rotten and who act like
children. But I love them to pieces. They’re family. They trust me to care for
them and to love them and I do my best.

So it’s frustrating when I feel like I can’t do that. It must be what a parent
feels like when their child is sick. I wouldn’t know. This is the closest I’ve
been to that feeling.

My cat Jeté has cancer. VAS, vaccine associated sarcoma. A tumor in the scruff
of her back. This, as it turns out, is a fairly common thing but has only
recently come to light.

You can read all about Jeté here and how I got her and  what we’ve been
through thus far. We’re just beginning her treatment and I feel like we’ve
already been through so much, she and I.

You should read all about this kind of tumor yourselves though. I’m not an
expert and I’ve learned so much in the last month, more that I ever thought I
would. Turns out, the big problem with these types of tumors is that they
develop little spider-like legs that reach around the cat’s body and making
surgery difficult. You can cut off the tumor, but not these little legs. So
radiation or chemo is necessary to save the cat.

Many cats do survive this, I’m told, but treatment is expensive.

Thus most of why I feel like I’m failing to care for my cat. I don’t have pet
insurance and my meager income cannot pay for her treatment or surgery.

Instead of radiation (the more common treatment), I’ve opted to treat with
carboplatin (a kind of chemo), which is much less expensive ($1200-$1600 vs.
$8,000-$10,000) and hopefully surgery if I can raise the funds. With carbo, I
guess it doesn’t take in 30-40% of cats, but in cats that respond to it, it’s
more effective than radiation.

Jeté had her first treatment 2 weeks ago and by last Friday it seems that her
tumor has shrunk about a centimeter, meaning she’s responding to the treatment.
This is great news! This means maybe we can shrink it small enough to cut off
easily.

The other frustrating news is that Jeté’s oncologist is closing her practice so
I have to see a new oncologist now. I’m just hoping she’s as kind as her first
doctor is and as understanding of my financial situation.

And then there’s the financial factor. There is a whole long story with the
vaccine company, but Marielle has finally agreed to kick in $500 which paid her
her biopsy and $200 of her treatment. I was able to raise enough money to pay
for her first treatment (about $400 a pop) and two oncologist visits (about $95
a pop). But she potentially has three more treatments plus visits so I’m looking
at $1200+. And if we want to operate, it’s around $3,000.

I can’t believe how many people have opened their pockets and their hearts to
help thus far. I am so incredibly humbled by the generosity of perfect
strangers. It’s incredible how kind people truly are!

If you’d like to help, I have a donation box up on my blog. Or, you can purchase
something from my Etsy shop. All proceeds go to fund Jeté’s treatment and
surgery. If you don’t see something you like, email awesomecrazylady at gmail
dot com and I may or may not be able to make you a custom order. I generally
work with buttons or found items.

Thank you so much for reading about our little story. Jeté is my sweet girl and
all I want to do is to make sure she’s happy and healthy and knows she’s loved.



46 comments:

  1. Such a great post, I must go by and say hello.

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  2. Hi Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through with Jete. It is so sad that our beloved pets are sick because of the big nasty C. The first treatment sounds so promising and I hope the tumor will shrink and can be removed in no time. Stay Strong!!!

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  3. Gosh poor Jete and poor Mom. That must be really rough. I think the best part is making sure she knows she is loved. We wish you the best of luck and have all our paws crossed that she gets better. Take care and have a great day.

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  4. Awww - stories like dat break my heart. The cost of own a pet these days with vet bills is so outrageous. I will go over to her blog and see if I can help out with a little. I do know what she is going through because Marios' toothie bill was outrageous. Forutnatley, we had money in savings. Thank you for posting this Caren.

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  5. thank you all for your kind comments, Mario you are most welcome. I have to see if there is a way that I can help too. I appreciate everyone taking the time to read this.
    Love to all!

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  6. Hi Karen, I am seeing your comments. I was gone for a couple of days, but am back now. I'll contact the people you suggested on Monday, I really appreciate your help.

    You can contact me directly if you'd like at PBU at comcast dot net.

    Thanks so much,

    Pam

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  7. This is distressing news and I wish the best for Jete.

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  8. Hi Pam!
    Thank goodness!! Yay! Thanks for contacting me to tell me. I know I gave you my email, if you want to contact me for anything you need it is cgittleman@mi.rr.com
    You are most welcome! I contacted them too so between the two of us hopefully they can do something!
    You are most welcome!
    xoxo

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  9. So sorry to hear about what you and Jete are going through... I just popped over to your Etsy shop, and you have some great stuff on there. I'll definitely be picking something up. I will keep you and Jete in my thoughts!

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty! I had a dog go through cancer a few years ago, and it was heartbreaking and very expensive. My heart goes out to you.

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  11. Andrea, I am so sorry to read about Jete' and all your problems. I don't know if you're open to natural supplements, but a friend of mine is treating her dog for bone cancer (regular treatment involved amputation with little hope). She has been using C-caps and Seacure with wonderful results. I keep in touch with her weekly and he has rallied and doing well with no signs of pain even though his one leg is basically useless he is learning to walk around without it's support. She is amazed at how he has bounced back since starting him on the supplements so I thought I'd mention it to you. Even though you are proceding with chemo, the supplements would probably help kitty recover faster and keep her immune system healthier. Good luck to you and Jete' - I am a cat lady too and you have my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

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  12. MY heart goes out to you and your beloved little baby. I lost my baby girl (of the feline kind) when she was two years old after I rescued her at one year old from our local SPCA. She was very sick when I adopted her and I felt as if I had helped get her back on track. When the cancer made it's ugly face apparent, it was too late and she had to cross the Rainbows Bridge. I will gladly come over to your blog, your etsy shop or shoot you an email to help you get through this. It is a terrible feeling, helpless, when faced with such troubles. That little kitty is very lucky to have such a loving mama as you. Anybody else might have said "good-bye" a long time ago. Good for you and best wishes to her progress and road to recovery!!
    <3 Rachel Mae

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  13. Caren,
    Jote' is a lovely cat. I'm so sorry about what happened to her.
    I will Tweet for you straight away

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  14. thank you so much for having me and thank you all for your kind comments and support!

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  15. Hang in there with Jete and the treatments. Pet care can be so expensive--and stressful. I'll be praying for Jetes complete recovery.

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  16. @andygirl you are most welcome! I pray Jete will have a complete recovery as well!

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  17. Caren, it's wonderful of you to help Jete and her Mom. We will keep them our thoughts. (I'll try to use my special George Clooney powers to send blessings their way.) We too know the pain of feeling helpless, as we lost our very special feline "Girlfriend" unexpectedly to breast cancer which had spread to her liver and lungs. We are still sad. Our best wishes for Jete's recovery.

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  18. @Cloon thanks so much...I am trying! I wish I could do more.
    I am so deeply, deeply sorry for your loss....that just broke my heart....much love to you! xoxoxo

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  19. Paws are crossed for Jete. Please keep us informed.

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  20. This is such a sad thing. I hate to hear things like this (animal or human), but thanks for sharing.

    BTW..thanks for stopping by today as well. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving (too much pecan pie for me)..

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  21. Over here in Australia we have a public health system which allows people with low incomes to get health treatments the same as people who can afford privet health. But, its not the case for our pets and unless you can afford the insurance then I understand how expensive pet care can be.
    I am sorry to hear about your lovely kitty. I lost mine to cancer and it was very hard to get past thinking that if I had only known sooner, then maybe I could have done something to help her. It's heartbreaking.
    I hope Jete' makes a full recovery. Lots of love and best wishes to you both.
    Shannon.

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  22. @Shiloh I am sure Andy will keep us informed..thanks for stopping by!

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  23. @Diane, we had a very nice one and it continued through today! Since I am in Weight Watcher's I did keep it very well under control (much to my dismay lol)...tonight I had a bite of the FILLING of the pecan pie...and a little of the filling of the pumpkin pie....I saved my carb allotment for the stuffing (my favorite!!)

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  24. @alittlesprite ((((hugs))))) I am sooo sorry!! :(

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  25. Hi Andrea, I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet kitty. She is lucky to have a mommy who cares for her as you do. I'm sure it's so difficult to know how far to push. As with babies our cats cannot tell us what they want. We have to figure it out for them and do the best we can. I will definitely check out your ETSY page and post it to the I HAVE CAT Facebook page. I'm a cat lady too (2 plus a permanent foster I need to make legitimate!).
    Best,
    Tamar

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  26. Hi Tamar,
    Thanks much for stopping by and helping out with spreading the word about Jete'.....I am happy to be instrumental in bringing special people together...and am super happy that maybe with ALL of our efforts we can help Jete' (and Andy!)

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  27. Holding you and Jete in my heart...I can't imagine how difficult all of this must be. xxx

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  28. Hi Caren,
    thanks for visiting my blog and subscribing. I've subscribed to yours too and sent you a friend request on Facebook (Chris Wilhelm) I love your blog and glad I found it.

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  29. @wildcatsthree you are most welcome and thank you!! I will be looking for your FB request as soon as I check my mail. I love your blog as well and am equally glad that I found it! :)
    Have a great day!

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  30. Hello!Dear Friend!!!
    I am so sorry about kitty.Take care of it.

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  31. Caren,

    I went through a similar experience with our dog--radiation, chemo, and bills bills bills. And my husband and I are both vets! Just remember to listen to your cat, and do what is best for her. Chemo often makes animals really sick, so pay attention to her above anyone else! Best of luck to you both.

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  32. Hi Amin and Dr.Laci...that post is actually not about my cat...I had Andy guest blog and it is about her cat Jete'....I am sure the thanks you both for your good wishes and advice. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

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  33. Bless you and that sweet animal. I know you are doing the best you can for her... Thanks for sharing her story, Caren

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  34. @MissKrisTV you are most welcome and thanks for taking the time to read and for sharing your thoughts with us!

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  35. I understand that special pain when we are trying to help our babies and it is so hard to do so, I will go and see her.

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  36. @Admiral Hestorb...you are so kind....thank you!

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  37. Hello!How are You?!
    Excuse me,Dear Friend!
    I did mistake ,Yes it is not Your cat...
    I do not know English very well,my Friends know this...

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  38. Hi Caren,
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and I'm with you on supporting our fellow Michigan bloggers!! I will be around!

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  39. Hi Amin!
    i am fine how are you? I hope your wife is doing much better!
    No problem, no worries! I think you speak English quite well!

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  40. Hi Staci!
    You are welcome and I will definitely be around too!!! Thank you! :)

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  41. Oh, wow. Thanks for letting her share Jete's story with us, Caren. I'm going to head over to her blog.

    I hope the treatments work! She is a beautiful kitty.

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  42. Stories like this are sad and scary, heart-breaking and heart-warming all in one...so many of us love our cats to pieces..I am certainly one...just the THOUGHT of one of my 'kids' being sick has tears immediately coming to my eyes. The thought of not being able to help them pains me immensely. I feel for you and I hope that you will not only find the funding you need to help your dear Jete, but that Jete takes to the medication and that the cancer can be irradicated FURRRREVER!! You are in our thoughts and in our purrrs and prayers. Cat, Lautrec, Tiny and dog Ellwood

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  43. @Your Daily Cute, thanks so much for stopping by and for stopping by to visit Andy's blog as well. I sure hope the treatments work as well!

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  44. @Cat, thanks so much for visiting and sending your sentiments to Andy! :)

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  45. Two of my favorite cat ladies joining forces! Wish it were in happier times, though.

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