Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cancer in Cats

I thought that I would share some of what we learned from this sad experience with Brock. I did some online research, but also our vet called BOTH of us separately to discuss what happened. It wasn't her fault anymore than it was ours, but I think she felt bad for not preparing us for a diagnosis of cancer. She really did think it was a problem with a tooth, or teeth....?

But anyway, here is what I found out. Cats have a lower rate of cancer than dogs overall. BUT, cats have a much higher rate of oral cancer than almost any other animal. It is the most common cancer in cats, besides mammary (breast) cancer in cats that have not been spayed. It is believed to be caused by the grooming that cats do. Really, can you think of any other animal that does that? And while cats are certainly clean animals, it means that everything that touches their skin or fur eventually ends up in their mouths. Flea and tick treatments are being suspected as a leading cause. Also, second-hand smoke, household cleaners, lawn chemicals and pesticides as well as air pollution. You can't possibly monitor everything your cat comes into contact with, but indoor cats will be exposed to fewer toxins. Assuming you don't smoke, and assuming you make greener, less toxic choices for cleaning solutions.

I just thought I would pass this info on. It leaves me really torn about the flea treatment we use. It's a multiple purpose topical that also protects against heart worms. Our cats do go outside, but only in a protected enclosed area. We live too close to a busy road to let them free-roam. But Mosquitos are a problem. I may talk to the vet some more about it. Toxins from chemicals versus threat from heartworms....???

Of course, even in the most sheltered environment some cats are still genetically prone to cancer. There is no way to know as all of our cats are rescues. I can't exactly check their family medical history. But I will be more aware of what they are exposed to now though.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I am trying hard to keep everything (bad) that has happened this week, perspective. It is my tendency to get so overwhelmed by negativity that I get mired in it, unable to let it go. This is one of those things I intend to work on this year. I either see the bad things as having happened because of something that I did, or failed to do. Or that there is some cosmic conspiracy set in motion to make me suffer as much as possible.

I just have to figure out how to step back, take a breath and realize that sometimes things just happen randomly. People get sick, pets get sick, things break, and most of the time? It has absolutely nothing to do with me, with what I did or didn't do, with what I said or thought. And more likely than not, I am not important enough in the cosmic scheme of things to warrant a huge conspiracy. It MIGHT be karma, but I try to be a good person, well most of the time. I haven't tortured any babies or murdered any nuns, so?

Somehow I have got to figure out a way to stop the negative things that happen, presumably to everybody at least once in a while, from taking up all of my attention. Good things happen too. I just need to remember that more often.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not So Good

This week has not been so great. We lost one of our cats. He had been struggling, and not doing so well. We have made multiple trips to the vet, and once to our emergency clinic. It appeared as though he had an abscessed tooth. We scheduled the surgery for yesterday.....and our vet found a large cancerous mass in his jaw. There may have been tooth problems as well, but this was the main cause of why he was having so much trouble with eating. This was inoperable and there was nothing anybody could do. We thought it was a simple dental procedure, and then we lost him. We are still sad and shocked. It just sucks, and we both hate it so bad.

And although that was by far the worst of it, Stephen has been really sick, and we have ALL had car issues. And the cherry on top? I am having a bout of insomnia. Not every night, but enough. Anyway, the first month of this new year has left me very underwhelmed. I just hope things improve dramatically soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Downright UGLY

The Good:

-Kitty is getting better.

-We have gotten a lot done this weekend, and I will start my week feeling halfway on top of things (always makes a difference).

-Its gonna be almost 70 degrees here tomorrow.

-We have a townhouse lined up in York England for March, and I can't wait to see my daughter!!!!

-I have done well with my healthier eating so far this year, and have lost a few pounds (although I am trying NOT to make it about weight loss).

-The new season of "House" starts tomorrow night....yay!

-Stephen has had some job offers, and a really good interview, but I don't want to go into detail and jinx anything right now.

-Erica is really making a go of it in her new job and new town. She seems content, and although I miss her, that makes me happy.

-Loving the new airline laws that forces prices to INCLUDE taxes, and makes them HAVE to change your ticket, or give a refund if you give them at least a days notice. Because seriously, all of that is such a pain in the rear. A ticket from RDU to London is $300...but oh wait....its really over a thousand once you add in these arbitrary taxes. If the price is a thousand, then so be it but SHOW it instead of making me feel ripped off.

The Bad:

-We have had nothing but gray days and rainy weather for what seems like weeks now. (I realize its probably not that long, but man oh man, it sure feels like it).

-My little netbook is slowly dying. The screen blacks out, sometimes flickers....and while I LOVE my iPad, typing something like this blog is harder with the touch screen keyboard.

-Speaking of this blog, I so want a new template, but just can't work one out or find one online, free or otherwise. I would be willing to PAY if I could just find something new, fresh, and easy to install. And a simple layout would be nice too.
Something that would allow me to change/use my own photos would be ideal......Anybody got any ideas?

The Downright UGLY:

-Tomorrow is Monday, and seriously, it just can't GET any uglier than that. I am trying hard to hang on for 6 more years until I can retire. I am practicing positive thinking, trying to view my job with a different viewpoint. I am trying to feel gratitude to have a job in a rough economy....everything that I can possibly do to make it tolerable. And still....on Sunday evenings, a feeling of dread so deep and dark just overwhelms me.

Oh well, at least the Good outweighs both the Bad and the Ugly, so I guess I can feel like I am ahead of the game. Right?