Thursday, August 29, 2002

I still don't see any benefit to the Benedryl gel that I'm applying to the inside of Bizs' ear flap. Her sneezing has not decreased.

Also, for the past three days, I've really had to stay with her to encourage her to eat her canned chicken with the piroxicam salmon-flavored treat mixed in. It seems that it's become pretty painful or too hard for Biz to eat. She does still seem to be hungry, for after she eats a little bit of the chicken (and hopefully, ALL of the piroxicam treat), she'll go over to her Science Diet Hairball Lite dry food and munch on it for a while. So, perhaps it's really not too painful for her to eat. I dunno. It's hard to see her this way, and I know it's only going to get worse.

I awoke at 0430 this morning and starting thinking about all I needed to do at work and then also started thinking about Biz; is she suffering? Should I really try as hard as I do to encourage her to eat her food? Or should I just let "nature" take its course? Where is the line of Biz's quality of life and how to I know how much to do to not keep her on "my" side of the line - to just let her go? These are thoughts I'll be pondering today.

A person going through the same thing with her cat, Fido, shared with me that she is going to try Essiac tea. There are stories across the 'Net about the benefits gained by human and animal cancer patients who took some form of essiac tea. However, I've also read stories that it does not help some folks at all. But, Biz and Fido are going to die, anyway, so why not try something that may improve their quality of life, right? I'll be interested to hear how Fido does; his owner just started the essiac tea a few days ago.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Well, I've tried the Benedryl for almost three days now and don't really see a reduction in Biz's sneezing.

She still is allowing me to rub the gel on the inside of her ear flap, but last night, she started squinting her eyes like they were stinging a bit when I approached her with the gel on my thumb. I was thinking that she was not even going to allow me to apply the gel, but she did.

Apparently, the gel/Benedryl has an odor that irritates Biz's eyes some. I'll need to be careful when I apply it not to delay too long after approaching her and spend more time after applying it praising her for being a good kitty. Usually, I approach her and pet her and comfort her and then put the gel on and praise her a bit and go (relatively quickly) wash the gel off my thumb, so I won't absorb too much of it into my own system. Benedryl makes me groggy!

I could get a finger cot (a small latex or some kind of rubber material thing that slides over the end of your finger to protect your skin from the gel), but I figured Biz wouldn't like the smell of them at all and would become resistant to me applying the gel with a finger cot.

Otherwise, Biz continues to do well. She even went out on our back porch yesterday to watch the birds, which is something I haven't seen her do in weeks.

Thanks for checking in with me today!

Friday, August 23, 2002

I did get the Benedryl gel and the piroxicam (Feldene) from The Medicine Shoppe on Tuesday the 20th, but did not get to call for application instructions of the Benedryl gel until Thursday (8/22). The gel cost $15 for 10 syringes (that's 100 doses, or 50 days worth for $15; very reasonable). The piroxicam salmon-flavored treats are $15 for a two week dosage (two treats/day).

The gel comes in this syringe. The syringe is marked in 0.01ml increments; there are 10 doses in this syringe

To give it to Biz, I push 0.1ml of gel out on my finger and rub it on the inside of Biz's ear flap. Amazingly enough, it doesn't seem to bother Biz a bit!

Hopefully, the Benedryl will help her sneezing, but since I've only given her two doses so far, I don't know anything yet. Also, her tumor seems to not be growing at all, and even seems to have shrunk a bit, but I just can't be sure since I don't really have any way to gauge it. Biz continues to do well and is not as lethargic as she has been.

Monday, August 19, 2002

I talked again with Don Walker, the pharmacist at the Medicine Shoppe in Maryville, and he has not had time to make up the Benedryl gel yet. I also needed a refill on the piroxicam, and now I'm concerned that the refill won't arrive before I run out on Wednesday, because he wasn't sure he could get to it on Saturday.

Part of me is hurt, because Biz's sneezing has not subsided (as expected), and I want to get her started on the Benedryl and I'm anxious about how Biz will take to the gel being rubbed on the inside of her ear flap. But if I step back far enough, I can see that Biz going a couple more days w/o Benedryl isn't going to matter much in the long run. And if she misses one day or one dose of piroxicam (Feldene), it's not really going to matter, either.

I need to be a better provider for Biz by calling in the piroxicam prescription earlier. He only sends two weeks worth of piroxicam salmon treats at a time (I think because their effectiveness might be diminished if he makes them up a month at a time - the treats I'd be giving Biz at the end of the month would be "old"), so I need to remember during the first week to call and get the refill.

Biz is still doing about the same. It seems that the tumor in her cheek is not growing much at this point. Sometimes it looks like it's even shrunk, but other times it looks as big as ever. I wish I could get a quantitative analysis on the size of the tumor, but it's just not feasible. She's continuing to eat, drink, pee and poop about the same as she has been, so that's good. No signs of blood in the stool (which is something I need to look out for because of the piroxicam).

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I talked to Don Walker, the pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe in Maryville, TN about mixing up something for Biz that she would eat with Benedryl in it. He said it is very bitter and there's not much that would mask the taste. He suggested a medicine that I rub on the inside of Biz's ears. Since the ears have lots of blood vessels, there are certain kinds of medicines that will absorb readily when rubbed on the inside (of the flap, not down in) Biz's ears. The amoxycillin and other antibiotics that Biz took early on are not good candidates for ear medicine, but apparently Benedryl is. Good news, I hope.
I've even tried Benedryl "dye-free" gel caps, but since the dosage of just one gelcap is 25mg, and Biz is only supposed to get 12.5mg, I had to cut it open and let (half of) the liquid drain out. I mixed the liquid with canned chicken, but still Biz would not touch it.

I got some of the Benedryl liquid on my fingers, and the taste was TERRIBLE! It also seemed to make my tongue numb. No wonder Biz doesn't want to eat any of this stuff!

I still have not called the Visiting Vet to talk about getting the Benedryl mixed into a salmon treat like the piroxicam is. Then again, since one can get Benedryl off the shelf, I can probably call the Pharmacist myownself.

Biz continues to have sneezing fits, and I noticed yesterday that the tissue around her left eye is beginning to swell. She sometimes seems to be in pain, and the only indication I have of that is that she sort of "squints" her eyes from time to time; it's almost like a frown. I'm not sure what to do for her, though, to help ease pain.

Friday, August 09, 2002

I've tried several different things to get Biz to take the Benedryl, but she won't. I tried children's (grape) flavored (she practically ran away from that), and then I tried putting powder from Benedryl capsules in canned tuna and canned chicken, but she still turns her nose up from it, even if she has just eaten a small portion of the very same canned tuna or canned chicken immediately beforehand (that has her other salmon-flavored treat with the piroxicam in it). I'm not going to try to force a capsule or pill down her; it's too traumatic for both of us.

I don't want to mix the Benedryl-laced tuna or chicken with her salmon-flavored piroxicam-laced treat, because it's more important for her to eat the piroxicam. However, she still continues to sneeze or try to sneeze, so I'm going to call the Visiting Vet about her calling the Medicine Shoppe to see if they could mix Benedryl up in a treat that Biz will eat.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Biz has been sneezing and trying to sneeze more and more over the last week. The Visiting Vet says the tumor mass is probably irritating her nasal passages. We are going to try some pediatric Benedryl (12.5 mg/dose, 2 doses/day for now) to see if that will help Biz's sneezing fits. Hopefully the pediatric version will be more palatable (less bitter) for Biz, and thus easier to give to her than adult Benedryl. Benedryl's generic name is diphenhydramine, so I'll probably look for that. The Vet also said it might be diphenhydramine HCl, too, and that was OK.

I asked the Vet if, when the time comes, she can come to the house and put Biz to sleep (as opposed to me having to take Biz to an animal hospital or vet office because of a law or something). The Vet said she could do it at the house. I was relieved in one way (not to have to put Biz through a last trip to the vet office), but then in another way, wherever that spot is in the house that Biz is put to sleep will stay etched in my memory forever. Better that than the last memory of her in the house is one of her being shoved into her kitty carrier for the last trip to the vet office.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Biz continues to slowly get more and more lethargic. I wonder if she's in pain, or just doesn't feel well in general, or if her senses are going away (smell, taste) so that she doesn't want to experience life any more.

I'm continuing to give her the piroxicam, knowing that it's probably not doing her any harm, and hoping it is helping any pain she may be experiencing and slowing the growth of the tumor, even if ever-so-slowly.

The eye on the side of her face with the tumor is weeping a little more now, but not as bad as it was weeping when all this started about 2.5 months ago.

I just want to continue to make her as comfortable as possible, and to tell her I love her and that she's my beloved Biz every day.