A couple weeks ago, I noticed Stella had a lump on her belly. The only reason why I was able to notice was now the poor girl feels safe enough to let me pick her up. That only took 1 ½ years… Since the bump didn’t go away and seemed to get harder, I booked a vet appointment for this past Saturday. Once I take the cat carrier out of the closet, Stella isn’t the poor safe kitty anymore so getting her into the carrier was a huge hassle with my hands shredded to pieces. Used to it, I washed my hand and slapped on some band aids. The doctor was able to get some fluid from the bump then gave me a quick and dirty analysis. It’s definitely cancer. The fluid was sent off for cytology. I didn’t ask many questions because I was stunned. Stella hasn’t been in pain and isn’t that old – 8. In fact, she has been extra lovable and relaxed lately! How could it be cancer?
Saturday was my freak-out day. I went from crying over the thought of losing Stella to stressing out over how to afford her care. Plus, it broke my heart to think of Rasputin losing his buddy. He would be devastated! I hate being in limbo and having no power to effect anything. So, once I calmed down, I tried to mix equal parts denial, sending out good vibes to Stella, and pleading with God. By Saturday night, I could not make a fist with my right hand and the entire top of my hand was angry red and swollen. On top of everything, it appeared that I had broken my hand somehow. My mom agreed to come over Sunday to check out my hand and drive me to the ER if needed. After the day I had, I needed my mommy.
Sunday, my mom took one look at my hand and told me it was infected. If you get queasy easily, skip this part. Remember how I mentioned that Stella had clawed me up good when I was getting her into her carrier? One of her claws got the top of my hand and apparently had some kind of bacteria. What I had to do is sterilize a needle, work off the claw scar, and clean out any foreign matter. My mom applied pressure to drain it. Then we slapped on some Neosporin and a band aid. Lo and behold, I could make a fist and my hand had deflated turning into its regular pinkish color. So, note to self and other cat owners, clean any scratches thoroughly under running water before bandaging up. Also, how did my mom know what to do? She isn’t a nurse. She just took one look and knew. Is there a guidebook given to mothers about gross injuries?
Stella’s cytology results came back yesterday. She has a malignant epithelial tumor which needs surgery. The procedure is booked next Tuesday, October 9. After the surgery, the cancer can be staged. The blood work costs $90.00. The surgery is $1,000. The chest x-ray is $260. I have opened a credit care account and started a fundraiser. So between both of those, I hope I’ll be able to provide Stella the best care possible.