After 11 months, it’s time to give blogging a rest. I need to take care of my cat who has cancer and myself—as I finally came to terms with the fact that I had turned blogging into a full-time job, which is typical of a workaholic who can no longer work. I stared this blog right before my cross-linking surgery (CXL) for keratoconus with the aid of my brother from afar and only had the intention of posting on my experience with CXL, as I couldn’t find any patient-perspective information online. Then, I researched a co-morbid condition, saw a geneticist, and was correctly diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome after 11 years of illness, and thus the blog continued.
Personally, I don’t find writing posts cathartic or a form of self-expression for the most part like so many other bloggers. I really didn’t even know much about blogging before my brother created a blog for me. I wrote in my About section nearly a year ago that I am a scholarly writer by nature and a horrible perfectionist, and writing posts seems more like work to me, and I’m on disability due to my inability to work from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Blogging has actually made my pain worse, yet I continued to write posts that were so carefully thought-out with over 1,500 word counts. It may sound like a small feat, but for me, it would take a week to put a post together and hours upon hours of writing and editing.
However, what I finally found in my little life of solitude were some great friends on WordPress and they know who they are: the ones who always commented on my posts (and vice versa, of course) and have been there when no one else has since recently posting on my blog that my beloved cat, Moush Moush, has cancer again after 4 years in remission with an excellent prognosis due to an amputation. Moush Moush’s story, which is really our story, can be found in this very long post.
As I can’t find any better way to manage blogging and I refuse to fold my cards due to the positive aspect of having friends on WordPress, I plan to stop posting indefinitely and continue to comment—or chat—with my friends on here. I hope the day will come when I can figure out how to just write a short post and call it a day, but I think I would need a lobotomy for that. I would like to again express my deepest gratitude to my true friends on WordPress, who are really the only friends I have. Living with a debilitating disease and losing a lot of vision has left me stuck in a motel room nearly 24/7, so this is my lifeline and I miss talking with people and sharing information and all that comes with finding people in this world dealing with the same trials and tribulations. It makes me feel less alone and I hope my friends feel the same.
While I have been in constant contact with some, not everyone has had an update on Moush Moush, and I do appreciate everyone who finds my blog through search engines and hope this will be of some help to the cat-owner community, as well.
After seeing Moush Moush’s wonderful oncologist at the specialty center who dealt with her primary cancer—a myxosarcoma deep in her shoulder joint 4 years ago—it is suspected that Moush Moush actually has a type of vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS) from when she was vaccinated in her scruff in the early 2000s and this created an area predisposed to developing these cancers, akin to a human having sunburns in youth and then developing skin cancer years later. This was a concern 4 years ago, but the shoulder location was atypical. Her oncologist feels this is possibly a new cancer and not a recurrence, even though it is in the area where her arm was, as the chance of recurrence after an amputation with wide, clean margins 4 years out is maybe 1%.
Moush Moush had a CT scan a few days ago which revealed 2 superficial tumors, one which was biopsied a couple weeks ago and one which just popped up. The cancer is superficial and there is no sign of metastatic disease in her lungs or elsewhere. This seems like good news.
However, due to the fact that the cancer is on her body where most of her connective tissue was removed during the amputation, it would be impossible to get the 3 cm margins needed without cutting into her body wall and ribs, which I wouldn’t do and her doctor agreed, but she was scheduled for less invasive surgery as I trust her oncologist’s advice. After the surgery was completed Friday afternoon, the surgeon called and said she did have some muscle left over her ribs after the amputation and he was able to remove some tissue under the cancer, as well as laterally, and he performed a scar revision on her recent biopsy, as that area would also be full of microscopic cancer cells.
Moush Moush did fine in surgery and in recovery and I was able to get her around 24 hours later, which was Saturday. She is 1/4 bald and has a long, arc-sharped incision going from her lower neck near her spinal column clear to the middle of her chest, which is almost a reversal of her amputation scar, which I can’t see. I must say I wasn’t expecting that huge incision, but she is acting fine and is on a strong narcotic for pain, which gives her too much energy for her lounge-y self and then she passes out into a deep sleep, which is best as I’m supposed to limit her activity, which normally isn’t an issue.
We are waiting on the histopathology report to see what the margins show and to get a definitive diagnosis, although any type of soft-tissue sarcoma on the body, not just myxosarcoma, is essentially the same as far as surgery and prognosis. If it is VAS, wide margins aren’t exactly curative, but I am trying to hold on to hope. Looking at that incision, it sure seems like she had radical surgery, but I know she didn’t. Moush Moush will return to the oncologist in 9 days to have her stitches removed and hopefully start a targeted, cancer drug taken at home that was not available until 4 years ago and is now being off-labeled in cats. It will be hit or miss if it works to keep the cancer in check, so I’m having to bet all my money on Palladia, this promising new drug, even if the efficacy rate is less than 50%. There is little information on use in cats, but Palladia is being used on vaccine-associated sarcomas. For basic information on Palladia, click this link.
I have primarily been updating on my friends’ blogs, but if you have a pet affected by cancer, please check back as I will attempt to update this post if I have good news, which may take awhile to determine, and I presume information will be in my comments, along with lots of unrelated chatter.
To end on a positive note, this post only has a 1,199 word count.