Elgar has cancer
July 27, 2010
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On top of everything else, Elgar has now been diagnosed with lymphoma. During the thyroid removal operation on Friday they found a lymph node that was grossly swollen; the vet removed it, sent it to pathology and that was the result. The poor boy's been vomiting a lot so they think that's an indication the cancer has spread to his intestines. I could put him through chemo but – with all his other problems, the limited remission time (at best, 6-8 months) and the high possibility that chemo would just cause his intestines to fall apart – I don't think I could put him through it. There's an option to treat with steroids, but it extends life by just a couple of months and I think that would be torture for me, prolonging the inevitable. If I decide not to treat, which I think I will, he will continue to vomit, lose weight and soon develop diarrhoea, and be dead in about a month.
Impressively, despite getting the news a couple of hours ago, I've already reached the anger stage. It's just so unfair. Hasn't he had enough? Did he absolutely have to get cancer right now? In the back of my mind I'd pretty much accepted that sod's law would strike him with it at some point, but now? His age is dubious but he can't be much older than 14. In cat terms, that's not that old. And I've only had him for four years, he had such a ragamuffin life before he came to live with me – was it too much to ask that he got to enjoy a bit more of that? Was it too much to ask that I could have him for longer?
How can he have cancer? Just a couple of weeks ago he was bounding across the lawn chasing a cricket. He's puked once since his operation and he's started to leap over the bar between the garden chair legs when I call him in. Yes, he's started doing this in the last few days. How can cancer be ravaging his body when he's dreaming so peacefully on the rug next to me? And yet it is. Life is shit.
I'm not ready for this. I'm not ready to let him go.