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Archive for October, 2012

To cut to the chase, my cancer has returned.  I have a large tumor in my vena cava, the large artery that goes into the heart.  They’re going to try to remove it surgically, but because of the size and location, it might not be possible.  My previous surgeries have complicated things…and clamping the vena cava to remove the tumor could cause liver and kidney failure.  The kidney isn’t such a huge deal because I have two of them…they might have to remove one if they can’t get it to come back when they release the clamps.  However the liver is a big deal, because if it fails, I’m no longer a candidate for transplant because of the cancer.  If it fails, basically I won’t wake up.  They’re going to try to go in through my chevron scar on my abdomen, but might end up having to crack my chest.

If they get in there and can’t remove the tumor without killing me, they’ll close me up and I’ll recover from that surgery.  There is a chemo-type drug they can give me that will slow the progression of the tumor, but won’t kill the cancer…it will just give me a little more time.  Regular chemo and radiation therapies won’t work because with this type of Hepatacellular Carcinoma, it doesn’t respond to those treatments.

Justin asked him what would happen if we did nothing.  I didn’t ask that because I’d already figured it out and didn’t really want to hear the answer anyway.  Dr. C said that if we did nothing, the tumor would continue to grow, until the vena cava is completely clogged…then I’d start having organ failure, and eventually die.  He couldn’t give us a time frame because they don’t know how fast the tumor is growing.  The tumor could spread to other areas and organs.  The time frame to operate, he feels, is relatively short.

When he asked what I want to do, I told him I want it out.  I understand the risks…basically its a risk I’ve understood for every surgery they’ve knocked me out for…but this time there’s a real possibility I might not wake up.  They have to clamp the vena cava in two places to remove the tumor and that part of the artery, and replace it with man-made tubing or whatever…to be honest my brain was processing so much at that time I forget what he called it.  The only places they can clamp it “safely” are right on the margins of the tumor…and he doesn’t know until he gets in there if he’ll have room to cut if he clamps there.  They can clamp a little lower and a little higher, but that presents even more problems in regards to blood flow.  The liver has three veins…one of mine is missing from when they took 80% of my liver in 2006.  The other two will be cut off during the clamping if they have to clamp lower than they’re hoping, so liver failure is a real risk.  The scar tissue from the multiple surgeries is pretty bad…he described it as a large pack of tissue…and my intestine is looped up and attached to my deformed liver (it works fine, but it looks pretty funny because of the way it regrew).  Both of those things present a problem as far as easy access.  He doesn’t want to crack my chest open if at all possible, but until I’m on the table and they start cutting and poking around, they just won’t know what they’re looking at.

They also might lose one of my kidneys…I couldn’t really tell from his rough drawing which one…but now that I think of it, I think its the left one…meaning I’d lose both adrenal glands too because they removed the right adrenal gland last fall.  Kidney failure is also a possibility from the vena cava being clamped, but they’re not too worried about that if it happens…I suppose because of dialysis and such.  He’s most concerned about my liver and heart.

I’ve never seen Dr. C so serious and reticent about giving information.   He didn’t joke around with me much, and we usually get him to crack up at least once every time we see him.  I know I should be stressing out and freaking out, but I’m not.  Maybe its still too new…shock…but I honestly feel like things are gonna be ok.  Everyone has cried but me…something has got to be wrong with me LOL.  Well, Bekah hasn’t cried, but she doesn’t know the seriousness yet.

Jared and Katie took the news really hard…they both cried before the football game last night.  We told Bekah I had to have another surgery, a really bad one, and she got the “freaked out” look on her face that she gets (its mostly acting), then asked us something about Christmas.  Aspergers sucks sometimes.  We’ll have another, more serious talk with her (if we can) before the surgery.

I need to scrape up the money to get to Arkansas and make peace with Dad.  I want to look him in the eyes to see if he truly is sorry and has learned anything, or if he’s just saying the right words.  If he’s just saying what he thinks I need to hear, I’m done.  It may seem harsh, but I’ve tried with him so hard for the past several years…and right now, I have to focus on my kids, my health, my family.  I want to give him the chance though, just in case I don’t make it out of the surgery.  That’s the type person I am.

I also need to work on letting go of a lot of bitterness I’ve been carrying towards others for the past four years.  What happened when I was carrying Ruby was awful and shouldn’t have happened, but I also have to accept some of the responsibility for it.  I let it happen, and I handled it poorly.  I took a lot more blame than I should have, because I was trying my best to smooth things over and keep the peace…when I realized that wasn’t working and probably would never work with those particular people, I blew up and overreacted…that didn’t help my position very much at all.  The stress just got to me, and I let myself down with the way I did things.  I have to forgive them, and more importantly, I have GOT to find a way to forgive myself.

I’m a Christian, but I’m not where I need to be with the Lord.  I’ve had a really rough past couple of years…my faith has been questioned and I’ve said/done some things I’m not proud of.  I don’t feel worthy to ask God for anything anymore.  I prayed so much when I was carrying Ruby and after she died…I had a really strong faith.  I don’t have that anymore…I know God is still there, but I’m no longer sure how to talk to him.  I did a good bit of praying last night after we all went to bed…but it was very difficult and I felt somewhat silly, trying to explain to God why I wanted His help, but didn’t feel like I deserve to ask for it.

So that’s basically what’s going on.  Keep our family in prayer, please.

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What is WRONG with me?

So I posted a couple weeks ago about watching “Parenthood” (the TV series, not the movie) and about Christina having breast cancer.  This week she’s going for the surgery, and as I watch her reaction and everyone else’s, all I can think is that they’re being…I don’t know…way too worried.  From what the doctor on the show said, this is really early and she has a really good prognosis…and I remember when I had my breast surgery, the only thing I was afraid of was the pain I was going to be in afterwards, and of being put to sleep.   When the liver cancer was discovered in 2006, I was fine right up until a few minutes before surgery, then I got really nervous and anxious…not because of the cancer though.  The cancer doesn’t worry me, it doesn’t bother me.  It never really has.  There are days when it does of course…days that I cry because I don’t know what the future will hold, but those are few and far between.

I must be incredibly self-centered, or delusional…because the things I’ve been through are pretty serious, and yet I blow them off usually.  I’m rolling my eyes watching this cancer arc on one of my favorite TV series, because I don’t understand why anyone would be so concerned and focused on it.  Something is definitely wrong with me.

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So I had an appointment with the doctor I’ve seen in After Hours a few times and liked.  My regular family doctor is in Petal, and I just don’t get up there very often, so I really needed to find another GP here in Poplarville.  She treats Bekah, and we all really like her.  I went in for the shoulder pain…after eight or nine weeks, the pain is really getting to me and hindering daily things…can’t move my laptop around (ha), can’t scoop litter boxes without almost throwing up from the pain, can’t lift a laundry basket, can’t pick up a cat, etc etc.  I told her also what I’d found out from New Orleans, and given the shoulder pain, she ordered x-rays of my shoulder.  Then she listened to my chest and ordered a chest x-ray as well.

I need two surgeries.  My right rotator cuff is pretty much shot.  I got a copy of the x-rays to send to Ochsner, and even I could tell the difference between my shoulders.  I think I’m going to ask for an orthopedic consult at Ochsner, with the hopes that I can get both surgeries done at the same time and only have to recover once.  That might be too much to hope for though.

As I suspected, I ruptured my diaphragm for the third time.  I’m fairly certain I know when I did it too…I told Justin at the time that I thought I had, and started having the breathing difficulties not too long after.  I even get out of breath when I’m talking.  She said about a third of my lung space was compromised.  Looking at the x-rays, to me it looks like an organ, not my intestines up in there…in the past, when it was my intestines, there was a lumpy appearance on the x-ray.  This is a roundish shape, no lumps in the outline.  Considering where its at, I almost think its my liver, but I obviously don’t read x-rays for a living so until a doctor tells me what it is, there’s no way for me to know.  Its pretty weird looking at it though.

We have no word on whether the cancer is back or not…I won’t know that until I see Dr. C on the 26th.  They just won’t tell me over the phone what’s wrong…they won’t even tell me what they SUSPECT, so that of course has me freaking out a little.  However, I’m really hoping that this hernia issue is what has them worried.  Hernias, I’ve done.  Heck, cancer I’ve done…but a hernia is so much better than cancer lol.

On a side note, the little boy I’ve been following on facebook, Lane Goodwin, lost his battle with a rare childhood cancer a couple nights ago.  He was only 13 years old.  I can’t even imagine.  It was hard enough losing Ruby and I never got to know her…but to lose one of my children, whom I’ve loved, nurtured, laughed with, cried with…oh man.  Please keep his family in your prayers…he had a younger brother and I believe he’s taking it very hard.  Google Lane…you’ll see what an amazing kid he was…even as he knew he was dying, he was always smiling, and wanted to make a difference for other kids with cancer.  His facebook page just took off, with celebrities and people from around the world supporting him.  He got the word out and touched so many lives.  I hugged my kids extra close since he passed.

Tonight is Senior Night…Jared will be recognized on the field tonight as a senior and a member of the band…Justin and I will be on the field to present his trombone to him.  He’ll be recognized again during the soccer season, but this is the big night where the most fans will be in the stands.  I’m so proud of him…he’s grown into such a handsome young man, with a good work ethic (he’s worked at McDonald’s for over two years now).  He makes good grades and is well-liked by his teachers.  He’s compassionate and patient with younger children, especially those with disabilities.  Sure, he has some issues like most teenagers, but overall he’s a great kid and I’m proud of him.  Its hard to believe this is his last year in school.  After this year, he’ll go off to college, wherever that may be, and my role will change a bit.  I’m praying I’m able to make the transition gracefully.  Katie will be a senior next year…oh man how time flies.

And, tomorrow is Rebekah’s tenth birthday.  Was it really ten years ago that she came into our lives?  She’s almost as tall as I am…smart, witty, full of life.  Her Asperger’s, ADHD and anxiety have presented some challenges for her and for us, but she’s always so optimistic…she’s a real joy to parent and I can’t imagine our lives without her.  She wants a Halloween-themed birthday party, so we sent out invitations and we’re having it at the park Saturday afternoon.  My fear is that none of her classmates will come…last year was the first time anyone but family came to her party, and it was just one little girl, but it thrilled her so much.  This party, she’s so excited about…she’s bouncing off the walls and talking about how much fun everyone will have, and my heart is breaking because I don’t want her to be disappointed again.  We don’t have the money to really make it special for her…so we’re just going to make the best of it and make sure she knows how very much we love her.

So that’s pretty much what’s going on with us right now.  Its going to be a busy weekend, but I wouldn’t trade it for a slow one.  My kids mean the world to me, and these are the times I’ll treasure later on 🙂

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The Waiting Game

So, the saga continues.  Most of you know I’ve had a hard time with the replacement nurse in my surgeon’s office.  I went for my much-delayed CT scan and clinic visit on September 20th.  Normally I see Dr. C, but he was called out, so I saw Dr. B instead.  WONDERFUL man…he’s from South America (I forget which country), and even though he has a really thick accent, I could tell he was very interested in me and my health.  He took plenty of time, and asked if I had a GP.  I told him I’d just been going to after-hours on the few occasions I felt that I needed a GP, because my family doctor was located in Petal, over an hour away, and the drive is just too much for me when I’m sick.  He strongly recommended I get a local GP…in fact, he stressed it several times.  My CT results weren’t back yet (it’d only been an hour or so since the scan) so he told us that he’d review them when they came back, and call me later that day (Thursday) or Friday morning.  He seemed concerned that my AFP number was climbing still higher.

I waited all day Friday, and finally called the clinic ten minutes before closing.  I talked to nurse G, the replacement nurse, who hadn’t impressed me the day before but its a difficult job…its a transplant clinic and the cases can be complicated and heartbreaking…so I was prepared to cut her some slack.  I very nicely explained what Dr. B had told us regarding the CT results, and I was wondering if they’d come in yet.  That’s all I said.  She called me back, and proceeded to pretty much chew me out: “HE said that HE told YOU that HE would call YOU on Monday afternoon after they review your case in their conference.”  It really rubbed me the wrong way, but I still tried to be nice.  When she continued, I snapped and told her that WASN’T what he told us, and that my husband heard him tell us as well that he’d call us that afternoon, but most likely Friday morning.  She said again that he would call me Monday afternoon.

Monday came…no phone call.  Tuesday came, no phone call.  Wednesday, Justin called her because I refused to.  I was afraid I’d get fired as a patient if I caught attitude from her again.  She gave him a spiel about me needing an MRI and an EUS (endoscopic ultra sound), and that she’d schedule it.  She called me later that afternoon…I was very polite and she was a little snarky but better behaved than previously…she said she was trying to schedule the MRI but the “new system” had just gone into effect and it wouldn’t let her, so she was going to have to get another nurse to do it, but she’d call me back by Thursday to tell me the appointment.  The following WEDNESDAY, a full week after I’d talked to her, I called and left a voicemail on Nurse M’s phone…M is lovely and I’ve dealt with her since 2006…I’m going to really miss her when she’s gone at the end of this year 😦  Thursday, G calls me and said that she still hadn’t gotten the MRI scheduled, that she had a note with my name on it but couldn’t remember what it was I needed (that’s what the computer is for, you dingy broad), but that she was on it and would let me know by the end of the day, possibly Friday.  The following Wednesday (are you keeping track? Three weeks had passed from my initial appointment at this point…well, ok 20 days, but still) M calls me, pissed off that she’d come back from vacation that day and found my voicemail on her phone from two weeks earlier, looked in the system, and saw that I still hadn’t been scheduled for an MRI.  She got me an appointment while I was on the phone with her for Friday.  Finally, progress.

So Friday I go in bright and early and have the MRI…I was laughing and joking with the techs, saying they’d remember me as soon as they saw the pictures and my unique internal anatomy, etc etc.  Once the MRI was done, they came in to get me out of the machine, and instead of two, there were five, and they all had grim expressions.  We made some jokes about my pictures, and I knew, once again, that something had changed.

Back up…when I had my CT on the 20th, I actually broke down after the test started…the tech came out to check on me because I’m lying there sobbing.  I told her I was fine, just emotional.  Something had changed from my last scan, I just felt it.  So when G starts telling me that I need more testing, and then taking her sweet time getting it scheduled, it messed with my head a bit.  When I had the MRI, I’m inside that machine (I’m claustrophobic by the way but generally ok with MRIs) and as the test started, I started bawling again.  I don’t want more surgery.  I don’t want to have to experience chemo or radiation or months and months of being sicker.  I want my life back, my health back, and I guess I was just crying as a form of mourning what used to be.

So Nurse M calls me shortly after Justin and I got home…like, within a couple hours of the MRI.  She said that Dr. C had reviewed it and wanted to present it to the conference on Monday with the other surgeons, some radiologists, and specialists, to get more information and develop “the plan.”  I said “That doesn’t sound too good” and she agreed, but couldn’t, of course, tell me anything else.  When she’d called Wednesday to schedule the MRI and I asked why they wanted it, she said that the CT just wasn’t as clear a picture as they liked and they wanted the MRI to take a better look.  I told her that sounded to me like they saw a mass and wanted to check it out more thoroughly before freaking me out.  She laughed and said that as many times as I’ve been around this particular block, there was no fooling me.

So Monday, I waited patiently…finally, I called at 3:20 (they close at 4:30). M was shocked that Dr. C hadn’t called me yet, so went to track him down.  She called me back and said that he wasn’t ready to talk to me on the phone because “its complicated.”  He wants to see me in clinic to discuss my case (uh oh) and wants me to have a chest CT before I see him (double uh oh).  I asked why, and she couldn’t tell me…and it dawned on me that I’ve had this burning shoulder/neck pain for weeks now, and its worse when I bend over to scoop litter boxes, pick something up, etc.  My heartburn has been a lot worse too.  So I asked if it might be my diaphragmatic hernia rearing its ugly head again…that over the summer I felt a burning, tearing pain in that area and wondered to Justin at the time if I might have ruptured it again…and the symptoms fit.  She said she didn’t know but it would make sense.  Still…that’s information they can share over the phone, ya know?

So my appointments aren’t until the 26th, and I sit, and I stress, and I worry.  I’ve been trying to eat a sandwich since 11:00 a.m. (its almost noon now) and have only managed to eat a little less than half.  I have no appetite, and its from stress I’m sure.  I’m trying not to freak out, but the lack of information is, in fact, freaking me out.

I guess just send some prayers my way that this is a simple problem, and not as “complicated” as Dr. C is letting on.  I don’t want surgery again, and I especially never want another thoracotomy…that was pain like I’ve never experienced in my life before.  I know when it comes down to it, I’ll do whatever I need to, but dang, I don’t want to.

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Not a good day

I don’t even want to go into detail about the runaround I’ve been getting from my doctor’s office useless new nurse.  Three weeks…ridiculous.

I was sitting here this morning catching up on the shows I DVR, and Parenthood really hit me hard.  Christina has cancer…from my past, and everything I’ve gone through, her situation seems … really not that bad.  However, I try to remember that for everyone, their trials and situations hit them differently than they would someone else.  Not to mention, breast cancer can be so aggressive…the mammogram only really shows so much…its far beyond my realm of expertise.

What hit me though was at the end of the episode, the extended family is gathered at a restaurant after one of the grandchildren’s baseball games.  She looks around, realizes how much she loves all these people, and she and Adam tell them about her breast cancer.  The reactions of the family were touching and heartwarming, of course.

And it dawned on me…I don’t have that.  I don’t have anyone that would react that way for me outside my own little home.  My kids would be devastated if it were bad, but really, I’ve been through cancer so much lately that I don’t think they grasp the seriousness of the disease itself.  I’ve been fortunate…I haven’t had to have chemo or radiation.  All my tumors have been successfully removed.  I understand that there are only so many times I can dodge this bullet…but I don’t think my kids get that yet…and I hope they never do.  My husband, of course, has always been supportive and always will be.  He’s my rock.  I’m aware every day of the fact that I don’t deserve him.  ANYONE who can put up with me for very long, much less twelve years, deserves sainthood.  My in-laws are great people, but we’re not really close.  I’m not close to anyone in my own family now that Mamaw is gone.  My parents and brother…well, those relationships have been toxic for decades.  I love them, and they love me, but other than my dad having to find someone else to handle his affairs, I don’t think they’d really miss me much.  Mom, of course, would miss having her “miracle child” to talk about with every stranger she meets, and miss venting on me when she’s upset with my brother, and miss being able to worry herself sick over my health.  But miss *me*?  I don’t know.

For years, I’ve extended myself beyond my comfort zone to try to have what Justin has…what families on TV have…that sense of love and care for one another…I hurt myself financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, trying to do things beyond my capability in the search for love and acceptance.  Yes, I’m able to help others briefly…but in the end, I’m left with lasting damage, and they’re left thinking that I let them down because I couldn’t keep going, couldn’t keep doing.  Much of this was done in an attempt perhaps to redeem myself, to make up for mistakes I’ve made in the past…instead I make new mistakes.  It’s a cycle that I can’t seem to break out of.

Last summer, while in the hospital, I suffered an emotional breakdown.  The hospital thought I was going to hurt myself and put me on suicide watch for 72 hours and admitted me to the mental ward.  They wanted to keep me there for three days, but I talked my way out of there the next morning.  That wasn’t the therapy I needed.  I wasn’t going to hurt myself.  The experience though, made me realize that I can’t keep doing the things I’d been doing.  I hated the person I’d become.  I stopped talking to my dad for months…I don’t think I took a call from him until January or February.  I’d leave the room when my mom would start in on me, not coming out of my bedroom until she’d left in tears.   I didn’t like being that way, but I had to, for my own sake.  Their rants at me may last only for a few minutes, but the repercussions for me lasted for days, weeks, months.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  My relationship with Dad is getting better…with Mom, it’s still strained.  She’s trying, and I realize that, but I have zero tolerance now.  I have absolutely no patience for anything that resembles the way she treated me in the past.  The same is true for my dad…he just hasn’t pushed me yet.

I used to love watching “feel-good” family movies and shows…but I can’t seem to do it now without bursting into tears.  The choices I’ve made in my past, whether deliberate or unintentional, have made my life what it is now.  I can’t say that I’d change all of them, or even which ones I’d go back and change if I could…all I know is that when I was growing up, my family had its issues, but it seemed we were also so close, so loving, so supportive…like the ones on TV.  Now I’ve come to realize that many of the people we’ve lost over the past few years were actually the glue that held that family together.

Its kinda funny in a way.  I don’t abuse alcohol…have never done drugs…never been in jail or been arrested…have only had two traffic tickets in my life.  I’ve done so many things “right,” and yet I’m so unhappy.  I hate myself, I hate what I see when I look in the mirror, I hate what I’ve become.  I don’t know how to change that.

Now I sit here, waiting to find out if my cancer has returned…wondering if they’ll catch it in time if it has, with the way the nurse has been jerking me around…and wondering if I’m ever going to get my life back.

Pity party, table for one.  I wonder if they serve cheese…

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Its funny reading the comments about the debate last night and how awful the moderator was. To the liberals, Romney had an unfair advantage given to him by Leher and kept going over time…to the conservatives. Obama never got interrupted (except once because he wouldn’t stop talking), he got prompted several times on how to answer by Leher, and he got to go over his time repeatedly. A stats report came out this morning, and it turns out the President got just over 3 minutes more talking time than Romney did. Romney won the debate, even Mr. Tingles (Chris Matthews) and Bill Maher agree, but he “lied” and “spun” and “was rude” to do so. Never mind the lies and delusions the President put out there…those were ok because he walks on water.

My bottom line…neither of them are perfect…but the President has had the last four years to do the job he promised to do, and not only has he made things worse, he STILL blames it all on his predecessor. He accepts responsibility for nothing, and forget about his comments 4 years ago that if he didn’t do what he promised, he shouldn’t be re-elected. I had hopes that he would actually do a good job, but he’s divided us even more than we were before. Give someone else a chance before we go down a road we can never come back from.  I honestly shudder to think where we’ll be four years from now, with a President who doesn’t have to worry about reelection.

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How to Give a Cat a Pill

Another gem stolen from The Dork Side on facebook 😉
Giving Your Cat a Pill:

Sit on sofa. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it.

With right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. (be patient) As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Drop pill into mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. Sit on floor in kitchen, wrap arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Scoot across floor to pick up pill, and go find the cat. Bring it back into the kitchen. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten. Drop pill into mouth.

Pry claws from back legs out of your arm. Go get the cat, pick up half-dissolved pill from floor and drop it into garbage can.

Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of closet. Call spouse from backyard. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figures from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take another pill from foil wrap.

Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour one cup of water down throat to wash pill down.

Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call at furniture shop on way home to order new table.

Get last pill from bottle. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.

Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around kitty, leaving only his head exposed. Cradle kitty in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.

Retrieve cat from top of shower door (you didn’t know that cats can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, did you?), and wrap towel around it a little tighter, making sure its paws can’t come out this time. With fingers at either side of its jaw, pry it open and pop pill into mouth. Quickly close mouth (his, not yours).

Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking it under the chin and talking gently to it for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves.

Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for 7-1/2 hours.

Arrange for SPCA to get cat and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

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