Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 1 of Stims and Day 1 of Asha's return home

This morning around 8am I gave myself my first injection of IVF #2. This sub-q drug cocktail included 150IU Meno.pur and 300IU of Brav.elle. Tomorrow morning I'll do the same dose, but on Monday I drop the Brav.elle to 150IU. Right now I'm only doing morning doses, but if this cycle is anything like the last I'll probably eventually add an evending dose to the mix. I go for my first follicle tracking scan on Monday morning. I'm also on Doxy, Dexa.methasone, baby aspirin, and prenatals. K seems to be doing well on estrogen and the lowered dose of lupron. She goes on Thursday for her lining check.

I want to thank all of you for your kindness and understanding regarding my furbaby, Asha's, condition. We've known since last April that she has a progressive, terminal illness, but I guess we just got comfortable with her stable state and put everything else in the back of our minds. Even if I had spent the last year worrying and agonizing over when this day would come I still wouldn't be prepared for the end. As I mentioned in my last post Asha is my special kitty. She truly helped to get me through some of my darkest days and nights. There were plenty of days when I would just sit on my couch and cry after J went back to work following Myle's death and Asha would be right there to comfort me. Last night I sat on the couch and cried my eyes out thinking of Asha alone in a kennel at the vet's office. I had visions of her dying alone without me there to hold and comfort her. I told J that no matter what they said she would be coming home with us today and she did.

I went to the vet as soon as I could this morning and we discussed the seriousness of her condition and the options that were before us. We had the choice to bring her home and continue to treat her as we've been doing knowing that she'd slowly (or rapidly) decline, we could leave her there to continue to receive IV fluid treatments knowing that her blood levels likely wouldn't improve, or we could bring her home to continue the IV fluid treatments to let her enjoy the remainder of her days with us there to give her love. Additionally, we were given the option to pursue a kidney transplant and were given a referral to UW-Madison Vet Hospital. We obviously chose to bring Asha home and are scheduled to have a consult with Dr. McAnulty sometime next week to discuss whether or not Asha is a candidate for kidney transplant. (Please do not judge me for considering spending thousands on a kidney transplant to save my cat's life. I have enough people IRL who will do that.)

If you saw Asha today you'd probably never guess that she's terminally ill because she looks alert and is quite active, but her kidney blood levels tell a different story as does her lack of appetite. The appetite is currently my big challenge. I give her an anabolic steroid every other day to stimulate her appetite. Today I presented her with shredded chicken, canned tuna, deli turkey, and scrambled eggs. She licked the water off the canned tuna and licked/nibbled on the scrambled eggs. I honestly think she's too busy exploring the house to want to eat right now. She did eat two cat treats when I held her at the vet, so I'm hoping she eats more later today.

It hurts me so to know that I can't do any more than we're already doing to help her. They left the IV line in her leg and we are now to give her 2 IV treatments of fluids (150cc) each day--one in the am and one in the pm. I also have to flush her line with heparin each time I do this. We will continue this treatment until we speak to the vet at UW to determine if she's a candidate for a kidney transplant. I came home and visited their website and it seems as though she's an ideal candidate, but have to admit that I'm scared about putting her through that whole process too. I'm hoping that after talking with the surgeon we'll have a better sense of what to do. If Asha was an elderly cat, we wouldn't even consider the transplant. But she's relatively young at only 9 and could live several more years with a new kidney. This seems worth the financial and emotional costs to us because we know that Asha's unconditional love is worth every penny and every bit of stress it might cause us. So now we just wait until Monday to see what the hospital has to say and we love and appreciate every single minute Asha is here with us!

14 comments:

RB said...

Asha is beautiful! I honestly didn't know that organ transplants were options for pets. I'm praying that she is a candidate and everything works out.

My dogs have helped me with my grief in ways that a person could not. Their unconditional love is irreplaceable.

What a special kitty you have... :)

Sara said...

Asha is so pretty! I love tabbies! I agree with the above post. Cats provide an unconditional love and support greater than what many humans could offer. Thinking of you guys and hoping Asha is a candidate and your kitty gets healthy again.

Big hugs to you and a head scratch for Asha :)

Duck said...

Hugs to you. I don't know if you remember or not but our cat died during our first IVF cycle - he went into total organ shut down quickly and out of no where (it is a long story) but it was so horibly painful that I still cry about it.
Glad that you started to stim - looking forward to following the 2 of you in your journey - "BIg Hi to K!".
Duck

Jaymee said...

it is amazing that they could possibly give her a transplant. my youngest is 9 and still acts like a kitten, and i would move heaven and earth to keep her healthy and happy. i hope that more people are supportive of your decision.

YAY for starting your meds!!! so excited for you!!

Caroline said...

Hi Niki,

I'm so sorry to hear that Asha is sick. I'm thinking of you...
I am pleased to hear that you are moving ahead with IVF number 2...Here for you....
xx

Amy said...

No judging from me... we have spent thousands and worth it.

Good luck on the stimming!!!!

Jacinta said...

I would do exactly the same thing. Asha is beautiful and my first cat lived until she was 17 so you would only say she is middle aged right now.
They just have a personality all their own. Isn't that what Marley and Me was about?

Lori said...

I feel like you are a kindred spirit of mine - going through all the infertility stuff, and now a gestational carrier -- and a huge cat lover. I'll eagerly be keeping tabs on Asha's health as well as your journey. My GC just started her meds on Wednesday (I have two frozen embs), so I think we will be going through this about the same time. Best wishes!

Heidi said...

Niki- My heart breaks that you have to go through this. You know I would do whatever I could for Hannah so I totally understand how you feel about Asha. I hope and pray for a miracle for her. Please keep me posted after you have your consultation. Love you!!!

Kelly said...

Aww The poor baby has an IV on her foot. :( Wishing you lots of luck with the specialist in making her well.

Karma & Adam said...

No judgment here...our furbaby, our labradoodle, is truly our first born and we would do ANYTHING we could for him if he were sick. I hope Asha starts eating more soon and is a candidate for the transplant. At nine she has many more years left in her. Best of luck with your meds!

Ellie Grace and Bennett said...

Niki,
I came upon your blog today while I was fertility blog searching. :) My story is long and complicated, but I just felt the need to tell you that your story has touched my heart. You and your sweet furbaby are in my prayers.

Soko's Journey to Parenthood said...

Asha looks so sweet and how could you just not fall in love with her.

I completely understand where you are coming from in doing all you can to continue her little life. I am such and animal lover that I would be doing the same for our fur kids. I hope you find out good news on Monday and I will be praying for her and keeping my fingers crossed. Just continue to do what you are already doing and she will feel all the love you have for her.

Keep us posted and wishing all goes well with Asha and the IVF plans.corksubi

Bluebird said...

No judgment here. I'd do it in a heartbeat.