Sunday, January 31, 2016

In Memorium: Trinity, Faithful Guardian

Trinity at the vet
Two weeks ago she was fine. Last week her breathing started to suggest a constricted airway. Three days ago she started to become lethargic. Two nights ago I realized that all of her lymph nodes were dramatically enlarged. Took her to the vet yesterday, and the diagnosis was lymphatic cancer. X-rays showed significant involvement in the lungs as well. Last night, she refused to eat and wanted nothing more than to lie down quietly. Overnight she was unable to maintain control of bodily functions.

My initial thought was to wait for the feedback from the radiologist and the cytology report. Lymphatic cancer can often be held at bay for a while. At my request, my vet put her on an immunosuppressant dose of Prednisone while we waited for the reports. It's a very fast-acting drug (relatively speaking). By this morning, after one dose, she ate, though not with her usual enthusiasm (Dyson has nothing on this girl). But prednisone creates a deceptive appearance of recovery; what's actually happening is that the immune system is suppressed leaving the cancer to proceed. And even on the prednisone she continued to be lethargic and unenthusiastic about her usual interests, including the cat. Given the involvement of the lungs and the sheer size of the lymph nodes, I didn't feel that the prognosis was good. Perhaps more importantly, Trinity made it clear that she could not comprehend why her body would not work as expected, that she was confused, and afraid, and wanted to be at peace.

This afternoon, after a long conversation with my son Alex (who is holding her in the photo), we took her to the vet to say goodbye.

R.I.P. Trinity to cancer, age six. Willful friend. Faithful guardian. Majestic, gentle companion.