Millie had heard about the panic buying and was worried we were not getting enough food, so last night she brought us a present.
At 1.30am we were woken up by lots of “brrrrrrrps!!” When Liz turned on the light, there she was, half way up the bed nudging a dead mouse (possibly a small rat, but we don’t want to think about that) towards Liz’s leg.
She was so proud. We were so proud. There was a mutual love-in and Jamie whipped out the phone to snap our joy. It’s not the best pic Jamie has ever taken, but we thought you wouldn’t mind the quality.
It’s all been a bit quiet on the Millie front because we’ve been in limbo for so long awaiting results. A few weeks ago her bloods were back to normal but she wasn’t eating again. So Dr Gillian put her under the ultrasound scanner once more. Contrary to what we expected to see, Millie’s lymph nodes were still swollen. This didn’t tally with the excellent blood test readings.
Gillian took a needle biopsy and half an hour later we learned that Millie’s lymph cells were misshapen. This almost certainly meant lymphoma, in other words cancer.We were devastated, but Gillian still had hope, “It can be treated,” she said.
We went off with heavy hearts, chemo tablets and strong painkillers. Gillian made slides of the biopsy and sent them to Hong Kong where there is an excellent testing laboratory. She felt it might just be that Millie’s lymph-nodes hadn’t had time to recover from the parasites in her organs and blood. That could be the reason for the cells being so misshapen.
Millie’s reaction to the chemo was to go catatonic, followed by seizures. This was probably the worst time for us so far. We rushed her back to Gillian, who took her off the chemo and put her back on steroids and antibiotics.
Her weight dipped below 3kgs and we had to hand-feed her again, but gradually, over the next two weeks, Millie began to rally and started eating.
For over a week now she has become a feline eating-machine. Her fur is slicker and she’s started to put some meat back on her bones. We no longer take her for walks on a lead morning and night, now she has the freedom to roam up and down the pontoon at will. Hence last night’s hunting expedition.
After massive problems trying to get tissue slides to Hong Kong in the current climate, Gillian finally had success. The advice which came back yesterday is… no cancer!
Today, even though Sabah is in lockdown, Gillian brought us more steroids and a new antibiotic (which she’s been trying to get hold of for months) specifically for cats. We will use it as we wean Millie off the steroids and hope to eventually have our lovely Millie back and running again.
This all started back in October. It’s been a long and stressful time. There have been tears and loss of hope along the way, but it seems persistence has paid off. And one good thing that has come out of the experience is that we ended up not sailing to the Philippines. If we had, we’d be at anchor in lockdown there now, with few amenities on shore and the south-west monsoon just round the corner.
Fate has a funny way of looking after you, sometimes.
As always, thanks for supporting us and allowing us to share our adventure with you.
Peace and fair winds
Liz, Jamie and Millie xxx
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