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  • The Dilemma of Radioactive Therapy

    The Dilemma of Radioactive Therapy

    I originally posted this on Facebook a few days ago, but I thought it was worth sharing here as well. 

    We’ve hemmed and hawed over whether to get her iodine treatment (radiation) for her thyroid. It would almost certainly fix her thyroid, but there are drawbacks.
    There’s the inconvenience of having to save her poop (so, realistically, all their poop) for 3 months. That’s an episode of hoarders no one wants, but we’d do it for her.
    She’d be apart from us for several days, which is hard because we’d hate her to feel abandoned after the life she’s had.
    Some cats do really well, other cats do very poorly for a while after coming home and result in emergency vet trips for hydration and so on. I wouldn’t love that stress.
    There’s also the fact that we don’t actually know how old she is. I’ve seen a number of cats go for their iodine treatment, only to succumb a handful of months later to something else because they’re so old. Gwen’s a spry sassico, but the fact is, she could be 10, she could be 17. (Our best guess has her coming up on 13. )
    All of these things are considerations, but we’d work our way through them if it was in Gwen’s best interest. But there’s this:
    You’re supposed to more or less sequester your cat for 90 days. Many people don’t, and that’s fine - we don’t have the room for it regardless. But you really can’t let the cat sleep with you, by your head.
    Hence the picture. When Gwen isn’t sleeping on my chest at night, she’s sleeping on that white pillow, right next to my head. That pillow is HERS now.
    We could put Gwen through the iodine. We could put her through being separated and feeling seriously crappy. But I really don’t think we can put her through not being allowed to snuggle with me. Not when she can’t understand why.
    We’ve worked so hard with her to gain her trust and give her the best life possible. It has paid off in ways I never imagined when we brought her home. (I never thought “she snuggles too much” would be her problem)
    As long as her body keeps responding to the ear gel, I think that’s what we have to stick with. We can’t risk her heartbreak or the anger at violating her trust in that way.
    She’s a wonderful, very loving and very sassy girl. We’re going to celebrate having her for FIVE whole years later this month, which is amazing. I write all this not because I feel the need to justify it, but because I wanted to share that caring for loved ones is not always straightforward. It’s complicated, and not only do we have to look our for their physical wellbeing, but their emotional wellbeing too.