The Banshee Cat Needs Your Help


This year of 2017 has brought so many challenges. With this most recent challenge, a number of people have offered to help with medical expenses  so with gratitude I'm accepting this offer. 

I've provided a short story up top for those who may not wish to know all the details and then a longer story after that for those who are interested in all the details that we know now that I will also update as things unfold.  Any help in the next few months is very sincerely appreciated. 

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for taking the time to read this and your care for me and the Banshee!


- Jamie and the Banshee



The short story:

My 14 year old rescue cat the Banshee has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Her front left leg is the most damaged. After an xray we now know that the bones in that leg are incredibly brittle and some are shattered beyond repair.  The decision was made not to amputate the limb, but instead to do what we can for pain management and to halt the spread of to mutiple myeloma to other parts of her body to the best of our ability. 

Of utmost importance is her quality of life. The Banshee is still purring, cleaning herself, eating, using the litter box and sleeping in her favorite spots (including a heated cat bed!). She isn't chasing after her toys like she was a few weeks ago but we're switching her to a new mixture of pain medications this week and that may allow her to return to some of that play as well.

The prognosis is such that how long she has really depends on how she responds to the medication and if any further damange happens to her leg. We're checking in with the vet again next week about how she is doing with her new meds and have a follow-up appointment in one month to check on her white blood cell count after several weeks on an oral chemo drug.



The long story:

I rescued the Banshee (her name when I adopted her was Gerkin!) in October 2004 from the Humane Society of New York when she was about a year old. She has an ear tip because she was part of trap-neuter-and-return project which means she is basically a former Brooklyn street cat. Since then I've moved with her from one Brooklyn apartment to another (to another, to another), to three different apartments in Jamaica Plain, MA and now two apartments in Providence, RI.  Her passport has many stamps!

Earlier this year along with extensive dental work the Banshee had a small lump removed. The results from that biopsy were inconclusive, stumping everyone who looked at the slides. But her blood work suggested very high proteins so we opted to bring her in again for more blood work. Her protein levels remained high after two more visits and after a worrying limp we did an xray to determine what else might be going on.  After an xray we know that the bones in her front left leg are incredibly brittle and some are shattered beyond repair. At this point The Banshee was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma. 

After waking from sedation from that xray The Banshee was unwilling to walk on her front left leg. The decision was made not to amputate the limb, but instead to do what we can for  pain management and halting the spread of to mutiple myeloma to other parts of her body to the best of our ability.

Of utmost importance is her quality of life. The Banshee is still purring, cleaning herself, eating, using the litter box and sleeping in her favorite spots (including a heated cat bed!). She isn't chasing after her toys like she was a few weeks ago but we're switching her to a new mixture of pain medication this week and that may allow her to return to some of that play as well.

The funds from this campaign will be used for her medication and bloodwork as well as paying for the xrays from her previous visit.   To give a sense of the expenses, care in the past two months has totalled about $650. It is unclear how much her medication will cost in the long run because we're still determining which medications she responds best to but it appears medication may cost $200-300 a month. We're starting her on a chemo drug Leukeran and continuing her on the anti-inflamatory drug Prednisolone. For pain she is currently Gabapentin and Buprenex but may only need Buprenex depending on how she responds this week.

Additionally physical exams each cost $60 and each time she needs bloodwork it costs around $125 which will need to be done again in a month. This means that another three months of care will likely cost well over $1,000.  In the best case scenario, medication costs will be for more than three months, but we're taking things one day at a time right now.

As I wrote above, the prognosis is such that how long she has really depends on how she responds to the medication and if any further damage happens to her leg. We're checking in with the vet again next week about how she is doing with her new meds and have a follow-up appointment in one month to check on her white blood cell count after several weeks on the oral chemo drug.


Again, thank you for visiting this page and your concern for the Banshee. And thank you to the team at City Kitty for their help and guidance in this difficult time. I highly recommend them for anyone in the Providence area.  

Most of all I so much gratitude for my partner Margaret and her affectionate cat Pixel (who has long tried his hardest to be friends with The Banshee) as they both bring so much love and care into our shared home.  I love you both! 


We begin new medication tonight, Thursday December 14th. I'll post updates as we know more.
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Organizer

Jamie J. Hagen 
Organizer
Providence, RI
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