Back in late September, after a long weekend of playing with friends, Iza's behavior seemed a little off. Throughout the next few weeks she became super lethargic and eventually was unable to get up from lying down and unable to get up and down the stairs leading up to my apartment. We visited the vet roughly three times a week for five weeks. Test after test was inconclusive. In early November, I made the decision to take her to an internal specialist. We determined that she had contracted a parasite that her monthly medication would not have protected her against. She was put on a liquid dewormer for three days and has been on steroids ever since.
Roughly two weeks ago, as I began to ween her off of the steroids, her symptoms started to return. After speaking to the specialist, he recommended I keep her on the steroids everyday for another couple of weeks. Days after speaking to him I noticed lumps popping up on her back and neck. I didn't waste any time scheduling another appointment. We went back to the specialist on Monday. He performed an ultrasound on her spleen (it was enlarged at our previous visit in November) and drew samples from the lump on her neck and one of the lumps on her back. This is where it gets tough. On Tuesday night, the vet called to let me know that the test results showed that the lump on her neck is a cancerous tumor and that it is highly likely the lumps on her back are as well. He gave her two to six months to live.
At this point aggressive chemotherapy would only make her feel sick and would not cure her. We are starting her on a drug called palladia that is very similar to chemotherapy with the hope of extending her lifespan a few more months. Needless to say, my heart is completely broken. For the past four and a half years, Iza has been my closest companion. Anyone who knows me, could tell you that. She is more than just a pet.
All that being said, Iza's battle is just beginning. I have been lucky to have my parents and grandparents help me, but we still have a ways to go. I have been in contact with a local holistic vet and hope to start Iz on some alternative/herbal medicine. As a full-time grad student, I don't have the funds right now to continue to buy her the supplements she needs that could extend her lifespan even further. Any monetary contribution will help at this point. The funds will be used to buy her palladia, and more nutritious food and supplements.
This has been my worst nightmare come true, but it has also been a reminder of how lucky I am to have such supportive friends and family members. I am thankful for every single one of you. We are not going down without a fight.
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