An Update on Luna

Luna and laptop on bed

I want to share an update on Luna’s condition with everyone.

On Wednesday, Luna and I visited the oncologist to discuss her situation and the next steps. He pretty much confirmed what we already knew from the diagnosis: that this is a very aggressive mammary cancer and that one of the tumors had compromised a blood vessel. The latter is particularly concerning because it may indicate spreading. It is a pretty dire prognosis, but not one without steps to take. A “cure” is unfortunately very unlikely at this point, but there are things we can do give her a longer life and better quality of life than letting the disease run its course, which would be fatal.

It’s particularly hard to comprehend for me, as Luna is still young, and so full of life. Since we were cleared to remove the cone she is back to her normal self, with normal “senior kitty” energy but her exceptional affection. Indeed, she continues to be the one who comforts me with purrs and love as I process what has been an emotionally crushing experience.

Luna being snuggly and affectionate

Right now, the best thing I can do is focus on the next steps and not look beyond that. The next step, and indeed most important one for treating her, is surgery. In all likelihood, that will happen this Saturday as the sooner we do this the better. Then it’s some time to heal, and then evaluation on the next steps, most likely two rounds of chemo. From there, the path is uncertain, and it’s best for me not to dwell on it (no small task). In this instance, I do envy the ability of cats like Luna to live in the moment and focus on the love and happiness they are feeling in that moment. For my end, all I can do is promise to get her the best care and give her the best quality of life I can for as long as we can have.

Thank you to everyone who has provided purrs, healing vibes, prayers and good wishes! It means a great deal to us.

An Update on Luna

Dear friends, it is time to bring you all up to date on what has been happening with Luna. It’s not the best of news, but she is most definitely still with us and still the same cat we know and love.

Luna the cat and iPad

A little over a week ago at Luna’s annual checkup, our vet found some rather concerning lumps on Luna’s belly, essentially on her nipples/mammary organs. It was pretty clear that was some sort of tumor, mammary cancer being fairly common for cats. But it wasn’t clear exactly what kind, what it’s status was, and what would be the best course of action. So last Wednesday, we went back for a biopsy, which is itself quite an ordeal. An preliminary X-ray suggested no obvious growths in her chest or lungs, which was a huge relief. So the focus stayed on the two original lumps. The biopsy procedure went well, and Luna came home that evening, albeit with a “cone of shame.”

Luna with cone / bonnet.

Cone aside, she remained in relatively good spirits, and has been as sweet and affectionate as ever – she knows I need her comfort as much as she needs mine. The cone has been a source of distress for her, and she hasn’t been eating much. And she is staying near the bed, sofa or other places that we use for resting or cuddling. I have been removing the periodically and bringing her food over the resting areas, which she devours with aplomb.

Luna eating without cone.

We anxiously awaited results from he biopsy. And on Friday evening, we received them, and it wasn’t good. Not the worst, but not good. Basically, they are an aggressive form of feline breast cancer. They can easily be removed with surgery, but one of them may have already attacked a blood vessel, which puts lymph nodes at risk. So at this point, the situation is quite serious.

Our next step is to see the cancer specialist this next week and decide what is the appropriate course of treatment. Regular readers of this site know just how precious Luna is, and have promised both her and myself that she will get the best care I can provide and will do what it takes to give her a good quality of life. There isn’t much to do until the appointment next Wednesday except wait, spend time together, and continue with the myriad other things that are happening in my world right now. Wednesday isn’t that far away when life is so busy, but it seems like an eternity at the moment.

Please keep Luna in your thoughts and purrs.

Wordless Wednesday: Modular Synthesizer

Modular Synthesizer

Vacuum Tree Head at Outsound New Music Summit

Vacuum Tree Head at Outsound New Music Summit, July 30

The band Vacuum Tree Head returns for a performance at this year’s Outsound New Music Summit. The event will be on July 30, 8PM at the Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street in San Francisco.

Vacuum Tree Head is led by Jason Berry – that’s “J.B.” who draws the Mensa Cat Monday cartoons. The poster that appears above is his artwork as well. The new lineup for the band features Amanda Chaudhary on keyboards, Rich Corney on guitar, Michael de la Cuesta on guitar, orchestral chimes and synthesizers; Tom Ferguson on bass; Richard Lesnik on saxophones and bass clarinet, Justin Markovits on drums, and Amy X Neuburg on vocals and custom electronics. From the Summit website:

VTH has created music ranging from ambient electronics pieces scored for feedback, bass clarinets, singing bowls and bowed gongs (Tar’Hai Wizard, a piece dedicated to the great Jean “Moebius” Giraud), to tightly composed, guitar-based punk/prog songs (the album “THIRTEEN”), to abstract electronics and audio collage (the album “Aum Carve Etude H”), and all stops in between. The band is currently moving into areas involving the intersection of tightly composed compositions and free improvisation

The even also includes two other great bands. Cabbages, Captain, & King is a trio of Jon Arkin (drums), Karl Evangelista (guitar), and Eli Wallace. I have heard Wallace’s virtuosic piano a few times already this and looking forward to more. Finally, we will be treated to a performance of a new project avantNOIR by Lisa Mezzacappa with her Bait & Switch.

Please visit the Outsound New Music Summit for a full rundown of all the evenings. (We at CatSynth will be the to cover all four concerts.)