More kitteny goodness

More kitteny goodness
More kitteny goodness

It’s not all purrs and frolicking here.  Not for me, anyway. I knew it wouln’t be easy taking care of 7 kittens and their 2 mothers, but I wasn’t prepared for the smell!  In no time flat, the room in which I’m keeping the cats has taken on a pretty icky odor.  I’m off work tomorrow, so I’ll spend some time cleaning up in there. I’m sure I’ll discover some hidden surprises.

The cats have begun to hang out right by the door, so when I open it to go in to feed, scoop or play, they try to escape. The 2 mothers are the first to slip past.  The kittens are easier to herd back into the room because they’re still a little afraid of me. A few have gotten out, and presents a challenge.  They head straight for any piece of furniture or appliance they can hide behind. The heavier, the better. I have to plan a strategy for dealing with the escape attempts so nobody’s lost in the house and there aren’t any encounters with my cranky cat.

My nephew has been dying to come and help me with them, but he’s been sick and has had to stay home. I hope he’ll feel better soon.

If you know anyone in the area who could give any of these cats a great home, let me know.

Invasion of the kittens

Peeps
Peeps

The Animal Advocates of Moore County (AAMC) did a huge favor for me.  In February, a cat started hanging around my house. It was pretty cold, and I felt bad for her.  I started feeding her and tried to coax her into the house.  I finally tricked her into coming into the house on her own.  I called AAMC to see if they knew of anyone who was missing their cat.  She was extremely sweet and a beautiful cat.  Someone came to get her, and she was taken to a vet to be checked over.  She was such a great cat that I decided to keep her.

About a month after her arrival, Peeps developed paralysis in her back legs. I took her to a few vets to see what could be done for her. They had me convinced that she’d never recover and we’d eventually have to have her euthanized. It was heartbreaking. I emailed AAMC to find out if anyone there had any experience with paralysis in a cat. Barb, from AAMC, actually came to my house and picked her up to take her to their vet!  She then kept her for a few weeks while Peeps underwent treatment with steroids (yuck). Peeps was able to walk when she got home!  So, I owe AAMC big time.

Today I received a couple of mother cats and their litters of kittens.  I think there are 7 kittens.  I’d have to count to be sure. I’ll keep them here until homes are found for them all. Fostering these cats is the least I can do to try to repay the folks at AAMC.

Would you like to adopt a kitten?
Would you like to adopt a kitten?

WordCampRDU

Stop by WordCamp RDU and see us!

This was the cake we were served during lunch.  Boy, was it good! We met lots of great people.  Matt Mullenweg is a charming and entertaining speaker. He made me fall in love with WordPress all over again.

Immunoglobulin Profile for June 1, 2009

GENLAB Immunology: Final    06/01/2009 15:03

IMMUNOGLOBULIN PROFILE
                                                             Reference
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN G                  *410         mg/dL       [588-1573]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
            NOTE:  African-American reference ranges differ slightly from
                   those listed.  Please call the Immunology Lab at 684-6939
                   for race specific ranges.
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN A                  *432         mg/dL       [46-287]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN M                  *26          mg/dL       [57-237]
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN E                   30          IU/mL       [4-269]

Serum Protein Electrophoresis for June 1, 2009

Lab Report: Final    06/01/2009 14:36

SERUM PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS
                                                             Reference
  SPE INTERP
   COMPARED TO 2/10/09, NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN PREVIOUSLY
  CHARACTERIZED (2) IGA-LAMBDA COMPONENTS FROM 0.21 TO 0.25 AND
  0.14 TO 0.19 G/DL.
  "I have personally performed the interpretation".  Dr. S. Pizzo, MD,PhD

  SPE TOTAL PROTEIN                  6.8         g/dL        [6.0-8.0]
  SPE ALBUMIN %                      65.6        %
  SPE ALBUMIN                        4.46        g/dL        [3.97-5.34]
  SPE ALPHA 1 %                      2.9         %
  SPE ALPHA 1                        0.20        g/dL        [0.11-0.32]
  SPE ALPHA 2 %                      10.5        %
  SPE ALPHA 2                        0.71        g/dL        [0.40-0.88]
  SPE BETA %                         11.3        %
  SPE BETA                           0.77        g/dL        [0.60-1.02]
  SPE GAMMA %                        9.7         %
  SPE GAMMA                          0.66        g/dL        [0.53-1.37]
  SPE M-SPIKE 1 %                    3.7         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 1                      0.25        g/dL
  SPE M-SPIKE 2 %                    2.8         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 2                      0.19        g/dL

Cake Oriented Policing

Southern Pines Police Citizens Police AcademyI had the unique opportunity of attending the Southern Pines Police Citizens Police Academy these past 8 weeks.  We had our last session this evening. This cake was baked and skillfully decorated by one of the other attendees (Barbee).

One of the topics for discussion last week was Community Oriented Policing. This is a philosophy defined by the US Department of Justice as promoting “organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”

Here’s more information on Community Oriented Policing.

If you own a business or live in Southern Pines, sign up for the next Southern Pines Police Citizens Police Academy.  It’s an amazing program.  Ask your local police department if they offer something similar.

I’ll catch up on more posts in the next few days.  Tomorrow’s Friday!

The eight lethal cancers

A blog reader sent this to me, and I wanted to pass it on.

Hi Beth,

I follow your blog and thought you might be interested to know about a new initiative launched by a coalition of patient advocacy organizations during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  Led by the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), MDS Foundation and the Tackle Myeloma Foundation (TMF), they unveiled a patient “Statement of Principles” to address the inequalities in reimbursement of cancer therapies.

Currently, Medicare and private insurance companies require higher deductibles and co-payments for oral drugs than for IV therapies and inpatient procedures.  However, private insurance is regulated at the state level and Oregon, Indiana and Iowa have laws requiring equal coverage with similar legislation pending in several additional states and federal legislation introduced in Congress.

If you’re interested in learning more or signing the petition, you can check out the IMF or MDSF websites.

Best,
Allison

If you go to the IMF’s web site, you can read more about the Cancer Patient Statement of Principles.  This was taken from their web site.

About the eight lethal cancers
Eight forms of cancer, of which multiple myeloma is one, are projected to cause 49% of the 562,340* cancer deaths projected in 2009. For each of these forms of cancer, at least half of the patients diagnosed will die from their cancer within five years. Those cancers are:

Type of cancer

Deaths projected in 2009

New diagnoses projected in 2009

5-year survival rate

Brain cancer

12,920

22,070

35%

Pancreatic cancer

35,240

42,470

5%

Esophageal cancer

14,350

16,470

16%

Liver cancer

18,160

22,620

10%

Lung cancer

159,390

219,440

15%

Multiple myeloma

10,580

20,580

34%

Ovarian cancer

14,600

21,550

45%

Stomach cancer

10,620

21,130

24%

*Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2009, American Cancer Society, Atlanta. 2009

Click here to support the Cancer Patient Statement of Principles.

Duke Lemur Center / Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic today

Duke Lemur CenterMonica and I got to go to the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, NC today for business.  It was great!  I took some pictures through the fences with my iPhone camera, and this was the best of them. I’m afraid I can’t tell you what type of lemur this is, but I’ll find out.

Just before the meeting at the Lemur Center, I had a checkup at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic.  I’ll have the results of my tests on Wednesday.   It’s been almost two years since I had a skeletal survey, so I scheduled that for September.  The skeletal survey is a series of xrays of the long bones, skull and ribs and spine. I asked about a recent report I read that suggests that PET scans should be used for monitoring myeloma.  My doctor does those if there’s activity such as an increasing m-spike and nothing shows up on xrays.  The PET can show plasmacytomas and other activity.

I’ve been told that standard radiographs aren’t much good at detecting bone damage until there’s been a significant amount of destruction, so it’s not a good early warning indicator. I’d like to have a PET scan just to see what’s lurking.  I know they’re expensive.  A few years ago I called around to get the costs at various places  because I wanted one, but was told by my insurance company that they weren’t covered for myeloma. At the time, the cheapest PET scan I could find was about $3,000.

Did you know you can do that?  If you’re not insured, or your coverage isn’t very good, call around to see who has the best deals on tests or procedures.  The costs can vary quite significantly between institutions.  Another money-saving tactic is to find out what’s covered under what setting.  For example, my insurance has me pay 20% of services performed in hospitals.  That’s why I have most of my chemo and all of my Zometa infused at a nearby doctor’s office.  When I do that, it’s just a $30 copay. Investigate all of your options!