Dear Cathy and Mark,

I didn't realize you lost your little Cali. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm glad that Cali got to know your love and kindess. As I said to Ben, I pray you find comfort in knowing she's now happy and healthy. And when you consider that you'll have eternity together, this separation is but a speck of time. Cali just turned a corner before you did and one day, you'll turn that corner and there she'll be. She's not gone...just gone ahead.

You're in my thoughts and prayers,
Cindy


----- Original Message ----- From: <ckess...@cox.net>
To: <felvtalk@felineleukemia.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Felvtalk] Dexter and Cali are together now


Ben,

I guess Dexter knew that Cali needed someone to play with from Dallas. We lost our Cali last Monday and it has been to hard for me to even write about it. You were so helpful to our little Cali and Dr. Wright was wonderful in the short time we had to make so many decisions. We only had our little girl 5 months and she was tired (but a true fighter in her short little life). She ended up with fluid around her lungs and we drained it once and it refilled back up within 24 hours. She was so tired but she fought so hard for the five months we had her. She was the cutiest kitten but it was so hard to watch her laboring to breath.

I just want you to know that you and Dexter were a blessing to my husband and I (and our little girl, Cali) and I promise, Cali and he are playing together now with no pain. Bless you, Ben, and thank you for all you did for Dexter and for my family in our time of crisis and pain.

Cathy and Mark

---- Ben Williams <drsiebl...@gmail.com> wrote:

=============
I'd like to start off this message by thanking all of you for your kind
words regarding Dexter over the past few days - - my wife and I have shared
and appreciated every one of the emails - it's meant a lot to us.
Unfortunately, this morning has proven to be heartbreaking to us both - we
received a call first thing this morning from East Dallas Animal Clinic's
Dr. Ken Cantrell that Dexter's condition had worsened over the course of the night. After picking Dex up from the Emergency clinic yesterday morning, we
immediately took him to Dr. Wright at Lakewood Vet Center.  Dr. Wright has
been on vacation since last week and we were told that he would be back
yesterday morning - but he hadn't yet returned. I took Dexter to see him on
three occasions last week for his lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator
injections, but was only able to see him that Monday.  When we took Dex in
on Friday when the swelling of his feet and face had begun, we were given no
advice by his staff who were unable to do anything other than give Dex his
shot and usher us out the door. They are all very caring people and I don't
blame them for anything, but I feel that any vet who runs a practice where
he is the only doctor on staff, should do a bit more to keep his patients
informed about his availability - that way precious minutes or hours or days
aren't wasted waiting for him to return.  Fortunately, several weeks ago,
when trying to convince Dr. Wright to order the LTCI treatment (which took
him over a week to do) I was referred to the East Dallas Animal Clinic by
the LTCI folks - they had used the medication before.   East Dallas Animal
Clinic is a wonderful place.  We've worked with Dr. Ellsworth and Dr.
Cantrell there - - they are both compassionate and make a point of taking
calls from concerned pet owners. They have both been wonderful to work with and have been open to taking every conceivable avenue with Dex's treatment.
I only wish we had been seeing them from the start. We rushed Dex to them
yesterday morning as soon as it became clear that Dr. Wright wouldn't be
returning. Again, I don't blame Dr. Wright, but when we took Dexter in for
his checkup three weeks ago and Dr. Wright informed us that anemia had set
in, his advice was to "take him home and make him comfortable."  A week
passed as I researched and tried to communicate with him about alternate
treatments and off-label meds. When you factor in that week and the week he
took to order the LTCI meds, that's two out of the last three weeks where
Dex had little treatment.  Again, why the difficulty in getting anything
done for Dex?  East Dallas, however, fit Dex in on the first day we spoke
with him and started him on Acemannan injections.  They had two remaining
doses remaining of that drug; a drug that was very beneficial to Dex last
year when he was first diagnosed.  they sacrificed those 2 doses for Dex
without question - had I gone to them earlier, perhaps it would have had
more effect on him. Regardless, Dex seemed to make improvements while on
Immunoregulin, LCTI and the acemannan. FeLV and FIV are horrible diseases, though, and I felt like there was something always sneaking up on Dex while
we treated him.  We seemed to reverse the anemia, but his Lymph nodes were
swelling.  Some days they would go down, other days, they would blow up.
When the mystery feet and face swelling started last week, he even responded well with benadryl. That thing sneaking up on Dexter? Full blown cancer -
it wasn't just in his lymph nodes, it was in his liver and spleen - it had
probably made his heart swell.  His breathing was becoming more and more
labored and we struggled with the decision of when Dexter was in too much
pain to continue.  Yesterday, Dr. Cantrell started chemotherapy on Dex, as
well as steroids. He seemed to tolerate the meds well, but over the course
of the night, he became more jaundiced and vomited, while his body
temperature dropped to 94 degrees.  His little body had given out as this
terrible disease had taken almost everything from him.  I say almost
everything, because when we arrived at East Dallas Animal Clinic this
morning, even though he was being hand fed oxygen while under a warming pad,
little Dexter still had a playful wag of the tail when we placed our hands
on him and told him how much we love him.  Dexter died at 8 this morning.
We are heartbroken that our sweet boy is gone and that he was only with us
for a year and a half.  He was such a wonderful, sweet and special kitty -
we will miss him terribly.  He was a huge part of our family - not some
"pet" or animal.  We have four other wonderful kitties at home who are not
FelV or FIV positive. They have been wonderful as our attention has been so
focused on Dex for the last month and we owe them some serious one on one
time right now.  While all of the kitties get along well, Dex was the one
cat in the house that all the other cats adored.  He was never involved in
spats with any of them and they all took turns cleaning him and looking
after him. Dex was special to everyone. In the end, I wish there was more I could have done for Dex - I look back at the timing of everything and how
the last three weeks have gone for him.  Could the outcome have been
different? I'll never know, of course, but I'm not done fighting this fight with FeLV and FIV. These diseases took our boy from us and I will not stop
until they are both a thing of the past.  Its the very least I can do in
honor of Dexter - a wonderful boy who fought with dignity and calm, and
above all else, the special brand of sweetness that only he had.

Thanks, everyone.
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