FIP Stuff & Luna Randomness
As we approach the half-way mark of the injections (6 of 12 weeks), I can't help but feel more optimistic than ever that Luna may actually have beaten effusive FIP; my gut tells me that she has anyways. I don't really have a lot to report since she isn't due for her next set of labs for another 3 weeks. She has gained 10 ounces (4# - 13 oz is her current weight) since her discharge home from UC Davis on May 3rd (this is after she lost the weight from the fluid accumulation).
She is 20 1/2 weeks old, getting taller, longer, faster, and appears like she was never even sick; but of course, we know better. She is climbing things, breaking things, is very sneaky, eating more, and being extremely lovable...when she isn't biting us [playfully]. Luna is our first cat and my first pet in nearly 20 years (since having horses when my kids were little). When deciding to invest in a high energy, hybrid cat, little did we know that this is how it would play out and never in our minds did we think the worst of it all would be a lethal disease like FIP right off the bat.I have to thank and recognize Dr. Niels Pedersen and his team for taking the time to check her labs, vet notes, history, symptoms and ultimately inviting us to hightail it to California on a whim and give them our kitten to try their brand-spanking new drug.
Many people have said that we simply "got lucky"; and some have said "why Luna and not my cat"? While it is reality that not every cat can or will "get this lucky", I can promise that I will do all I can to share Luna's story, no matter how it plays out in the end.To the random naysayers: I want to nix any negative talk or feelings here and now. I welcome varying opinions and questions as long as they are done with an open mind and mutual respect and not an attack. We all want the same outcome.
Being blocked and removed from an FIP support group (no names mentioned) without any dialogue, warning, or reasoning, is not only hurtful, but it does not live up to its' purpose of "support" (yes, this happened). That action only makes me appreciate the FIP Fighters and Savannah Cat Enthusiast groups all the more! The fact is, we all love our cats and want to help them and save them from suffering. There is no room for negativity, jealousy, or resentment when everyone is after the same goal. Do not tell me that this "isn't going to work" or that "it's only temporary". Trust me, this is not a fact that is lost upon me. I've been a nurse for 27 years. I know the score when it comes to diseases and outcomes. I really do not think that people understand or appreciate the time, money, and constant disappointment that goes into trying to find cures for diseases; it's not easy, it doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without trial, error, and sacrifice; whether the trials be human or animals. As with everything, not everyone is going to agree...and that's ok. It's how we handle and manage these discrepancies that keep everyone focusing on the end result...in this case, ENDING FIP! This is "vet"ical history in the making here; it's ok to get excited!
To pay it forward, we have set up our recurring donation to help fund FIP research. It's a small amount now, but it's consistent and will increase as we get our diagnosis and trial expenses caught up. I'd like to encourage everyone who reads this, especially those who have been affected by FIP, to do the same. We all talk about how badly we want a cure, how much we wish another cat didn't have to suffer and die...but what do we really do to actually help with that part of the effort? Random donations are wonderful and appreciated, but to be honest, they need to be consistent and accumulative to speed up the road to a cure. If there's one thing I have learned by all of this, it's that research doesn't fund itself. The money doesn't come easily. I don't know if I am permitted to share what it costs to trial this drug on just one cat, but know that it's huge and more than most of us would even guess.
The real issue is getting a drug company to take it seriously...enough to agree to manufacture and market the drug(s). I'm referring to the one Luna is on now and the earlier one that is finished with testing that we can name, as it is now published: GC376.So, here they sit with two viable, tried and proven effective possibilities. If we really want to see this take off, then we all need to help make it happen. Instead of complaining that it's "taking too long" or that "not enough cats were given a shot at the trial", let's pull our financial resources and help make it happen. Visit my FIP page on this blog for all the ways that you can give.
Also keep in mind, there is always overhead when setting up a tax-deductible means of receiving donations. That said, www.zenbycat.org has only a 10% overhead; which is almost unheard of when fundraising. In addition to setting up a standing, monthly contribution on that site or one of the others that I've listed, there is also a shopping link with Amazon, www.smile.amazon.com where you can name your charity and choose "zenbycat".