Some News + Updates

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Well, this is a post I thought I would never write. To say that my heart broke after receiving this news is an understatement. We were so excited to bring Sketchie home from the vet last week. As you may recall, he had exploratory surgery in an effort to determine his health issues (see this post for more info). I was convinced that he had IBD. To be honest, I was second-guessing our decision to proceed with the surgery. Would it even help him? Was it worth it to put him through all of this? I felt so unsure and conflicted.

Eric picked him up from the vet last week and I stayed back to finish up some work. He was gone a really long time which I thought was unusual. When I heard the door open I yelled, “Sketchieeee!!” like I always do in a high-pitched voice whenever I see him after being out. I ran down the stairs to greet them both and stopped in my tracks when I saw the look on Eric’s face. I knew something was terribly wrong.

After seeing Eric fight back tears I could only get out “what’s wrong?” in a choked up voice.

“Sketchie has lymphoma.”

I just collapsed into Eric’s arms. Completely lost it. The whole day was like one long nightmare. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. Even though the vet mentioned lymphoma might be a possibility, I thought “not Sketchie”. Eric explained that it’s small cell lymphoma (in his intestines) which apparently has a decent chance of responding to the treatment. I kept reading things online that treatment could help them live a few years (a few years?, I’d wail) and then I had to just stop reading about it. It was too much to process.

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To make matters worse, Sketchie was still in a fair amount of pain, totally not himself and unsettled. Seeing the 15+ staples in his shaved belly was hard. It was a really difficult few days, but we gave him so much love and attention to try to help him feel better. His eyes looked so sad, obviously not knowing what the heck happened to his body. I’m so grateful though that the surgery went well without any complications.

So here we are a week and a half later still grappling with the news and trying to figure out what course of treatment we’re going to take. If anything, I’m so grateful that we were able to get the exploratory surgery to determine the root cause of his digestive issues and low B12. And that we caught it early. Knowledge is power!

I just want to thank you for thinking of Sketchie over the past couple weeks. Many of you left lovely comments and tweets and it really means a lot to me. I’d love to hear from those of you who might have had a similar experience with your pet and what treatment options you used. Right now, we’re open to exploring our options while keeping in mind his quality of life, above all.

The good news is that Sketchie is recovering well from his surgery! He’s a trooper! After 4-5 days, he seemed much more like himself. His appetite is back which is reassuring because he lost a lot of weight over the past 6 months. The spark in his eyes is back. Today he gets his staples out which I’m nervous about, so I hope it goes well and he’s not too traumatized by going back there so soon.

He’s still a young cat (7 years), so I’m hoping he will respond well to treatment. I know this one is not going down without a fight.

Now go on and hug your pets for me, will you?

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Updates:

In lighter news, I wanted to thank you for your incredible comments on my Cookbook Launch & Sneak Peek Post this week. I was on cloud nine all week seeing your tweets, Facebook messages, and comments come in. It really helped cheer me up and take my mind off things.

Newsletter:

I sent out the second cookbook newsletter yesterday, so be sure to check your spam box because they have a tendency to end up there. If you still haven’t received any newsletters yet, please add “newsletter@ohsheglows.com” to your email contact list to ensure that you get future newsletters. That should do the trick! If you’d like to read the 2nd newsletter in the meantime, you can do so on my book page (it’s linked near the bottom of the page).

New OSG Virtual Cookbook Blog Tour Reviews:

Check out these new reviews and don’t forget to enter the giveaways!

Dreena @ Plant Powered Kitchen (review, recipe, giveaway)

Kate @ Cookie + Kate (review, recipe)

Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog (review, recipe, giveaway)

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies! (review, recipe, giveaway)

Kathy @ Healthy Happy Life (review, recipe)

Cadry @ Cadry’s Kitchen (review, recipe, giveaway)

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan (review, recipe, giveaway)

Nicole @ A Dash of Compassion (review, recipe, giveaway)

Livvy @ 86 Lemons (review, recipe, giveaway)

Ashley @ {Never} home maker (review, recipe, giveaway)

Emily @ Daily Garnish (review, recipe, giveaway)

Sarah @ The Sweet Life (review, recipe, giveaway)

Jess @ Get Sconed (review, interview)

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Canada AM:

Lastly, I had two fun TV appearances this week. The first one was Tuesday morning on Canada AM. I somehow managed to get through LIVE TV without passing out. hah. You can find the link to watch the video at the bottom of my book page. Thanks to my friend Karly for the screenshot above!

Steven and Chris:

The second appearance was a taping for the Steven and Chris show. It was also a total blast! We made my Empowered Noodle Bowl with Orange-Maple Miso Dressing. I don’t have an official air date yet, but I will let you know as soon as I find out. It should be within the next week or two. I hear that it’s syndicated on the Live Well Network in the US, so hopefully those of you in the US can watch it online as well.

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[a couple behind the scenes photos from Steven and Chris. Thanks to Ange for the bottom photo!]

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Thank you again for making this week one I won’t soon forget. Have a great weekend!

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{ 297 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim March 8, 2014

How can something so tragic be so beautifully written?

Sending prayers (if wanted), thoughts,and hugs your way.

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Jackie March 11, 2014

Hi Angela and Eric,

I’m not much of a person who comments on Blogs; I have enjoyed yours so much I feel obligated… news of Sketchie was a shock. Your life/ Blog seems so much of an idyll to me, I check in to get a shot in the arm. To learn what you are facing, well, I feel obligated to be supportive.

I saw three of my beloved kitties through cancer. Hell- I’ve had it myself: breast cancer. Diagnosed at only 33, so you can imagine. At 54, I am still here, so I am a veteran of a sad war.

As far as the kitties, one of my beloved, Cosmo, a darling fluffy gray cat- had a brain tumor. It filled up the whole MRI: my husband and I had to look at the image of it in disbelief and horror; IT WAS SO BIG. We elected to do whatever treatment was available, no matter the cost. We LOVED THAT CAT SO MUCH… it was never about the expense, but I can tell you, we made him suffer disproportionately for the amount of time he survived… I still feel guilty. My best advice: be prepared to let go. Sketchie will count on you to know when. If you make certain his quality of life remains equitable for however long, you will have done your best by him.

My best to you during this difficult period,

Jackie

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Holly March 8, 2014

Hi Angela,
I am so sorry to hear about Sketchie. We are going through the same thing right now with our cat Ridley and do not know if she has lymphoma or IBD as well. We have been treating her with prednisolone, tylosin, and I give her B12 shots every week. She has been responding amazingly but the vet told us if it is lymphoma, she will start to become symptomatic again in the next few months. My cat and dog are so special to me so I understand what you are going through. I truly help he responds well to treatment too. Pawsitive thoughts :)
Holly

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Susan March 9, 2014

I am so very sorry to hear about Sketchie, I just, the other day watched that video of him and his new cute friend and thought how lucky, he accepted this baby so graciously. I sit here surrounded by my 3 cats, one who is hanging on by a thread … I share the sadness of having to deal with the pain of something so wonderful, hurting and sadly it happens.
Sending you healing thoughts .

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Janet March 9, 2014

I’m sorry to hear about Sketchie. My friend forwarded your post to me. My 15 year old cat was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma in Nov. 2013 (she had an endoscopy which confirmed lymphoma vs. IBD). She gets B12 monthly, predisolone daily and chlorambucil (chemo) 3x week. Plus I have her on supplements. She’s been tolerating chemo well (I was told cats do better than dogs & people) Its a pill that I give. She normally weighs 12lbs was down to 7-1/2, now she’s 8lbs with a good appetite now. It’s been a slow, rough road, but I’m optimistic we’re going into remission. I was told she will always need chemo & pred, this cancer isn’t “cured” only managed for a good quality of life. They can still lead a happy life, stay positive and enjoy each day with him.

Heads up with food, be prepared to open a few different kinds of wet at each feeding until you find one he will eat. Gravy ones now work best with my cat. What he eats today he may not tomorrow (I feed the ferals with the leftover food) , what his favorite was may not be again. As he gets better, feeding should get easier but it’s a new normal.

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Fit Missy March 8, 2014

I’m sorry about Sketchie!

As a cat lover and owner it’s so sad when these things happen. :(

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kerry LC March 8, 2014

Angela,

When I was in grade school I was given my very first cat, Butterscotch. He was the center of my universe. When he was only 1 year old, my mom took him to the vet for a checkup. When she came home, she had the very same sad look on her face you described on your husband’s. I was only 9 and she had to deal with explaining to her daughter that my very first animal was going to go through treatment because of a tumor in his lungs. I think my mom knew how important Butterscotch was to me, so she went ahead and agreed to his treatments. Basically, once a month he would go to the vets to get his lungs pumped, because the tumor allowed fluid to build up inside them. Every month he’d come home with a little patch of fur on both sides of his ribcage shaved off. I still delighted to see him every time, and I would pet him and smoother him with love to get him to feel better about what he was going through. Sure, he was just a cat, but he was my first possession I loved and cared for at such a young age.

The hardest part was watching him get weaker and sicker with his treatments. We gave him pills each day, and he began to travel with us on vacation so I could get the most time with my cat while he was still healthy enough. My mom really did a great service keeping me him alive and letting me understand what sickness was, I had to deal with it at a young age with him.

The day will come they can’t fight the battle much longer — my day came unexpectidly when he came home from a treatment and he was just so weak he collapsed when he came home. I fortunately didn’t see it happen, but my mom wanted to do something special to commemorate him. We buried him in my front yard, and we planted tulips each spring for him. I swore, Tulips were his favorite. The first year, the tulips all came up yellow, just like his name referred to the color of the stripes on his forehead.

Pets are family members, so I understand how much it hurts. Just enjoy his company and continue to create lasting memories. He’ll always be with you — trust me, I am 25 years old now, and I still fondly remember Butterscotch, and the role he played for me as a young child. :) Sketchie is a part of your blog, and will forever be a part of your experience. You are so fortunate for this <3

I bought your cookbook for my birthday present (arrived yesterday, and tomorrow is my bday). I relate to your journey very closely, and you've saved my life, Angela. Thank you for everything you do.

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nichole March 8, 2014

Sending positive vibes!!!!

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Lia @ Luscious Living March 8, 2014

I’m so so sorry to hear about Sketchy. All of you will be in my heart as he goes through treatment and gets better. These things happen and it’s all about how we react and all we can give. We all love Sketchy. Tell him were thinking about him. It’s supposed to help with healing when they know. Otherwise, congrats on your TV appearances. That’s really cool and it’s awesome to see you progress to that level!! So many hugs.

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Courtney March 8, 2014

I’m sending positive vibes your way. As a cat mom to five cats, a few of which have had heath scares, I understand what you are going through.

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Erin @ Erin's Inside Job March 8, 2014

I have read about Sketchie for so long and feel like he’s my cat too! This almost made me cry. I am not a huge cat fan, but he is just so pretty! The pictures you take of him are amazing. I’m so sorry that you (and he) are going through this and I wish you nothing but the best. :)

Also on a lighter note, after months of waiting, my Oh She Glows cookbook should be here today! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…

Thanks for all your positivity throughout the years and the difference you have made in so many people’s lives.

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Traveling Cats March 8, 2014

You’re taking such good care of Sketchie, so he’ll have a good chance to beat his lymphoma with your help. You’re a good person; this post proves that.

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Hannah Rose March 8, 2014

Hi Angela,

First off, wanted to send my well wishes to Sketchie, he seems like a smart and determined little critter that can fight off anything, so I have a good feeling he’ll perceiver. Sending all my wishes your way!

Also – your cookbook is FANTASTIC! what a beautiful book that you should be so proud to have made. You inspire me every day to reach for my dreams of starting my own healthy blog. Hopefully one day in the future I can help advertise your next cookbook :)

Hannah

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Julia March 8, 2014

So sorry to hear the Sketchie news. I’ll be sending positive thoughts to you all.
I ordered 4 of your cookbooks – copy for me and the rest for friends. The order arrived Wednesday! Big excitement!
I immediately made the Vegan Overnight Oats recipe. Love it. It was funny to then see you on CanadaAM making the same thing! Thanks for posting the link – I live in the US so would never have seen the segment otherwise.
Best of luck, with everything xx

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Lee March 8, 2014

I’m so sorry about Sketchie’s diagnosis. I hope he beats it!

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Hannah March 8, 2014

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this! As a cat momma my heart goes out to your family. I know it’s incredibly difficult, but it’s nice to hear that Sketchie is starting to act like himself again. Getting that normalcy back should help things emotionally! Also, he looks super handsome in his bandana!

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mary March 8, 2014

Hey there! First time posting on your site – I read it everyday and can’t wait to get your cookbook!

I’m really so sorry about Sketchie – that is hard news to take. I am a veterinarian at a local shelter -unfortunately we see this too often. Feel free to contact me if I can help in any way – questions about lymphoma, treatment, etc. He is a handsome man – sending him lots of love from NY!
-Mary

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Bird March 8, 2014

This story is so shocking, I wish you so much strength to handle everything well and to enjoy the good days with him!

Love from Germany and the fatcatconnection
lasagnolove.blogspot.de
Bird

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Carole March 8, 2014

Hugs to you and Sketchie – it’s always the hardest thing to see pets suffer :( he sounds like a fighter thought!! I received your book this week and I’m so excited to dive in :)

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Kerry Cloud-Pitt March 8, 2014

I am holding Sketchie in the light of health, peace, and comfort through this. And, from one cat mama to another, sending you and your husband strength.

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Olivia @ Liv Lives Life March 8, 2014

It’s so hard when pets are sick. It’s awful not knowing exactly how to help him, but it sounds like you and Eric are giving him all the love and comfort he needs. I hope everything turns out for the best! Keep us updated!

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Sharon March 8, 2014

I received your book yesterday. Couldn’t be more excited. I have a “dog daughter” and I would be devastated. Wishing healthy thoughts to sketchie.

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Amanda March 8, 2014

My heart feels heavy for Sketchie. Our pets are like our children. They fill us with happiness, fun,frustration and love. Just like people. I will send many kitty prayers your way. Just remember that no matter what happens, Sketchie knows you love him and you have given him a wonderful life. Let’s hope he has many more years to enjoy that love. Keep your chin up and snuggle the heck out of that beautiful Sketchie.

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char eats greens March 8, 2014

I’m hoping someone can offer so suggestions for Sketchie. Poor guy!! You make me miss having a cat, so if we had one, I would so be cuddling them up right now!

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michelle March 8, 2014

Sorry about your sweet kitty. I will pray that you find a solution to help him.

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kris March 8, 2014

Sending positive vibes to Sketchie!!

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Anni S March 8, 2014

I am so sorry! One of my own beloved kitties, Rory, was diagnosed with lymphoma a few years ago, but in his liver. We went through with the treatments (what basically amounted to chemotherapy for cats), and the treatments did help. Cats don’t lose their hair during this kind of treatment like people do, but one side effect is that their whiskers start to fall out (but they will grow back). While treatments were obviously not super fun, Rory never stopped being a happy, active kitty, and was not suffering.

I’m not sure where you’re based out of, but Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ is where I took my cat for his treatments, and they have the best, most competent and caring staff, and the most comprehensive treatment options of anywhere else I looked into.

If you need any advice, or just someone to talk to who’s been through this before, please feel free to email me. Here’s a website that offers a lot of advice and support as well: http://felinelymphoma.org/cms/

Best of luck!

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } March 8, 2014

I adopted two kitten brother that both had Feline AIDS years ago so I have a LOT of experience with kitty medical drama. My heart aches for you right now! I’ll keep you all in my thoughts.

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Lindsay March 8, 2014

Oh my. Hugs to all of you! Pet illnesses are just the WORST because there’s no way to possibly explain to them what is going on. Ugh. I’m just so sorry you guys and Sketchie have to go through this. Wishing you all the best. I’ll go hug on my Finnigan now and not put him down even when he rubs his kitty chicken breath mouth all over my face.

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Sera March 8, 2014

Hi Angela, I’m really sorry to hear about Sketchie! I have a cat myself, and I know how devastating it would feel to hear such news. Really hope he will respond well to the medication. Take care!

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Baby June March 8, 2014

Oh no! So sorry to hear about your cat! Hopefully cookbook success will help lift you guys up–success which is totally well-deserved. I’ll probably buy the cookbook too, it looks beautiful and delicious. Your readers are here for you!

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Anne March 8, 2014

Awwww…. poor little Sketchie, I’m sorry, such a pretty cat. I know you’ll take excellent care of him and he’ll be okay. Sending positive thoughts….

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Lousi March 8, 2014

So sorry to hear about Sketchie! That is so sad. My thoughts are with you.

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The Vegan 8 March 8, 2014

Angela, I teared up reading this. I am so truly sorry to hear this about Sketchie. I know exactly how you feel, as one of my previous cats, “Star” had lymphoma and I was devastated. It was very hard to see him in pain, but I did as you did…showed him tons of love, all that I could give. He knew he was loved. I’ll be praying for Sketchie.

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Amanda - RunToTheFinish March 8, 2014

I was just stopping by today to say thank you for all you’ve done over the last 7 years I’ve been reading and am really sorry to hear this!! I truly remember when I started blogging 7 years ago and reading about your little adorable kitten. A few years back we had to put to sleep my 3 year old cat and it was heart breaking, I know people say they are just a pet…but they aren’t, they are more.

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Amanda March 8, 2014

Oh Angela, I can only imagine what you must be going through with Sketchie. I get choked up even thinking about my dogs getting sick. My parents lost two cats recently to cancer. One to intestinal cancer and another to squamous cell carcinoma (which is a very sad, very fast-moving jaw/facial cancer). Unfortunately, by the time they caught the intestinal cancer and did surgery, it had already metastasized. It’s so good that you were able to find the lymphoma early. I don’t know what treatment is like for that, but I’m sending lots of healing thoughts to you and Sketchie.

Cancer is so common in pets now, and apparently starts showing up around 6 years+ according to the vets we use. Beyond feeding them the best quality food possible and doing regular check-ups, I’d definitely be interested in other forms of prevention. Keep us updated and give Sketchie some extra snuggles. xoxo

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Sarah March 8, 2014

*hugs* I am so sorry about Sketchie. While I don’t have any experience with my kitties and serious diseases, I did lose my gorgeous tom cat Samwise this past summer to a pkd (poor kitty decision) when he tried crossing a road in the dark. He was 6 going on 7 and my little baby boy. I am one kitten away from being the krazy kat lady and still have two of his sisters, his mom and a non-related girl cat that’s the same age as the “kids”. I will give them hugs and tell them to think purry thoughts for Sketchie. many people may not understand the love we humans can have for our kitty kids, but their personalities are so individual and unique it’s what has lead me to change my life style to strive for a vegan life. I see the personalities in all animals now… and it’s hard to want to eat something that is adorable and loving.

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Sarah March 8, 2014

You know my heart is with you, girl. <3
Watched the clip–you did fabulously!

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Annaliese March 8, 2014

Pets are like family. I can relate to your story, on some level. When I was in middle school, our much-loved family cat (Mr. Butterfingers, or Fingers for short) disappeared for 10 days. We started to search for him after 7, and we finally found him. He had a broken leg, his tail was non-functional, and it was pretty apparent that he was hit by a car (and left by the person who did it).

After an intense vet trip and two surgeries, we could see and feel that Mr. Fingers had enough. We made the painful decision to amputate his leg. The risk for infection, and hurting him by trying to keep him a “normal” cat was too high. We were all scared: would he be the same cat? Would be be able to do the cat-like things he loved with only 3 legs?. We kept our faith in Fingers, our Vets, and decided to go through with it.

Seeing him the first time was hard. But we were so very lucky that he survived the entire trauma, and we truly felt like we did the right thing. After a few days, he was successfully on-the-mend. It was a learning process for our whole family, and it really made us appreciate our Mr. Fingers. He adapted quickly to his new body, and was soon the same tabby cat we all knew and loved…he even developed successful methods to scurry up trees, catch mice, and do the “normal cat things”. We all respected Fingers…he earned his stars!

My point is that in the end, it is imperative to do what is best for the little guy, like any “human” family member. Cats are strong, stubborn creatures, and will adapt with grace to almost any situation with the right nourishment, time and love! You can get through this-and the right path will be made apparent in time…you are already in-tune with your kitty, so listening to him, your vet, and your hearts is the most important part now! Stay strong, and positive! Sending good thoughts your way!

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Amber Lynn March 8, 2014

I’m so sorry to hear the news about Sketchie. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you all the best. I cried when I read the news. I don’t know him, but I love all animals dearly. He is in good hands.

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen March 8, 2014

I’m so sorry about Sketchie! I’ve never had a pet but I know they are like family to their owners, so I know how hard this must be. I’ll be keeping him in my thoughts and hoping treatment goes well for the little guy!

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty March 8, 2014

I’m always reading but never commenting – but today it was needed.

I’m so sorry about sketchie – my hearts broken for you guys. Thinking about you.

Jessica

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Sue Driscoll March 8, 2014

Oh, Angela! I feel you. I have two bengals, both 10. One of them has had every rare disease you can possibly imagine and, beyond veterinary intervention, I swear I’ve been able to will him to stay alive. The other one was always the healthy ox until last summer when I found a lump in his abdomen. We had it removed and they came back with a subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma prognosis and a 6-month survival rate if I didn’t do anything. I was not willing to go through chemo, so I looked up as much homeo stuff that I could. Started giving him bindweed extract which supposedly prevents new blood vessels to form which tumors need. So far so good. I’m not saying that this would work for Sketchie, just to be open to alternative methods. I wish you and your furball the best…

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