The good news is that Bob is back home! My little chap is a fighter and responded well to steroids and I was able to collect him and bring him home late yesterday afternoon. I have to continue with the steroids this week and take him back at the end of next week for another blood test. Fingers crossed that he continues to respond well to the therapy.
I have been warned by the vet that even though Bob is doing so much better, that this is most likely lymphoma and seems to be the beginning of the end. Depending on the progress of the disease, and depending on Bob, he could last a few weeks, maybe shorter, maybe longer. It's hard to tell without invasive tests that I won't put him through. So the plan is to let Bob be my guide. I will respond to his needs and as long as he has quality of life then I will do everything in my power to make sure he is spoilt rotten and comfortable.
We have been together a long time and I know Bob will let me know when it's time. At the moment he is so pleased to be home. He has barely left my side and when I passed by his bed earlier today he was purring in his sleep. I am overjoyed to have him home and so glad that I didn't choose the option that is so final (which I was under pressure to do from a number of sources).
The hardest part of all of this has been having to put up with perhaps well intentioned people imposing their feelings and values on me about how I should feel. I felt like hitting a couple of people, one in particular who told me it must be easier on me as Bob was so old (Not at all, are we less upset when a loved aged relative dies or when a young person dies or is our grief linked to our love of the individual rather than chronological age?). A couple have given me the 'mad cat lady' look (I do know that my cat is not a child, but my compassion and love for something is not limited to things with two legs only) and a couple of people have even questioned my decision to try the steroids. I pose this question to them, how about if someone gave up on you if you became very ill, just because you were old? It made me angry that I was feeling completely devastated by the news and yet it felt like I had to justify my upset. So here it is: I love my cat. We have been together a long time, we have been through a lot. Bob is one in a billion and I am making the most of whatever time we have left together.