We went to the vet today. We had some x-rays, some blood tests. Blood is fine. Full spectrum coming soon may reveal more. Weight is down. Ultra-sound is coming Wednesday to provide clearer details of what was preliminarily evident on film. It could be cancer, and even if it's not, I see no way that the other possibility will have a good outcome either, as Katrina has been sick longer than just a few days.
This is what the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has to say about it:
Acute pancreatitis can be a severe, life-threatening illness with many complications.
Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time and usually resolves.
Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by gallstones or by drinking too much alcohol, but these aren't the only causes. If alcohol use and gallstones are ruled out, other possible causes of pancreatitis should be carefully examined so that appropriate treatment — if available — can begin.
Chronic pancreatitis does not resolve itself and results in a slow destruction of the pancreas. Either form can cause serious complications. In severe cases, bleeding, tissue damage, and infection may occur. Pseudocysts, accumulations of fluid and tissue debris, may also develop. And enzymes and toxins may enter the bloodstream, injuring the heart, lungs, and kidneys, or other organs.
Needless to say, I hope no one (else?) I know ever gets this. Anyone in Kansas City (or other places currently hosting / have hosted a Bodies Revealed exhibit) who has gone and looked, as I have, at the blown-up and tumerous pancreata, livers, colons and such, will already be thinking about these inevitable deteriorations and failures.
I think Katrina came to us to teach us to stop drinking.
But if she's dying, that's going to be really hard to do.
Even if she is 12 and not seven like the other veterinarian who shall remain nameless (and who has retired, so don't worry) estimated when we first got her off the streets and fixed her up from leporous flea scabs and said "you can live with us even if you shed all the time and make T. crazy when she cleans, because G. always wanted a cat, and you are small and sweet and magically already fully declawed and could care less that there are six birds in the house and just want to be warm all the time, sit on laps or in the sun, and you came at the time when my grandmother had died and have always done that cool sympathetic-animal thing when I'm feeling bad."
And now I'm feeling really bad.