Saturday, February 04, 2017

One Year!

Merlin here!  Today is a very special day.  A day we never thought would happen.  One year ago today, on February 4, 2016, I was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma of the GI tract and spleen.  I was given one to three months to live.  Here I am a year later, defying all the odds and still going strong!



Just over a year ago (February 3rd), I was at the vet, being evaluated by the internal medicine service at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Small Animal Clinic.  I had been having loose stools and some blood and mucus in my stool, and occasionally vomiting some bile, so our primary care vet thought I had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  I was at OVC in order to confirm this diagnosis so I could be properly treated.

Merlin in the waiting room at the OVC Small Animal Clinic
They started with an abdominal ultrasound.  It showed that there was something wrong with my spleen, and that my lymph nodes throughout my abdomen were enlarged.  They tested my coagulation (since the spleen is important in blood coagulation), and then I was booked in for biopsies of the spleen and lymph nodes, to (or so we thought at the time), rule out cancer.  We all expected that I would be back at OVC the next day to have an endoscopy to confirm IBD.  I was in great physical shape, and other than the problems with my stool, that seemed to flare up when I was under stress, I was in perfect health!

Merlin after the biopsy - his skin is scabbed from the rubbing of the anaesthesia mask

They were able to get very good biopsies of both my lymph nodes and my spleen.  They sent the samples out to pathology to be tested.  The samples were good, they were clear, they were easily tested, and the results were very clear.  The pathology report was unequivocal.

So later that day on February 4th, 2016, we received the devastating news that I had an aggressive form of cancer:  large cell lymphoma of the spleen and GI tract.  I was given 1-3 months to live.  Chemo would only extend that by maybe a month.  Needless to say, we were all incredibly devastated.   My dad, who is my human, was overseas at the time, and we were very glad that he was going to be coming home for a couple of weeks leave very soon, before heading back overseas.  We thought that we were going to be saying goodbye.

Now here I am a year later, and I am still doing great!  Even my stool issues have cleared right up.  I only vomit if I eat too much cat grass.  While we certainly don't want to jinx it, it looks like I am currently in remission, something that is very common with small cell lymphoma, but is quite rare with large cell lymphoma.  I am very glad to be uncommon!  I am currently on prednisolone, but no other chemo.  I am still a solid Sphynx, with lots of muscle.  I still love to eat, I love to play, and I am enjoying life to the fullest.  We don't know how much longer I have, but we are enjoying every day.



Thank you all for your support, for your purrs, prayers, positive thoughts, and friendship.  It means so much to all of us that we have so many people caring about me.  Thank you my friends.

I honour of this very special anniversary, we are holding a comment-a-thon.  Every comment this post receives between now and 6 am on Monday February 6th, will lead to a donation of 50 cents to the OVC Pet Trust, which is working to find better therapies for pets and people!

84 comments

Harry Spotter said...

Way to go Merlin! You show cancer who the boss is. Looking forward to being friends with you for many years to come. Congratulations!

The Florida Furkids said...

We're sooooo happy that you are doing so well. We love you and hope you continue to do well for a LONG time!!!

The Florida Furkids

Kitties Blue said...

OMC...a whole year. This is the most meowvolous news. And you look fantastic. We all know that prayer works, and we are not going to stop saying them nor will we stop the POTP and purrs. We want to be here to celebrate year two with you. Keep going strong, Merlin. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly said...

So glad that you are doing well!!

Woods and Kisses!!

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

We came running right over as soon as we heard the good news! Congratulations on the anniversary, and we look forward to hearing more good news in the future...

Deb said...

Way to go Merlin! Live every day to the fullest, and keep up the good work!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello merlin its dennis the vizsla dog hay way to show that nasty lymfoma hoo is the boss!!! the boss is not it the boss is yoo!!! i luk forward to seeing yoo agin on the sekund annieversery of yore diagnosis and on the third and on the forth and so on!!! ok bye

Punapippuri said...

It's Veikko and Seppo here - we've stolen that hissy furry orange dude's account -ha! We just wanted to say how over the moon delighted we are to be commenting on this post today and celebrating you, Merlin, our HERO! No jinxes (or we'll have to run round the room three times to do the anti-jinx) so we are just going to say we are pleased your mighty muscular super-sphynx body is fighting those darn cells that no one wants ever. We watch your videos and are so impressed with your muscles - especially Seppo does as he's less muscly than me, Veikko.
we really don't like the sound of all those investigations and are mighty impressed how you coped, and you moved house and you didn't have your Daddy there to hug you all the time. But he's back and you're here and we are super delighted. We are going to feast wildly tonight in your honour. Hurrah!

meowmeowmans said...

That is such amazing and wonderful news, dear Merlin! We have been purring and praying, and will keep right on doing so. Here's to many more years of living. Stay strong, and know that we love you, pal. :)

Hugs!

Eva said...

Dearest Merlin, I am so happy, stay strong. I pray for you. Hugs

Gracie=^o.o^= said...

You are a miracle sweet one. I am so glad you are proving the doctors wrong. Stay strong and stay with us. <3

Millie and Walter said...

Congrats on beating the odds. One of our Angel Sisters had lymphoma but wasn't quite a lucky as you. She did enjoy 10 months with chemo that didn't bother her much. We hope you keep beating the odds!

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

Oh Merlin we think of you battling against all odds and to know you are still holding that nasty "C" at bay we could not be happier. This is a day for celebration -- celebration of life!
xoxoxoxo
Annabelle, Boo, Ping & Mr Jinx

Marilynn said...

How absolutely magnificent! A year ... super. You really showed them, that's for sure!

Love from all of us ~
Grace
Audace
Ruse
Marilynn

Brian said...

We are so very happy to help you celebrate such a wonderful anniversary Merlin. The humans don't know everything, even the Vet ones. We send you purrs and prayers every single day Merlin!

CRIZ LAI said...

It's great to hear that you are growing stronger each day against all odds as diagnosed by the vet~ Stay strong, healthy and happy always~ :)

Lots of love & purrs,
Criz Lai & the J Family Kitties (Janice, Jett, Jysen, Jimmy Jr & Mega J)

Mo and The Purries said...

Sending love and happiness to your family!

Cathy Keisha said...

Concats, Merlin! You know what? I still think you had an IBD flareup no matter what they say. Maybe they were reading someone else's films. Anyway I'm sending purrz and good wishes (and good fishes) that you stay in remission.

Sweet William The Scot said...

Merlin do you lift things up and then put things down to build that great muscle mass? Lookin Great Merlin ~ keep up the good work ~ and keep hanging in there.
Best Wishes
Sweet William The Scot

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

We are so happy to be leaving a comment on such a happy post! Good for you, Merlin, for defying the odds. We hope to be commenting again next year. (P.s. Paws up for raising money! )

Teri and her Cats ~ Coco the Couture Cat, Brighton, Disco NoFurNo and Kely said...

We shared and Tweeted and G+'d and Pinterested your post, cuz we are so very pleased to hear how you are in remission and look the picture of health! Your human takes very good care of you and we all love you very, very much! Rock On, Merlin!

Percy the Cat said...

That is fantastic news, Merlin!! We will keep purring for you :)

The Menagerie Mom said...

Hooray for our hero Merlin!

M. K. Clinton said...

That is terrific news! I hope that you continue on the path to wellness and joy. ♥

katsrus said...

I am glad your doing so well. Hugs to you.
Sue B

KitKat said...

We are very happy to hear you are doing so well Merlin! Happy Anniversary! That is such great news.
Best wishes,
Angel Normie, Angel Mika, Sasha & Grady Lewis

Marie Symeou said...

We are so pleased for you , Merlin!

Sending you lots of love and purrs xx

Athena and Marie

Flynn said...

Concats on a wonderful achievement, Merlin. I continue to purr for you and hope you will be celebrating again this time next year.

Dory and the Mama said...

Wahoovies!!!! We are so very happy to hear you are defying the odds Merlin and living each day to its fullest!!!
Concats!!!
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

onespoiledcat said...

Merlin you are a miracle boy and I couldn't be happier for you AND your family. It's wonderful you're still feeling good and going strong.....You look fabulous too. Mom and I believe that LOVE can make things happen that might not happen otherwise and YOU are certainly one VERY loved boy! Stay strong dear Merlin.

Love, Angel Sammy

Jans Funny Farm said...

We are positively thrilled that you are celebrating one full year with your family after the diagnosis. It certainly warrants a big celebration and it's nice of you to do a commentathon to help others.

Congratulations! We hope you have many, many more days to enjoy your family and vice versa.

Little Binky and Granny said...

Congratulations, Merlin. You are a true miracle and we are very happy for you and your peeps. Healing Pawkisses for a Happy and Healthy Weekend☺❤

The Swiss Cats said...

Yay Merlin ! You're fighting that naughty cancer like a lion ! We're so happy for you, let's celebrate ! Purrs

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

What a fantastic anniversary to be celebrating! We are so so so happy for you! We hope you have much much much more time with your family!

Marg said...

We are so so happy that you are doing so well Merlin. That is such good news. You keep up that good work.

Motor Home Cats - Cody and Gracie said...

Congratulations Merlin. We remember when you were adopted and are so glad that you have kicked cancer's butt. Enjoy Dragonheart, Devi, and your new sister. We can't wait to meet her also.

Love and purrs, Cody and Gracie

Caren Gittleman said...

Woooo hooooo!! Keep on keepin' on!! xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

The Daily Pip said...

Hurray! Merlin, we are so proud of you! You have an amazing spirit and we are proud to know you and wish you much good health and happy days ahead!

XOXOX
Ruby & Rosie

Hairballsandhissyfits.com said...

oh Merlin we are so glad you defied the odds! You are a remarkable cat!

Mickey's Musings said...

WooHoo!
We are so happy to hear this wonderful news!
It is great to make this 1 year milestone and we purr you keep
making milestones for a long time!
You are amazing Merlin :)
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Karen Jo said...

This is wonderful news, Merlin. Kick that cancer's butt and keep on enjoying life!

Karen Jo's cats

Andy McIntyre said...

Hurray for Merlin and congrats on kicking cancer's butt. <3 Shelly, Andy and Tater.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

Way to go Merlin !!!!! We are always so happy when we read a post that says Merlin HERE and we know you are still defying the odds. Keep it up buddy we love you and we are so happy you and your family got a miracle.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

dood...see....yea.....ewe noe what we meen....

we steeled a cell ewe lar dee vize sew ww could
commint bee for we iz bak at blogland.....conga ratz
two ewe N continmewed
blessingz frum R pal st francis.....heerz two another ten...
ewe can due it buddy♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️

Sasha said...

You are a brave kitty. We hope the cancer goes away completely and send you many purrs.

Sasha said...

You are a brave kitty. We hope the cancer goes away completely and send you many purrs.

The Island Cats said...

This is such good news, Merlin! Keep defying those odds!!

Mary McNeil said...

A wonderful day indeed !

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Congratulations!!! I love reading happy news and I will continue to pray for you daily. How sweet of you and your folks to have a commentathon to celebrate.XO

Angela Butz said...

So glad to hear the good news. Keep fighting the good fight. Purrayers for you and yours.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

You are such an inspiration, Merlin! Purring that your remission lasts for a very, very long time.

Team Beaglebratz with Lady Shasta said...

WAHOOZIEZ COOL DOOZIEZ!!!! Hey Merlin - U iz the MAN! U did meet that cancer-beest an'u beat it'z butt good! U just keep on what u iz duin.
CON-GRA-CHU-LA-SHUNZ!
Lady Shasta

Kaz's Cats said...

We're so happy that you're still here and loving life Merlin! Sending love and gentle purrs from kitties,

Buddy, Slash, and Karen (Mum)

Angie said...

Pawsome news! Always stay pawsitive. Doctors don't always have the final answer. It's in the hope and the knowing that everything will always work out the way it is supposed to. <3

Just Ducky said...

Concats on making it through a whole year. I am sure your humans are happy you are still here as well. We all need to live our lives like they might end soon. Me and mum hope you have many days ahead of you.

LP said...


That truly is great news Merlin! We bet you and your humans are equally happy that you are healthy, happy and thriving! Life can't get any better than that :D Here's to many more years of good health, sweetie.

the critters in the cottage xo

Marty the Manx said...

Merlin we send you POTP every night when we say our prayers :) We are so happy that you are defying the big C and are here with your Mom and Dad one year post diagnosis. Keep going strong friend!
Luvs
Marty and the Gang

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

KhonKhats!

Here's to another purrrrrfekht year!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: If woo need any fur, I khan surely send some!

www.shelter-cats.com said...

Dear Merlin,
Keep defying the odds, stay strong, and enjoy life!
Very best wishes on this wonderful anniversary from
Maggie, Mickey Mouser and Rufus the Red

Sabina Ayne said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary!! You're a very strong kitty and we hope you'll continue on for a very long time!!

Sweet Purrfections said...

We are so happy that you've had all of this time and you've improved. Offering continued purrs for a longer quality life. So glad to have you back blogging again.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

This is the best news ever. We're sending out best for a purrectly happy and healthy year xoxo

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

Congratulations Merlin! We are so happy that you are doing so well!

Seasonal Changes said...

Hi Merlin, Dragonheart, Devi and the mom! We're so pleased to hear that you are doing well, Merlin! It has been such a long time since the blogging days of Jake and Bathsheba. Life is precious; enjoy every day.

Love, Nancy, Little Nicky, and Henry David

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

Merlin, you are a miracle kitty! I'm so happy for you and your humans that you are doing so well! And how generous of you to do a commenthon! Happy purrs to you!

Jeanne Pursell said...

Wow! Congratulations Merlin! We are so pleased to hear you are doing ok! Stay strong. Sending healing hugs!

Gattina said...

These are great news ! Maybe all these vets were wrong and you are in full health again ! Vomiting my 4 cats do on a regular base, that's just to clean their stomach after eating grass. Anyway you look in perfect health !

Hannah and Lucy said...

We are delighted to hear that you are doing well Merlin - we often think about you all.

alohahelper said...

You go, MERLIN! Sending you lots of purrs and love from Hawaii.

Pumpkin
Tiger
Sophie
Willy

alohahelper said...

You go, MERLIN! Sending you lots of purrs and love from Hawaii.

Pumpkin
Tiger
Sophie
Willy

Ann Adamus said...

Hip, hip, hooray ... we're late for your special day ...
but still sending BIG LOVE your way.
Keep on purring, we're with you (and those vets just don't know everything now, do they!)

amy linderman said...

what a swweetie!!

Cleopawtra said...

Happy Anniversary! We will be purring and praying for you on your continuing fight. We love you naked kitties.

Amanda S. said...

You are amazing Merlin! Keep fighting the good fight. I'm sure you have some very happy peepul because you continue to thrive.

Buckwheat

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette said...

Merlin, you are truly a great magician! This is one of the loveliest posts we have ever read. We are so happy for every day you have brought joy to your family and all of us around the world, and we are so happy that you are once again part of our lives!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

Purrs,
The Chans

Nikkibelle said...

My 15 year old orange tabby was just diagnosed with lymphoma. He is currently comfortable on his medications and SQ fluids we give at home. I don't know how long we have with him, but every day is a gift. So glad you are defying all the odds! I hope we are as lucky!

Seville at Nerissa's Life said...

Merlin, I can't tell you how happy your pals are that you're still here with us. And if your pals are happy, imagine how your peeps must feel? I BET THEY'RE OVER THE MOON WITH JOY!!! You are a very special kitty, my friend, and we all want you to be with us for many years to come.

Purrs,
Seville

Idaho PugRanch said...

this is soo wonderful Merlin, we hope we will be celebrating again next year with you!
hugs
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

alohahelper said...

You go, MERLIN! Sending you lots of purrs and love from Hawaii.

Pumpkin
Tiger
Sophie
Willy

Gidget BlueSky said...

we iz a ha-pee fur yoo

edie said...

I'm glad you're beating the odds, Merlin. Sending good thoughts. 💖 😃

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

This post MADE. MY. DAY. Okay, it MADE. MY. YEAR. Congratulations, sweetheart. You are a fighter and I admire you. Bear and I send our love and our wishes for continued health :)

M Dawson said...

I am amazed, and so grateful for your good health. *wipes away happy tears *

Merlin - I can only imagine the worry that gripped your families hearts as they got the diagnosis, but here you are one year later. Thank you Universe!

I send my best love and wishes for a successful commentathon and contued good health!

dezizworld.com said...

A meowsy big ConCats Merlin. We're thrilled you be defyin' da odds. Big hugs fur all.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Raena