Yep, lymphoma, as in the cancerous kind.
But the doc can't be sure becuase she's not showing it in all of her lymph nodes, just the ones in the back, so he wants to bring her in for major surgery so he can cut one of those nodes out of her and verify. For double what we've already spent on her in three days of vet visits. So that, if they diagnose it as positive for lymphoma, we can put her on some kind of drug therapy and maybe have another six months or a year with her, best case scenario.
And we really don't like that idea. Putting aside the idea that we'd only have another YEAR with her in the best of worlds (cuz I'm not ready to face up to that quite yet), it's not just because it's a money thing - so many things can go wrong on an operating table, and she's older, and she's already had weird reactions to things (they STILL can't explain what's wrong with her leg - like they have ABSOLUTELY no idea, and no suggestions for ideas ... and again we wonder, if we do so much animal testing, why the fuck don't we know more about animals???). And what if it's IBS and not lymphoma at all and we could've just fixed that with a hypoallergenic diet? And not cutting into our cat?? So we don't know what we're going to do, not on the medical front.
On the home front, we know we're going to pamper her and love her and not squeeze her (but only because she doesn't like that). She's taken to sleeping in between us on the bed for the last two days, and I don't know about Neil but I woke up multiple times in the night to check and make sure she was still ok and still there, and she gave me a little quiet purr in response. Whatever happens she's still our baby. And that's the most important part.