allisones
Hello all.

I'm writing here about my beautiful kitty Greta, who was just last month diagnosed with small cell lymphoma in her liver. She has been sick for a little over six months and we initially treated her symptoms as a liver infection with rounds of antibiotics. When it was clear that the antibiotics were not changing anything or making her better, we opted to get a liver biopsy done. The result of that biopsy was the cancer diagnosis. Acting on the advice of a feline oncologist we decided to try chemotherapy, since small cell lymphoma is considered treatable with the right protocol. 

It has been about a month since we started treating Greta with chemo injections and steroids and today, I got the devastating news that her liver values had actually gotten worse. The oncologist advised me that we were quickly running out of options, since the protocol we were using was considered intensive and was producing results that were making Greta worse. She did offer to try one more week of a larger dose of the chemo but, after thinking about it and consulting with her more, I've decided to not put Greta through a more intense dose of chemo. It hasn't worked for the last month and her liver is already compromised. I was told the chemo could make her liver even worse. 

Essentially, my beautiful girl is dying of liver disease. She has not yet lost her appetite and even gained weight over the last month. She has been just as affectionate and eating well this entire time. So, I've decided to instead focus on her quality of life. We are still administering steroids, since the oncologist recommended we keep her on that and Denamarin tablets but as for chemo treatment, I don't want to put her through that if we are just going to arrive at the same point. I'd rather her feel as good as possible for as long as possible.

I don't know if this is the "right" choice but I have already pledged to her and to myself that the second she starts to take a turn for the worse (not eating, hiding, acting strangely) I will take her in to be examined and not prolong her suffering. This is so hard. On October 11, I lost my other cat, Thelma quite suddenly to kidney failure. I thought my heart was completely broken. Turns out, with this news, it can still break even more. 

Does anyone have any experience with stopping chemotherapy? Or liver lymphoma in a cat? Or even any advice at all? I feel lost and sad and I want to be able to enjoy the time I have with her. I never thought I'd have to grieve again so soon. 
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CK1991
I think you have made the absolute right decision. If the chemo keeps damaging Greta's liver she will lose the battle anyway but will have suffered more in the process and I know you love her too much to let that happen. I'm so sorry for the pain you are in but please pat yourself on the back for showing what real love is all about: putting the needs of your beloved pet first even though it will be so very hard for you. Extra hugs to you, CK
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allisones
Thank you for your words CK. I know in my heart that I want Greta to feel as comfortable as she can before the end. I also know that no decision I make will feel completely right but I have to do what's best for her. Thank you again.
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whiskeysmom
You might want to try some holistic therapies..I was going to take that approach with my cat, but he slid downhill so fast..

There's a tea you can make, called Essiac..it's 4 herbs. You can get them from amazon or other places for about $40.  I've also read stories of people having good results from turmeric capsules (anti-inflammatory), and salmon oil. 

I ordered the herbs to make Essiac but Whiskey was going too far downhill and I never got a chance to use them. I also ordered "Essiac for Pets"..capsules..google alternative cat cancer therapies, and there's a lot of info out there.
SW
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allisones
Thanks Whiskeysmom. I have been reading about holistic treatment and I even approached my oncologist about it. She seemed to think that it wasn't tested and might not be good for Greta. However, that's not unusual for western medicine; there is a distrust of holistic medicine. I may talk to my regular vet about treatments or supplements i can give her. I will investigate more. Thank you. And I'm truly sorry for your loss. Hugs to you.
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whiskeysmom
Hi, you never came back after that post..how is your baby?
SW
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allisones
Hi Whiskeysom,

I'm just seeing your message. It is heartbreaking to say that just 3 1/2 months later, my Greta girl crossed the bridge. She wasn't really responding to anything but had still been doing ok during most of that time. She was eating and seemed content, if tired. Then suddenly, over about three days, she started getting sicker and sicker and we had to make the heart wrenching choice to help her rest. I am heart broken and will always love and miss her. 
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whiskeysmom
Oh no!! I am so so so sorry. My heart is breaking for you. I hope our 2 babies find each other. WHiskey is the best boy in the world and would make an excellent guide.

I'm crying for both of us. Many many hugs!
SW
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gizmomybaby
My boy has a nasel tumour , was to get pts nearly 2 years ago the next day , a took him to a holistic vet ,I reaserched everything about dog cancer online , I gave him rik Simpson cannabis oil , omega 3 , green tea a table spoon made up in his food , corpet an immune booster, changed his diet to all organic and applied castor oil to his nose where tumour was , I also do him a liver cleanse which is castor oil heated up poured on 100% cotton cloth and put it on his body where liver is rap cling film on it , its ment to draw out the toxins, the green tea alkalizes the body x research everything you can x good luck al pray for her x blessings
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jeffreyburcham
I lost my beloved Satin Marie on June 1, 2017 after her battle with Mast Cell tumors, which were removed once before in August of 2015. I was told then that they could come back. They did, in the summer of 2016 but her vet wasn't concerned at that time. By October though, when she went in for her annual checkup, the tumor was now much larger, in the left inguinal are. It was too large for the vet to surgically remove because of the amount of tissue and where it was located. I didn't want to put her through that, not again. We were referred to the University of Missouri Cancer Care Center in Wentzville, Mo and since the tumor had outstripped its blood supply, it had become necrotic and was awful smelling, so her Oncologist started her on steroids and antibiotics. By February 2017, we began the radiation and chemo treatments, along with the steroids still. She also started her on a probiotic, which never did help. her liver enzymes eventually went up and she was becoming anemic.  She got sick May 4th and I took her to her vet who kept her overnight. She was dehydrated and that's when they discovered the elevated liver enzymes. She came home May 5th and all was well. She went to what would have been her final chemo treatment on May 8th but her Oncologist decided against it since she was still a little sick. They sent us home with two bags of Ringers Lactate to give to her to help her dehydration. She was fine after that.

By May 12th, she was doing so much better, I called the Oncologist to let her know. Who knew that a mere 12 days later she would take a turn for the worse. On memorial day, two days prior, she had a slip/fall on our basement stairs and was in our basement on a rug for Lord only knows how long, at the very least, three hours since I went to bed that morning at 5:00am and found her around 8:45 am. 

On May 31, 2017 my wife and I decided I should take her to the Animal ER near us, even though I knew this was coming and had made an appointment with her regular vet for June 2, 2017. At 12:08am on June 1, 2017, I said my final goodbye to my precious Angel Puppy, she was in so much pain, bloated belly, no appetite, barely able to walk. her final day though was a good one spent at the puppy day spa and cheeseburgers and love and attention, all she so richly deserved. I am still crying for her as she was so much more special to me, more than the other three who preceded her and more than my three boys still here. Why? Because you would have had to have met Satin Marie. We got her as a puppy and she was with us for a little over 11 years. I was with her a lot of that time, especially since last October. I was fortunate to have been off work (still am) due to a knee replacement done October 2016. I cherish each and every day I was able to be with her during the difficult time of her treatments. She loved those truck rides to the clinic though and those memories, they will always be with me, as will she.

I read these posts by caring and loving people and know I am not alone. It helps, trust me. I just wish I would have found this place sooner, it really would have helped me then as far back as 2008 when I had to let my Sparkle kitty go after 17 years and then in 2009 with Gizmo puppy after 16 years. I wasn't ready for Satin Marie to go, I never would have been really. It all happened so fast towards then end and I guess I should be thankful but I know I prolonged her pain hoping it was just a minor set back. I do know I did all I could possibly do but still feel like I could have done more, perhaps sooner.
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