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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #1 
I found a lump on my 12 year old cat. Was hoping for the best, but the biopsy showed it was cancerous. The vet said that it was the type of cancer that would keep cropping up and eventually would spread to her lungs and kill her. She gave my baby a year to live. Needless to say, I am devastated. I had an X-ray done just to make sure it hadn't spread, but I caught the mass when it was smaller than a Lima bean, so she's fine for now. The vet didn't say anything about chemo or any kind of treatment other than removing tumors when I find them and waiting for it to get bad. I don't know what to do. Is chemo a thing? Is it worth it for a 12 year old cat? I don't know what to do.

Edit: To clarify, when I ask "is it worth it", I mean would it do more harm to my senior cat's well-being and quality of life? And I'm not the richest person in the world, so I don't even know if I could afford it. I wonder if the vet just looked at me and assumed I couldn't afford a treatment. Even though I just spent $700 on her surgery.

Edit:
Now, 6 weeks later, I've noticed her mass is back, bigger and in the same location. At first, I tried to tell myself it was scar tissue from her first surgery, but it's getting bigger. I'm taking her in tomorrow to see what they can do. Pretty sure there's going to be more surgery in her future. I just never expected it to come back so fast. I just don't want her to suffer. The tumors are right on the surface, so hopefully it won't be too invasive. I was hoping it would be a long time before another tumor showed up. This isn't boding well for my Fluff. So far, she is in excellent health and doesn't seem to be bothered by the tumors. I don't know how much time I will have with her and I'm getting scared.
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Bailey15

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Derynre,
I'm so sorry to hear about this! You must feel devastated to get news like that. It is very obvious to me how much you love your cat! I think that I might get another opinion from a different vet so you are sure of what you are dealing with and what your options are.
I chose not to put my dog through chemo because of his age but he was very ill - not eating.
If the other vet concurs, you will still have precious time with your beautiful kitty while she is feeling okay. If that turns out to be the case, enjoy this time with her as long as she is happy and pain free. If the occasional lump occurs and can be removed so that she is comfortable I would just keep an eye out for that. When her quality of life becomes affected you will know but for now try to push the rest of it out of your mind and try to look at it not as 'knowing she only has a certain amount of time' but instead 'that she does have that time and she will still be with you for a while' and you can enjoy each other more than ever before!
My dog got sick so quickly there just was no more time and now I have regrets: I wish I'd taken more pictures, a longer video, walks on the waterfront (where he loved it) every day.... but it was just too late.
I will say a prayer that it all works out.
Hugs,
MJ :)
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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #3 
MJ,
Thank you for your nice, well thought out response. It's so hard losing our fur babies. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. I'm the type of person that would kick myself if I felt I didn't exhaust all options while I still have them. But I don't want to make her feel sick if the outcome is going to be same. You know? I just want to spoil the crap out of her for however long I have her. I know she's an older cat and something was going to take her from me eventually. I just really hate that I have to watch her get sick slowly and decide when she's in too much pain to go on. I had a conversation with her after my other cat Mimi died last July, and I told her she had to at least live to be 15. She must have ignored me, as cats are so apt to do lol. Who knows, though? She may exceed all expectations and live much longer. Her blood work and x-rays are good for now. I'll take your prayers and I'll add my hope and love and maybe it can move mountains. And if not, then she's lived a long life full of my love and I hope that was enough.
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tyreebruce

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Reply with quote  #4 
I realize there has been a year since you posted, and haven't read through to the end of your cats story. I am hoping you did catch the cancer and that he/she is just fine.
I am posting this to share a few things pertaining to your questions. 
I have a 14 yr old kitty. She has always been particularly high stress. Couldn't go in the car, a vet would have probably scared whatever time she had left. OK, gotta back peddle a little. Around Christmas of 2015 I found a few lumps around her belly. I started reading up on mammary cancer and determined based on her personality the odds of helping her at this point were slim to none. She is one who particularly HATES being touched near her belly and at that point her tumor was a little bigger than the lima bean you mentioned. SO based on statistics she would have needed surgery and with that also possily chemo. There were multiple tumors, not just one and she MAY have gained a couple months but the whole ordeal would have made them lacking in quality. We made the decision after discussing with a Vet tech in the family who knows the cats nature, to simply treat her the best way we could. We knew she would have at most 6 mos left. It is now mid-april and I believe based on the signs she will either pass on her own or be put to sleep this coming week.
She has been spoiled rotten, all the cats in our menagerie have been treated to high quality canned forumula, Shadow the cat who is dying would have extra fluids added. She has spent her time with me in my room, which is usual for her. She never liked running around the house she stayed in two rooms upstairs before, and that is where she is now. I would take her in my ex husbands room next door when I would be gone for hours so she wouldnt be alone. (Notice I am speaking as if she is already gone, there is a reason for that) ANYWAY...
Her tumor has grown to larger than a golf ball, not as round more flat, that is the big one. I don't mess around down there to check on the others, no reason to. I have begun putting coconut oil on the big one a couple times a day. She licks my fingers, seems she likes the stuff. 
4 days ago she stopped eating hard food, and only at canned with a lot of water mixed in. Her breathing seems faster. 
Yesterday she stopped drinking fluids only gets what little she eats with her MINUTE amounts of canned food. 
I had a lot to do so I left her in my exes room for the day, I didn't bring her back in my room at night because I thought if she wants to she can come back in my room. This morning I found her laying at the water bowl in the hall. Not moving. I carefully brought her in the room and laid her on the little bin next to me in cat bed she always lays on with her fluffy blanket. She won't eat, only drinking the water mixed with the food. Her eyes have a haunted look at times, but once in awhile she looks at me and looks fine. She got down and is now laying under the table here against the wall. She is breathing heavily and I suspect she is actively dying. I have dinner plans this evening and almost want to cancel. I want to be here for her. It is however, a dinner for my daughter and myself with my son that I haven't seen since before Christmas. Maybe she will last the weekend. I am praying she doesnt end up in pain, in distress on a sunday. If she continues to go downhill and looks distressed we will take her to a vet, we really don't want to do that though. She would be so stressed she probably wouldn't make it to the vets.
These realities that come from loving pets.....ugh....I am dreading this, at the same time I would like her to cross over peacefully. I don't want to take her to a vet because if she has a week or more left...well I am sure you all understand where I am coming from. 
OH..and Shadow went into heat several times before she was fixed. According to the sources I have read a cat that is fixed before their first heat is highly unlikely to get this type of cancer..
I don't know why I am posting this..I think it goes to the adage, misery loves company, and there is strength in numbers. This is not a happy time.. :(
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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #5 
Tyreebruce,
Thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry about you kitty cat. My cat Phanny is going through this now. I posted a couple of weeks ago. She's a tough old gal, so I will most likely keep taking her into the vet when she gets tumors. She doesn't like the vet, but she deals with it like a pro. Her personality has been a little different since I brought her home. She's not quite as active and a lot more snuggly. She likes to be by my side almost constantly, where before she was pretty aloof.

I understand where you're coming from with dealing with taking your cat to the vet. My cat Mimi, who passed last July, would get so worked up that she would pee all over herself in her carrier when I would have to take her to the vet. I caught the end of what I thought was a seizure, but I debated whether I should take her to the vet or not. I decided that if I ever saw another seizure I would take her in, but she seemed perfectly normal and fine for about 3 weeks. I woke one night to go to work and found her dead. She had apparently had another massive seizure. I feel really guilty about her death, but I don't think it would have mattered if I had taken her in. At least she passed quickly at home, without having a million tests. Still feel guilty, though, but I'm okay with her passing now.

All we can do is the best we can for our fur babies. And no one knows them better than we do. When they get to be senior kitties, we have to just expect that complications in one form or another are going to crop up and just hope for the best and to have them as long as we can. I wish a calm and peaceful passing for your baby. And I hope you will find peace after her time comes. Don't ask why you posted. You probably needed to talk. And I'm glad you did. Thank you.
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tyreebruce

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Reply with quote  #6 
Phanny..cute name, may she live LONG..
My Shadow decided she really enjoys the window. Thank goodness there is a window right in front of me and the weather is lovely. Save for the wasps that found there way between the screen and I carefully captured (ugh) and now she lays there, is eating perhaps and ounce of food throughout the day. She is still comforted by touch but I am NOT gonna move her if I don't have to.
This is so sad. IF I knew the drive wouldnt kill her I seriously would attempt a drive today but, she is peaceful. I guess even though cats dont show pain I think I would know if hers was worse..NOW I wish I had pain medicine for her..I am having all sorts of thoughts..wish there was a vet that would make a housecall..wish I had money for a vet that makes housecalls..I don't like this.The scenario you describe with peeing herself etc..the one cat? I have had that and pooping and flat out passing out as she went to the vet so YEAH, that is definitely a problem. Shadow even in her lathargic state would NOT take that well at all and back when she was more her feisty self would have been a mess.
I also wish the Lord would peacefully take her, just let her fall asleep. She has served her purpose here. I can handle that much more than watching her just die. Wondering is there worse to come?
Thanks for YOUR response..I guess I will post when my girl passes over. 
OH..one more thing, when I reach out to touch her she visibly begins breathing more quickly. She is SO skinny that everything is so easy to see. I don't know if this quick breathing means she is happy..I have read they purr even when stressed and in pain. I am gonna take it as she is happy I am with her. I almost don't want to leave the house. I have track meets today and tomorrow for my daughter and I am afraid I will miss something. Wishing you all the best the day has to offer.  This picture was BEFORE..its not easylook at.shadow.jpg

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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #7 
Shadow is beautiful! Phantom aka Phanny is also a fluff. It was funny when I brought her to the vet to investigate the lump, she asked me how I found it; implying that she was so fluffy it must have been difficult to find. I went ahead and got her shaved while they had her under for the surgery to remove the mass. Not so fluffy any more lol. I think she's enjoying not having so much fur to deal with. Plus, it's easier to check on her belly (like your Shadow, she hates being touched on her belly). Your comment about using coconut oil sounds like a really good idea. Phanny's nipples are really dry around where the mass was and I bet that would help soothe them.

I'm absolutely positive that Shadow enjoys your touch. I'm sure it comforts her. Maybe you can call her vet and see if you can get some kitty pain pills? They have specific ones just for cats. It might be hard for her to get them down, though. Maybe see if they have a liquid or if you can crush them up and give them to her through a syringe or in the little bits of food she eats? Maybe Google to see how much ibuprofen a cat can have and buy the liquid baby doses? Maybe call around and see if someone does house calls. Might be expensive, I know. Just some thoughts. I've never had to have a pet put to sleep before. It causes me a lot of anxiety to think that that will be Phanny's fate eventually.

I hope Shadow is resting and not in too much pain. Poor kitty. Hope she finds peace soon.

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tyreebruce

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Reply with quote  #8 
OOOH..Phanny looks like my Tommy..SO sweet! Tommy is a silly boy he barks. He always wants me to follow him to his food bowl and pet him while he eats. He lays on his back with everything airing..and is a really great boy! 



Those are EXCELLENT ideas! I am going to look into the pain reliever like RIGHT now! 

Yes and YES to the Coconut oil. There are SO many good uses for it, and ingested it helps fur and digestion..the stuff is a MIRACLE for pets and humans!
Thank you so much for your response!
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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #9 
Tyreebruce,
Well, the mass came back and it got big really fast. Took her into the vet and scheduled a surgery, but the vet wanted to do X-rays. I'm glad we did them because in the 6 weeks from her last surgery, the cancer has already spread to her lungs. I went from thinking I had a year with her to now her time is coming soon. I am beyond distraught. The vet gave me steroids to give her to help keep her quality of life as good as we can for as long as we can, but that's all that can be done now. The vet was even surprised at how fast and aggressive the cancer is. She said my Phantom just drew the short straw in life and nothing could be done.

I hope that your Shadow has found peace and that you have found it as well. We do what we can for our fur babies.
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sabasaba

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Reply with quote  #10 
Looking for forums about cancer in cats I came here... Just looking for company.... My 12 yo can passed away on 17th sept. Mammary cancer metastasis to lungs..... Found lump in Dec 2018, opted not to operate.... mid august lamp opened bleeding and not healing... vet said to take care not to get infection... even till that time she was usual self... then stopped eating... lungs onset was rapid - labored breathing, not eating, not drinking, 2 days later came to my bed and died... 12 years was part of family...was fighting till very last moment, was in full consciousness till last second (was moving tale when her name was called)...
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Derynie

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sabasaba,
I’m so sorry to hear about you baby. I know how hard it is. Please know that I’m thinking about you and I hope you find peace. All we can do is love them and give them their best life.
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sabasaba

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thank you, Derynie :( 
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