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Lucy 06-13-12 - Operation +7

Jun 13, 2012 - 2 comments
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Lucy

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biopsy

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Cancer

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chemo

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side effects



We talked to the Oncologist today regarding the chemo.  We do not think we got more information than what the vet told us.  Nobody can predict if the cancer will spread or not.  The first biopsy was showing a high grade.  The last one done from the glands removed was showing a low grade.  That's why everybody says that it is a 50/50.

The Oncologist does not trust this type of cancer.  It might appear again, nobody knows when and why. The chemo would not change this fact.

If the cancer decides to spread,
- without the chemo Lucy can be OK for 6 to 12 months.  
- with the chemo, it would be from 18 months or more as the chemo would have slow the progress.

The new options that we can have, if we decide to skip the chemo, is to have Lucy being checked every 3 month.  If the cancer spread, some chemo (or another operation) will be done, but the chemo will not be as powerful as if we did it now.

All the side effects from the links that Opus provided yesterday, are true and need to be considered (lost of appetite, gastrointestinal, some hair loss (the whiskers), drop in red and white cells due to the chemo affecting the bones.  After the chemo, we would come home with the necessary medication to make Lucy as comfortable as possible and maybe some anti-biotics due to the side effect on her immune system.

The main question is (and that's what the Oncologist asked):
Would we blame ourselves if the cancer spread again and we would not have done the chemo?  
If it spread again and we would have done the chemo, we would have the piece of mind that we did everything.  We are not sure it would be a piece of mind and not blame ourselves that we put Lucy through more discomfort for nothing.  We still have 2 weeks to make a decision.  The Oncologist just gave us options and will not give us more advice or guide us one way or the other.  We like that, but it does not make it easier.  Lucy is really on the edge and there is no clear direction.

Lucy is doing outstanding.  She is very active, eat well, use the litter regularly.  She even seems to have more energy than before.  She jumps on furniture, run, plays.  It is good to see her like that.  I don't think she should jump due to her stitches, but what can we do.    

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by opus88, Jun 14, 2012
yes from all I've read the oncologist is very right, this type of cancer does seem to reappear, same as with the human type...it spreads in the glands. cats have more mammary glands than women do.

Chemo can be very harsh and some cats don't do well with the side effects , while others tolerate it better. Its never a cure Laurent, just adding some more time. You have to weigh the quality of life with the extra time it provides....Lucy has to tolerate the side effects without adding more health problems for her to bear.

Its a very hard call, you want to do all you can for your dear kitty, but you don't want to put her through unnecessary suffering either, its hard to know when to say thats enough and allow her to enjoy as much time as possible without all the poking and prodding and medications......truthfully I don't know what I would do..
when my Bailey was diagnosed with sinus cancer 10 years ago the oncologist didn't recommend treatment, I was told it wouldn't help her live any longer, but many strides have been made in 10 years time too...and Lucy's is a different type, all cancers are different and each respond differently to treatment.

I am just so happy to hear how outstanding she is doing, thats fantastic after such an extensive surgery.....I'm so happy for you all....there are some excellent supplements to help boost her immune system, that will help her fight off the cancer as well...L-lysine and Lactoferrin. If you want to use these I can send you the brand names that are SAFE for cats...and the dosage.

Its going to be a hard 2 weeks of thinking and rethinking a decision, you'll doubt yourself which ever way you turn. You have to trust yourself and always know in your heart that whatever you do or don't do is out of love....

thanks so much for keeping us all updated...please continue, we all have Lucy in our prayers♥

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by AnnieBrooke, Jun 14, 2012
We had to make a similar decision when our dog Carmen was diagnosed with lymphoma, though maybe the numbers in lymphoma treatment made things a little more clear-cut.  Unlike a cancer that might or might not come back, lymphoma will definitely come back whether the dog has the chemo or not.  Overall it was a balance of whether the confusion and discomfort for Carmen during six months of weekly chemo would be worth it, to give her just possibly one year more (after the six months of chemo was over) before the cancer could be expected to return.  

It's different for humans, who can perhaps bear the discomfort philosophically because they know why they are being put through it.  But it seems a harder thing to do to pets, who cannot know why the humans they trust are putting them through something that makes them feel sick.  Possibly they get accustomed to it ... Carmen was a Golden Retriever and was cheerful about everything.  But we ultimately just couldn't do it.  We put her on prednisone and it helped a lot to make her feel better, and it gave her a good six months, and then we let  her go.  



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