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Chemotherapy & Blastic Mediastinal Lymphoma - Update on Sen

PROPERsecretary

Savannah Kitten
Just wondering if any of you have been through Chemo with any or your kitties. What is was like, was it worth it - not talking monetarily - but was it worth putting you cat through it, was it hard on your cat, how long/how many treatments did you do etc? Trying to get insigt of what it might be like & if it would be right for Sen.

I posted back in December about our journey with Sen & her swollen lymph nodes here http://www.savannahcatchat.com/threads/health-question-swollen-lymph-node.5265/

So we did a round of prednisone steroids starting on xmas eve that completely made the lump disappear. We were one 2 doses a day for 7 days, then 1 dose a day for 7 days & the 1 dose every other day for 7 days... I missed a dose during the every other day dosage & that's when I noticed the lump starting to come back. We took her back in for a recheck with the surgeon on 2/10 & decided on surgery in an attempt to remove the lump & if that couldn't be done, get large samples to be biopsied. Surgery was set for 2/20 but we pushed it up to 2/17 because on 2/8 Sen's meow changed & she sounded groggy & it was deeper. She also started gagging like she had a hairball when she'd purr really hard. Surgery went well but it confirmed that it was 100% her lymph nodes that were swollen & the discovered another one that was pretty large further down her neck near her breast bone. Results came back on Monday it is cancer. Needless to say we are devastated... we have never been so bonded to any animals either me or my fiancé has ever had as we are to Sen & Satsuki our other SV.

Now it's a matter of maintenance to keep her happy & healthy for a long as her body will allow. She is still acting her normal self - eating like a pig, loud & vocal, hard head butts, super loud lawnmower purr, needing to be held/hugged & on me, playing & following us around. We have her back on prednisone steroids & were given the option to do chemo - it would be once a week for 4 weeks in a row & then once every 3 weeks for maintenance indefinitely. We were told by the oncologist that the form of lymphoma she has is very rare since it presented externally in the lymph nodes on her neck. We have been told that there is a 60% - 70% chance of remission. If it does go into remission & then comes back again there is a very small chance that it will go into remission a 2nd time.

We are at a moral cross roads...we are completely aware that there is no cure & no operation that will save her. We want to do what's right for her & not us. We can keep her on steroids & increase the dosage as needed - she's currently only on 2 ML's a day, which has reduced the size of the lymph nodes some. Life expectancy is 3-6 months but the Dr's also says that # can mean nothing. With the chemo, Sen would have to be put under anesthesia every time, since she freaks when being restrained. Neither Kevin or I have been trough loosing a pet before either from sickness or old age & have been told we'll know when the time is right when we need to let go. We just want to give her the best quality of life that we can, while we can.

Thanks for taking the time to read
Erin, Sen & Satsuki
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Devastating news Erin. Hugs to all of you. I have no experience with chemo treatment for cats but have read on the Cornell vet school site that cats with lymphoma usually need chemo for the rest of their lives with the expectancy being 6 mos. I can only say that my personal decision would be based on the effect of the treatment on the quality of life of my cat. You know your baby best and you'll make the right choice.
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
.. I can only say that my personal decision would be based on the effect of the treatment on the quality of life of my cat. You know your baby best and you'll make the right choice.
Concur.
Truly sorry about this devastating news.
Fortunately for our animal loved ones, you have the option for mercy when you feel the time comes.
I have seen far too many humans, family member included, suffer horribly with a terminal illness.
 

Carykd7kau

Reincarnated cat Moderator
Erin. I am so sorry. I lost my wife to cancer. It is rough. Hope she does not have a lot of suffering. I will cry with you. :cry:
 

PROPERsecretary

Savannah Kitten
Yes, we agree. Kevin's (my fiancé) mom passed away from breast cancer & we've had a lot of discussion about it. We are lucky in that we know we have some time left with Sen & that we can help her and give her final relief when it's time. Still so hard to think about, although I know I have to :-(
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
Erin, I am so sorry...I do know some people who chose chemo for a short time and then stopped it because of the side effects...but some others have done well...I guess I would make a list of the pros and cons..that may help with a decision...
 

NikkiA

Site Supporter
Erin, I am so sorry to hear this.
Like Paige, I know some people who have had success with their pets with Chemo, and some who have not. You and Kevin have to do what you think is best for her.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
Erin, I am so sorry for this horrific news! I have also lost a cat to lymphoma and at the time opted not to go with chemotherapy because it would not offer a cure but only prolong the inevitable. The statistics you were given were certainly better than the ones I was given for my girl! However I would be concerned about putting a cat under general anesthesia so frequently as you can get complications from anesthesia itself. Having said that, I think it is a personal decision and with really no right or wrong answer. There is nothing wrong with trying it for a round or two and seeing how she does. If she bounces back and looks like she is going into remission it may be that you want to continue. However, if she looks like she is just miserable and barely existing from day to day it may be time to make a different decision.

I don't envy you having to make this decision, my prayers and support are with you, whatever you decide.
 

Eddies

Eddies a ham!
Life is never fair, listen to your heart since we know she will follow you for as long as she possibly can:in love:. Hugs from Mojo & family.
 
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