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Caring for cat with possible intestinal lymphoma

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am having a hard time coping with the possibilty of Clive's lymphoma. I trust my vet and it is most likely the cause of his health problems. However, I feel like I am over cautious of him and his every action. He sleeps a lot, but gets up to eat every time I go into the kitchen. And is still meowing in the wee hours of the morning - he wants food or pets. I am exhausted.

His is on Prednisolone and will get rechecked next week (bloodwork). He has what could be a small mass starting in his intestines, so the vet said the check for lumps.

The vet said a biopsy could threaten his life and chemo without a true diagnosis is bad. If it is cancer, he said 6 - 12 mos...

I am giving him the best food, treats, care and lots of love, but still feel maybe there is more I could do.

I also know that he has had a great life and that if it is his time to leave our realm, then that is what will happen and his spirit will always be with me.

I am trying to be in the moment with him, but then sometimes the reality hits and I wonder when will it get worse and dread the decision to let him go.

I guess I just need to express how I am feeling and looking for anyone who can share a similar experience.

Thank you
post #2 of 17
You are thinking the same way I did with Yoshi.
I was always wondering when he would get worse.
The worse part was going to the vet knowing what we were going to do.
Go as far as you can with him.
I did taht with Yoshi.
I still feel like I betrayed Meeko because he was her only kitten.
He was only 5 and she is 8.5 now.
I understand how you watch your cat.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Aww..how long was Yoshi sick for before you had to euthanize him? And what was he sick from?
I think Clive has been declining slowly for at least a year.. I would ask friends "does he seem sick to you?" and they would say he was just old. It was something in his eyes, but since he seemed OK, I thought he was ok. His quality of life is still good, but it's hard knowing he may be really ill.
post #4 of 17
Yoshi was given 6 months to 2 years to live but only lasted 8 months.
He had kidney stones that could not be removed and they think fip.
The test was pos but the vet said it could be a false pos.
He was almost 15 pounds in May 2007 but was acting sick so We went to the vet.
Then Dec 20th he was 7.5 pounds and getting worse.
He would not eat or drink no matter what I tried so we asked the vet if he could come when Coco had a bladder test Jan 11.
I knew he would not be coming back and cried on Coco.
They said he looked older then her but he was only 5.
Coco was 15.5 then.
I lost Stormy a month and a few days before Yoshi and it was sudden.
Her kidneys were gone and they believe she had kidney cancer.
They asked what I wanted to do and I said wait one more day and if there was no hope then have her pts.
I hated doing that.
Meeko became so upset and would not eat and I had to take her to the vet. She had alot of blood tests but was ok.
Then after Yoshi died she acted sick but this time she was sick with a fever of almost 105.
Do you have other cats?
I also knew Stripe had a year to live before I lost her to crf.
Its hard knowing.
It made me cry writing this.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Aww, I am sooo sorry. You are so great for taking care of so much furry kids.
I don't know how you couldn't cry remembering them.

I have another male cat. He is 4, Duke.
Clive actually got really, really sick when Duke joined our family, they could not figure out what was wrong with him. I thought it was the stress from Duke - he was constantly beating him up and eating his food. I didn't realize Clive was too old for a kitten.

He had bloodwork then and nothing showed. His bloodwork has always been perfect, even now (other than the high calcium) it is.

Sending loving thoughts.
post #6 of 17
Dear Luckienyc,
I can empathize with your situation...Joey is 7rs old and has always been
a slim cat but has lost weight in the last couple months and then began vomiting.
Tuesday I noticed that there was litter in the vomit and immediately googled "cats eating litter", to find that it is a symptom of anemia. I took him immediately (Wednesday) to the vet. I was told that he had a fever, swollen spleen, was very anemic and had a low pcv count. Then he tested positive for
Feline Leukemia. I had them send the test for lab confirmation (and full blood work too). Last night we prepared ourselves for the incurable FelV which she thought would give him 3-6 months. But then today Thursday, it turns out it was a false positive for leukemia but
his lymphocyte count is so high that the vet assumed it is Lymphoma (she did not specify what kind) She also prescribed Prednisolone indefinitely (twice a day).
She did not advise the biopsy but wants me to come back in a week to see what his levels are like and how the prednisolone is working.

He's sleeping all the time but will also eat whenever given the chance including in the middle of the night...but I wonder if he will continue to eat with the prednisolone. She could not give me a prognosis but said we would be lucky to have him through Christmas. Not so easy to hear...

I too wonder if there's anything else I can do or second opinion etc,
I see a variety of other protocols while researching online and information
about the disease that she did not tell me. I also see that most cats lose their appetites and while his is so good, I wonder if it's an accurate diagnosis.

While researching, I came across your post and it looks so recent and is also from Brooklyn so I had to write back. I don't know what to say either but wouldn't mind continuing to compare notes.
How long ago was Clive diagnosed and how long has he been on prednisolone? Good luck, we'll be thinking about you guys.
post #7 of 17
Fingers crossed for both cats - I lost a cat to Intestinal Lymphoma in August, I dont know how long she had had it, as I only had her for 5 weeks - part of me wished I hadn't adopted her, as I had only just lost a cat, but the most important thing was that she got to end her life in a home, rather than in a rescue. Her main symptom was diarrhea, she was always hungry, but her food went through her rather quickly, on bad days, she had 6 poos a day, and very little was solid. She was put on steroids, which slightly helped, but the vet warned me that if there was no improvemetn at all, I had no option as she would effectively starve to death - we tried 2 weeks on the steroids before I accepted that it wasn't a good enough improvement, I just wanted her to have longer in her last home. Because of her age (vet thought around 16), nothing further than bloods were done, the vet said that it would be tricky even in a cat half her age, and she knows that I wouldnt do chemo in a cat.
post #8 of 17
I learned that my cat developed transitional cell carcinoma (cancer in the bladder) within the past month and it's been a very horrible time for me. Nonetheless, I took immediate action (I can't help it; I'm an Aries) and contacted a surgeon and oncologist. Fortunately, the surgeon removed the entire tumor but didn't obtain clean margins. Nonetheless, Buster is on medication now (Piroxicam) that has shown to slow and/or shrink tumor growth in TCC. He will also receive chemotherapy treatments in the future, if needed. I don't have the money for all of this but I don't care. I charged a lot of the services on my credit card and used 70% of my financial aid to pay for the surgery. I don't regret it at all. I have heard of many pets beating cancer with chemotherapy. Buster is a fighter and I am not going to let this take my cat without putting up a fight.
post #9 of 17
I lost my first cat to Lymphoma when he was 13. That was the hardest loss that I've gone through and I can empathize with your caution. I was on pins and needles the entire time.

That was many years ago, and I've lost a great many cats and dogs since then. I have learned one thing through all of these years. Every day with them is a joy, and sometimes the best thing to do when they are terminally ill is to give them what I call "love and cheese danish treatment". Love every minute that you have with them, and if they want a bite of your cheese danish, give it to them. Then give them a big kiss as a reward for eating it. We kept a dog with a 30 day cancer prognosis going for 18 months using this method. Just love them, love them, love them.

post #10 of 17
thanks booktigger,blast off girl, mom of many,
thanks for your insight and kind words.
for the moment we are just wondering if prednisolone alone is okay
(or even the right thing) he's only been on it half a day and seems
even more lethargic already...the whole thing also seems so fast. He was thinner as of two weeks ago, but this escessive sleeping has only been in the last three days. He has not vomited in two days. Is there anything else this could be or any more natural supplement I could give him in addition to the
prednisolone? or do the steroids just cancel out the homeopathic treatments?
thanks again
and luckie, how is Clive?
post #11 of 17
By RB cat, B.C. had a positive diagnosis of lymphoma after mass removal/biopsy.

He was given 4 months without chemo, 6 months with chemo.
I opted not to put him through chemo since the prognosis was poor either way.

I simply let him have whatever he wanted and let him do whatever he wanted.
After 4 months he needed to get sub-Q fluids twice a week, but was otherwise his normal self.
This was a totally food motivated cat his entire life, so when he stopped eating, I knew what he was telling me.
Without chemo, he made it 7 months.
When it was time, he purred to his last, he was telling me it was ok.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Joey D
I am sorry to hear about Joey. It is so heartbreaking. Clive is also eating a lot esp. at night, he meows to wake me to feed him, but I think it's the meds. He is also lethargic.
I also was told by my vet to give him 5 mg of Pepcid AC to prevent an ulcer.

He was diagnosed last week, but without a biopsy (just thru bloodwork and ultrasound/xray) I took him to VERG initially when he was sick, but his regular vet is Dr Diaz at Williamsburg Cat Clinic. He is very nice and honest.

VERG, I felt was way to aggressive and just wanted to keep in the hospital as long as they could uneccessarily.. he was very ill that morning, but I don't really want him to have to go back there ever!

Clive seems ok, but the meds make him knock out too, very lethargic. And today he pooped about 4 x small but soft. I hope that is not a bad sign. I did give him Catmilk - maybe he can't handle it??
He is still drinking a good amount of water and eating a lot.
I just want to give him the best rest of his life. He goes for a recheck next friday.

Blastoff Girl - how old is Buster? Sorry to hear, too.

Booktigger - thanks for the experience, it helped.

Momofmany - yes, I keep petting and kissing him and telling him I love him constantly. And of course getting treats. And I am letting him roam in the hall of the apt bldg..it perks him up, give shim exercise too.

Blessings to everyone..
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow, he was a strong kitty. Also, was B.C. on steroids?
post #14 of 17
How old s Buster?
post #15 of 17
Buster is approximately 13 or 14 years old. Nobody know for sure since I found him on the street in 2000. At the time, the vet suspected he was about 2 years old, which would make him about 10 or 11 now. However, every vet now agrees that Buster is 13 years old at the very least.
post #16 of 17
Mabel just had steroids, but I did do some research on teh various treatments, in younger cats, there was success with different meds, but I am not sure what I found that on, but it is something to discuss with your vet. Good luck
post #17 of 17
No B.C. was not on steroids.
That poor cat had been through too much in his relatively short live, too many indignities
He was clinically retarded, suffered recurring UTIs,was on prescription food that he hated, had weight issues due to an ex that showed his love with food and he was mauled by a raccoon after escaping the house once.

Poor guy should have passed away long before he developed cancer, he was definitely a fighter.
Nastiest temperment I've ever seen in a cat, but my parents and I loved him dearly.
He left me 2 months shy of his 13th birthday.
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