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So depressing

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all I am new to the site and have been researching all around the web. My cat Max was diagnosed yesterday with Lymphoma. I noticed him being sick last Friday and on Sunday I sat on the floor for him to come to me. He got up off the couch, took 2 steps, and then fell to his side...apparently either tired or hurting.

Yesterday when I was told of his condition, I opted for chemo and they went ahead and administered his first dose and I was able to pick him up and bring him home. I've been wondering when I can expect to see improvements out of him. He has been laying on the couch since I bought him home and I did notice him go to the cat box to do his business overnight. Whenever my wife and I show him attention, he just sits there seeming very weak and his pupils are dilated. He is also still having trouble walking and when he gets up to adjust himself on the couch, he just plops back down, seeming tired or hurting. His feeding is less, but luckily he is in fact eating.

What do you all think I should expect? I really do not want him suffering and I am not sure of the signs of pain and what not. When I mentioned to the vet the option of letting him rest, she told me that she prefered that I do not choose that option. I just need some insight on the situation in regards to what I should look for and what not.

Thanks!
post #2 of 18
I have no experience with your cat's condition so I can't give any advice, but I can relate to how you're feeling. I just found out today that my Maverick has something wrong with his liver, and that's usually not a good thing. They won't know if his condition is treatable till they do more testing.

Someone who has had experince with this will probably come along shortly, and be able to give you advice. There are a lot of knowledgable peeps here.

I hope everything goes well with Max's treatments.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks KittKatt. I look forward to any advice in regards to the steps to take for my boy....
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Update on Max. Last night my wife and I were being pretty loud upstairs and I guess out of complete curiosity he mustered up some strength and came upstairs to see what the noise was all about. When he came upstairs it made us both so happy and when we picked him up he started purring immediately.

Looks better this morning before i went to work as when I came downstairs to check on him he actually perked up and started purring immediately and also came up to me a little for some lovin. Our main battle, if he is perking up, is giving him his oral medication. It's a battle and a half and we usually end up losing. Gonna try those pill poppers tonight.

I hope this is a step in the right direction as we got pretty depressed!
post #5 of 18
Sending lots of vibes that Max continues to improve!
post #6 of 18
Many Prayers and for Max
post #7 of 18
Cats also purr when they are in pain so purring is not always a positive thing. I can only tell you that my personal feeling is if an animal has a terminal illness and the chemo is only prolonging their lifespan by a couple weeks or months, and because they cannot let us know if they are in pain or how much pain, I'm in favour of euthanasia. I don't want to do anything that would prolong their pain or discomfort. What you choose to do is ultimately your decision based on many things including financial. I don't want to have to be doped up and pain medicated in the last days of my life and wouldn't put my pet through that - but again - that is just how I feel and you are not required to have the same feelings at all.
post #8 of 18
First, many prayers for you and your family as you go through this. From what I've read and been told, cats tend to do well with chemo, far better than humans react.

It sounds like you and your vet are discussing the situation, and neither of you are planning to prolong anything if the quality of life isn't good for your baby....but, modern techniques may give you both some good time that you'll treasure. This is a very personal choice - but prayers for you and Max, and for your vet to provide you the best care and guidance available.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wanna say thanks to everyone for their insight. Yeah it's trying times for us and I wanna do the right thing for him, not me.

I'm gonna monitor him over the next couple of days up until the next treatment, which will be Tuesday. If his condition does not improve or if it declines, we will discuss my other option. Over the past 12 hours he is pepping up, and hopefully that will continue.

The last thing I want is for him to suffer.
post #10 of 18
I am so sorry for your distress, as I know what it's like to have a sick pet. However, I am surprised that you are asking "what to expect" from member of this board. Hasn't your vet thoroughly explained the prognosis, including how your cat may react to treatment? My own vet always explains things very, very fully, so I never have any need for supplementary information.

Like the other poster, if the cat is terminal (and I'm not clear on this from your initial message), then I'd opt for euthanasia, as I do not want my cats to suffer. What I find so difficult is that we can't really explain to them what's happening, and medical treatment must be very frightening to them.

I'm also not sure what you mean when you say that your vet didn't approve of your idea of having the cat "rest." It's difficult for me to offer any advice when I'm not certain of the issues.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
The vet did explain everything to me, but just wanted to get a "cat persons" insight on this and if anyone else has gone through this experience with this cancer.

She did tell me that at each treatment that they will diagnose how he is doing in regards to the lymphoma. She said if he isn't improving that the option to euthanize him will be something I will seriously consider.

In regards to putting him to sleep/rest, I asked her this question and she stated that she does not recommend that at all right now.

Hope that helps!!
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxamillion View Post
The vet did explain everything to me, but just wanted to get a "cat persons" insight on this and if anyone else has gone through this experience with this cancer.

She did tell me that at each treatment that they will diagnose how he is doing in regards to the lymphoma. She said if he isn't improving that the option to euthanize him will be something I will seriously consider.

In regards to putting him to sleep/rest, I asked her this question and she stated that she does not recommend that at all right now.

Hope that helps!!

I'm sure you will make the right decision whatever it may be. Just keep asking questions of your vet and get answers.
post #13 of 18
My cat was recently diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma (cancer of the bladder) last month, so I know the pain you are going through. I opted to have surgery to remove the cancerous mass and undergo chemotherapy.

Buster received his first dose of chemotherapy (Carboplatin) last Tuesday and he showed minimal side effects. His hunger was slightly reduced but he is doing okay now. I am just hoping the chemo works though! Otherwise, Buster is doing great! He does all the things he usually does such as eat, drink, play, and sleep. He doesn't act lethargic at all. His cancer has not metasticized because we caught it early.

Has the cancer spread to other regions? How old is Max?

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.
post #14 of 18
I found this website that may be of help. There's also a link for a support group.

http://felinelymphomacaregivers.org/

I hope all goes well.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxamillion View Post
...He got up off the couch, took 2 steps, and then fell to his side...apparently either tired or hurting....he just sits there seeming very weak... He is also still having trouble walking and when he gets up to adjust himself on the couch, he just plops back down, seeming tired or hurting...
What do you all think I should expect? ...When I mentioned to the vet the option of letting him rest, she told me that she prefered that I do not choose that option...
I just need some insight on the situation in regards to what I should look for and what not.
First, a very warm welcome to you!

Second, I have to tell you that I'm so happy for you that you appear to have a Veterinarian who is competent, caring, willing to engage with a cat's very serious illness, and up-to-speed with the latest developments in feline health care! Not all Vets are created equal and not all would be up to the task at hand. Cherish that Vet!

You spoke of "researching all around the web"...without knowing what you found, I couldn't offer you a "rating" that info/those sources, that is, give you an opinion of the general reliability of what you've read/seen. I will offer a few pieces from (what are generally considered) reliable Veterinary information sites.

There is an absolutely superb series of videos on Feline Lymphoma available on one of the foremost Veterinary universities website - Cornell's. You'll find those at this link.

I found this article to be "clear reading" and a balance of accurate technical information in "plain English" - a good place to start.

Here's another, much longer more detailed and a little "thicker" read, but may fill in some additional information. (If you get an annoying pop-up requesting you to "register" before reading, you can just press Ctrl and the letter N to get a clean window.)

I know that part of your reason for coming to TCS was to make contact with others who are dealing/have dealt with a kitty's Lymphoma. KittKatt just referenced the Feline Lymphoma Caregivers Guide site and mentioned an affiliated support group. Many people who are suddenly faced with a cat's serious illness find immeasurable support, information and practical help available in these online support groups. You'll find a group of people dealing with and managing their kitties' Lymphoma here. I'm sure you'll be warmly welcomed there, and I'm sure you'll get good advice from others who are day-to-day dealing with all this.

One last point - several times, you referenced Max's weakness, both before and after his treatment started. I'm wondering if anemia might also be an issue...if the weakness per se hasn't been mentioned/addressed, I think I'd be asking the Vet...if it is anemia, that itself can be life-threatening.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
A little update on my bundle of joy. His condition has improved ALOT over the past 2 days. He's interacting with us more and more and he seems more content as well. Breathing rate has also slowed down alot which is a positive sign. He's not very interested in his dry food (still eating it though) so I'm serving him some tuna here and there. Whenever I bring the tuna out and put it near his other food he jumps off the couch, starts purring and then procedes to devour it.

Looks like all is getting better which makes me very happy. He goes in for another treatment on Tuesday and on Monday I plan on picking up a liquid form of his pills as it's a battle and a half to give pills to him. Even when I put them in the pill pocket, he just eats the good part and spits out the bad part.

As for Max, he is 12 years old. If I recall correctly (I do not have his papers on me right now) the cancer has not spread but there is slight problems with his lungs (disease). I can update you all on that situation when I go for his next treatment or when I take a look at his papers.
post #17 of 18
I just want to let you know that lymphoma responds fairly well to chemotherapy. My friend's cat was diagnosed with liver cancer but she is still alive one year later thanks to chemotherapy. Although she did spend $5000!!
post #18 of 18
Fingers crossed for Max - I lost a cat to intestinal lymphoma earlier in the year, chemo wasn't an option with her due to how advanced it was. I do have a friend who went down the chemo route, and I think it has bought her cat a year so far, but he has been poorly for quite a bit of that year. My vet knows that I am against chemo, she only recommends it for certain conditions/ages though.
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