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Diagnosed with lung cancer-get rid of cat?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
A co-worker has been diagnosed with lung cancer, in fact had one lung removed last week. She will be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. I heard from someone else that she is being told she may need to get rid of her cat.

Have any of you ever heard of such a thing? Is is just due to needing to stay away from germs? I have offered (through the other person) to take the cat, or keep it short term-whatever she needs. But if it is just germs, maybe we could take turns cleaning the litter box for her or something. Seems like a terrible time to lose your cat, when you need it most to lay in bed with you on your bad days!

I am really not close to the person with the cancer-she is a very private person and has a high level job. So we are not "friends", but have worked in the same company for many years. Please do pray for her and keep her in your thoughts, but also if anyone knows about the advice to get rid of the cat, I would appreciate it!

Thanks, it is so nice to have this community of friends!
post #2 of 26
Just a guess, but I'm betting it has to do with extremely reduced lung capacity and cat dander.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
. Seems like a terrible time to lose your cat, when you need it most to lay in bed with you on your bad days!
Please do pray for her and keep her in your thoughts, but also if anyone Knows about the advice to get rid of the cat, I would appreciate it!
Thanks, it is so nice to have this community of friends!
Awwww Becky this broke my heart....
Poor kitty, that´s no fair...
hope the guy to make concious and find a good home for this creature...

MY PRAYERS to this lovely kitty that he don´t find the Street and find a Good home who take care of him
post #4 of 26
Thats such a shame

My mum had cancer but she kept her cat without any problems?!
post #5 of 26
awww..well that suxs...I an not sur why but I will prayer for her and all you can do is hope for the best for the cats sake
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolCat
Awwww Becky this broke my heart....
Poor kitty, that´s no fair...
hope the guy to make concious and find a good home for this creature...

MY PRAYERS to this lovely kitty that he don´t find the Street and find a Good home who take care of him
No, Rigel, the kitty can come stay with me for as long or short as he needs to. But for the owners feelings, I hope she can either keep him with her, or at least get him back from me after she is done with chemo and radiation. But he will be a sad kitty to come visit with strangers instead of staying with his beloved Meowmie.

My cats don't come in my bedroom, so I plan to keep him in there away from the other cats at first. She doesn't have kids or a dog, I'm afraid the chaos of the living area in my house might be overwhelming at first!

But it would be nicest if she could just keep her kitty herself. If not, I will have an extra guest for however long it takes. I will never put him out on the streets! But I will be nice and give him back when she is ready!
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
No, Rigel, the kitty can come stay with me for as long or short as he needs to. But for the owners feelings, I hope she can either keep him with her, or at least get him back from me after she is done with chemo and radiation. But he will be a sad kitty to come visit with strangers instead of staying with his beloved Meowmie.
My cats don't come in my bedroom, so I plan to keep him in there away from the other cats at first. She doesn't have kids or a dog, I'm afraid the chaos of the living area in my house might be overwhelming at first!
But it would be nicest if she could just keep her kitty herself. If not, I will have an extra guest for however long it takes. I will never put him out on the streets! But I will be nice and give him back when she is ready!
So sorry for my missunderstood Becky....
You´re right about the "Chaos"... my best wishes to you for you can organizate well
Definately this family has my thougths and my prayers for this missfortune........
post #8 of 26
I must say I have never heard of this but why don't you send a message to CyberKitten? She is an oncologist and would definitely know if there is any link between lung cancer and your co-worker not being able to keep her cat.

I would have thought that the cat would be very therapeutic for your colleague, but perhaps she has been so advised simply because it will become increasingly harder for her to look after her little kitty.
post #9 of 26
Well, being new to having a mum diagnosed with cancer, I would say she is doing the best thing for some in her position...It depends on what stage she is in...But my mum could not possibly care for a cat at this stage..SHe is undergoing treatment next week starting and is in alot of pain...

I hope it all works out..
post #10 of 26
I think it's because of the low immunity this person will have with treatment, and any cat feces can cause an infection.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva!
I must say I have never heard of this but why don't you send a message to CyberKitten? She is an oncologist and would definitely know if there is any link between lung cancer and your co-worker not being able to keep her cat.

I would have thought that the cat would be very therapeutic for your colleague, but perhaps she has been so advised simply because it will become increasingly harder for her to look after her little kitty.
Thanks, I pm'ed CyberKitten. I hope if the issue is the effort to care for a kitty, and litterbox issues, we can pitch in and help her keep kitty home. But if necessary, he can come stay with me!
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Thanks, I pm'ed CyberKitten. I hope if the issue is the effort to care for a kitty, and litterbox issues, we can pitch in and help her keep kitty home. But if necessary, he can come stay with me!
Good for you, Becky!! You are so sweet be worried about this poor lady & her cat. Her cat must sense that something is wrong & will be worried about her mewommy. And I know that I feel better when my cats are around, pain is less, etc. I am hoping that your offer to help come care for the cat will be the answer, and that the lady will be open to that suggestion - it sounds like she might have been independent for a long time. It would be a great solution, let the cat stay home & give the lady some companionship that should be helpful at a time like this. But if her battle is too hard, maybe it's better for the cat to leave now, and find another home. Thank goodness it's you! I'll be saying prayers for comfort, healing & guidance for all involved! God Bless, Susan
post #13 of 26
What a terriible situation for this poor woman and her furkid. She is lucky to have you to help her in whatever capacity that turns out to be.
Maybe a whole lot ot TCS Board Magic will help. I am sending thoughts and prayers her way.
post #14 of 26
It's to do with keeping away from germs AND the fact that she will ahve a reduced lung capacity. People undergoing chemotherapy have severely reduced immune systems for some considerable time, and the fur and dandruff form the cat won't help her much with weakened breathing. That's why she'll hav ebeen told it's best for the cat to go. I do hope that some solution can be found to suit all parties. Prayers to this lady and her bravery, and hugs to you
post #15 of 26
Just because a person is immunodeficient (from chemotherapy/immunosuppression or diseases such as AIDS) does *not* mean they have to give up their pets. Here is some good information from a group that works to keep pets with their HIV+ people. It's from the Centers for Disease Control, and maybe your friend can share this with her physician:

http://www.sonic.net/~pals/safe/safe_pet.html
post #16 of 26
Hmmph - tell that to my late mother, who kept ALL FOUR of her cats throughout her battle w/colon cancer. While I see some logic in a lung cancer patient possibly rehoming due to diminished lung capacity, it only makes sense to me if she was mildly allergic in the first place. Otherwise, the immunosuppression issue is easily overcome with a little help from friends, if indeed it becomes an issue in the first place.

Methinks her onco just ain't a cat person. . .
post #17 of 26
We're talking lung cancer here though.
One lung removed, greatly reducing lung capacity and the supressed immune system from chemo.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
We're talking lung cancer here though.
One lung removed, greatly reducing lung capacity and the supressed immune system from chemo.
The supressed immune system is similar in patients receiving chemo and those with AIDS. If AIDS patients can successfully (and safely) live with pets then chemo patients can too.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Makes sense to me that with help she can keep the kitty. I have not spoken to her firsthand, I got the message from someone who is severely allergic to cats.

My hope is that she will be able to keep her kitty, with me as a back-up in case it becomes overwhelming. But each person has to do what they think is best based on their doctor's advice. And it is a little hard, since I am not close to the "patient", I don't have any details. But I know the other lady said the patient was very concerned about her cat. I will keep you posted when I know more.
post #20 of 26
I reckon that it's worth trying to keep the cat and only having to give it up if there are problems.
post #21 of 26
when my grandmother had lung cancer she wasnt allowed to have any pets in the house and that included an aquarium! I didnt think people with lung cancer lived past 6 weeks?
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
when my grandmother had lung cancer she wasnt allowed to have any pets in the house and that included an aquarium! I didnt think people with lung cancer lived past 6 weeks?
It depends on how soon you find it, and what type of cancer it is. That will be a concern though. If this kitty loses his owner ,and he has been in a calm, even, quiet house, he may not like my house with 3 kids, 2 cats, a dog, fosters and general chaos. It will be a huge loss to my agency, and the world if we lose this fine lady. But I will at least help ease her concern about kitty by making sure he is cared for.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
when my grandmother had lung cancer she wasnt allowed to have any pets in the house and that included an aquarium! I didnt think people with lung cancer lived past 6 weeks?

My grandfather survived lung cancer......

I think the whole situation is really sad. I would think if there is any way possible she can keep her car she should. I can't imagine going through cancer and losing my pet at the same time
post #24 of 26
People with lung cancer can live very long lives!!!! It is hardly a death sentence - there are a variety of types of lung cancer, all with different outcomes and different protocols of treatment. Small cell carcinomas in the lung tend to be nota s hopeful with large cell carcinomas having a better outcome. Too - as someone noted- it very much depends on when the diagnosis was made and what stage the cancer was in at diagnosis. I have a patient who was 6 when diagnosed with lung cancer. She is now a thriving 16 yr old and that is just one example. And she nor her parents NEVER smoked!!!

I wish this woman all the best tho I have never asked my patients to give up their cats. Now my patients are mostly under 19 so they tend not to be the caregiver of the cat but I have actually found people with pets do much better. (Tho I have not donducted a study on this). I myself continued to sleep with my kitty when undergoing chemo for cervical cancer.
And I have severe respiratory probs - only one lung. So I am at a loss to understand the thinking of the doctor here but there may be info I do not know or am aware of. If she is concerned about infection, she could have someone else care for the cat while undergoing treatment. But taking away ta cat from my lung cancer patients has never been an option - not even anything I have ever considered. i HAVE told them to be cautious around the cat - no rough play - and being kids, it is their mom who tends to clean the litter box anyway. <g>
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
A co-worker who is a nurse and a close friend of mine went to visit her in the ICU (intensive care unit). She will reinforce that I can take the cat if necessary. (And she is aware that I foster.) I'm sure I will have a better idea of what is going on tomorrow.

Although the nurse doesn't like cats much, she does have a dog. She understands the need we have for our beloved pets!
post #26 of 26
That sounds great Beckiboo. As I say, I do not know the diagnosis so it is tough to know why rehoming hetr cat became an option. I am thinking it may have to do with the care of the kitty but that would be just a guess. I currently have several lung cancer patients and 3 of them have cats. No cats have moved anywhere and one made a "surprise" visit in the hospital tonite, lol (She was snuck in but I diverted the scurity guy, hehheh - he was in it anyway tho her friends (this is a teen) thought they were getting away with something so it was more fun for everyone.
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