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Does anyone have any experience with chemotherapy?

(9 Posts)
tabulahrasa Tue 31-May-11 00:31:31

I've got a 7 yr old Siamese with what's just about to be diagnosed as Lymphoma (the needle biopsy results aren't in yet, but the Oncologist is definite it is, just waiting to see what it's doing more than anything). So I get the results tomorrow (hopefully) and then I'll be going back in to talk about treatment options.

So it's all still a bit up in the air, but looking online Chemo seems to be the most likely option for treatment.

She's been ill - mildy, for about 6 months, he said today that given that and the report from my vet that he was expecting a pretty ill cat and she's not, she's a bit thinner than she was, a bit out of sorts, but on the whole fine...he saw mottling on her spleen and it's fairly enlarged and definitely something on her lymph nodes, her bloods are coming back as on the high side of normal for calcium and slightly anemic, but again, she's not as ill as he was expecting given the length of time.

So it's looking good for it being not too aggressive, I suppose spleen removal might be an option, I don't know, I'm just guessing, lol, but that's fairly straightforward - I don't know anything about Chemo other than what I can google.

How invasive is it? I mean I know it'll mean fairly regular vets appointments, but how often has that been for anyone else? (I know the vet will tell me this when I go back, I'm just trying to think it through a bit) She isn't really keen on the vets, lol, she spends the rest of the day after a visit telling me off.

I've read lots of things saying that litter and bowls have to be handled with rubber gloves on, is that true? I've got kids and another cat, I can't see how that would work at all - or is that not as complicated as I think?

Cost, she's not insured and much as I'd hate that to be the deciding factor, if it's going to be more than a couple of hundred a month, I just can't afford it sad (well realistically I can't really afford that much either, but I have that and if it might increase her life by a couple of years like the vet suggested it possibly could today, I'd do it) What sort of costs would I be looking at?

She's not that old and she's such a sweetheart, I lost my dog around about the time she first started being a bit off colour and I'm so not ready to do that again with her...I really want chemotherapy to be a viable option, but looking online seems to make it sound like it's not, so I wondered if anyone had done it? and how it was?

Lizcat Tue 31-May-11 13:07:50

Chemo is fairly routinely given to cats in the UK, spleen removal is a much rarer treatment and would still need chemo. The stage of the lymphoma will determine which protocol is most appropriate for your cat. It is not cheap it is not only the chemo drugs, but the blood test that need to be done regularly as well. However, one on my patients has lymphoma and started Chemo this time last year and is still alive now and he is 14 years old.
I would guess that over the last year it has cost them around £1500 to £2000.

tabulahrasa Tue 31-May-11 14:12:38

Oh I know I still need to wait and see what's what and of course have a proper conversation with the vet, I'm just impatient, lol.

I only mention she's a Siamese, because it seems it's a fairly common thing for them at her age? And can respond well?

I spent the weekend waiting for her appointment completely devastated and convinced that it was going to be really bad news, the vet seemed pretty positive, as much as you can be while saying, yes she's got cancer.

So I'm trying to work it out a bit in my head before I have to go back and discuss the options.

£2000 a year I could probably manage, if I budget for it, she's got a bald neck, a bald stomach, she was as high as a kite yesterday from the drugs and today she's been out in the garden playing and spent an hour purring on me - she doesn't seem ill sad

tabulahrasa Wed 01-Jun-11 00:04:10

Well I'm no closer to finding anything out, lol, the samples show signs of lymphoma but not conclusively, so a differerent pathologist is going to take a look and see what he thinks and if they're still none the wiser she might need a bigger sample taken.

So another day of waiting by the phone expectantly.

I think RL people are sick if me going on, so I'm whittering in here instead, I know in the grand scheme of things, she's just a cat- but she's my cat and she really is lovely...friendly and cuddly, a complete lap cat who follows me round the house to see what I'm doing and curls up on me within 3 seconds of sitting down.

It's really hard thinking that this time last year, me the old but perfectly healthy dog and the cat would have been out on our last walk of the day and that not only is there no dog for us to walk, but that she's got cancer too.

pookiecat Wed 01-Jun-11 09:31:25

Poor you, one of my cats had cancer and chemo, blood transfusions etc about 10 years ago and is still going strong. Its worth it , good luck.

tabulahrasa Wed 01-Jun-11 20:46:44

Tests still inconclusive and she's been sick every half hour all day, so back to the vets first thing in the morning sad

Onemorning Tue 07-Jun-11 16:03:39

I hope your girl is feeling a bit better today?

My 14 year old had palliative chemo last year. He took chemo via tablet - I think it was once a week but I'm not sure. He didn't have any side effects apart from a bit of a dodgy tummy, which the vet sorted out.

I think it cost us about £100 / month with blood tests and check ups.

tabulahrasa Tue 07-Jun-11 20:25:16

she is thanks, I don't know why she was being sick on Wednesday, lol. I think it was because she ate both her and the other cat's food and that was too much (well I know that was too much) and that upset her stomach enough for her to be sick all day - though she kept trying to eat, lol.

That's exactly what we're doing, her tests still come back as odd - they can't give me a definitive diagnosis without exploratory surgery which I'm not willing to do as they're pretty sure it's lymphoma and it looks like a small cell one, they just can't tell quite if that is where it started.

So she had her first lot of tablets yesterday - she's been fine smile They seemed to think she was a good candidate for it responding well as she's healthy otherwise/ hasn't got that ill yet - if you know what I mean, lol

So fingers crossed she'll keep well for a couple of years, well that's the longest time frame I was given, so I'm hoping

Onemorning Tue 07-Jun-11 22:12:42

That sounds great, tabula. Fingers crossed smile

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