Author Topic: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)  (Read 3220 times)

Offline Middle Child

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Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« on: October 26, 2018, 01:05:36 PM »
 Jennie has cancer. Suspected carcinoma mass in the descending colon, enlarged lymph nodes near the mass give possible indication of spread.

Needle biopsy may or may not provide further diagnostics.  Only way to know for sure is to treat aggressively, meaning:  invasive surgery to remove the mass, lymph nodes and entire large bowel.

Or treat palliatively for quality of life.

Vet seemed to think Jennie is in some discomfort and has prescribed gabapentin while I think about how I want to proceed.

Regarding diet, since there was no difference regarding her stool (blood/texture/firmness/frequency) whether feeding raw or canned I should stick with canned to prevent another possible bacterial infection like she had with the campylobacter. Internal medicine vet did seem knowledgeable and accepting of raw diets, generally speaking, and raved about Jennie's coat.

That's all I can say for now.

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 09:22:34 AM »
Jennie is taking the gabapentin in her food, so that is one less thing I have to do to her. It isn't making her dopey either. I only hope it's helping her. I only gave her a dose when we got home yesterday and then we both went to bed for a nap. I was exhausted.

This morning as we slept in with her in my arms, she shifted position several times which made me think she definitely is in some discomfort if not pain, so I gave her a gabapentin dose with her breakfast.  Again she ate it in her food.

She is staying out and about, where as usually after breakfast she had been going back to the bedroom so I wonder if that is an indication it's helping. Hard to know since she never showed any signs of pain in the first place.

I am not going to put her through surgery. From what I have read metacam is a better choice than steroids for this type of cancer.  However, I am just so against the use of metacam in cats, with the exception of last resort. 

Well this would be a last resort scenario, since it's basically palliative care now until she begins so suffer, but metacam also requires frequent blood work to monitor the kidneys and I don't want to put her through THAT either. Not that she can't handle it, she can. But it seems pointless to put her through all this crap, since there isn't going to be any other outcome in the end.

Offline Pookie

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Re:Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 09:32:49 AM »
OMG, I am SO sorry, MC!  grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug

I wish there was something I could say or do that would change all this, but please know I'm sending LOTS of GoodVibes to you and Jennie.  Which makes me think . . . . I know you have a friend that's done long distance Reiki on Mazy.  Do you think that might help Jennie's discomfort?  Those are serious good vibes.

Did they do a needle biopsy, and if so, when should they have the results?

I'm so glad she's taking the gabapentin in her food and that it's not making her dopey.  From your description of her behavior, it sounds like it is helping.

GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes

HangInThere
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 09:52:55 AM by Middle Child »
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Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 09:46:02 AM »
I'm sorry my explanation was not more clear.  A needle biopsy would have to be done under general anesthesia and was not done yesterday. The likelihood that it would reveal anything useful is very slim. Vet felt if I was going to go ahead with aggressive treatment it would be better to simply have the removal surgery rather that put her through two risky procedures.

I just don't believe in putting cats through a lot of stuff. They don't understand and I want Jennie to have a happy life, not miserable and stressful with long car trips, life in pain with stitches and a cone and living in a cage for weeks, shoving pills and syringes down her throat,  not to mention the fecal incontinence and chronic diarrhea she is likely to have with no colon. What kind of life is that for a cat?  If this was lymphoma there would be more options to treat and hope for remission if not cure.  Carcinoma is different and does not respond to chemo so I have been told.  Tolly also had carcinoma. His was far advanced and/or extremely fast growing by the time he showed any symptoms, and began to fill up with fluid.

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 09:53:58 AM »
This thread has been split from the original thread (Jennie intolerant to beef) which is here:

http://parenting-furkids.com/index.php?topic=5605.new#new

Offline ThreeStep

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 01:22:35 PM »
All I can say is that our hearts are going out to you - mine and SO's!

You will make the right decision for her.

Hugs!!!!!

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 03:15:53 PM »
Thank you ThreeStep (and Pookie too, didn't thank you before) yes I have made the right decision for Jennie.  Now that I see her on the gabapentin, I know that she has been having some discomfort or maybe even pain. So I will keep her on it every 8 hours.

 The next step is to let the internal medicine vet and my vet know of my decision not to pursue surgery. Then she will prescribe prednisolone or metacam (anti-inflammatory medicines) and it comes down to palliative care for her, until her quality of life becomes poor.  You know me I am a strong believer in too soon is better than too late and will not let Jennie suffer.

From what I've read, metacam is more specific to this particular cancer than steroids though I am not sure why. The problem with that is metacam is controversial in cats because it can cause acute kidney failure. A cat on it is supposed to have frequent blood tests to check the kidneys.

I've always said I would never allow a cat of mine to have metacam except in a last resort situation.  Well, this would be the last resort situation, but I don't see a need to put her through a bunch of blood tests, when the result is the same no matter what, she is not going to be with me a whole lot longer.  I will let the vets advise me regarding the anti-inflammatory choice, but if they say metacam, and then insist on blood work, I will request the steroid instead. If they say metacam and are willing to waive the constant blood tests, then I will go along with it.  Steroids have side effects too, but they aren't as immediate as the kidney failure with metacam can be.

We're having a cozy afternoon all of us, on a cold pouring rain day.  I got out and ran a bunch of errands this morning, including picking up a frozen pizza and a bag of crunchy Cheetos for myself.  Comfort food that I only indulge in about once a year.  Unfortunately I over cooked the frozen pizza so it's not as satisfying as it could be, and I find I am not enjoying the crunchy Cheetos as much as I expected.

Thing is what I REALLY wanted was lots and lots of ice cream. But I need to stay away from sugar for the moment so I went with salty and crunchy instead. I even had to forgo my coke I like to have with the pizza/cheetos day.   funny2

Offline ThreeStep

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 06:51:26 PM »
You are not alone!

Offline Pookie

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 07:23:05 PM »
Thank you for the clarification!  Please forgive me asking, and you don't have to answer:  did they give you any idea of how long she may have (approximately) if she doesn't have surgery/treatment?

I may have missed it in the other thread, but I assume they found the mass via an ultrasound?

grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug

LOVE the pic!  They look soooo comfy!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 07:28:49 PM by Pookie »
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Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 07:55:39 PM »
Thank you for the clarification!  Please forgive me asking, and you don't have to answer:  did they give you any idea of how long she may have (approximately) if she doesn't have surgery/treatment?

I didn't ask.  Hug1

Quote
I may have missed it in the other thread, but I assume they found the mass via an ultrasound?

grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug

Yes, the mass was found on ultrasound. I didn't think to say it specifically in my original post. I expect you all to read my mind and understand me, don't you know.  :-[  funny2

Quote
LOVE the pic!  They look soooo comfy!

Thanks. We've been like this all afternoon and evening with a few variations.




Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 09:56:11 PM »
Now that Jennie is on the gabapentin I can see the difference and signs of pain I wasn't seeing before. The medicine only seems to last about 5 1/2 hours.  The instructions are not very clear, it states give .3 (point 3) ml up to every 8 hours.  What does that mean "up to" 8 hours? Can I give it more often?  No one to ask until Monday and I cannot find anything useful searching. I am useless at searching I have found almost nothing regarding any of my questions on line, all will have to wait until Monday. Just struggling a bit with the feelings of..my heart hurting, knowing no matter how closely I was watching her I still didn't know she was in pain.  That hurts my heart.

I THINK it will have a cumulative affect, but I am not sure.

Offline ThreeStep

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 07:31:19 AM »
Do you have an emergency vet/clinic in your area you can call? Your vet may have such a contact on the web site or answering machine. Or call one of the chain pharmacies such as WalMart/CVS/.... and ask for the pharmacist on duty. Pharmacist not pharm tech!
Personally I would go with five hours as you say at five 1/2 the effect wears off. Your vet does not know her as well as you do.
How are you and the furries doing this morning?

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 08:30:57 AM »
Do you have an emergency vet/clinic in your area you can call? Your vet may have such a contact on the web site or answering machine. Or call one of the chain pharmacies such as WalMart/CVS/.... and ask for the pharmacist on duty. Pharmacist not pharm tech!
Personally I would go with five hours as you say at five 1/2 the effect wears off. Your vet does not know her as well as you do.
How are you and the furries doing this morning?

Well you've reminded me that the specialist center I took her to is also an ER and open 24 hours a day.  I'll give them a call today. Thank you!

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 08:36:57 AM »
 Queen Eva is turning bully to Jennie. I've noticed it over the past week or two, and I think it's one of the reasons I wasn't overly surprised at the diagnosis.  Cats know when another cat is seriously ill.  Now I'm really taking notice and I've had a stern talk with her this morning. I know she will need a lot of reminders, but she listened this morning.

She's developed a habit of blocking Jennie at the stairway.  She sits there at the top either stopping Jennie from coming up, or going down, depending on which way Jennie is going. This is not actually a new habit, she's always done this,  but Jennie's reaction has changed. In the old days Jennie would just whack her one and swear at her and go on her way. But Jennie is ill now and feels vulnerable and instead crouches and growls and won't pass.

Then, the other day, for the first time I saw Queen Eva try to roll Jennie.  I was very upset about that and told her to never do it again and why.  I had to teach her not to do it to Mazy cat when Mazy's arthritis started and she learned, so now she needs to learn it for Jennie too.  I haven't seen her try it again, so I think she listened. But I will continue the lessons.

Offline ThreeStep

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Re: Jennie has been diagnosed with carcinoma (cancer)
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2018, 12:26:19 PM »
They know and react accordingly.

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