PDA

View Full Version : Lymphoma recovery?


Lee
November 7th 05, 04:48 AM
My cat "Freedom" was recently afflicted by loss of body-coordination/ control
in her back end (legs, excretory function), and getting worse throughout her
body over time (so she finally would just lay flat on her side, just crawling a
bit, with little interest in trying to eat or drink). She also got
particularly thin & bony on her back end.

I took her to the vet several times during this degradation - some blood and
other tests were negative, we also tried antibiotic treatment for a week
without significant improvement, but they did find a good size mass w/ cyst in
her chest cavity "that may have been there for some time", and believe it was/
is cancer. Ultrasound helped confirm/ clarify it. But before we could get a
biopsy of it however, she was too weak to survive the necessary anesthesia.

As a last resort we tried a steroid treatment in hospital, + IV feeding/
hydration: This actually worked well after a day - she was alert and able to
stand up again, and I took her home after another day, and she's been eating/
drinking well and getting back to her normal self in the 3 weeks since.

A further ultrasound a week after her hospital stay showed a much reduced mass,
now basically just the cyst with very thin walls - great! - except that again a
biopsy is not feasible. So we couldn't confirm the cancer (or type), but the
dramatic steroid effect on her, including mass reduction, implies a lymphoma
(or "lymphomic sarcoma") had been present - likely affecting/ inflaming her CNS
[vet. conclusion].

She does get a prednisone (steroid) tablet every day -- kind of a chemotherapy
extension of the initial treatment.

I understand from reading some literature that this a fairly standard/ useful
treatment for a lymphoma. But it's ALSO used for other things. What I don't
know is (anyone have insight on these?):

1) What's the possibility here that the original illness-condition was not
*primarily* lymphoma or a lymphoma-induced problem? (And thus might be fully
cured at this point). [The vet thinks this would be too coincidental]

2) Would the much-reduced-mass response-to-steroid definitely point to
*lymphoma*, or could there be some *other* kind of cancer, or something that's
NOT a cancer involved?

3) If it is a lymphoma or other cancer, what's the *chance* that it's cured -
or could be cured after some duration of treatment? Literature talks about
"remission" as being achievable to varying degrees, or even multiple
"remissions", but never with reference to a (ANY) chance of cure (or full
indefinite remission) for animals. -- Unlike Lance Armstrong, e.g., or other
human-success probabilities!

4) I get the feeling that the vet would now recommend Prednisone a pill-a-day,
forever! What if me & the cat slip up and miss a day now and then? Or do 2
pills in one day? What if we do a pill every 5 days, something like that?
(Much more acceptable to the cat!) Also, any long-term side-effects that may
occur? Hard to believe it would be that benign. (Though so far in 3 weeks,
none seen).

Any comments will be much appreciated!

- Lee

Barb
November 7th 05, 05:37 PM
Personally, I think you and your cat are very fortunate. I believe your cat
was at death's door. If you have to give a pill a day, do it. Don't worry
ahead so much about skipping a day. Probably once in a great while wouldn't
hurt. Maybe your cat can't stay on this regimen forever. Maybe your cat
will end up cured anyway. Maybe an airplane will hit your house. You know
what I mean? Enjoy what you have now and don't fret so much about unknowns.

I wish you and your cat the best,
Barb
Of course I don't look busy,
I did it right the first time.

Lee
November 9th 05, 01:45 PM
I agree, she nearly died, and I'm very grateful she came back!

I went to see an oncologist Monday. He believes Freedom has a "thymoma", a
more localized lymphoma condition affecting her thyroid - which would
actually call for surgery to remove it, rather than a chemotherapy regimen.
The thymus is a non-critical organ at this stage in the cat's life.

On the good side, prognosis would be very good long-term. That's a chest
operation though which I worry could be rough on her. He says there is a
small risk (it IS next to her heart), but the cat should heal OK. (This
would cost about $2000).

The odd thing is that neither he nor my original vet know exactly why she
went through the unusual symptoms (or crisis) that she did a month ago -
though both are confident it is related to the presence of this enlarged
thymus/ mass that was discovered. (Although the size WAS reduced by the
steroid treatment, it's still large/ abnormal).

Thanks for the thoughts.
Lee


In article io.net>,
says...
>
>Personally, I think you and your cat are very fortunate. I believe your cat
>was at death's door. If you have to give a pill a day, do it. Don't worry
>ahead so much about skipping a day. Probably once in a great while wouldn't
>hurt. Maybe your cat can't stay on this regimen forever. Maybe your cat
>will end up cured anyway. Maybe an airplane will hit your house. You know
>what I mean? Enjoy what you have now and don't fret so much about unknowns.
>
>I wish you and your cat the best,
>Barb
>Of course I don't look busy,
>I did it right the first time.
>
>