I am so sorry to hear that it is a sarcoma. Very sorry. I would encourage you to consult with the oncologist, and ask his/her opinion as to treatments vs. sucess rates. I feel he/she will give you an answer that will lead your heart to make a decision that is in the best interest of Panther.
I know how difficult it is, as I am in the same position with my cat, Tenny. They count on us to do what is right for them. Hugs to you and Panther.
I am so sorry about Panther. But - as hard as it is and as much as it hurts, try to not cry around him alot; he will pick up on your mood and react to it, wondering what is wrong. When I took this journey with Gideon I promised myself and him I would always be of positive attitude and keep his spirits up along with mine. I'm sure this sounds odd, especially with all the pain you are feeling, but it keeps you and Panther on a positive footing. He looks to you and trusts you.
When I made the arrangements to take Gid down to Auburn for his six weeks of radiation, I would sit and hold him and tell him about all the wonderful doctors he would meet and how they were going to take excellent care of him. I also promised him I would be down every weekend to visit and stay with him. I don't know what your proximity is to where Panther will be getting treatment, but I truly hope it's close.
I am at work and can't write very much now. I will check again tonight when I'm home to see how you and Panther are doing.
Again, please contact me by email if you have any questions or just want to talk. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I really appreciate the support. Right now I'm just cuddling and playing with my baby. When I look at him I still can't believe he is sick. He certainly doesn't act like it.
On a side note I am angry that these vaccinations that are supposed to protect my fur baby are instead going to kill him. It's just not right.
I've been trying to come to terms with this situation and it is so hard to accept. I am very depressed about the whole thing.
Oh hon - your beautiful Panther!
Wait for the margin news...it might be better than you think. Maybe treatment will not be so serious and expensive.
Also, take a look at IMOM.org - I don't know if they cover radiation and chemo, or just surgeries. They cam maybe refer you to another resource.
And don't underestimate your PT friends here.
You also have PT Prayers going for you, the best there are!
Fragrancehound and Panther my thoughts are with you. This is truly distressing and I have been through what you are probably going through now. People tell you to make the most of the time you have and that is true but it makes it all the more poignant and sad. :(
((((Hugs to you))))
From the TopCats in Sydney :cool:
O, I was hoping not to read the posts about Panther!!! I cannot offer you very much, but my support here on the thread and LOTS of prayers!!! Go on the internet and read ALL you can about sarcoma. There are several good cat cancer site that have lots of information. It IS a big decision that you will make and the more informed you are, the better you can make a decision on what to do or not. Hugs to Panther and you!! Sandra
Due to a cancellation I lucked out and was able to get an appointment with the oncologist for next week so I will see what he has to say and what options are available.
There is a small glimmer of hope. I talked to my regular vet and she was reading part of the biopsy results to me. The pathologist who did the biopsy thinks if they were successful in getting the entire mass out including any microscopic margins there is a very low chance of this reocurring. I'm hopeful but realistic. I think I caught this in the beginning stages so I am trying to be optimistic.
Please ask the oncologist if chemo is an option. It's still expensive but not so much as radiation. Both cats I've had with cancer tolerated chemo very well. Hugs to you and Panther, with his shaved bottom!
Panther and I just got back from our apt. with the oncologist. She was very informative. They still do not have the remaining biopsy results in regards to the margins but she said it really doesn't matter at this point given that it is nearly impossible to completely remove fibrosarcoma because of the strands or legs attaching itself to other organs. Bottom line radiation is the best bet to reduce the chances of this coming back. She said that if I don't pursue radiation treatment it is almost inevitable that this tumor will come back within a year's time. With radiation treatment there is still no guarantee but the chances of it coming back are reduced to 30 to 40%. The thought of him going through radiation scares me but the idea of doing nothing scares me even more. I was hoping though that there might be an alternative treatment but no such luck. :(
The main problem I am having is a financial one. It is going to cost between $4,000 to $6,000 for a 20 treatment course, which is roughly about a month or so of treatments. The vet center is willing to break it down week by week but that is still going to cost me around $1,000 to $1,500 per week. They unfortunately do not allow you to pay things out over a period of time like I was hoping. I don't know how I am going to manage this situation. For those of you who have been in similar situations what did you do?
We have pet insurance on our gang. However, it has to go on credit card first then when they process the claims we repay back the card.
I would ask to speak with the office manager then go to the vet. I know where we were yesterday (specialty vet) they (office girls) were talking about someone who had a balance. I know they can if they want work with people. It would be curl to refuse treatment just because someone cant pay. They dont do it for humans it should be the same consideration for animals.
Other suggestion is getting personal loan.
I am so sorry. I don't know what I would do if I were in your situation.
In my Vet Tech classes we are being taught to give injections very low down on the leg, so that if a fibrosarcoma should occur the leg can be amputated.
I hope things work out well for little Panther, he's a beautiful boy and obviously very loved.
[QUOTE=The main problem I am having is a financial one. It is going to cost between $4,000 to $6,000 for a 20 treatment course, which is roughly about a month or so of treatments. The vet center is willing to break it down week by week but that is still going to cost me around $1,000 to $1,500 per week. They unfortunately do not allow you to pay things out over a period of time like I was hoping. I don't know how I am going to manage this situation. For those of you who have been in similar situations what did you do?[/QUOTE]
Hi again fragrancehound,
Do you have any family members that understand your love and devotion to Panther? Perhaps they could help. If not, does your bank do unsecured loans for the amount you need? That way you could spread it out over (maybe) 3-5 years.
Just a suggestion...
I don't have pet insurance and I know that Panther wouldn't qualify now. :(
Some of it I can put on my credit card but that still leaves a huge chunk I need to come up with, sooner than later. I really hate to ask family as I have gone that route before and I still owe money to my mom. I just don't like to owe money to family. It just makes for an uncomfortable situation.
I'm hoping to come up with a solution within the next week or so so I can start his treatments in 2 weeks.
I never would have thought I would be in this position but I guess no one can plan for something of this nature.
Thanks again for the support! It is comforting to know that others understand what I am going through now.
This was mentioned in a previous post. http://www.catsincrisis.org/
They have a funding limit, but might have ideas or make exceptions for Panther.
Also check out www.imom.org and see if they can help. I think it is usually surgery, but they might have some other ideas as well.
Pick their brains, and apply wherever you can, before treatment starts.
I need some honest opinions here. I feel so torn apart and I really do not know what to do. Do I opt for the radiation treatment assuming I can even get the funds or do I skip it and just give Panther the best life I possibly can in the remaining time he has with me?
I've contacted another oncologist to get a second opinion and basically he confirmed what the first oncologist said. With just surgery and no radiation treatment there is a 70% chance that this tumor will come back again. His life expectancy is about 1 year maybe even 1 1/2 if I'm lucky. With radiation there is a 40% chance of the tumor coming back but his life expectancy is about 2 years, maybe even 2 1/2. I am also looking into holistic approaches to see if anything will help but so far I am coming up empty although I did order a product called Willard Water because I read somewhere that it might help.
I have done everything possible to give him the best quality of life I can...tests, vet visits, surgery, tons of love, etc.. I really am conflicted about him having radiation. At $4,000 to $6,000 it is not something that I have budgeted for nor did I expect to have this being an issue but sadly it is. I've looked into some of the wonderful organizations posted here but I don't qualify. I might be able to borrow some of the money from my bf and put some on my credit cards however I am still not sure if that will be enough.
What would you do if you were in my position? If there is still a 40% chance of this tumor coming back would you still proceed with radiation treatments? I really am lost. I've asked the advice from family and friends and have received opposite opinions. Some say do whatever you can even if there is a chance of this cancerous tumor returning. Others say just enjoy the time you have with him. I don't know. I'm depressed and lost and just conflicted about this situation. :confused: