Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back from the oncologist

I'm back from the Melbourne Veterinary Referral Centre after over a day away from home and unfortunately the news is not good, because a chest scan and an MRI showed that the tumor on my back leg is not the only tumor inside me, because I have what they call a "nodule" in my lung and another in my abdomen, and the big tumor on my leg is so big that it's close to my spine so it would be very difficult to remove it without amputating my pelvis and my leg, and Daddy doesn't want to put me through that, so I'll be going back to the specialist vet again next week to talk about chemotherapy treatment or other care for my cancer.

I'm home now and I'm happy to be home and I'm feeling sprightly and active after all the tests I got put through. And it all started on Tuesday morning at 9.00 when Daddy and Uncle Kevin took me to the Melbourne Veterinary Referral Centre at Essendon Airport, and a nice nurse named Naarah took my vitals (including my heartbeat, my breathing rate, and of course that thermometer up my kitty bum!) and it was all normal and she said I was a handsome cat (which I am, of course!), and then a nice doctor named Peter the oncologist came in and felt me all over, especially the tumor on my leg, and I didn't fuss hardly at all, and then he asked Daddy some questions about me. And doctor Peter explained that the tumor I had (what he called a "sarcoma") was likely to be one of two types: either what he called "spontaneous", which older cats like me get sometimes, and no one knows how they begin; or what he called an "injection-site sarcoma," which is common in American cats like me who used to receive rabies injections, and even though I haven't had a rabies shot in nine years, sometimes kitty bodies will react to something in the vaccine many many years after they had the shot. And doctor Peter wasn't sure which type of tumor I had, but injection-site sarcomas are bad and more aggressive; and he said he would get in touch with the pathologist who analysed my biopsy last week and get an opinion on what kind of sarcoma it was, because it might influence the choice of treatment. But meanwhile I should have some tests to see if there were any other signs of cancer inside my body, since a big tumor on the outside of my leg could mean smaller tumors on the inside.

So Daddy authorized the doctors to do a chest scan and then an MRI, which had to be done at the Referral Centre's facility in Glen Waverly (many miles away!), but nurse Naarah said that the Referral Centre staff could transport me; so Daddy left me with the nurses in the Essendon centre around 11.00 and later in the day I was transported to Glen Waverly in their "ambulance" and then they gave me some anesthetic and shaved my belly (so that I look like this):

and they did a chest scan and discovered the lump in my lung, and that changed my prognosis, since having a lump in my lung means that surgery on my leg wouldn't cure all my disease. Then I woke up a bit, and doctor Peter phoned my Daddy and asked if he still wanted an MRI done on me, and Daddy said yes, so they gave me anesthesia again and when I woke up it was too late in the evening to go back to Essendon, so I spent the night at the Glen Waverly centre with a tube in my paw to make sure I had fluids; but I was wide awake and charmed the nurses and meowed every time they walked by me (they had 24-hour nurse care at the Centre). Meanwhile Dr Peter phoned Daddy a couple times about the initial results of the MRI, which showed the condition of my abdomen, and how my leg tumor was so close to my spine; and Daddy made an appointment for 3.30 pm on Wednesday (that was today!) to meet with the surgeon to get the full explanation of my scans. And I spent the morning at Glen Waverly and the ambulance transported me back to Essendon in the early afternoon and I was so excited because I knew I'd get to see my Daddy again! And the nurse who brought me on the ambulance paid me such a complement when she told Naarah, "I want this cat!" because she said I was so well-behaved and friendly, and she loved the color of my eyes. And the nurses put me and my cat carrier inside a big cage, and sometimes I sat in my carrier, and sometimes I curled up in the litter pan they had in the cage (I mean, the pan was just the right size to curl up in!), and I always meowed when someone walked by because I love the attention.

And at 3.30 that nice nurse Naarah brought me into the consulting room, and Daddy and Uncle Kevin were there, and when they opened my carrier I leapt out and wanted to explore the whole room, and a nice doctor named Simon the surgeon came in and explained to Daddy what my scans meant while I ran around and played with Uncle Kevin. And basically Simon the surgeon recommended that Daddy not make me have surgery on my leg tumor, since it would be too aggressive and unlikely to be curative, since I have these two other nodules in my body, and maybe even other things they couldn't detect; and he also said that these results were consistent with the "injection-site sarcoma" that doctor Peter the oncologist had mentioned; so the best course of action would be to go back to doctor Peter and discuss treatments like chemotherapy.

And Daddy and Uncle Kevin brought me home, and the first thing I did is run up the stairs and make a pee in my litter box. And then I asked Daddy to give me some wet kibble, and then I got him to give me hard kibble; and at dinnertime he spoiled me with a fishy treat:

And then Daddy hugged me and confessed that he and Uncle Kevin had spent a lot of time last night crying, and they said they love me and want to make my routine as normal as possible, so I hopped right to it and planted myself on my green pillow:

And while I was there, Daddy gave me a yogurt treat:

And then I sat on my Kevin pillow for a long time:

And I was wide awake most of the evening, just like I was on the night after my biopsy, but now I'm getting sleepy after such an exhausting day. I don't know what the future will bring and I don't know when (or if) I'll start feeling sick, but for now I'm so glad to be back in my home after over 30 hours away in a hospital having tests, and tomorrow when I wake up I'm going to sleep in my basket in the window and watch the birdies gather at birdfeeder. And I want to thank all my furry friends who read my blog and have sent me such kind messages and good wishes; it means a lot to me and especially to my Daddy.


Kea said...

Oh, Oscar, I don't know what to write. You were a very good mancat, to undergo all those tests and be away from home for so long. I wish the news was better, of course. Actually, I'm trying to type through my tears and I don't even know you. I realize your dad and Uncle Kevin will do what is best for you, for your Highest Good. Please know I'm sending you all universal healing Light and my fur kids are purring hard.

Lots of (((hugs))) and kitty kisses.

-Kim with Annie, Nicki, Derry, and "angel" Chumley

AFSS said...

Oh Oscar, we were so sorry to read about your tumors. We are sending healing purrs and hoping that you continue to feel OK.You will be in out thoughts. It must have been very scary being away from home being tested but it sounds as if you made the best of it. ~Artemisia, Fenris, Socks & Scylla

ML said...

O, Oscar, you are such a furry brave mancat.
I's posted this on tha Cat Blogosphere so you can get lots and lots of purrs.
Fanks to Artemisia, Fenris, Socks & Scylla fur letting us know.
Missy Blue Eyes
Faith Boomerang
Mom ML

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Hi, Oscar, we came by from the CB to say hello. We're sending special purrs and tail wags for you to get well.

Poppy Q said...

Hi Oscar, sounds like you were super great for the vet team. We are sorry to hear the news about your tumour, but I think you seem such a happy fellow, and hope you have lots more days to share with your family.

Smooches to you dude.

Julie and Poppy Q

Sparkle said...

Oscar, your post made my human a little weepy because the cat she had before me had a sarcoma that was a little like yours and she always gets a bit weepy when she thinks of that kitty. But for the longest time - over a year - this kitty didn't act like she was sick at all and spent her time running outside, jumping through second story windows and catching lizards and birds. She refused to be an invalided indoor kitty because she had been an adventuresome outdoor kitty her whole life.

I hope the chemo will help you because you sound like a great cat, and your human and uncle love you very much. I am sending you all lots and lots of healing purrs because it's what we kitties are best at. When you are dozing, I'm sure you will even feel the purring of hundreds of kitties all over the cat blogosphere, sending you more healing energy than you can possibly imagine.

Ikaika said...

Hello, handsome Oscar! We are sorry that you are so sick, but from what you have told us, we know your dad will make the best decision for your care. You are a lucky kitty to be so loved. We send you lots of healing purrs and headbumps ...

'Kaika and the Yosemite cats

Everycat said...

Oscar, that's a bummer about the tumours being the wrong type, but we know that your Daddy and Uncle Kevin will make sure your life stays comfortable and enjoyable for as long as possible. What a gentleman cat you were whilst you were away at all the different vets!

Now, you enjoy those birds at the feeder, your sunshine puddles on the stairs, your treats and your window views.

We're rumbling out our best purrs for you Oscar!

Whicky Wuudler et al

Huffle Mawson said...

Oh Oscar. That is not the best news but I think your daddy and Uncle Kevin are doing the right thing for you. At your age, quality is important, not an extended life. If I were you, I'd be asking for ham 24 times a day. You'll probably get it, you know.

Junior and Orion said...

Oscar, we are so very sorry to read this. That nasty cancer! We are purring and purring for the best for you, and Meowm is sending hugs you, your Dad and Uncle Kevin.

The Island Cats said...

Hi Oscar. We're sorry to hear you have these tumors. But it sounds like your dad and Uncle Kevin are doing what's best for you. We hope you continue to feel good for a long time. We'll be purring for you....

cats of wildcat woods said...

What a brave mancat you are to go through all those tests and so far from home. Youa re a very special cat inded! We are sending lots of purrs, prayers and healinglight that you will come through this OK!

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We don't know what to say Oscar, dis is horrible! We'll purr and purray fur yoo and yoor dad and Uncle Kevin. We know dey will do da best fur yoo...sometimes doing horrible things to a kitty just so beans can get more time wif dem is not right. Yoor beans are being unselfish in making yoo comfortable and keeping up da quality of life fur yoo. Sometimes miracles happen...

Ginger Jasper said...

I came from my pal Huffle's and am so sorry at what I see. I am sending some of my loudest purrs and hope you wil get well.. With love and hugs GJ xx

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Our furiend Huffle sent us over. Oscar, we are sending you over very best sibe vibes to you, we are so sorry to hear about your evil tumors. Paws crossed for healing.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Katnip Lounge said...

We want to let you know that you have 12 GIANT purrs coming across the sea from Las Vegas! Huffle sent us.
xx lounge kats

Keiko (from Kitty Trio) said...

We came from Huffle's blog.
Oscar, what an ordeal you're going through. You are so brave for letting humans do so many tests on you. We know that your daddy and Uncle Kevin will look after you! We are purring very hard and sending you healing thoughts, so that you don't have any pain and you can maintain your quality of life! Tumors are evil. Go away tumor!
We're thinking of you new Aussie friend...
Lots of rumbling purrs, Keiko Kenji & Pricilla

Cat Mandu said...

Huffle told me you weren't feeling well. I'm sending a lot of purrs your way. Sounds like you have a wonderful family.
Cat Mandu

Suka said...

hey Oscar,

Huffle Mawson sent me over. I am so sad to read about your Vet visit. You are a very brave kitty to endure all those tests. I have my paws crossed that the Vets find a good way to treat you back to health.

What a nice Daddy you have to give you such yummy treats!


Forever Foster said...

Hi Oscar, we came over from Huffle's page. We are sorry to hear about your diagnosis. You are a lucky mancat to have such a loving dad and uncle, and it sounds like you have great doctors too. We are sending you lots of purrs.