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.