Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A Decision Has Been Made

(posted by Meowmie L)

Today has been a proper rollercoaster, which i have ridden before with Stormie. i have questioned people with experience of FOSCC, myself, my vet, the oncologist...i just wish i could question the most important one of all...Timmy.

Despite the huge odds against Timmy, the oncologist called this morning and her first words were "Well I have some good news!" It seems the tumour has not affected the bone yet, so the surgery required would be minimal and affect soft-tissue only. This would be followed by 4 doses of radiation over a four week period. It seems Timmy has been given a rare chance.

I have had numerous conversations with my vet and oncologist today , and due to the fact that Timmy is in excellent health, we have caught things early, the cancer is not invading the bone and it has not spread anywhere else, recovery from surgery should be pretty quick...apparently it is not much more invasive than when he had his biopsy, which he recovered from within a day or two. My vet also called the oncologist and after the conversation reassured me that if Timmy was her cat that she would proceed with the treatment too, given all the circumstances (if it had involved removing any jaw bone she said that she would probably not go ahead with anything).

The radiation may irritate his mouth a little, but it is a short 4 week course and only one dose a week - not an intensive protocol - involving just a 2 hour stay at the vets each time. any side effects will be 'local' to the cancer site i.e. no nausea etc. the tumour is not big so the hole won't be huge. Tim will not be disfigured in any way at all and will not have future problems with eating, drinking, washing etc (should all go well). this was one of my major concerns.

The biggest concern is that the wound will irritate Timmy and put him off eating, but the oncologist is pretty confident that the wound will cause no more irritation than the biopsy. If however it does irritate him and he won't eat, they can pop a feeding tube in for a few days until he is healed, at least getting nutrition in to him - sounds hideous i know, but a very easy and common procedure. And then of course there is also the concern that the cancer could come back....there are no guarantees. If this happened then nature would take it's course, i would only try for a cure the once.

Unexpectedly the odds are in Tim's favour, he has been given a slim and rare chance according to both my vet and oncologist - they rarely get to see cats where the tumour has not yet affected other parts of the face/body or started impacting on their health, these tumours do not show up usually until it is too late - in Timmy's case the location and size of the tumour make treatment worth a go.

i have beaten myself up over this today, sought advice from all sorts of quarters, asked a hundred questions on feline cancer forums and we are going to give Tim the chance. I really was accepting of the fact that i was going to let him go this morning...yesterday i had chatted things over with my vet and Meowmie J and we discussed the options and we all kind of agreed that the ONLY way surgery would become an option is if by a miracle the oncologist called up with really positive news and said Timmy had a good chance of surviving...which she did this morning...Timmy has been given an 80% chance of long-term survival if the treatment is successful. We think it is worth trying...of course we all remain totally aware that this is a nasty cancer with low success rates...

Timmy's quality of life will still remain paramount to us and ANY indication that the surgery or radiation has failed and he is in pain then we will do what is necessary for him. we can easily stop the process if we feel it is not working for Timmy.

Timmy is scheduled to have his surgery tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd).

Thank you all for your support and friendship


Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

We have come to your blog via Flock o Fuzzies and are sending warm purrs and healing thoughts your way. We will follow you and mewmie said she got tears in her eyes watching Stormy's video tribute. You have love in your hearts and that made mewmie smile, too

Daisy said...

Oh my goodness, that is such great news! It does seem like a surgery that only involves the soft tissue would be so much easier on Timmy than if the bone were involved. When will Timmy have his surgery?

Niko and Cloud said...

excellent news! we will purr hard for him tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Under the circumstances, that's about the best news you could have heard. We'll keep purring for you and Timmy.

Princess said...

Thank you for coming to my blog and telling me. I really appreciate this. Mom has been busy with all sorts of crap, so she is just so happy to know what is happening.
What a surprise and shock we have here.
Our dear Timmykins has a nasty cancer. We hate cancer. It might be one of the things we hate the most in the entire world.
We are praying for all of you, I think God's blessings have already been showered upon you and the vet too, these past few days.
So surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and I will personally have a piece of Pierro's birthday cake in Timmy's honour, to give him strength, and we will be with all of you in spirit, you can count on it!

We are behind you with this and please know that we are here to know all of the trials and tribulations of this ordeal. We will get through together

<3 always

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I am so glad to get to read this wonderful news for you and Timmy! I am glad you didn't have to make such a hard decision! Our hopes that this treatment will be as quick and as painless (for everyone) as it sounds. Purrs and good thoughts!

Camie's Kitties said...

We are so glad to hear that while the diagnosis of cancer was bad, the news that followed was so good. We will continue to purr for Timmy and know that with your love and devotion and the purrs of the entire CB behind him, miracles will indeed be possible for you again.

Tavi, Cody, Camie, Miss Jade and Gracie

Jan's Funny Farm said...

We're glad the odds are so good for Timmy in this. We hope his surgery goes well. Purrs and tail wags.

Craig & Caroline Hind said...

Oh I am SO happy to hear this! It makes me want to get all leaky eyed just thinking about it!

This is very good news and very encouraging. But it's not over yet, so we are all sending love and purrs until he gets better.

Lots of love
Craig & Caroline (and Timtam, Mumble & Misu)

Parker said...

This is great news and what great odds for beating this rotten disease. Our thoughts and prayers will be with Timmy today!

Riley & Tiki said...

That is great news! Vincent Who Came Before also had radiation (on his hip). He was always starving after radiation and actually gained weight during his treatment. They shaved his fur and drew on him with a magic marker so they knew just where to zap him each time. The fur in that area did fall out and the skin evantually looked like a very mild sunburn with some peeling. He acted like it was a little itchy, but that's all. Since Timmy's radiation area will be in a more reachable place, you may need to prevent him from scratching it. The fur grew back when it was over but it had lost pigment. There were white strands of fur throughout the area. Cancer did not get Vincent (renal failure did instead). We are sending loud purrs and soft woofs that cancer does not get Timmy either.

Riley & Tiki said...

Also, Mommy's Dad had radiation last year for prostate cancer. He said it did not hurt and he went to work every day after treatment. We also forgot to say that whatever they used on Vincent to knock him out was a lower dose than for surgery and that he always woke up quickly and hungry. We hope Timmy's surgery goes well and are so glad it does not involve bone.

Tiki & Kesey

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

We are so very glad that Timmy has been given such a good outlook! We will continue to purr and pray for a complete recovery and many more years for Timmy to be with you.

Charlemagne and Tamar

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