About Me

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Dubuque, Iowa, United States
I'm a woman obsessed with cats. In this blog, I channel my absent Siamese cat named Angel. She lives with my family in this blog, 3 teenagers, a 4 year old boy and a 15 month old little girl. Life is complicated here. We twitter often, but be prepared for teenage interruptions as well as baby moments... Hope you find it interesting here....

Monday, April 18, 2011

@Spookyshorty and @Dannyspiro22's Blog Hop for Chemo!

I met Spooky as @spookyshorty months ago on Twitter at at #nipclub.  Lillian is their Mom.  I was helping @UsThreeCoons's Nimbus get help with his diabetes at the time, so it was December, I was trying to get it for Christmas. Spooky/Lillian was telling me about Spooky and his Lymphoma ...

Spooky-Shorty My Life with Lymphoma

I am an all black male 13 years old DSH cat & I have lymphoma.
I am trying to get cured of this & I am more then half way through my 1 year protocol of chemotherapy treatments.

My story begins last year in May when I could not go poop, I went to my regular vet who gave me enemas that did not work.
I was told I needed an ultrasound to see what was going on in my tummy. I breezed through that procedure. They saw something in my lower colon/rectal area.

I went back to stay over night so I can get cleaned out enough for a colonoscopy, yes the same procedures humans get.
I started to get this procedure & since they knocked me out I have to repeat the story that was told to me when I got better.

It seems when they went to get a tissue sample of this mass they saw in my colon, my colon tore away, this meant lots of bad fluids were starting to seep into my abdomen & that was very dangerous.
They rushed me into surgery that lasted 5 long hours, the surgeon who is very highly skilled, had cut open my belly & had to stop the leaking fluids & needed to remove this mass.
This mass was located behind my pelvis & Dr. Kyles had to drop my pelvis in order to get at that mass. [I think it means they broke it]

I got through the operation but was in very bad shape I was hooked up to IVs that pumped antibiotics so I won't get an infections, pain medication I heard that is a very painful operation. Also I had a drain put inside my abdomen so that all that bad fluid can drain out.
I had IVs around the clock for many days.

The doctors & hospital staff all were amazed that a few hours after waking up I wanted to eat & went to use litter box.

It was a very rough 72 hours, the doctors said they weren't sure that I would survive due to infections or if it ruptures. I had a part of my colon removed with the mass & the colon was reattached they wanted me to poop loose so I wouldn't put a strain on my sutured colon.

I remained in the hospital for 7 days. I was getting kind of depressed being away from home so long.

My first days home I hid in the dark room, I laid in my litter box afraid to move around too much. I had diahrrea very bad my butt got so sore.
A few days more I started to lay in the open, still in my litterbox [I had paper in it]
I started to look for food & walk around a bit more the doctor said no jumping or running or climbing. [ I didn't even want to walk much less jump]

Then the results came back from the biopsy....very bad news, it seemed that mass was cancerous & the type I have is called Lymphoma. There was very good news, this brillantly skilled surgeon Dr. Kyles had gotten all of the mass every piece of it, & the surrounding tissues he took along with it, when tests came back.....I was cancer-free.

Now the decision was to be made about treatments to keep my cancer away. If I had no treatment I would have maybe 2 months to live, if I have only pills [which I still take daily] called Prednisolone I could live maybe 4-6 months, if I got chemotherapy & the pills I need to continue for 1 full year of what they call protocol.

That was the option I chose, yes I did pick that one. My mom talked it over with me & asked me what I wanted, because I was the one to be going through this, what was involved would not be easy. I told mom I want to live a long time I will take the chemotherapy.

I started with it in July & had gotten a grant to help start it, mom was already maxed out from my operation & medicines & long stay in ICU. [$16,000.00]
I was running out of that fund when I got another fund that helped me continue. Soon that was running out because my chemotherapy had 4 drugs involved that are all over $450.00-$500.00 every week, then every other week.

Because of very caring & loving person Jennifer took me under her wing, she started a chip-in. since then so many other caring & loving people from allover the world have donated so I may continue my chemotherapy.

My oncologist will let me know if I will be continuing my chemotherapy after my 1 year protocol is over. He wants to keep this bad lymphoma from ever coming back

I have side effects, Adriamycin: this causes my poop to burn when it comes out it is very severe. Cytoxan: this causes me to get depressed/frightened I want to be held & comforted, & it also burns when I poop but differently & not as severe. Methotrexate: this causes my poop to burn even worse then Adriamycin & last longer. Vincristin: this one makes my bowels slow down & get sluggish so I don't poop.[ I was told this side effect mostly occurs in dogs]
For all my side effects I get medicines to help get over them, I get Metroniadolze pills for when my poop burns me. Miralax powder for when I cannot poop mixed in my food. [yes its made for people-laxative]
Plus the Prednisolone every day.

I went into the hospital weighing 21-lbs, I came home weighing 19-lbs, I weighed in last time at hospital where I get my treatments at 22-lbs. My oncologist would like me to go back to 19-lbs & stay at that weight it is easier to have a better dose of chemo at one weight then to get heavier then I need more higher dose chemo.

I finally had found a kitty who could be saved instead of going OTRB!  Mom's got Fibromyalgia and a hard case of depression with it and she had finally found a kitty who wouldn't go OTRB if she could help! Then she learned that Spooky had a brofur named Danny who eventually was discovered to have Lymphoma also! Here is something from Danny's blog...

Danny I Have Lymphoma Too

My name is Danny I am a 15 year old DSH creamy white colored cat & I have lymphoma too.

I came from the streets a man found me wandering around when I was about 11 months old. He didn't really like me & put me in a basement of an apartment building. People complained I smelled up the place so this man scooped me up & dumped me down another basement of another apartment building. This one contained huge rats.

I was very frightened of these rats & meowed a lot, there was this lady who came to see about the boiler, it seemed she helped this super tend to her buildings heat system, I ran up to her crying & she brought me food & water.
I don't blame her she didn't know why I was there I didn't know how to explain it.

The next day she came back to feed me & I was frantically meowing telling her 'DON'T LEAVE ME HERE' she left & came back a few minutes later with a bag. But she scooped me up in her arms & carried me up some stairs.
I spent the day in this nice room with food, water, litter box & a bed. I didn't see any rats here.

The next day I went to the vets, I was deemed a boy [like who didn't know] about 11 months old [I guess I forgot I was on my own a while] & I was healthy.

This lady asked around if I belonged to anybody & if anybody wanted me. she had 2 very old cats & 2 very young kittens.

No one answered her question. I was called CAT for a while then one day that lady came to me & asked did I want to live here......was she kidding me?
I was happy inside.

I went to the vets again to get 'fixed' & knew that when I was ready she'd come for me & I'd have a home forever.
After that the lady became MOM & I became DANNY

I have been in very good health most of my life, I think I have allergies cause I sneeze a lot during the mild months & in the chilly months after that I am ok.

Only now I was feeling not quite right & didn't know if I should tell her or not cause I was scared because I know she can't afford another cat on chemo.

I went to the vet & they took blood & urine & a thing called aspiration for cytology.
I went to another vet who did more tests & was told I had a big mass & a little mass in my belly somewhere maybe its why I feel full after eating so little?

I had gotten this really nice doctor who took special care of me [ he takes care of my brother Spooky-Shorty] I got something called chemotherapy.

I went home I pee a lot & eat in small portions but I am feeling a little better. I go next week & for 6 weeks straight in total to get more chemo this will help me get better & stronger cause I lost some weight.
Then I will get chemo every other week  then every 2 weeks every 3 weeks  [just like my Brother Spooky] & will have this nasty thing called lymphoma go away.

I loved to play with those plastic thingys that you buy in gum machines with little surprises in them. I can play with them for hours talking to them when they roll under things.

Did I mention I do talk a lot?

If you can please help donate towards my chemo I will be purring happily all the time. I want to live a lot longer & play with my caps.

 I don't know how, other than to throw #SpookyPawties and now to do this BlogHop, how to raise funds.  Will you join in to help? Use Spooky and Danny's Blog Hop image and include the link for donation at the end. Then at last, please add your blog to the bloghop so you can be part of what everyone sees! Thank you SO much!

A brief history of Lymphoma!

By Lynn Miller (Appeared in the "Cat Fanciers' Journal Summer 1998 Issue)
Updates December, 2002 in italics.
Lymphosarcoma, sometimes called lymphoma, is a malignant tumor (or tumors) derived from lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, etc.). It is an illness that affects humans as well as cats, dogs, and other mammals. Lymphosarcomas are probably the common tumors of cats.
Although often caused by the leukemia virus, the cases we have experienced have occurred in FeLV negative Oriental Shorthairs, which have been strictly indoors in FeLV negative catteries. Since these cats are related we suspect a genetically inherited cause instead of viral.
Some of the lymphoma cats were diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective so we feel it's important to share our discussions about the symptoms to alert other cat owners and breeders. We have found that by talking about it openly, sharing experiences and pedigrees, we have been able to let go of the pain and continue as cat fanciers.
After our first cat died, I phoned all over the country. I was amazed at how many people would not talk about it. People would tell me about their experiences, but promised to deny the conversation in the future. Some, unfortunately, were all too willing to blame other cats many generations past.
I also went through a long period of denial during this time, which is very common when faced with a disease like this. Even after we lost three cats, I still couldn’t accept that our cases could be genetic. I kept searching for other possibilities. Was it environmental? Water, radon, power lines, or just random bad luck? Were humans affected? It just couldn’t be genetic!
I was frightened. I did not want to hear of any new cases and dreaded answering the phone. I was even afraid to sell kittens. Once we got over the denial, we decided to be proactive. We researched and altered those we believed might be passing it on. Some of our friends thought that we were overreacting. After all, some of the cats had produced beautiful babies and the books said it was viral.
We were also very fortunate to find Dr. Fred. He recognized the symptoms and knew how to treat the disease. Seeing several cats die because they were not treated in time has taught me why it is advisable to start therapy immediately. It’s also important to note that onset of the tumors is rapid, so it is important to get the cat to the vet as soon as possible once symptoms begin.
Lymphosarcomas have been found in Golden Retrievers for years. Rarely do we visit Dr. Fred without seeing one in the waiting room. Lymphoma is also been seen in Boxers, Basset Hounds, and St Bernard's. Lymphosarcoma has also been well-documented in cats. However, until recently, it was thought that all lymphomas were only in FeLV positive cats. This is not true as we, unfortunately, found out. Many veterinarians also believe that lymphoma means death and will advise euthanasia. Many cat owners believe that their cats will be sick from the chemo. Neither of these is true either.
Treatment of Lymphosarcoma in Felines
Most combinations include Vincristine, Cytoxan, and Prednisone (COP protocol). One combination used with success is Vincristine Cytoxan, Methotrexate. Some have added Prednisone and/or L-asparaginase (Elspar)
Dr Fred’s chemotherapy protocol includes Prednisone, Elspar, Vincristine, and Cytoxan. Idarubicin both parenteral and oral routes of administration are possible. Side effects include gastrointestinal toxicity, leukopenia, and anorexia. This drug has limited availability, but seems to have good results in feline lymphoma. Most oncologists agree that total chemotherapy lasts two years.
Case Histories
To help others understand lymphosarcoma that appears to be genetically caused, I’ve included several case histories below. You will see that it is a disease of the young presenting very subtle symptoms.
Algebra's Simon
Ebony Oriental Shorthair Male
Sire: SGC Mitsumews Chip N'Dale of Algebra
Dam: CH Algebra's Pocahontas
9/25/96: symptoms: regurgitating and only eating small amounts9/26/96: Wheezing after regurgitating. Diagnosed with pharingitis at local vet. Treated with Clavamox.9/27/96: Still regurgitating. Return to vet where chest x-ray revealed a mass in the right lower thorax. Referred to referral clinic that refused to speak to me and would not schedule appointment until referral vet called her. 9/29/96: Anorexia, wheezing, dyspnea, and acting depressed. Taken to University of Pennsylvania. After many hours and tests, he was diagnosed with a mediastinal mass, pleural effusion, and intussusception. Vet told us that he would not tolerate chemo or surgery. Euthanasia elected as only treatment. Necropsy revealed lymphosarcoma involving mediastinum, lymph nodes, liver, bone marrow, and colon.
Algebra's Pantera of Teshari (Simon's brother aka Alvin)
Ebony Oriental Shorthair Male
Sire: SGC Mitsumews Chip N'Dale of Algebra
Dam: CH Algebra's Pocahontas
10/96: Owner noted regurgitation, coughing, and dyspnea. Chest X-ray revealed mediastinal mass. Euthanasia. No necropsy report.
SGC Mitsumews Chip N Dale of Algebra
Seal Point Oriental Shorthair
Sire: GC RW Mitsumews Diablo
Dam: Leggs Kiss Me Kate of Mitsumews
Chip had a show career, was neutered and living in Princeton with a family, two cats, and two dogs. They noted that he was not acting right, not eating right, and not playing right. New toys, new foods, AD, Nutrical, etc. tried11/8/96: admitted to local veterinary hospital for fluid replacement due to dehydration. 11/11/96: a different vet realized that Chip was having dyspnea and did a chest x-ray. A mediastinal mass was revealed and euthanasia was recommended. Blood and organs sent to Leslie Lyons.
GP Algebra's Calypso of Y-NOT
Sire: SGC Mitsumews Chip N Dale of Algebra
Dam: GC, GP Algebra's X Marks the Spot, DM
Ebony Oriental Shorthair Female
1/16/97: coughing, breathing heavily but not rapidly. Chest x-ray revealed a mediastinal mass that was so large the heart could not be seen on x-ray.1/17/97: Vincristine, Cytoxan, Methotrexate with Prednisone started. Calypso tolerated chemo well and it was stopped 3/98.
10/98: she continues to do well.
CH Algebra's Esmerelda
Seal Lynx Point Oriental Shorthair
Born 6/1/96
Sire: SGC Mitsumews Chip N Dale of Algebra
Dam: GC, GP Algebra's X Marks the Spot, DM
3/8/97 Coughing and some dyspnea noted. Chest X-ray by regular local vet revealed a mass. In view of past, we wanted chemo started immediately. Elspar (aspariginase) was administered at U of Penn that night.3/10/97 Prednisone started 3/14/97 seen by Dr. Fred. Vincristine and Cytoxan given4/7/97 Radiograph reveals no tumor!
Esmerelda received chemotherapy as per Dr. Fred's protocol. She did well. At the end of March, 1998, she contracted a virulent strain of upper respiratory infection and did not recover. She died on 
4/9/98. Necropsy revealed necrotizing pharyngitisand necrotizing bronchopneumonia of unknown etiology. There was no evidence of lymphosarcoma.
GC Algebra's QT Pi
Blue Lynx Point Oriental Shorthair
Sire: SGC Mitsumews Chip N Dale of Algebra
Dam: GC, GP Algebra's X Marks the Spot, DM
6/1/96 (Esmerelda's litter sister)
4/22/97: dyspnea noted4/23/97: Chest x-ray revealed mediastinal mass. Elspar, Vincristine, Prednisone started.
8/98: Has done very well with chemo protocol. She has been seeing Dr. Fred every three weeks since January. The only doses she missed were in April 98, when she had a URI. She was shown often at cat shows from January-March.
December, 2002 addition. QT did very well with chemo, finished two years of L-COPP and was declared cured of cancer. A follow up six months after completion of chemo confirmed that there was no mass. In May, 2002, QT was seen by her regular vet and was doing well. Within a week, she was not eating and just not doing well. A visit to Red Bank to confirm that it wasn’t cancer, revealed chronic renal failure. She was given subq fluids until August, 2002, when she was euthanized.
CH Algebra's Equal
Seal Point Oriental Shorthair
Sire: Y-NOT WYSIWYG of Algebra
Dam: GC, GP Algebra's X Marks the Spot, DM
3/12/98: Equal was in California as a potential breeding queen. Coughing was noted by owner. Chest X-ray revealed mediastinal mass. Within 24 hours, Equal was back in New Jersey visiting Dr. Fred. Treatment was started immediately. She was the only cat with palpable lymph nodes. Aspiration revealed lymphosarcoma.
She is doing well and also missed doses during her URI in 4/98.
10/98: she is now on every 3 week protocol.
December, 2002 addition. Equal finished chemo in April, 2000, and was declared cured. She continues to do well.
Born 1/88 
Seal Lynx Point
10/88: vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, dyspnea, acting depressed. Treated with amoxidrops, and then prednisone. X-ray revealed mediastinal mass. Vincristine given. Prednisone continued. Antirobe started, Serex given.11/17/88 regurgitation repeatedly noted.
12/88-tumor has shrunk to 1/4 of the original size. Still cannot aspirate cells.
3/24/89-"chest film was clear"
1990-finished chemotherapy
3/98: cat is reported to be in good health.
GC, RW FelitanMick Jaguar of Y-NOT
Ebony Tabby Oriental Shorthair
Sire: CH Y-NOT the Shadow Nose of Felitan
Dam: GC Korindah Kinieger of Felitan (Australian Import)
12/95: Initially thought to be thymoma (after seeing two vets due to not being able to eat) and scheduled for surgery. Diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. Mediastinal mass was found on x-ray. Cat was sent to referral hospital. He had been unable to keep food down because his esophagus was being compressed by the tumor.
Treated for a full two years with chemo (Vincristine, Cytoxan, and Methotrexate with Prednisone). Was shown during chemo without ill effect. Good response and he is doing well.
1. Alvin and Simon's brother, Theodore is alive and well and living in Massachusetts with a nurse and her family.
2. Pocahontas died in 1997 at the age two 1/2 years of a possible seizure disorder. No signs of lymphosarcoma were seen on necropsy. Written report remains unavailable. (As of 2002, her siblings were doing well).
Dr. Leslie Lyons is doing a study on cats with lymphosarcoma. It is possible that it is genetic. Blood samples are being collected. Most vets will draw the blood for free and National Institute of Health will pay for shipping charges. Write to her at:lalyons@ucdavis.edu
Dr. Heather Lorimer is collecting pedigrees of the cats with lympho. She has viewed several common denominators. Write to Helorimer@cc.ysu.edu
Chemotherapy Side effects (this site no longer exists)
Lymphoma Information
Dr. Hahn -- Caring for Pets with Cancer
Lymphoma in Cats -- Australian Study
Lymphoma Information
IOSG Home Page (this site no longer exists)
Lymphoma Resource Pages: Hodgkin's Disease and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Lymphoma Resource Pages - Lymphoma Glossary
Lymphoma Resource Pages - What is Lymphoma?
Ferret Lymphosarcoma FAQ

Talk About Lymphoma
Many of us have been living with cats with lymphosarcoma. They have chemotherapy for up to 2 years before they are declared "cured".
We have formed an on line support group to discuss any and all aspects of the disease. You must be a member to read our files, see our photos, and talk to us. Sign on at felinelymphoma@yahoogroups.com.
This is not a disease of just cats or just Orientals. Several oncologists have been treating felines with lymphoma successfully. If you even think that your cat has lymphoma, please contact one of us for help immediately. It is a fast growing tumor and chemotherapy needs to be started immediately -- even if it is a weekend.
December, 2002 Notes
Cats continue to be diagnosed with feline lymphosarcoma. Young ones treated with long-term chemotherapy continue to do well. Short-term therapies do not seem to have equal results. There are still vets out there who recommend euthanasia instead of consultation with an oncologist. Textbooks continue to talk about feline lymphosarcoma being related to FeLVeand being a lethal disease. There are still vets out there who are so interested in testing and staging that the cat dies before treatment is started. There are still vets out there interested in their wallet and not in the cat or their caretaker. This would be the only explanation for people paying $20 to $125 for the same treatmentAs of now, there are 525 members of the feline lymphoma on-line support group.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spooky and Danny

    Lillian (Spooky and Danny's Mom) wrote to me and said this about their treatments:

Right now I have 2 cats going through chemotherapy.  Danny just started yesterday chemo & I've been told he needs to get chemo every week for 6 weeks straight. This is to treat his mass aggressively, to halt its growth & shrink it so Danny can go into remission.
    Its not easy right now caring for 2 cats on chemo, I must keep them both seperate from each other & my other cats. Because after chemotherapy Spooky can have bouts of soft stools at anytime due to chemo & having the removal of the part of colon that holds stools in until he is ready to have bowel movement. Be highly toxic to healthy cats & myself.
Danny, too now must be kept away from the other cats & Spooky since gets a different drug protocol from Spooky's.
    Danny's side effects aren't known right now, he may get diarrhea, he may vomit, & that to is highly toxic.  
Even though both are getting chemo both are receiving very different drugs & strengths Spooky who is heavier gets a higher dose then Dannny who weighs way less. Neither one can have the others body fluids (stool or urine) touch each other by getting on their feet & ingesting it & the body fluids cannot touch my other cats who are healthy. 
    I must also be careful handling litter boxes by scooping feces & cleaning them up. I must wear gloves that is how toxic it is.
I now must keep these 2 apart in different rooms which means extra care & work. When I am home they must be monitored carefully with each other & my other cats. Danny being frail must use precaution on jumping & handling. & protected should another cat 'sense difference' & might threaten Danny or Spooky to defend themselves.
    Chemo for Danny & Spooky will land on the same day every few weeks.
Danny will receive chemo every week for 6 weeks. Spooky every 3 weeks.
Spooky will be getting an ultrasound in a few weeks too & his oncologist said "with his coming to his 1 year operation & last months of 1 year protocol he too may need to get chemo weekly" if they want to treat aggressively. After ultrasound he may continue on chemo to keep him in remission even after his 1 year protocol is up.
    Danny is going to get his for 1 year his oncologist told me this morning.