Decisions… Decisions…

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Vaccine Associated Sarcoma – When surgery’s no longer an option:

It’s been over 7 months since the surgery to remove the new VAS tumor. We knew recurrence would most likely happen since we didn’t get clean margins this time. Now, I have multiple tumors along the incision site from my spine down the same side as my amputation. There’s not much tissue left there. We’re going to see the vet to see what our options are, but I’m thinking it might be time to plan for palliative care. I still look and feel very healthy aside from the lumps and bumps, but we want to be ready in case things change as the tumors continue to grow. That last surgery was so hard with me being a more, uhh, “mature” fella and all. Mom doesn’t want to put me through that again. 

In the meantime… I think I’ll just keep on soaking up the sun and getting chin scratches while looking all cute and innocent.

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Please, feel free to comment with any suggestions for my visit with the vet. We look forward to hearing from you!


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10 thoughts on “Decisions… Decisions…”

  1. Little Man! These are just about THE CUTEST pictures ever!!! Your “close-up is book cover material! But that o e of your Mom givi giving you a little head scratch and you hugging her with your oaw….ADORABLENESS!!!!! 🙂

    I don’t have any specific “advice”. It sounds like your Mom knows you very well and will not do anything to interfere with the loving and spoiling you are now thoroughly enjoying! As all our cats and dogs know, days on a calendar mean nothing! Quality means everything!! And your mom ks clearly committed to giving you all the quality humanly possible!!

    A other option your human may check out is a holistic approach. I hope Kerren, Mona kitty’s mom sees this. I think she’s used some holistic things and Mo a had the same kind of vaccine related tumor.

    Update when you can. And keep these great pictures coming!!

    Savor everyday and enjoy the sunshine!!

    Love and hugs!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. We are using some herbal and omega supplements. I’ve looked for a holistic vet. The closest one is over an hour away and LM doesn’t travel well, so I’m going to see about a phone consultation before trying to make that drive with him.. He can always see the local vet when needed since it’s so much closer if that doesn’t work out.

      Thanks for the kind words about the pictures. =) I think he takes such good pics because he’s such a happy boy… it’s all over his face. lol

      Michelle

  2. I know that some here have done phone consultations with Dr. Charles Loop(s), a Holostic Vet in North Carolina.

    You may also want to post under “Ask A Vet” in the forums and see if you get in additional thoughts there. Palliative care in itself is a treatment than can definitely extend quality time. Sounds like Little Man is feeling just fine and that’s all that matters in his world…that and your spoiling and loving!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about the new tumours. Sally is right, my Mona had her front leg amputated due to VAS. After the amputation I went to a holistic vet and Mona has been on Power Mushrooms to support her immune system.

    I’m a member of a Yahoo support group for VAS and there are a lot of members there with years of experience with VAS. If you want to join and ask questions you might find some info on palliative care as the tumours grow. I had a cat with malignant melanoma and was able to keep him comfortable for a number of months as the tumours grew. It was an honour to nurse him and give him love and care. Here is the VAS Support group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Feline_VAS_Support/info

    As for holistic care. I personally don’t believe there is anything that will rid our cats of this horrific disease. However, your vet, or a holistic vet may be able to suggest products that will help keep Little Man comfortable as the tumours grow. Also, here is a site if a tumour opens: http://www.vascats.com/id23.html

    I wish you and Little Man well. He’s done so well since the amputation! It’s been about 4 years hasn’t it?

    Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona
    (Mona says to spoil Little Man and only feed him his favourite foods)

    1. It’s a pleasure to hear from you, Kerren. I’m very familiar with that support group. It’s one of the first places I found when facing amputation. I also remember that site on the tumor care. I’ll be sure to bookmark it so I can find it again when the time comes. Thank you! (Looks like we’ve traveled the same path on our journey! lol)

      He really has done very well. June will be 4 yrs. I never thought about how much time I may have with him, but I feel so blessed that he keeps beating those statistics. It’s been such an emotional roller coaster. I’ll call the holistic vet when they open to schedule an appointment or at least a phone consult. I really hate taking him anywhere, it upsets him so. Aside from the VAS, he has food allergies. Since I was able to find a food he could eat, I never had the blood tests done to see what he was allergic to. I need to do that so I have more food options if he loses his appetite. I just know he reacts to grains, dairy, soy, pork, poultry, and fish. He’s picky, too. He turns his nose up at raw. I can’t mix anything in his food or he won’t eat it for days. He tolerates me giving him pills and drops, but he foams at the mouth when he doesn’t like the flavor. I just want to keep his remaining days as comfortable and stress free as possible. Now if I can figure out how to calm him down during the ride to the vet. I know with our old vet, I could go by and pick up a sedative. This vet is over an hour away and I never go that way to just be able to drop by. I may see what they say and make the trip anyway. I feel like it will be worth it. I would love to be able to spoil him with tasty treats and give him the best quality of life that I can. Thanks again!

      I look forward to keeping in touch. Mona is beautiful! I’m so glad she’s been doing well.

  4. There’s some sort of pheromone, or something like that…Felway (?)….some spray or collar that’s supposed to calm cats. Actually I think Kerren has used it. I’ll see if I can find the actual name..The other thing, would an “In Home vet” be in your vicinity? Im.not sure what’s involved in the allergy test itself, but maybe it’s something that a vet could possibly do as a hoise call.

    Lots of love!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. It is Feliway and I’ve used the plug ins at home and the spray for the carriers when we drive somewhere. It helps. It was great during our move!

  5. Hi Michelle. I can relate to the emotional roller coaster. VAS is so wicked that we give our cats vaccines to “protect” and they get cancer. I consider us the “lucky” ones in that an amputation gave us much more time with our kitties than some of those with scruff tumours. I read your blog (love it) and think you have a great attitude which I believe has helped Little Man tremendously.

    I laughed about Little Man going in for an amputation and coming home with a new personality. It’s the same with Mona! She is very confident and has embraced being a tripawd by enjoying life to the fullest. She is a diva and rules my household. Mona is very relaxed going to the vet and I even bring her along as a “comfort cat” for my male cat Eli, who is a big baby at the vets. She jumps in his box to lie on him to shut him up! The vet even does the checkup with Mona’s help. The last time she went to the back with Eli for them to take blood. It’s too bad she couldn’t help Little Man…

    So I haven’t used Feliway, the pheromone that Sally suggested (good idea Sally). You might not even have to take Little Man in if he isn’t having treatments and may be able to consult over the phone and by sending photos.

    I just love tabbies and find the males like Little Man especially stunning. There was a neighbourhood tabby with especially long legs who would come over to visit but would not let my cats past a line he drew in the driveway. My cats would sit on their side of the line and he would do what he wanted. That fella sure knew how to garner respect in the neighbourhood.

    Wishing you and Little Man many sunny days.

    Kerren and Mona

    1. I keep going back and forth about the vet thing. I would love to be able to use this holistic vet as primary, but I love the convenience of the local vet. I may do a phone consult with the holistic and let the local vet handle everything else. Then again… lol Decisions… Decisions…

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