by Cathy Ward
My boy had a tumor on his eye and had to have it removed. He recovered really quickly and has no issue with only having one eye. After a wait of 4 weeks we were told it was large cell B cell lymphoma. He is starting his chemo protocol tomorrow 14th Oct 2016. I am so nervous as at the moment he is well eating and happy and having lots of cuddles with his sister Tarah. Its such a difficult decision to make and I know we will stop the chemo if he cannot be well on it. His quality of life is all I care about. He is my sweetest boy and I am so gutted I am going to have to say goodbye sooner than I thought. He is only 12 and I hoped we would have atleast a few more years yet. I will keep you updated with how it goes.
Update on Oscar 26th Oct 2016.
My boy started his Chemo on Friday 14th, a weekly regime of Intravenous injection once a week and Prednisolone tablets daily plus another tablet every 3 weeks. At first he seemed to have no side effects at all. Was eating and happy. But when we took him for his second injection on Monday 24th Oct he was weighed and has lost 2kg. Considering he only weighed 7.34 kg to start with its a considerable loss.
So we are just monitoring him very carefully and trying all sorts of his preferred treats and food to get him to eat. He still seems happy and okay in himself but then he has always been a happy boy and can seem healthy, when he is actually ill and in pain and we found out with his eye. So its a tense time and we are trying to keep positive. Will keep updating as we have anymore news.
31/10/2016 Oscar has just come back from the vets. He has an infection and is hardly eating at all. They have taken bloods and stopped his Chemo until we know the blood test results. I am so worried and am beginning to wish we hadn't started Chemo at all. He seemed so well until he started treatment and now he is 2.5 kg lighter and has an infection. Wish I knew what the right thing to do was.
All we can do for now is try syringe feeding and wait for the test results.
Back to the vets tonight to see if Oscars temperature has gone down enough for him to be given some appetite stimulants. Fingers crossed as hes eaten so little in the last few days Im really worried.
23rd Nov 2016
Sorry for the delay in updating things. Oscar has been very up and down and has been back to the vets almost daily for the last couple of weeks. we finally managed to find an appetite stimulant that works, so he has been on that but if he doesn't have it every few days he doesn't eat. He has lost weight again and his temperature is very unstable. Its now been long enough for it not to be side effects of the Chemo, so we have concluded the cancer must be advanced by now. We have decided not to continue any other treatments or tests other than end of life care. So as long as we can keep him comfortable and eating we will carry on. There is no point putting him through more test to see how bad it is when its not going to change how we treat him. He is having steroid injections antibiotics and appetite stimulants and prescription cat food and seems to be happy for now.
It is so hard coming to terms with the fact I cant make him better. It is breaking my heart my little boy is dying. But I am determined to do what's best for him and let him go when its time.
Sorry its been a while but I've been putting all my energy into caring for Oscar. He has been very up and down and we have had a real battle to keep him eating. Just having steroids antibiotics and appetite stimulators as that's what we have decided is best. The last week has been good and he is back to 5.5kg (was 7.5 before getting ill ).
So he is happy and doing well, for now. He has been to the vets almost daily for the last few weeks but is as good as gold, bless him.
No idea how long we have with him but I am determined to make the most of every day. I still have doubts about whether we shoukd do more tests to see how advanced the cancer is, but then I think of all he's been through and know deep down I'm doing the right things. Chemo made him so ill, its not fair to make his last weeks full of suffering on such a slim hope of another year or two. My heart goes out to anyone with a poorly baby, its one of the toughest things I've faced.
11th Jan 2017
Oscar has another infection and is having to visit the vets daily for antibiotics steroids and Matexipam for his appetite. He seems happy and is having lots of cuddles but he doesn't have much energy and is lees than 5 kilos. How much longer we have I don't know, if he cant fight this infection then maybe the time has come to say goodbye. Going to give it another week and just see how he gets on. This is the hardest thing I've had to do yet. I know I've been so blessed to have my Blue Burmese boy in my life I will miss him so much, but for now appreciating every day we have.
Trying to do the right thing for Oscar, without selfishly making him cling on is extremely difficult and my heart goes out to all the mums & dads in the same position.
24/02/Oscar has been very up and down. A constant battle to keep him eating and his weight stable.
We are now on a long acting does of Prednisolone which is injected straight into his muscle. It seems to have helped and should last up to 4 weeks. Response to it has been really good.He had his first does 24th Jan then his second 9th Feb and his third on the 21st Feb, so we can see its losing its effectiveness and is now only lasting just over a week. As soon as it wears off he stops eating and becomes withdrawn. This might be the last time it works so we are trying to prepare for letting him go. He is now at his lowest weight just 4.6kg and feels very frail.
This has been such an exhausting journey, but keeping him combatable and happy is all that matters. He has lots of cuddles daily with me and his Daddy who is taking it just as badly as I am. He is our boy and seeing him die form cancer is horrendous. I constantly wonder if I had done things differently would we of saved him, or brought him more time,probably not but I will never know. The chemo made him so ill we could not continue, but maybe another vet may of found another Chemo drug that he could tolerate. I will never know, but one thing I wish I had done is got a second opinion and not just trusted my vet (though he has been great). It is probably just because I know we are nearing the end but I am struggling more each week.
6th March 2017
Today we said goodbye to our boy. He had deteriorated over the week and on Sunday we made the decision to put him to sleep. I spent most of Sunday night up with him, then at 8.30am I made the call to the vets. We had already arranged for the vet to come to our house when the time came so we booked him for 3pm.
I spent the day cuddling him and showing him how loved he was.
Then he went to sleep in my arms via a small injection to his leg.
It was very peaceful and as we hoped it would be. We were lucky we could afford for the vet to come to us.
After a long 8 month battle with cancer my boy has gone.
My heart goes out to all of you fighting this horrible illness.
My boys at rainbow bridge now and one day I hope to see him again. We were so blessed to have 13 wonderful years with him, I wouldn't change a thing.
[ click photos to enlarge ]