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Case Studies Home > GI Lymphoma > Greystone
Sex / Breed: Male / American Shorthair
Type Of Cancer: Small cell lymphoma with masses in small intestine
Other Health Problems: History of uterine crystals, FIV+

Greystone's Story
by Amy

Hi friends - I am hoping you can help guide me in my search to do the right thing by my feline soulmate, Greystone. He is a 13 year-old (age estimated -- he's a former stray), FIV+ domestic shorthair who has just been diagnosed with lymphoma, with masses in his small intestine.

On 2/10, I'd taken him to an emergency vet suspecting a resurgence of uterine crystals. They did find a few, Greystone was treated, and he improved.

However, over the past couple of weeks, he ate less and less, began hiding, wasn't himself. On Saturday, an ultrasound by an internist revealed masses in the small intestine, which the internist said looked very aggressive and probably cancerous. Monday's cytology report confirmed small cell lymphoma - a less aggressive variety. Still, the internist indicated that time was of the essence and advised immediate surgery to resect the small intestine, after which, the resected tissue could be extensively analyzed and specific chemotherapy protocol determined.

I had a consultation with the surgeon yesterday and I liked her a lot, but the idea of putting my beautiful boy through the gauntlet of surgery and possible chemo, with a suggested feeding tube, hurts my heart. I am trying so hard to listen to what HE wants. Because I know that if we're going to fight this thing, he's got to want to fight.

I've been up all night trying to learn everything I can online. The surgeon advised the insertion of a feeding tube, which she says is just a suggestion, but an advisable precaution, since meds can be difficult to administer, and the tube must be inserted under anesthesia. The tube can be removed quickly and easily - it may not even be necessary and we can remove it sooner rather than later. He can still eat normally with it in place.

Online case studies are all over the place: some do surgery and chemo and get another year or two, or four, or less. Some proclaim miracle cures from holistic healing. Universally, if left untreated, the cat dies very quickly. Right now, Greystone seems OK. He is eating well and seems more like himself. But even though cytology indicated that he has the less aggressive small cell lymphoma, there's no way to know for sure unless resected tissue from surgery is analyzed. Treatment must be initiated quickly if he is to have a chance of fighting it.

Right now, like I said, my guy seems OK, but last week, he was very uncomfortable. He was holding himself in a tense way, his breathing was shallow, and he was hiding. He has lost about a pound over the last month. He's been unable to produce bowel movements unless I give him Laxatone, and in the last few days, those bowel movements were very odd in shape: like a flat mushroom or a manta ray. At his most uncomfortable, I became concerned that I would find him in crisis when I awoke from sleep. It makes logical sense that a mass that is creating blockage in his small intestine should be removed right away in order to allow for functionality of the digestive system and to minimize his discomfort. Without the removal of the seriously affected area, he may swiftly be in pain. I am concerned that we don't have time to shrink these considerable masses through holistic means and keep him out of suffering. Western veterinarians advise resection surgery ASAP, then chemo. I could do holistic remedies instead of or in addition to chemo. I need to do more research.

The surgeon kindly called me about an hour ago in response to a message I left in the middle of the night and clarified that the cytology report had indeed showed small cell lymphoma. She said that cats with this condition generally respond quite well to treatment, and can live another two years or more. I was supposed to call her back 15 minutes ago to maintain his position on today's roster. I could reschedule him to Monday. Though that is a busier day for the surgeon, it would give me the opportunity to do more research, and also to keep an appointment with a veterinary oncologist that I had made for this Friday morning.

For the last hour, I have been meditating and asking Greystone what he wants. I am doing my best to listen deeply. Having a difficult time getting what seems like HIS answer. Continuing to try.

Has anyone been through anything like this? I want to do everything I can for him, but only if he wants it. Hungry for insight, especially from those experienced with a lymphoma diagnosis.

Thank you for reading and for caring. I've noticed that this is a forum with heart and it gives me hope for the world.

Wishing you and your feline treasures peace and wellness.

  ADDRESS - California, USA  
 
Added 03/07/2019
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Greystone
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