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Cat: Zoe Belle
female spayed, DSH - Tortoiseshell Tabby

Type of Lymphoma:
Mediastinal lymphoma

FeLV Status:

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Zoe Belle's Case Study  

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Story: Zoe Belle was diagnosed April 6 2005, almost 5 years old (DOB 7/1/00), diagnosed due to our concern over her increased respiratory rate and labored breathing. She began chemo protocol with elspar, then an alternating protocol with vincristine, cytoxan, vincristine, doxorubicin. After week 4 (doxorubicin) we discovered the fluid was still in her chest, although in a small amount. We changed the protocol to CCNU. The fluid was still there; we moved then to elspar due to low WBC. The only effects of chemo were loss of appetite the first week for a few days, small patches of fur growing back where she was shaved, and diarrhea just began this weekend (6/19/05) for the first time. Unfortunately the prognosis not good due to fact that fluid is still present even after all the chemo she has had. Her cancer is very aggressive, and the vet gives her a lifespan of 1-3 months at this point. Appearance-wise she is perfectly healthy and enjoys all of her favorite things in life. She has prednisolone daily (10 mg) and has had occasional antibiotics (baytril) for low WBC and rare metoclopromide for nausea. Also, she just started an anti-diarrhea medicine.

Outcome: Status as of today (6/21/05) -- remission lasted maybe one week, although we can't confirm she was ever even in remission. We plan to try one more chemo (will be third protocol), and if is fluid still present we will continue prednisone every day (10 mg currently) and let her be in peace without stress of vet during her last days, weeks or months.

Outcome: Updated 8/29/2005 - Zoe left my husband and I this afternoon. After her diagnosis on April 6, 2005, she tried several different chemo protocols which never really put her in remission, but reduced the size of the mass in her chest from a baseball to a peanut. However, she lost her battle today .. or rather we decided for her. She had to have her chest tapped to remove fluid last Thursday and the doctor said she shouldn't have any problems making it until her next appointment for chemo on Wednesday this week. However her breathing worsened and I couldn't bare to watch it anymore so we took her to the hospital last night where they tapped her chest and kept her in the oxygen tank until the oncologist showed up this morning. It appears as if she was doing her best fighting the cancer, however some fluid was coming from elsewhere. An ultrasound revealed that the mass was still only 2 x 1 cm. Likely the lymphatic fluid was leaking into her chest, which there really is no cure for. The doctor said we could take her home last night to wait to hear more from her oncologist or we could leave her til this morning. We left her and thank god that we did. By the time we got back around noon to send her on her way to the rainbow bridge, she couldn't even be out of the oxygen tank for more than a few minutes. We said our goodbyes while she was in the tank and she gave me lots of lovebits .. which I will forever cherish. She knew we were helping her and was ready to go. We let her play outside most of the weekend and she had a great time catching crickets and moths Sunday night, it is so hard to believe that just hours later she was on the edge.

We will forever love and miss our little sweetpea ... we know that she is better now and for that we are relieved. She was such a fighter ... she never had any real complications with the chemo and always was a trooper. It is amazing that she lived as long as she did. The doctors were surprised. So sad that something other than the actual lymphoma took her life.

We love her so much!!!!! I can't wait to get a sign from her that she has made it. I told her on Sunday while we were outside looking at a hummingbird that she could send hummingbirds to the feeder outside my bedroom window in the mornings when I wake up since Zoe will no longer be there to wake me up and greet me .. while at the vets I went to the bathroom and grabbed a kleenex and there were hummingbirds all over the box feedin... I knew that we had made the right decision and I hadn't even seen her yet. It was a sign .. from someone.

Zoe Belle .. our beloved princess will always be in our hearts.

- By Lori Zoe Belle's Mom -
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