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My cat 5 year old grey tabby, Harley was diagnosed with stomach cancer today. I'm gonna do all that is possible to keep him comfortable until he starts his chemo therapy this Thursday. Anyone out there with this experience have any success stories with cancer, chemo etc.? I feel so lost. I've never been through this before.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your assistance

Thank you for your warm words of support all.
Tthank you Aonir & Jeannie for moving me into the correct CATegory.
 

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Hi MA, what a devastating diagnosis for your Harley, I'm so sorry!

Was this diagnosed with a biopsy, or how? I am curious because it is such a rare diagnosis in cats.

A heavy-duty antioxidant regimen is helpful in cancer, but check with Harley's oncologist to make sure it's okay. Some antioxidants can interfere with chemotherapy. A high-dose course of Vitamins A, C and E is recommended by Dr. Susan Wynn. Omega-3 fatty acids are really helpful. For more on these, see http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... atsanddogs .

A high-potency antioxidant I recently discovered is reputedly helpful for many cancers, it's a concentrated algae like spirulina or chlorella, only better digested and absorbed. http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... uperhealth . My distributor will not sell it to you without a "prescription" from me so if you are interested please PM me.

There are a few herbal formulas available that have a long history of treating cancer; Essiac and Hoxsey are the most famous. These names are trademarked, but others make the very same formulas (for less $$); a good source is www.ojibwatea.com . Her versions are called "Ojibwa Tea of Life" and "Wayne's Tonic."

Consider getting the cat off all dry food if he's on any; cancer LOVES carbohydrates, so a "cAtkins" diet is best for most cancer patients.

Best of luck to you and Harley!

Dr. Jean
 

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Yes it was endoscopy to diagnose the stomach cancer. Geeez was that expensive. Anyway, thanks Dr Jean on the vitamin & no carb diet for cancer information. I will definitely look into the antioxidants too and get back to you on the prescription for the high-potency antioxidant. If and when Harley gets his appetite back since he being fed right now through a feeding tube, what wet food brand do you suggest. I have so far used in the past IAMS lamb & rice, Science Diet turkey and for "rewards" 1/2 teaspon of tuna. I have another cat named Ka'ana and she is not finicky at all and likes it all. Even before Harley got cancer he was the finicky one and only liked the dry food and the tuna. But I must emphasize I did not substitute tuna for cat food at all. Just once a week or 1/2 teaspoon.

MA for BOKAHA
 

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Well, Hill's a/d is the easiset to put through a feeding tube and is a high fat, high protein, low carb food. I've used it for a lot of cats with unhappy tummies quite successfully, and I like it because it also supports the liver. And if Mama Liver ain't happy, ain't Nobody happy! I think Eukanuba and a couple others now have "copy-cat" versions of a/d, any of them is fine.

However, after that, we need to get him on something a lot better (and with a lot fewer chemical additives and preservatives) than Hill's and Iams. I know *someone* on this list has a fairly complete list of foods that are good. I name names in a report available on my website, What Cats Should Eat; but hopefully I'll get time to revise that this week so you might want to give me a little time to update it. http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=bookstore .

Definitely get him off the dry food, which is heaviest on the preservatives and potential biotoxins from the types of grains used in pet food. Did you know that if grain is condemned from the human market because of excessive pesticide residues, it can be used directly in pet food with no further ado? Just another of the many downsides of dry food.

Hopefully Harley will have a much better appetite coming out at the end of this, and will be interested in trying new things.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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My cat was also diagnosed with cancer today. They just took an x-ray and she has a big lump in her belly which they could feel with their hand and that's why they took an x-ray. They also said it has spread throughout her body, they showed me some spots on the x-ray but by then I was crying too much I don't remember much. I don't know what they called it I was so upset hearing the news that I just don't remember. They said she only has days mabe a week or so left and did not suggest chemotherapy. They suggested euthenasia, but I said no, because she doesn't seem to be in pain, although she is uncomfortable and weak. Is there anything that could be done? Is there a chance that there's a misdiognosis? I wish I had known about this early enough to try chemotherapy, she probably isnt strong enough now-she lost a lot of weight already, although she is still eating very well. I think you are lucky that there is still something that can be done, I feel your pain, but at least you still have hope. I wish I did too. :cry:
 

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MA, it was too late for my cat. Can you tell me what the early symptoms were, how you noticed in time to help so maybe I see this in time if it happens to my other cats?

And good luck with your kitty, wishing lots of strenght to pull through!
 

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Oh Rita, I am so sorry I'm responding to your post so late. I am even more sorry and sad to hear about your cat and the cancer. I tell you when Harley was diagnosed I cried for 5 days. I totally feel your pain and heartache.

Harley started throwing up alot - more than just what is expected with hairballs, grass and some food time to time. He was having episodes where he would use his whole body to throw up. Soon it was liquid and blood. Then the weight loss, his fur would separate easily and then no appetite. Earlier in the summer when he was throwing up he was being treated for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). That was managed and controlled for a good 6 months and then it started all over again. X-rays showed a growth or spot in the stomach area. After being referred to an internist for animals, it was diagnosed as stomach cancer.

I'm happy to report that after his 2nd round of chemo he improved quite a bit and even back to SOME his normal habits. Still weak. His 3rd round of chemo is this Thursday. Along with this, I administer 5 different meds and liquid food through a feed tube that goes through his nose down into his esophagus throughout the day, every day. I don't want to give up on him or the battle. Only thing he's not doing yet is eating and drinking on his own totally. He is nibbling wet food from the food bowl but not drinking. So I keep him hydrated by giving him water every hour or so through his feed tube. Here's a funny story, Harley wakes me up like clockwork around 2:00am to let me know he's thirsty. So I get up and give him 1 or 2 syringes of water through the feed tube and spray his mouth. I'll do whatever takes.

Rita, I'm sending you hugs to comfort to you at this time. If Harley hadn't responded to chemo as well as he did so far my husband and I would have had to make that dreadful decision this week. And the thought of it makes me cry. The vet was honest with me and told me that when Harley gets the clean bill of health and comes through this, he will NOT be a long-time cat like one of first cats that was put down at the 17 years of age. Harley MAY have a life expectancy of 1 year after this bout with cancer and to my husband and I its worth it every dime because he's our "furbaby". We have another furbaby a Siamese mix and they are a year apart. They eat the same food etc and Ka'ana is in good health.

Thank you for your kind words of support for my furbaby. I pray for peace in your heart. You and your cat are in my thoughts.
 

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I'm glad Harley is doing better, I am amused by his getting you up-like a child calling, "Mommy, I'm thirsty" in the middle of the night. How wonderful that Harley has you to help him extend his life. A year is a long time in kitty years. I hope and pray he has a very good year!
 

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Yes...its the darnest thing and like a momcat that I am, I wake up easily while my husband "saws z's" soundly. Then I would get up at 6:00am to give his first round of medicines for the day. Its not even a problem for me especially when you can love somebody so much. I've have had practice taking care of two aging parents one of whom I lost to heart & lung disease 4 years ago. With lots of TLC my father lived beyond what the doctors predicted- from 6 months to 2 years! I truly believe that with compassion, modern medicines and mercy from above is all part of treatment and therapy plan. And when its that time, I will accept it..

I do have to take Harley in to the doctor in about 10 minutes. He pulled his feeding tube out. He was sooo good about before. Could this be one of the signs of his road to recovery?! It's like he's saying, "I'm done with this! Give me some real food!"

Thank you again Jeannie for your support. You are such a dear! I will post again Harley's progress after his 3rd round of chemo. Next week will be his last round of chemo.
 

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Rita, I didn't mean to ignore you. By too late, does that mean that your kitty was already put to sleep? My heart aches for anyone who loses a pet. I have been through it, and have had to say those terrible words--well, actually I couldn't say them. The vet had to ask whether I understood that my beloved pet would not leave the hospital alive. I was too overwhelmed to say the words. Sometimes that's the only choice left, but it doesn't make it easier. I wish you had known sooner also, but cancer can progress rapidly, and we all know that cats try to hide their discomfort. I'm so sorry that you and MA are going through this pain. If he is still with you, I know you will treat him like royalty. God bless.
 

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MA, I'm glad to hear Harley is handling his treatment well. I completely agree, it is worth every penny, even if it is only for a short extension of life. I would have payed anything.

Jeannie, yes, my baby (Trixie) had to be put down. I couldn't do it when the doctor diagnosed her, she didn't seem that bad. But then later that day, she got horribly worse, and since there was no way to help, I had to take her back to the vet and end her suffering. What she had sounds like the same that Harley did, they found a large growth in her belly. But the x-ray also showed multiple smaller growths througout her body. And she has always been such a skinny cat that loosing a single pound was just too much to loose. (She varied between 5 to 7 lbs when healthy and she was down to 4 lbs.) I did see the strange hair a month earlier or at least 3 weeks earlier but I thought she just needed a bath. Since it progressed so fast I don't think she would have had a chance anyway. I should have seen something much sooner than that. But no matter how much I try to think back I don't think there were any signs I could have seen, so I guess it was just her time. I now worry endlessly about my other two cats, one of which is slightly older than Trixie and his fur isn't as nice as the young ones. I don't know if I should have him x-rayed just in case, or if it's natural for their fur to start to separate as they age. He is 13 or 14 years old.

Good luck to Harley, hope everything is going well!!!
 

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I am truly sorry about the pain and heartache you went through with Trixie. I feel your pain. When I compare what Harley was like nearly a month ago to what he is now is nothing short of a pet miracle. Harley had his 4th and final chemo today and Monday I will have a phone consultation with the vet as I couldn't wait speak with the vet when I picked up Harley. (But she did leave me a message as far as test results are concerned they are good! As far as his recovery at home, every day there are quantum leaps of improvement in his behavior and personality. He's eating and drinking on his own - no more feed tube! Cuddling, "talking", a more energetic, not hiding in dark spaces or places and he even gained a pound. Instead of 6 meds a day he's down to 1 med 2 times a day. He will be on prednisone for the rest of his life and I have to give that pill to him twice a day which is not fun but it seems like he is getting used to it.

Harley's fur is still not looking all that healthy yet but I know it will take time. I'm experimenting with different types of food that is supposed to best for his sensitive stomach.

Next week for Harley it will be just a check up for his blood cell count etc.
 

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I hope I'm not jumping the gun here but I believe Harley is on his way to the road of recovery. A great big thank you to all of my new "friends" at the cat forum for your support and prayers.

Dr. Jean - thank you for all of the education and medical advise on this disease. It was so important during this difficult journey of the unkown.
 

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I'm so relieved that he is eating and drinking and quite alot too. Such a difference. It is a combination of the meds and appetite enhancing meds too. Before it would break my heart when he was too weak to eat on his own. Harley is having side effects of the chemo from yesterday. He's throwing up and lathargic but I was advised that would happen. But his personality is there 100%. Now...now...he is way to cuddly and follows me everywhere and I mean everywhere. Like a traumatized child he's afraid to be alone. Gotta work on that because I have got to get back to the working world sooner or later.

Thank you Rita for your support and hugs go out to you and your caring heart.
 
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