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Hi everyone. Our beautiful long haired tortoiseshell cat Lucy came into our lives 8 years ago when we found her as a stray cat with 3 kittens in our backyard. We rehomed the kittens, but kept the mother cat and named her Lucy. We live in Sydney Australia.

We had her de-sexed (spayed) when we first took her in, but we had no way of knowing how old she was at that time.

Since then she has become a lovely cat. She sleeps on my daughter's bed and has a cat door that lets her go in and out of the house as she pleases. When we first found her she was horribly skinny and underweight, but now she is a big fluffy girl who is actually a bit overweight. After knowing how starving she was when we first found her with those kittens, I have never been able to deny her food.

This week we noticed some blood on our daughter's bed where Lucy had been sleeping. We found what feels like a fluid filled lump under one of her nipples, and blood comes out that nipple if squeezed.

We took her to the vet today who said that it could be breast cancer. She is booked in to have the lump removed this week (3 days from today). The vet said there was no way of knowing whether it is malignant or not or what type of treatment might be needed until it is removed.

I am horribly worried about her. From what I have read most mammary tumors in cats are malignant and lifespan is short when the lump is over 2cm in size (which I think it might be).

Does anyone have any experience with this or any reassuring advice?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hello
How is Lucy doing? I’ve been thinking about her. I really hope she is doing well. All the best with the lump being removed. Good thoughts coming your way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for thinking about Lucy. She is doing fine. She seems just as happy as normal. Whatever this lump is, it doesn't seem to be bothering her. The lump is being removed tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
 

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Thanks so much for the update. I’m glad she is feeling good. I’ll be thinking good thoughts tomorrow. A big hug is coming her way. My best to both of you.

Regards
Larry
 

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Is Lucy back home from surgery? How did she do? I’m sure it’s been a stressful day for you both.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Larry. Thanks for your concern. I think we must be in different time zones. She is going in for surgery today. She is currently meowing for her breakfast - which I am not allowed to give her. I feel terrible. I will update this evening when she is out of surgery.
 

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Yes, we are in different time zones. I hope I didn’t bother you. It’s tough on us when our little ones are hungry and we aren’t suppose to give them any food or water. I’ve been there with my little one. I felt terrible too. Talk to you soon.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Larry. You didn't bother me at all!

Lucy is home from her surgery. The vet said that the lump was quite nodular and does look malignant. Although, of course she can't know for sure until the pathology comes back, and there is still a chance that it is benign. The pathology will take a few days to come back

She had to remove quite a large lump of tissue including some of the muscle. Lucy has one of those cone collars to stop her biting at the stitches. She hates it. She also has to stay inside for the next couple of weeks until the stitches come out. She is used to coming in and out as she pleases, so this is making her extra unhappy.

The vet said that there is no sign it has spread at this stage. She had a chest x-ray which was clear and her lymph nodes felt ok.

All I can do now is wait. Lucy is currently sleeping on our daughter's bed. Our daughter is her favourite person, so hopefully that is making Lucy feel a bit happy.
 

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Glad Lucy is home. She might not want to go back outside after she gets a lot of loving and attention inside her house. Haha. I’m so glad that everything looks good at this point. You are definitely a wonderful feline friend. Please keep us updated on her progress. All the best😺
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was mistaken about Lucy sleeping on my daughter's bed. She is actually under the bed and refusing to come out. She has been under there all night and is still there now. She is also on a hunger strike. She seems miserable and I feel like the worst person in the world.

I am wondering if I should remove the plastic cone collar? I think it's making her sad. I would watch her to check she is not biting at her stitches and put it back on if she is.

We are supposed to give her pain meds later today, but honestly, I don't think she trusts us right now. I can't imagine her letting us anywhere near her.
 

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I agree with you about the collar. I would probably take it off temporarily as long as you keep an eye on her so she doesn’t scratch it. I feel for her. It must have been a terrifying procedure to go through. If you can hold her hand and touch her under the bed that may comfort her a little. I do it with my little one when she comes back after a vet visit. It seems to help. I think your instinct on what to do is right on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I might be the worst cat owner in the world, but I took her collar off. She came out from under the bed within 10 minutes to eat. After eating she went to the back door to meow and be allowed outside. I gave her a pat and let her out. I am sitting at the window watching her. She sharpened her claws on a log, and is just sitting on the grass. She looks 100 times happier and the sparkle is back in her eyes. She has given her stitches a bit of a lick but no biting. She is mostly just grooming the rest of her body. She doesn't seem too bothered by the stitches actually. I am pretty sure that once she has finished cleaning herself she is just going to curl up in the sun and have a nap.

The house door and cat door are both open, so she can come back inside whenever she pleases. At least I now have a chance of giving her the pain meds later today when they are due. When she was under the bed with the collar she definitely hated everyone.
 

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That’s great news. I’m so happy that she is feeling good and happy. 😻😻😻
 

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Update: Lucy is still doing well. She has not been biting at her stitches as far as we can tell. She is essentially behaving like her normal happy self.

I am expecting to get a phone call from the vet either tomorrow or the day after with the pathology results. I'm preparing myself for the worst. If she only has 6 months left to live I am going to make sure she is as happy as possible.
 

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That's great, that she's being her normal self and not pulling out her stitches. Keep an eye on it though, for as she heals the itching gets worse, if my cats' surgeries are any indication!

Your Bad News plan sounds reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
UPDATE 2: We got the results back today. It is a malignant mammary adenocarcinoma, but it is only Grade 1. They successfully removed it all, and it hasn't spread anywhere else in her body.The vet seemed very happy with that, but said we would need to talk to the more senior vet when we take Lucy to get her stitiches out. She wasn't 100% certain if she needs any further treatment.

My own reading tells me that the prognosis is fairly good in this situation. Overall I am pretty happy. Lucy is still her usual happy self which is good. She is a strong cat and I'm hoping that can serve her well.
 

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Hello
Thanks so much for the update. I think you are right. She is a strong girl and that will help in her recovery from this. Many hugs coming your way to Lucy. When you have time can you post a picture of Lucy?
All the best
Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hello
Thanks so much for the update. I think you are right. She is a strong girl and that will help in her recovery from this. Many hugs coming your way to Lucy. When you have time can you post a picture of Lucy?
All the best
Larry
How do I post a photo?
 
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