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18 y/o Strummer amputation advice pretty please
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Member Since:
27 July 2014
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18 August 2020 - 4:08 pm
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Hi Jen and Strummer,

That's great that you were able to talk to someone closer to you who was highly recommended. I really like the approach to do some basic testing before moving forward with the most expensive test.

All the best in your decision-making.

Kerren



Member Since:
1 October 2017
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18 August 2020 - 5:02 pm
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One step forward, right? Were you able to get an estimate for services? If not, please call and ask for one. They can probably email it to you. I do agree that an xray probably cannot tell the detail that ultrasound/ct scan can see. I saw it with one of my pups when I was a tech. She was in congestive heart failure, and the ultrasound showed a LOT more than the rads did.

I am really glad you found someone that is not only knowledgeable, but has good communication skills. I really think you need that right now. I am not sure what the needle biopsy is for, they are always kind of hit or miss depending on the sample.

Fingers, toes, paws, and tails crossed for you that you will finally have a light at the end of your tunnel.

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Member Since:
11 August 2020
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18 August 2020 - 6:47 pm
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Haha! No worries Sumi - I'm SOOO glad things are going so well for your little family! 🙂 xoxo - Jen

Member Since:
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18 August 2020 - 6:54 pm
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Thanks Jen

 Praying it stays. I know what a hard process this is....you saw it for me. I feel this is the hardest part... deciding whats the best and fits right with Strummers story. 

know that you have tremendous support. I dont think I could have managed anything without this community. You see my posts....Its such a hard decision. 

You have a good home base with everyone here. I can truthfully say that to you. I just started even radomly writing on here my every thought.  Everyone read and supported I felt heard and understood...and reading everyones stories.... and everyone started right where this process is...this part.... what to do. 

Member Since:
11 August 2020
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18 August 2020 - 7:08 pm
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Thanks Kerren!

Also thanks Jackie! Yes, I was able to get an estimate for tomorrow's testing, which we did schedule. It's the abdominal ultrasound and bloodwork, which is a range between about $800 - $950. Then we go from there. Basically Dr. Kiselow's approach seems to be to do extensive testing in this situation, with full understanding that with a cat Strummer's age with such an aggressive tumor, the surgery may end up not being warranted. His approach is something like: Why put him through the ordeal of major surgery unless we are very confident that we can get a good prognosis afterwards?

He even brought up the difference between Strummer's situation and for example a cat with a soft sarcoma lower on the leg (like Pittens!). (I never mentioned this as an example.) HE came up with it to explain that in a situation such as that, a CT scan my not be necessary as they can be more sure of a good prognosis without one, since the tumor is more localized. I got off the phone with him thinking: Why hasn't anyone else been able to explain things so carefully, thoughtfully, and intelligently to me until now??

I did mention to him that I had heard that needle biopsies can be hit or miss too, and asked him about this. He explained that in his experience, "most of the time" they were able to obtain an accurate result in terms of type of cancer. He did say that sometimes they do have to do more invasive biopsy, but usually not. He sounded pretty confident. We'll see if we even get to that point. Just trying to hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

So we're just playing it by ear...

I feel bad for my little guy though. SO hard for him to walk. It's actually easier on the hard marble bathroom floor, where he sort of uses his leg like a "ski". Ugh!

Sleeping like a baby, totes unaware that he's going yet again to the "evil place" tomorrow morning 🙁 



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18 August 2020 - 7:12 pm
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(((((Hugs)))))) damn, I know this is hard!

I really do understand his thought process,  I wish you had met him 7 months ago. 

I'll be looking for your progress.  Please give a Strummer a good ear rub for me ❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 August 2020 - 7:26 pm
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That approach makes total sense, I like that vet!

Hang in there. This is real pawgress and once you have this information from the diagnostics, you'll get more clarity and a sense of relief.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
15 May 2020
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18 August 2020 - 7:40 pm
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Hi Jen,

wishing you all success tomorrow. Information is so vital. You are doing everything that makes sense.  I like that your guy spends time explaining also. Thats a good quality. Its so hard....  but you can do this all...because Strummer is a part of you. I felt so many things and still do about the unpredictable.  The one thing that isnt unpredictable is your ability to get all the information....and that is control. 

Thinking of you guys

Member Since:
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19 August 2020 - 2:24 am
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Dear Jackie, Jerry & Sumi,

Thank you all. 🙂 I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Just glad we're in good hands for now. <3 

- J

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 August 2020 - 9:41 pm
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Just catching  up in time to add my best wishes for clarity AND solutions tomorrow.   Strummer is obvioisly  very loved and he knows ot!  That's  a nice feeling for both of you.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
11 August 2020
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20 August 2020 - 1:15 am
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Well...

Not good news today from Dr. Kiselow (the oncologist). 🙁 He did blood work and an abdominal ultrasound. We'll get the results of the blood work tomorrow. 

He saw a small tumor on Strummer's spleen. He also said that upon examining Strum, the cancer has infiltrated very far up his leg. He could just tell by feeling his leg that getting good margins would be extremely unlikely. He feels that when so much tumor tissue is so far up the leg, the odds of being able to get all the microscopic bits of it out so that it does not recur would be very low. Even with a hemipelvectomy.

Huge, huge, massive sadness, all around. 

I feel like I'm still not ready to give up on this, it's so painful. But his leg is bad. And it happened so fast. Not sure to continue testing (feel futile at this point), just enjoy him and keep him comfortable, cry into my pillow, all of the above?

His leg is bad y'all. For whatever reason (I'm sure Gaba helps) he truly doesn't seem in pain 95-99% of the time! Which is crazy. And so confusing. Still loves his food, treats, water, being brushed on the head, cuddling, purring, et....Wow, I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Hugs to all who have done this.

Boo.



Member Since:
1 October 2017
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20 August 2020 - 4:08 am
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Oh no.. I am so sorry. This is not the news you needed... damn. I am really glad that is pain is being managed well, did they give you any options for if the pain worsens? 

I just want to give you a big hug, I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I can only tell you to love on Strummer right now, while you can. How old are your kids? Are they old enough to explain things to? 

None of us know how much time he has left, and I pray his quality of life continues to be good for a long stretch. If you need anything, you can always pm me. 

One day at a time, that is all you can do right now. Do you trust this doctor's opinion? Do you need a second opinion? I am not at all sure what I would do right now, and you have already been through so much. 

Extra hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 August 2020 - 8:12 am
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Take a take breath and give yourself time to process everything.  And most importantly, know that nothing  jas changed in Strum's world.  While his  hooman frets, Strum is blissfully unaware  and continues to love jn the now. 

It sounds like Kiselow was very thorough and explained  the situation in a straight forward manner, honest and easy to understand  manner.  Amputation  surgery  is MAJOR surgery, and a hemipelvectomy is even more invasive and requires a more extensive  recovery.

While this is a kick in the gut for you right now, the fact that Strummer is still being Strummer and his pain is being managed is a huge plus!!!   As a very mature and spunky senior, Strummer most likely  will live out his life "naturally" and with the ability to be Strummer as this chapter closes.  But right now, just continue  to make every day the best day full of loving  and spoiling and making glorious  memories.   We would love to see lots of pictures too!!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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20 August 2020 - 8:37 am
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Jen I'm so sorry. This news sucks, there's no way around that. But like you said, right now Strummer is still himself and enjoying all the things that make him happy. That's awesome, and it also buys you more time to figure out what's next. Did the vet present any options for managing the situation? 

I don't think I've mentioned electrochemotherapy or intralesional chemotherpy to you, but these are two good options for pets who aren't good amputation candidates. They basically shrink the tumor without invasive surgery. It's done in other countries all the time but not so much here because vets feel there isn't enough studies to justify the treatment.

Dr. Kelly is a trailblazer in this treatment in the U.S. When we met with her, she told us that many of her clients bring their senior pets in because their cancer is too invasive for surgery, and they just wanted a way to manage the tumor so the animal could live out their normal lifespan. In most cases, she says it works. One of our members here, Travis Ray, has experienced that kind of success with a leg tumor he got after becoming a Tripawd, and his sister, Codie Rae, also did when she developed a mandibular tumor. So if you haven't looked into it yet, I encourage you to do so. Private message Codie Rae to chat about it if you'd like.

There is actually a vet at Sage in the East Bay who does ECT but not intralesional. Codie's people live in Oakland and almost went with her but ended up going to Dr. Kelly. If you are willing to travel to New Mexico, Dr. Kelly is your doc, she is amazing (she treated our Jerry's cancer).

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
15 May 2020
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20 August 2020 - 8:50 am
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Jen,

Reading your post my insides hurt...I imagine how you must be feeling ..... 

My heart is with you. Giving Strummer the best is what he deserves...Its so nice to hear he is enjoying life. What a way to be....truly... a lesson for everyone... to live fully no matter what

..to take things as they come, even pain, and  yet remember to inhale the good in a consistent manner. He is an example to everyone you have shared his story with of how to see life. 

my love is with you. I think you met a dr who is so thorough and got some good advice in the posts above. 

I give you my support and strength. 

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