I know this community is full of compassionate, righteous people who love their companion animal(s) as much as I love mine. I’m not looking for money or sympathy (though I will not turn away sympathy). I need help trying to figure out what to do.
My eleven-year-old cat was just diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. Tuesday we meet with the oncologist.
I understand that the standard of care for large cell lymphoma is a chemotherapy protocol (CHOP) which works in 50% to 75% of cats, and that, when this protocol works, the cat will go into remission for an average of 6 to 9 months before succumbing to the disease. A tiny percentage of cats live longer. The regime is fantastically expensive.
Without chemo, she will die very soon.
Does anyone have any experience dealing with large-cell lymphoma in their cat? What happened? What treatment did you pursue? How do you think it’s best to proceed?
There’s just not another living person/thing (and certainly not any object) I love more than my cat. I cherish her. She’s my whole family. And, expensive as it is, the months she might gain — if the chemo works — are priceless. Also, everything I’ve read online suggests that chemotherapy is much easier on cats than on humans.
On the other hand, waiting for grief is its own kind of grief. It’s almost unbearable for me to think about months waiting for this dreaded fate to descend. I guess I’m talking about going and presenting myself to the serial killer, rather than crouching in a closet while suspenseful music plays. F**k it: we all know you’re going to kill me; just do it now. (I realize that this is selfish thinking.)
More practically on the other hand, there are the repeated trips to the vet which are stressful for my cat; the possibility of side effects (not as bad as in humans, but still possible); the handling (for me) of her waste, which will be toxic when she is on chemo; and the fact that even the best-case scenario is just not that much longer to live. And also the debt, which would take me about 18 to 24 months to pay off.
Especially if you have an animal you love, please please please tell me your thoughts, stories, and what you think is best to do.