Panther will start chemo

Panther Hartz with signature tongue blep

Panther saw the oncologist a week ago. It’s a rough time to be doing this sort of thing because of the necessity to social distance, but it isn’t as though we have a lot of choice on the timing. Panther went into the office, we did not. We spoke to the doctor over the phone. Her chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound came out clear so at this point there is no evidence of spread. She went over some treatment options, and this is where doing everything over the phone was less than ideal. It was tough to have much back and forth. She seemed to have trouble hearing us at times and it was a ton of information to take in.

Back at my hospital I talked to her regular doctor, and he called and spoke to the oncologist’s office. The doctor who saw Panther was not there that day, but a different one was able to answer our questions. Then I took that information home and my husband and I came to some decisions.

We are not going to go the radiation route. There are problems with access (the facility is over an hour drive each way and she would need to go every day for awhile) Panther really, really hates the car. The cost is also prohibitive. Since she shows no signs of spread (except maybe a slightly enlarged lymph node near her tumor site) and is in every other way a happy, healthy young cat we considered doing nothing. Watching. Not putting her through treatment that might make her feel sick. In the end though, we are going to go forward with chemotherapy.

Her treatments can be done with me in my hospital with her regular doctor. They only happen once every 3 week for 6 treatments (as long as it goes well, if she has too many side effects or complications, then we stop). We thought this was a good compromise. We know from her histopathology report that we did not get the whole tumor out in surgery, so there are definitely still cancer cells in her. Doing nothing in that circumstance seemed riskier than a treatment that might have some side effects. Her first treatment is on Friday.

If you’ve been through chemo with your cat, (or any pet really), I’d love to hear how it went for you. Any regrets, anything you’d have done differently in retrospect, any advice?

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