Upshot: They are recommending chemotherapy instead of radiation. It would cost $3,315.00 to $4,972.00, and they cannot give me *any* stats on how effective chemotherapy is for this kind of tumor. They do not know. At all.
They said they got really good margins in surgery, and if he didn’t have the most aggressive kind of tumor they would normally be telling me his chances of recovery are pretty good. But based on his tumor they said there’s a 50/50 chance it will metastasize.
I’m not going to spend that much money when there is not a single study which says it might work. I also don’t want to take him back to the vet five times for the treatment. This morning he peed himself the minute I picked him up to put him in the carrier.
I feel like I’ve done everything within reason (and some would say beyond reason). We’ll take our 50/50 chances and hope for the best.
I’m very happy I did the surgery though. Because he seems much better to me, and we’re going to get a few good months it looks like, maybe more. I’ll take it.
5 thoughts on “Finney’s Oncology Consultation”
I’d take those 50-50 chances, which is already 100% better odds than Finney had before surgery. I understand that feline oncology must be a new field (a generation ago nobody would have ever considered chemo or radiation for a cat) but why make your boy a test case? Chemo is thoroughly awful and Finney deserves better, which is what you are giving him.
I agree with your decision. The surgery, which was difficult enough, removed the bulk of the cancer and will give Finney some extra time during which he can be comfortable. When it starts to come back, you will be prepared for what will follow, better than you were a few weeks ago. As someone who has endured chemotherapy, I can tell you I would never make an animal go through it. I think you have made the right choice.
Vivian, I was actually thinking that until the therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for at lease for some percentage of the population it should be considered an experimental treatment. As such, the manufacturers should be supplying it for free since our pets are essentially test subjects!
Julia, I’m sorry you had to endure chemotherapy. The oncologist said some cats are fine (but how do they really know) but the possible side effects were factored into my decision.
He deserves a rest now – I think you made the right decision, especially when he was so obviously stressed going into his carrier. Aren’t male cats the sweetest and mine is purring at my side right now.
Julia, your experience with chemo is the best witness to what would be frightening for a clueless house kitty. (What are they doing to me?) And good luck getting him into the carrier after the first treatment! I couldn’t put my cats through that either. And I wish you all the best in future health!
Thank you Rebecca. It’s nice to have the feedback.