Well, today I gave Zoe her first does of chemotherapy. It turns out that, based on the biopsies taken from her stomach and small intenstines, she has small-cell lymphoma, which is a low-grade (as opposed to high-grade) lymphoma. Zoe’s oncologist is really nice – he’s located at the California Veterinary Specialst Oncology Center located really close to where I work. I started her on prednisone pills a couple of days ago, and then picked up her Leukeran from Costco today. Fortunately, these medications will only cost me about $60 a month; unfortunately, they are both pills which Zoe must swallow – the prednisone every day, and the Leukeran three times a week. I’m going to think seriously about investing in a full-body suit of armor.
Actually though, the last few days, Zoe’s appetite has been very good and I think she’s put on a little weight in the last week (I’ve been spoiling her with some veeeeery good cat food – I think Jesse has been packing on the pounds as well). Dr. Proulx said that if a cat had to choose a cancer to have, most smart cats would choose small-cell lymphoma. The rate of cell-growth is very slow, and most cats, given treatment, just continue to live with the disease. Zoe is average age for getting this disease, and apparently, if treatment goes well, she still should have several good years left in her. About 90% of cats taking this chemo treatment do very well – no vomiting or diarrhea or anything. But, I’ll need to keep a close eye on her the next couple of months. Zoe has a follow-up visit with Dr. Proulx in two weeks, at which time she’ll have a blood count done and a check up to make sure she’s doing ok.
So, it’s a relief to know what is going on with Zoe, but I’m not too excited about the diagnosis. But, as each of Zoe’s three doctors have said, it could have been a lot worse. All the vets have been very nice and caring – my regular vet even called me after she found out what the diagnosis was, just to see how we were doing. Anyway, wish us luck –