Caroline, I've been considering asking the same question regarding a dear,
sweet rescue kitty of ours, and want you to know how helpful your detailed
reponse was.

I remember reading about Monkee...thank you for all of the love you gave


On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 3:48 PM, Caroline Kaufmann <

> 2 of 2 from me:
> I always said that, with what I learned in hindsight, if I had the
> opportunity to do it differently, I would.  At the time, I was not educated
> enough on the disease to make a truly informed decision about the chemo and
> I was frantic and not thinking clearly.  AND I was obsessed with Monkee and
> blinded by a belief that it was most important to "try everything."  I have
> come to realize now- especially since my work fostering cats since Monkee's
> death- that "trying everything!" IS NOT the most important, or most correct
> thing to do.  If I ever have another felv+ cat and I am faced with the same
> dilemma, my choice will be to forego chemo, continue prednisone (which will
> make the cat's day to day life more comfortable and can sometimes have an
> effect on tumors- stabilize them, maybe even shrink them a little), and keep
> him happy, COMPLETELY NON-STRESSED, and spend every freaking moment loving
> him.  I would continue to take the cat to the vet to monitor the red blood
> cells, etc.  But I would forego chemo, the blood transfusions that almost
> always come with chemo and/or severe anemia caused by felv and/or the chemo
> treatment itself, and in Monkee's case, his specialist wanted the leg tumor
> surgically removed when the chemo didn't shrink it and honestly, I think the
> surgery just really knocked the poor thing past the point of return.  He was
> in so much pain for 2 days after- it was horrible.  We will never know for
> sure if the severe anemia that eventually caused him to die in my arms late
> one night, was caused by the felv itself becoming active, or if the chemo
> and/or surgery was actually the final straw in really kicking in the anemia.
>   Yes it's likely his felv was already full-blown by the time the tumor was
> discovered, but in my opinion, the chemo and surgery definitely did not
> prolong his life.  When the vet suggests chemo for this cancer, you have to
> know that they are reccommending this as a life-prolonging treatment that
> will at best, prolong the cat's life by only a few months.  And you may say
> what I said-- that I have to give him those few months- I owe that to him!
>  But what did I really do for him?  Rush him off to multi vets- 2 vet
> specialists, borrowed money from my mom to pay for his extremely expensive
> treatment, stressed him out with blood taking, a blood transfusion, chemo
> and surgery...and stressed him out with my crying and crying and crying?  I
> really suspect that the chemo/transfusions/surgery DID NOT prolong Monkee's
> life and wonder now how long we could have sailed along with him having his
> tumor on his leg (that didn't bother him at all!), taking prednisone (and
> feeling like super-Monkee!), and chilling in our little house-- happily
> eating raw chicken livers and raw lean buffalo (for his anemia), playing,
> napping and loving a non-stressfull life????  The gamble on the other side
> is, can you live with yourself and the questioning of yourself for not doing
> the chemo?  You have to weigh both sides and what is best for your cat.  Not
> what is best for you.   Caroline (and Monkee in spirit)
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