Adrienne:I'm sorry about the diagnosis.  I have been through this myself.  This 
is a very personal decision you have to make.  I can't tell you what to do, jut 
my experience.  My beloved Monkee was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma in April 
2007.  He was also a Felv+ cat (I had had him tested 3 times). He lived 4 years 
with me as the picture of health until I found the lump on his leg in March.  
He was my only cat and in short, I worshipped him.  I'd lived for 4 years in 
fear of felv raising it's ugly head and actually started to think he was maybe 
a mere "carrier" and it would never claim him.  I was desperate to save him and 
fight the good fight.  Chemo was recommended and we began it immediately.  It 
was very very very expensive and very hard on him.  He hated it.  He knew when 
we turned into the vet specialists clinic parking lot, even tho he was in his 
carrier and couldn't see-- he knew the last turn- could sense it.  The problem 
with the chemo for a felv+ cat is manyfold: it stresses them out- which any 
added stress for a felv+ cat, whether symptomatic or not, is bad; chemo works 
by not only killing the bad cells, but the good ones too-- which will take a 
felv+ cat down even further than one that is felv-; also, what the doctor 
doesn't always tell you is that once they start the chemo, they have to monitor 
the white blood cell level.  If the wbc count is too low, they can't admin 
chemo anyway.  With Monkee, he had one chemo treatment and then we couldn't do 
another one for weeks (even tho the protocol he was to be on was once a week), 
b/c his wbc was so low and the vet couldn't tell if that was due to an 
infection (unlikely), the felv attacking his body (maybe), or the chemo itself 
killing off white blood cells (most likely).  Monkee only had a few chemo 
treatments and the tumor on his leg didn't shrink- in fact, it grew.  Either 
his leukemia was full blown by the time we even discovered the tumor, or the 
chemo itself hastened the leukemia's progress.  That is one of the main risks 
with chemo that you have to consider.  It can definitely have the opposite 
effect that you would want in that it can take the felv+ cat down so far by 
killing off the "good" cells remaining in your cats body-- white blood cells to 
fight infections AND red blood cells (if your cat is not yet anemic (low 
RBCs)), I can bet you that the chemo treatment itself will make the cat anemic 
due to killing off the RBCs.  On that note, has the vet done a blood panel yet? 
 I would ask for one now before you make a decision and find out what the RBC 
and WBC count is, among other things.  You need to keep in mind that 
lymphosarcoma/lymphoma is the number 1 form of cancer that develops in domestic 
cats (felv and non felv) and dogs.  I believe the vet profession automatically 
recommends chemo b/c of this type of cancer's prevalence in domestic cats and 
dogs, however, that doesn't mean that chemo should be the "treatment of choice" 
for an felv+ cat-- whereby the nature of the disease itself is an 
immunosuppressive disorder, and when it becomes "active"-- typically manifests 
itself as severe and life-threatening anemia.  It seems a counter-intuitive 
treatment.   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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