Kat goes to the doctor
Back in January, we noticed that Kat had a small lump on her front leg. (Actually the dog massage therapist noticed it, but I don’t like to admit that we had a dog massage therapist!) We talked to our vet about it and she thought it was a benign lipoma. It grew a little bit, so in April, our vet did a needle aspiration of it and only collected fat cells, confirming that it was a lipoma. Over the summer, the lump started rapidly growing. By August, when our vet saw it, she was very concerned and referred us to an oncologist to double-check the diagnosis. The oncologist did additional needle aspirations and discovered that it was actually a soft tissue sarcoma. The oncologist then referred us to a vet in Dallas for treatment options as the local vets only do chemotherapy and this type of cancer does not respond to traditional chemotherapy.
David took Kat to Dallas for her first appointment. By this point, Kat’s skin over the lump had ulcerated and it was bleeding, so we had bandaged it.
We were feeling pretty pessimistic about the situation before the first visit, but the vet in Dallas was positive and suggested a radiation treatment regime of weekly treatments for four weeks. She was even able to get Kat in for the first treatment the same day to save David another trip to Dallas.
Kat has responded well to treatment and seems unfazed by it, except for having to wear a cone for the last month. She definitely does not like that! She had her last radiation treatment last week and the vet also removed some of the dead tumor cells. Kat’s tumor is visibly smaller.
We return back to the Dallas vet next week for a check-in. We are expecting to meet with a surgeon during that visit. We were originally told that surgery was not an option for Kat because of where the tumor is located and the way it was attached to her skin. However, the Dallas vet now thinks that we might have surgical options because it appears that the tumor has released from the skin somewhat due to the radiation, so the surgeon might be able to remove the tumor and save enough of Kat’s skin to close the incision.
Kat has been playing with Gus, just like normal and we are so thankful she seems to feel good. I have some regrets that we didn’t see the oncologist sooner before the tumor had grown so much, but at least we seem to be on the right track now. Kat will be 13 in a couple weeks, so we don’t want to put her through anything overly stressful, but so far she is still her normal happy self, so we proceed.
Thank you to everyone who has sent us good wishes throughout this process!!
After Kat’s last radiation appointment, everyone at the vet signed her graduation bandana. So sweet!