Willy might have cancer / high-grade lymphoma Treatment thread

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Kwik

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Update: 2 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Very, very, very annoyed today.

Willy woke up this morning energetic, seemingly in a youthful mood. He zoomed a couple of times even before I fed him. I gave him his breakfast and he ate the whole meal in one go.

Then he still had energy, and I decided to try interactive toys (specifically, a Cat Dancer). He used to love these, but for some reason lost interest even a bit before the cancer symptoms appeared. He still played, but I hadn't been able to grab his interest with interactive toys for some time.

This morning, he was actually engaging in play with a Cat Dancer. I was so happy, as he was exerting himself and getting some good exercise.

Then, suddenly, my whole apartment building started shaking, and insanely loud construction noises started out of the blue, literally right outside my apartment window (I'm on the second floor, so right outside the unit directly below me).

They are apparently replacing the driveway beside my apartment building, and the demolition began this morning. Someone was out there in a UTV (like a Bobcat) with a jack-hammer attachment, busting up the concrete all along the part of the driveway that happened to be beside my unit. This went on for most of the day.

Willy was terrified, and went and hid somewhere for a couple of hours. He never hides... usually when he's scared he actually seeks me instead of going off into a dark corner, but he hid today.

I was so angry, especially because only after the demolition had already started, the building management sent a mass text to residents saying they will be "starting the driveway replacement soon" (while I was listening to it already underway).

Thankfully, Willy is pretty brave. He came out of hiding and jumped into my lap after a couple of hours, but while the noise and vibrations were still going on. I've seen him scared before, but he gets over it relatively quickly. He was even sleeping towards the end of the day when the construction was still ongoing.

But I'm incredibly annoyed that he was in one of the most energetic states I've seen him in lately, and it was ruined. Not to mention the fact that I could barely get any work done, myself.

Anyway, he ate pretty well today, and has otherwise been sleeping. I haven't done an assessment of tumor change, if any, but will tomorrow. He's sleeping now.
Welcome to my world-one of these days I'm going to go Postal and spend my remaining years behind bars- I HATE noise and paving project have to be amongst the worst-we dealt with that here for well over a YEAR!Then thsts over and it's a roof teardown & on n on n on- never ends

Anyway,I sympathize- poor Willy-incredibly though they seem to adjust much better than we do and learn to tune it out - while we are having a nervous breakdown.....I'm sorry you & Willy are being subjected to the earthshaking chaos,I do hope they conplete the project very quickly
 

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I agree, I am glad he was so energetic, because that has to be a good sign. But what I feel that I may have potentially lost was a stimulating experience for him using an interactive toy again. I know cats always associate positive/negative experiences with objects... I'm just hoping this incident won't even further dissuade him from engaging in play with interactive toys.

I can't predict this to any degree, but what I know is he had an extremely negative experience right as we were starting to play with a Cat Dancer, which used to be his favorite toy.

They only demolished like 1/3 of the driveway so I assume it will be continuing next week. I wouldn't be surprised if Willy isn't bothered by it next time... he's a cat in a big city with a lot of noise, and he gets used to these things pretty quickly. I think today it was just such a sudden shock of extremely loud noise and vibrations out of the blue (it made me jump, actually). Like I didn't even hear the UTV being driven up the driveway or anything. It was just quiet... then jackhammer.
Willy sounds like my Levi, he was very chill and laid back and didn't let these things get him down for long. He knew the carrier = vet, and he would put up a minor fuss but wasn't a terror about it. I do think they associate things with experiences, but for the most part, cats like that do tend to let it slide off their backs. Maybe keep the interactive toys away until the construction is done (little chance of being shocked by sudden noises) and try again?
There have been instances of storms here where huge claps of thunder literally shake the house. Everyone jumps. The only cat that seems bothered by thunder is Goofy (which makes me wonder, because we're currently dealing with a pretty severe ear infection so I wonder if that has something to do with it.)
 

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Well, all, it's always good to remember that cats are some of the most resilient, strong, and tough living beings in all of living beingdom ;)and it's also good not to overthink. *That's my forte. You should not take that to mean I'm proud of it.* Willy has already bounced back and he has at least a 50% chance of enjoying that Cat Dancer next time you bring it out. He will likely have forgotten all about the loud monster by then.
Noise is torture for me. But for some reason (maybe having been married to a former finish carpenter has something to do with it?) tool and machine noise doesn't bother me at all. What does bother me is inconsiderate noise -- loud parties, loud music, loud talking/yelling, that sort of thing. I'd choose a jackhammer every time over my next door neighbors, who do all of the above and are very hostile about it.
*Ouch!* iPappy iPappy -- hope that clears up soon!!!
 
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Update: 3 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Tumor shrinkage is definitely noticeable today. The one on his chest which was like the size of a golf ball got way flatter seemingly overnight. It has the same overall surface area on his skin, but went way down in terms of how much it protrudes outward. It seriously feels like half the size as yesterday.

The major one below his left ear is about the same size as yesterday, but has gotten a little softer. That's a good sign as every size decrease from the last chemo dose was precursed by a softening of the tissue.

Other than that, everything's fine. Appetite has been adequate. Tomorrow I will dose him with mirtazapine in the morning.

I've developed a good pattern as far as that goes. Dose him every other day, and then on the off days, clean his ear with a moist cotton ball (remember, I can only dose him in his left ear because his right ear has a small tumor inside that causes pain when manipulating the ear, even if gently).

Otherwise, we had a few brief zooms today, and he batted at a paper ball a little bit but wasn't as interested in shredding as he was in staring out the window. I don't know what he was looking at, but something seriously grabbed his attention outside for a couple of hours... he was doing that cat thing where they are intently watching something, and their head jerks quickly in very small, subtle movements from left to right. Like when they are hyper-focused on something that's moving in the distance.

There have been instances of storms here where huge claps of thunder literally shake the house. Everyone jumps. The only cat that seems bothered by thunder is Goofy (which makes me wonder, because we're currently dealing with a pretty severe ear infection so I wonder if that has something to do with it.)
I have my two posts about Willy and fireworks, from the last couple of years. They don't faze him at all after he's lived by the Milwaukee lakefront for several years.

A few pics from July 4, watching fireworks with my cat
Does anyone else's cat LOVE fireworks?

I can't emphasize enough how INSANELY loud the jackhammering was yesterday, like it was not like any construction noise I've ever heard. Being right outside my window, it was just nuts. I have some AirPods which have really good noise cancellation, and I couldn't hear audio through the earbuds, even at max-volume, while that was going on.

Edited for pictures. Just random ones I took today.
 

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tarasgirl06

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Update: 3 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Tumor shrinkage is definitely noticeable today. The one on his chest which was like the size of a golf ball got way flatter seemingly overnight. It has the same overall surface area on his skin, but went way down in terms of how much it protrudes outward. It seriously feels like half the size as yesterday.

The major one below his left ear is about the same size as yesterday, but has gotten a little softer. That's a good sign as every size decrease from the last chemo dose was precursed by a softening of the tissue.

Other than that, everything's fine. Appetite has been adequate. Tomorrow I will dose him with mirtazapine in the morning.

I've developed a good pattern as far as that goes. Dose him every other day, and then on the off days, clean his ear with a moist cotton ball (remember, I can only dose him in his left ear because his right ear has a small tumor inside that causes pain when manipulating the ear, even if gently).

Otherwise, we had a few brief zooms today, and he batted at a paper ball a little bit but wasn't as interested in shredding as he was in staring out the window. I don't know what he was looking at, but something seriously grabbed his attention outside for a couple of hours... he was doing that cat thing where they are intently watching something, and their head jerks quickly in very small, subtle movements from left to right. Like when they are hyper-focused on something that's moving in the distance.



I have my two posts about Willy and fireworks, from the last couple of years. They don't faze him at all after he's lived by the Milwaukee lakefront for several years.

A few pics from July 4, watching fireworks with my cat
Does anyone else's cat LOVE fireworks?

I can't emphasize enough how INSANELY loud the jackhammering was yesterday, like it was not like any construction noise I've ever heard. Being right outside my window, it was just nuts. I have some AirPods which have really good noise cancellation, and I couldn't hear audio through the earbuds, even at max-volume, while that was going on.

Edited for pictures. Just random ones I took today.
Very good UPdate on Willy's treatment and results! Keep up the great work, all involved.

Does he chitter when he's watching whatever it is he's watching? I LOVE when cats do that.

I empathize about the noise. That's how it is for me when the cretins next door have their parties. I bought a big jar of ear plugs. They don't do anything when the parties are happening. And yeah, I can't hear my TV over the noise. It's pure aural torture.
 
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cmshap

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Update: 4 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Willy's facial tumor is feeling a little bit softer today than it did yesterday. I take that as further evidence that something is happening.

Beyond that, he's been happy and playing throughout the day, and so my living room floor is covered in confetti from his paper-shredding antics.

By the way, does anyone have any idea how long it takes for fur to grow back from a shaved spot? See my attached pics for how Willy's neck looks today, which is now over two months since the spot was shaved for his biopsy surgery.

I was wondering if chemotherapy might slow down the fur growth? I have also noticed that he has been barely shedding, like almost no shedding at all since being about a month into chemo.

His bald patch doesn't bother me, and doesn't bother him, but I'm just wondering about it.

Does he chitter when he's watching whatever it is he's watching?
Willy never did the chirping/chattering thing, as in producing the sounds. But his lips do quiver sometimes, like some of the cats in this YouTube video... just without any sound produced. So maybe he is doing it, but his way is just silent?
 

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By the way, does anyone have any idea how long it takes for fur to grow back from a shaved spot? See my attached pics for how Willy's neck looks today, which is now over two months since the spot was shaved for his biopsy surgery.
I was wondering if chemotherapy might slow down the fur growth? I have also noticed that he has been barely shedding, like almost no shedding at all since being about a month into chemo.
That's perfectly normal. He may also lose his whiskers.
 
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cmshap

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That's perfectly normal. He may also lose his whiskers.
I'd easily trade in his cancer for having to start vacuuming every day again, but I will say that the complete lack of shedding is nice. A tiny silver lining in the midst of this bad situation.
 

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I'd easily trade in his cancer for having to start vacuuming every day again, but I will say that the complete lack of shedding is nice. A tiny silver lining in the midst of this bad situation.
I hear that. Even with one cat I was vacuuming out what seemed to be enough hair out of the carpet to form a new cat. And removed a ton of cat hair from the ceiling fan. I got a couple air purifiers which helped with the the hair a bit.
 

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Elvis is an "only cat" and he leaves gouts of his short fur everywhere. I ask him how it is that he has so MUCH fur and never looks like he loses any. *He smiles knowingly and is silent.*:winkcat: I miss the days when a big furmily meant big fur. And yes, I'd gladly vacuum, sweep etc., all of it, to have them back again.
I haven't had your experience, Willy and cmshap cmshap but I have observed that when any of my beloved cats has been shaved for spay or whatever, it seems to take forever for the fur to grow back and then, voila! it looks like it was never shaved. Maybe that's because when you live with someone, you don't notice change on a daily basis.
 
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Update: 5 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Today, the driveway demolition that started on Friday resumed, from about 8am to 4pm. While I was driven to the brink of insanity, Willy didn't seem to mind. In fact, he sat by the window and watched most of it while it was so loud my entire apartment was shaking and I couldn't hear myself think.

He even SLEPT while it was going on. I can't understand how that would even be possible. But I was glad he wasn't scared, and got some entertainment out of it, and was able to sleep.

I, on the other hand, wanted to scream. No chance of getting any work done. Even with headphones on I couldn't hear the music.

Anyway, Willy's appetite was great today (I dosed him with Mirataz yesterday). He drank a lot of water. Played a little bit. Zoomed a few times. He's doing well right now, I think.

Tumors have reduced a small amount since yesterday, I think. It's hard to tell, but they are on a path that has been noticeable since his last dose of lomustine and methylprednisolone.

Pictures are from when he was sleeping while the loudest construction noises and vibrations were rocking the whole building.
 

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Kwik

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Update: 5 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Today, the driveway demolition that started on Friday resumed, from about 8am to 4pm. While I was driven to the brink of insanity, Willy didn't seem to mind. In fact, he sat by the window and watched most of it while it was so loud my entire apartment was shaking and I couldn't hear myself think.

He even SLEPT while it was going on. I can't understand how that would even be possible. But I was glad he wasn't scared, and got some entertainment out of it, and was able to sleep.

I, on the other hand, wanted to scream. No chance of getting any work done. Even with headphones on I couldn't hear the music.

Anyway, Willy's appetite was great today (I dosed him with Mirataz yesterday). He drank a lot of water. Played a little bit. Zoomed a few times. He's doing well right now, I think.

Tumors have reduced a small amount since yesterday, I think. It's hard to tell, but they are on a path that has been noticeable since his last dose of lomustine and methylprednisolone.

Pictures are from when he was sleeping while the loudest construction noises and vibrations were rocking the whole building.
Hats off to Willy- cats are mind blowing!
 
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Hats off to Willy- cats are mind blowing!
If I've learned anything since entering the cat world when Willy came into my life, it's that they are extremely adaptable. That's probably why they are able to procreate like crazy and become invasive species in many environments they are introduced to.
 

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If I've learned anything since entering the cat world when Willy came into my life, it's that they are extremely adaptable. That's probably why they are able to procreate like crazy and become invasive species in many environments they are introduced to.
Well, actually they are not "invasive" but rather "adaptive." Throughout the existence of life on our planet, species that adapt survive and are the most successful. Cats have high birth rates, though, because unfortunately they are not only predators but also prey. So they have to stay ahead of that. Neonate kittens are so fragile! I work in feline rescue/advocacy and I cry every day. But I also celebrate every day, the resilience of cats like Willy who thrive. Maybe we all need to be more Willy, yes? :think:
 
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Update: 6 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Just a really small update tonight, as I don't have any new pictures or funny behaviors to report. Willy is still doing well.

However, tumor shrinkage today was undeniable. He is sitting on my lap now and I am feeling the one under his left ear. It's got to be at most half the size that it was 6 days ago when I brought him in for his second chemo appointment.

Again, I'm talking about in terms of outward protrusion. It still has the same general borders of where it occupies his skin. But today it is much flatter against the side of his face than it has ever been before. You can't see it anymore... you can only know it's there by feeling for it.
 

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Update: 6 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Just a really small update tonight, as I don't have any new pictures or funny behaviors to report. Willy is still doing well.

However, tumor shrinkage today was undeniable. He is sitting on my lap now and I am feeling the one under his left ear. It's got to be at most half the size that it was 6 days ago when I brought him in for his second chemo appointment.

Again, I'm talking about in terms of outward protrusion. It still has the same general borders of where it occupies his skin. But today it is much flatter against the side of his face than it has ever been before. You can't see it anymore... you can only know it's there by feeling for it.
Wonderful update!!! :redheartpump: :lovecat2::redheartpump:
 

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Update: 6 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Just a really small update tonight, as I don't have any new pictures or funny behaviors to report. Willy is still doing well.

However, tumor shrinkage today was undeniable. He is sitting on my lap now and I am feeling the one under his left ear. It's got to be at most half the size that it was 6 days ago when I brought him in for his second chemo appointment.

Again, I'm talking about in terms of outward protrusion. It still has the same general borders of where it occupies his skin. But today it is much flatter against the side of his face than it has ever been before. You can't see it anymore... you can only know it's there by feeling for it.
So he's at about 5 weeks out from his first initial chemo dose? This is a great update!!
How much do you think it's shrank since before his first appointment? This is very exciting that not only the tumors are shrinking rapidly, but he seems to FEEL so good, too!
 
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Update: 11 days post-chemo (2nd dose)...

Thanks everyone who is still following this thread. I haven't posted updates over the last 4-5 days because not much has been noteworthy, other than one thing I'm worrying about a little tonight...

I mentioned Willy's increased water intake before, but that spiked around the time when I said heat was turned on in my building, and I am in Wisconsin, where air gets extremely dry in winter and my building's radiator heat makes it uncomfortably hot sometimes on cold days. And then his drinking habits went back to normal after.

However, over the last few days, Willy has been drinking a LOT more water than usual. And we've had an unseasonably warm last few days (it was 50-55 F over the past two days). Heat didn't even kick in at all yesterday, and I had my windows cracked open. But yesterday, Willy drank more water in a day than ever before in his life, I am fairly certain (although I haven't been home 24/7 throughout Willy's life, but I've been home mostly 24/7, working from home, during Willy's chemo treatment).

I called both my veterinary oncologist, and my general vet, and left them both voicemails about this, so I'm sure I will be hearing from them tomorrow (Monday). I just wanted to post this on here in case anybody has any feedback for me about it. I'm quite worried about some kind of kidney issue.

Otherwise, Willy has been doing well. Litter box output is normal (including urine, despite increased water intake). He vomited only once in the past week which was from eating too fast after I dosed him with Mirataz. But otherwise he's had a healthy appetite, has been energetic (for his age/condition), and has been his normal self in every other regard.

So he's at about 5 weeks out from his first initial chemo dose? This is a great update!!
How much do you think it's shrank since before his first appointment? This is very exciting that not only the tumors are shrinking rapidly, but he seems to FEEL so good, too!
Well, in the first 3 weeks following his first treatment, the tumors shrank substantially (I'd say they got to 33% their original size), but then started growing again in week 4. If I am generously estimating, I'd say they grew back to 66% their original size (probably not quite that much, but I am ballparking it).

Then, since administration of his second chemo dose, they are now less than half that size.

Edit: And the fact that his tumors started growing again in week 4 after his first chemo dose is why his oncologist suggested trying a 3-week treatment schedule vs. 4-week. Some cats respond better to 3-week treatments. As I said in a previous post, his third chemo dose was scheduled 3 weeks out from his second chemo dose, by virtue of holiday scheduling, so we will have a good assessment of whether 3 weeks is a better option.

2nd edit: Even since I wrote the above post, I noticed a change in his tumor size. I hadn't really felt them today, before I wrote the above post, but then just felt them after writing the above post. They are significantly smaller now. If I'd have to guess, I'd say they are 25% their original size, overall, since right before chemo started.

Interestingly, the shrinkage does not appear to be linear. They can be about the same size for 3-4 days, then all of the sudden, 12 hours later, they shrink by 33%. The biggest changes that are noticeable to me are literally happening overnight.
 
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