The pathology results for Sithreal were all clear. No sign of cancer anywhere, lymph nodes clear. Yay.
Cautious, though, because the vet still wants us to consult with the oncologist to see if there should be chemotherapy
. My answer to them is no, considering what I just read in that link. Major points:
1. He's all clear, so if he got chemo, there's nothing there to kill except healthy cells (already killed a number of those with surgery).
2. The course of treatment is usually 12 to 15 weeks
. The specific length varies but that's the average. Maybe for cases like this it's shorter, but even, say, 7 weeks is WAY too long. Two weeks would be the maximum acceptable length I'd be willing to put him through, if even that.
If he had an inoperable tumor somewhere or if it had spread to the lymph nodes, then maybe. But he has no sign of it anywhere now. 12-15? Forget it.
3. Side effects: Nausea, toxic to bone marrow.
So. For 15 weeks they want to give my cat something that is toxic to BONE MARROW??? Good bye all his white blood cells, hello thrombocytopenia, which is what Ookie died of. He could die of secondary infections due to lack of immunity faster than a recurrence would kill him. In the immortal words of someone I used to know, "Home girl don't think so."
According to this link, the cost is expensive, since they use the same drugs as for humans and the same types of specialists. I get the feeling I'd be paying them to weaken/kill him. I think he'll be fine without it.
If I truly thought it would help him, I'd do it, but I do not think it will help him or increase his chances of a good life at all.
5. Quoted directly from the website: "Finally, it is important for the owners of dogs and cats receiving chemotherapy to realize that cancers we treat are rarely cured. Almost all of our patients ultimately have recurrence of their cancers."
So I'm supposed to give him something that is going to fail anyway...
Something that will kill the natural immune system so badly that my cat will be unable to fight off anything whatsoever, let alone cancer.