Oliver has had a bit of a rough year. In January, he was diagnosed with a fibrosarcoma, a cancerous tumor that cats sometimes get at their vaccination site. There is some disagreement, but there is a body of evidence to suggest that rabies vaccines are the cause, due to over-vaccinating, and the high dose of the vaccine compared to the small size of the cat. Talk to your vet about this – maybe your cat doesn’t need a rabies vaccine. I wish I had known…
At any rate, Oliver had a surgery to remove the tumor, and we hoped that it wouldn’t grow back.
Two weeks ago, Oliver had another surgery, to try to get the tumor that was quickly growing back. The vet and I had talked it over and decided, given how easily his recovery had been the first time, to go for it.
The tumor, and the surgery, was a lot bigger this time around. The vet found more growth and spreading, and wanted to be aggressive in trying to get it all. Clear margins around the tumor are critical to prevent its growing right back.
This time, Oliver had a much rougher time in recovery. There was a lot more open wound, a lot more swelling and edema, and a lot more bleeding. Oliver was in a lot of pain for the first 4 days. My heart broke to hear him cry when his dose of pain medicine was wearing off. I second-guessed my decision. He hardly moved at all those first few days. He didn’t eat much, didn’t drink much and didn’t pee and poop much. I made his wet cat food into a liquid slurry to get more fluids in him.
He didn’t like his antibiotic pills, his pain medicine made him into a drooling zombie, and he hated when I tried to put shirts on him to prevent his blood from oozing everywhere. I felt like a big, mean, jerk.
Fortunately on the 5th day after his surgery, he was feeling a bit better. He is getting back to his old self now. Two weeks out, he can jump up and get around like normal. He isn’t in pain. He got his stitches out yesterday and is healing nicely.
As for his cancer? It is unlikely that this will be the last of the tumor – it will probably come back. Getting old sucks. When the tumor does come back, there isn’t a whole lot I can do. Enjoy the time I get with him and love him as much as I always have.