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Decision time is quickly approaching, so please HELP?

Hi Fellow Animal lovers,

I have to decide what to do for our precious Holly, a torte, short haired cat with myxosarcoma of the left hock.  Basically, this is a soft tissue sarcoma, but it is in a precarious spot on her hock.  The surgeon cannot get clean margins, so amputation is the only sure “cure” for her.  I know that Fang’s Mom went through a similar challenge a year ago, so if there is anyone who can offer words of wisdom or support, I would truly appreciate it.  I am still unable to sleep, and with a husband barely 2 weeks our of full hip replacement surgery, this is now going well.  All I can think about is Holly and the possible amputation.  My husband was dead set against amputation, but he has come around.  I truly don’t think she could undergo 20 rounds of radiation as she is very afraid of all humans, except of course, her family – US.  We have had a Physical Therapist come in 3 times a week, and since he started coming, we don’t even get a glimpse of her during the day.  That is how afraid of humans that she is, which makes complete sense, since she is feral.  We were housing her Mom and 2 siblings approximately 6 years ago, when she was born at our house.  I feed the outdoor animals my cats leftovers and attract all kinds of wild friends.  Anyways, I convinced my handy husband, to make a heated “cat house” and Mommy kitty left her behind.  She was definitely the most beautiful, and now she is our only daughter, we are so blessed.  Anyways, contact with other humans is very traumatic to her.  She does not get mean, she has never bitten anyone, she just gets petrified.  The vets and techs who treat her, say she is very sweet.  I realize that amputation is drastic, but with the knowledge that most sarcomas come back after 2-3 years, we have pretty much decided to amputate.  Any advice or suggestions are great appreciated.  Happy New Year!

7 Responses to “Decision time is quickly approaching, so please HELP?”

  1. Hello! Welcome to you and Holly! So happy to have another kitty here -but not happy to have you and Holly in this situation! My Jill is now just one year post amputation for her right hind leg (also a kitty). I was extremely hesitant to do the surgery, but I really had to do it to save her life. She also had cancer (bone cancer, not a soft tissue). She is now doing wonderful! The recovery can be a bit tough, but really they do terrific on three legs. Please check out Jill’s blog and you can see tons of pics and videos if you go to the very beginning of her recovery. Please let me know if you have any questions at all! Her blog is:
    Erica and Jill

    • Hi Erica and Jill, your friend and fellow blogger, Michelle and Angel, said you may comment and I am now crying from all the love. Animal lovers are the world’s BEST PEOPLE!! Again, I am so touched by your caring and compassionate words, they mean so much! I am sure that this weekend will be difficult, but I am preparing for Holly’s new life as a Tripawd kitty. I have been ordering treats and heated pads, along with a new hangout for Holly. Usually, I am a penny pincher, but I am gladly blowing the budget for my little girl, she is worth way more than anything I own. I will read your blog and I do have a question right now: Did you use the dreaded “cone collar” or a onesie to protect her from licker her wound? I know that this depends on if they suture or staple, but I am seeing our surgeon the day of surgery, so I was just curious as to how you handled this. Thanks so much and you are another “ANGEL” and for that I am forever grateful. I hate to ask for anything more, but I believe in prayer, so please say a word for Holly and her surgeon, Dr. Abel. Thanks and have a wonderful night.

      Karen and Al for sweet Holly

  2. I am sorry you are in this situation. I had a pup and she had Osteoscaroma (bone cancer). I can only speak on my situation and say that Sassy did very well with her amputation she was 138 pounds at the time and the vet said a good candidate for amputation but was afraid she couldn’t support her weight on 3 legs but she proved them wrong and hopped out that same night. From what I know & have heard if they don’t get good margins the scaroma will continue to come back. I think she will do great. Try to breathe and Jill’s mom Erica may jump in and give advice from her point

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    • Thanks so much Michelle and Angel. My husband and I feel so alone now, so your comment means so very much. My father died last July after a 7 month bout with cancer and my Mom fell and broke her hip in May, so I can’t tell you how glad I am that our family survived 2013! I am glad to hear that Sassy did so well and she is an inspiration to me and my Holly. You are both “ANGELS” in my eyes. Please say a little prayer for Holly and Dr. Abel (her surgeon), as I have scheduled her surgery for this Monday morning. I look forward to sleeping sometime soon and I will take your advice and continue to breathe…………

      Karen and Al for sweet Holly

  3. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. It’s never an easy decision to make and the only time you know for sure you made the best decision is after recovery. Until then you just have to go on a wing and a prayer and trust that it will work out. So, what I can tell you, is that cats do exceptionally well on 3 legs, even better than dogs (sssh! don’t tell my k9 friends I said that!). They recuperate faster, they get along faster, it’s what we’ve seen here with all of our feline members.

    I know it seems radical but it’s so much better than having her in pain or worse yet, saying goodbye when there’s an alternative, isn’t it?

    You CAN do this. Lean on us for support and in no time at all you’ll wonder why you were so afraid. And in the meantime please come to our discussion forums for support too, there’s lots of folks there ready to help.

    • Another Hero to the rescue, Jerry!! Wow, there are a lot of you out there and I am so humbled by your support, thanks so much. I will join the discussion forums, as soon as I can figure them out, LOL! Don’t worry, your K9 comments are safe with me and I truly hope you are right. It took me a few weeks to get up the courage to tell my husband, who was dead set against amputation, that this was the best course for Holly. He simply loves his little girl so much! 2 weeks ago, he underwent full hip replacement surgery, so I quietly did research, and let him get a little better before I hit him with all this. The pressure of having to do all this myself, without anyone to turn to, was so stressful, but now I feel that a great deal of the burden that I carried has been lifted off of me, thanks to you and all the Tripawds Angels/Heroes. The world has gotten a lot smaller and much more comforting in the last few days. I simply can’t say it enough, TRIPAWDS MEMBERS ARE TREMENOUS!! Hopefully, some day in the not so distant future, I can help someone else, as you all have helped me. I am still in the infant stages of stress and trauma, but I will try to continue on a “wing and prayer”, as you have so aptly put it. It’s funny, I both want the next few days to fly by and drag on, all at the same time. Guess that sums up my contradicting emotions about this whole thing. Keep Holly in your prayers, please.

      Karen, Holly’s sleepless in Geneva, Mom

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