Six months ago Chicken had her surgery to remove the walnut-sized tumor from the scruff area on her neck. Steve and I were so worried about her and her stitches were so brutal they could turn your stomach. She has come a long way in six months. She has had one surgery, twenty-one radiation treatments and two rounds of CCNU chemotherapy. We are lucky that she is still here with us and has no signs of a recurrence.
Chicken’s friend, Stimpy in Oklahoma, is battling a recurrence of VAS right now and she even had her leg amputated, radiation therapy and a round of chemo. That’s the thing about vaccine associated sarcomas. They are highly invasive and have a high recurrence rate. You are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Steve and I check Chicken daily for any lumps or bumps. They say once that once you have a cat with VAS you will never pet a cat the same way again. This is so true. I check every cat I pet for any possible lumps or bumps. It just becomes habit.
The saddest part of VAS is that had I known there was a risk of this cancer, I could have made a better-informed decision when vaccinating my cats and I could have caught the cancer much earlier had I known the symptoms to look for. Pfizer never mentioned the risk on their vaccines and neither did my ex-vet. If your vet has never mentioned VAS to you, you should start the conversation. If your vet tries to vaccinate your cat in the scruff/neck/back area, you need to get a new vet. The AVMA has recommended vaccinating as low on the legs as possible for over 10 years.
Hopefully Chicken will have many, many more years to live cancer-free!
6 months ago:
Check out Chicken on Facebook and be sure to “like” her page!
Chicken the Cat on Facebook