Josh took a turn for the worse over the weekend and I took him to the vet this morning (01/30/2023) as soon as they opened.
He may not be coming home…
UPDATE 01/30/2023 EVENING
Josh got a stay of execution today and is back home pending a surgery consultation.
Josh was scheduled for an appointment at LSU Veterinary School today at 10:15, but his local vet visit today disrupted that long trip.
Today his bloodwork and blood chemistry both remain normal. His blood oxygen is still 99% and fluid that had accumulated in his chest was very minimal.
The mass was biopsied twice by two different pathologists at different labs and both reported that it is not malignant.
In short, Josh is healthy except for this mass which is causing him increasing discomfort. (And of course, he still has that serial killer FeLV lurking about his system.)
The mass is hard and calcified occupying about 40% of his chest cavity. It is currently preventing one lung from being able to expand fully. It is also very near or even possibly attached to his heart.
The most immediate threat the mass poses is that it is compressing his trachea and if it continues to harden more then it could restrict his breathing until it suffocates him. Euthanasia would be needed to avoid that end for him.
The mass may or may not be beneficially operable.
If surgery is done and it is found to be entwined with critical organs or attached to his heart, then removing it will not be an option and Josh would expire during surgery. Everything that could have been done for him would have been done.
However, if surgery is not attempted and it is later determined after his death that it could have been removed then that will be hard to live with.
If during surgery, the mass is wholly or partially removable and Josh recovers from the surgery, his life could be extended and his quality of life restored to pre-tumor levels for an undetermined period of time.
Following consultation with the surgeon, a nerve-wracking decision will remain about what to do next.
Do nothing, and Josh's demise is imminent.
Or flip a coin and try a Hail Mary surgical procedure that may restore his quality of life and extend his life OR it may kill him that day.
What would you do?