My name is Toni Victoria. I am named after my Grandma Toni and my Aunt Vickie. I also have vaccine-associated sarcoma. On Monday, January 11, 2016, my mom noticed a lump on the stump on my left leg, (I was born with a deformed left foot and it fell off when I was only a few weeks old). We were at the veterinarian by Wednesday of that same week for a biopsy and by Friday I was diagnosed with cancer. At that time it was explained to me that it was most likely a vaccine-associated sarcoma. My mommy was crushed. We just recently lost my daddy to lung cancer. My daddy was a decorated Vietnam veteran who suffered from multiple service-connected disabilities. He died in July of 2014 due to complications from Agent Orange exposure. We all miss him very, very much.
My mom took me to a few vets to get a plan on what to do. I am a 10 year old cat, but knew that I needed to be up to the challenge, because my mom was so scared that she was going to lose me too! On Monday, February 3rd, Dr. Hudgell performed an amazing surgery and the pathology said that we had clear margins, but the tumor was a high grade fibrosarcoma, so further treatment was advised. My prognosis at that time was guarded. My mom was hoping for better.
We were sent to Veterinary Cancer Care in Santa Fe for the next part of my treatment. We knew it looked grim. By this time my mom had done a ton of reading on my type of cancer and knew it wasn’t good. Dr. Kelly offered us hope and although it was a bit touch and go in the beginning, after a few months we were able to get ahead of the cancer and show some real progress. I had numerous rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, as well as local chemotherapy. I had two sessions of freezing also. I have had multiple x-rays, bloodwork, and an ultrasound and to date I show no spread of the cancer. In fact, I got a clean bill of health from Dr. Kelly and was told that I don’t need her anymore!! This is good because I am not a good traveler. I peed and pooped and threw up every time we had to go to the doctor. Now I take Xanax for car rides.
Dr. Kelly and her amazing staff saved my life. This amazing treatment doesn’t come cheap. It has cost my mom a pretty penny to keep me alive, but we have had the blessing of two charities who stepped up to offer us financial assistance: the Vaccine Associated Sarcoma Fund and The Athena Fund. Wow!! I can’t tell you how much that has helped my mom pay for my cancer care.