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Bill is a very much loved 6-year-old indoor ginger male cat who has, remarkably, overcome cancer.
After an unexpected discovery of a cancerous tumour that filled up his entire chest cavity, 6 weeks of intensive chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumour, Bill is now in remission.
Fortunately, Bill had insurance which covered his treatment up to £5000 however with the insurance excess to pay and follow up scans we still owe the vets £2100. We are responsible pet owners with substantial insurance cover – however, these are extraordinary circumstances!
To add to this financial pressure, I (his owner) am a 29-year-old struggling with a bad flare up of Crohns disease. I am currently managing to work 2 days a week as I am undergoing extensive hospital treatment. I am working part time on a temporary contract which means that for the other days when I am not at work, I am not eligible for statutory sick pay nor am I eligible for benefits.
This story isn’t about me and my struggles in life it is about giving Bill the quality of life he deserves. Bill is an integral part of our family and we think nothing of driving him to and from 2 different veterinary surgeries (one near home and one 2 hours outside of London) to give Bill a fighting chance.
Bill is more than just a pet to us and for someone with a long-term illness, I feel like he is one of us who just fights against the odds to get on with life.
If there are any animal lovers out there that could contribute towards the cost of his treatment we would be truly grateful. The veterinary surgery has been amazing, and we are currently paying off the debt monthly (outside of their normal agreement policies) as this is such an unusual circumstance for a cat so young.
Any help we can get to pay this off sooner means that they can continue to do the fantastic work they do, to save other animals in difficult situations.
I will go into more detail below of Bill and his cancer journey along with pictures taken throughout his incredible journey so far. Bill also has his own Instagram page @gingerbillyboy if anyone would like to start following him for cute cat pics.
On the 8th November, Bill presented with a limp in his front leg. He is an indoor cat with access to the garden. We assumed he may have jumped the fence and landed in an awkward position. He wasn’t crying, there was no obvious break and he was still playing and active, but without putting weight on the front leg. His appetite was unchanged. To be safe, I put an ice pack on his leg in case it was swollen and booked him in the following day for the vets.
On the 9th November 2017 the vets were more concerned about Bill’s breathing and did a chest x-ray only to discover he had a build -up of fluid on his lungs. They immediately drained this fluid and found that it was blood. They decided that Bill needed urgent medical care with a more specialist team, so he was hooked up to oxygen and transferred an hour and a half out of London to a bigger, more well-equipped animal hospital. At this point, we were all still thinking he had had a fall and that there was possible internal bleeding. After a CT scan a diagnosis of a thymoma was made on his chest which had pushed his heart and lungs to the back of his body. Turns out there was nothing wrong with his leg and the reason he was limping was because the pressure of the tumour had finally collapsed against his chest and he was trying to give himself room to breathe or maybe a warning sign to us that he was unwell.
As he is only 6 years old the decision was made to try and fight to cure this. He had 6 weeks of chemotherapy back at our south London vets, which he responded to well, and managed to shrink the tumour by 80%. On Tuesday 9th January 2018 Bill was taken back to the specialist hospital outside of London to have surgery to attempt to remove the tumour.
I can confirm that the whole tumour was successfully removed after 3 hours of surgery. The tumour was sticky and wrapped around his Vena Cava which is one of the main veins from the neck to the heart, He stayed in hospital for a week and we managed to drive up to see him a few times whilst he was in recovery. After being released home we had to keep him indoors with a medi- vest on to stop him from eating the stitches and he was due back 3 months later for a follow up x-ray to ensure the cancer had completely gone.
10th April 2018 Bill returned to the vets outside of London for his follow up chest x-ray. You can see from the pictures that his chest is completely tumour free and there is no sign of the cancer returning. His heart and lungs have also gone back to where they should be, and all his fur has grown back. Bill has been given the all clear for the future.
Pic 1- shows the first CT scan- the green is the tumour- the red is the heart and the arrow at the bottom is where the heart should be
Pic 2 - is the tumour that was removed surgically after being shrunk 80% by chemotherapy.
pic 3 shows his final xray 3 months after surgery. The chest is clear and his heart is back where it shojld be
Here are some pics of his journey so far
- 9 days ago
L Kavanagh9 days ago
Share this update to help us raise more
- 2 months ago
L Kavanagh2 months ago
I just want to thank everyone so far - in 5 days we have raised over £100 which is amazing. I know it’s not pay day for everyone just yet but if you could all please share the link on your social media we would appreciate it. Love from Bill xxx
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L Kavanagh started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Jul 9, 2018
Good luck and wishing him a long healthy life!
Jul 7, 2018
What a beautiful boy x lot's of love to you xxx
Jul 5, 2018
Hope this helps😄
Jul 5, 2018
Speedy recovery to Billy!! You both are such brave troopers xxx
Jul 4, 2018
Ri Ri and Yve
Jun 16, 2018
Well done to Bill for coming through everything he has - strong boy!!! Keep donating everyone!!!
Jun 13, 2018
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