We have spent $1,150.14 to find out about her condition.
It started with a minor scratch that refused to heal.
We got a call on May 20th – in the midst of our examinations – that said that the minor scratch, which has refused to heal for nearly 3 months, has turned into a full-blown nose-bleed. She was trapped in the attic space, according to the cleaners who took care of Hall 7′s cats, and came out with a missing nose.
We faced various difficulties. Looking for people to take care of her at night was tough, given that most residents had already started moving out, or started their vacations overseas, we no longer had campus fosterers who could help her. She also went missing for nearly five days before we discovered her with a missing nose, and thus she missed her earlier bout of medication.
When the wound still refused to heal, the vets became worried. All signs back then pointed towards cancer – her left eye had gone blind, which meant that the tumour in the nose had already affected or eaten away at her optical nerve. The vets recommended that she be sent to Mount Pleasant for a biopsy.
We did so on May 25th, and the results came back positive. Here’s a description of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to petMD:
A squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that originates in the squamous epithelium. It may appear to be a white plaque, or a raised bump on the skin. Often the raised mass will necrotize in the center and ulcerate, with occasional bleeding.
As carcinomas are characteristically malignant and particularly invasive, it is essential to have this form of skin cancer diagnosed and treated without delay. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas are typically fast growing tumors that get bigger with time and resist healing.
The standard treatment for SCC is surgery to remove the majority of the cancer cells followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy to kill the remaining cells.
But surgery is not an option due to the extent of the spread. Radiotherapy is not available in Singapore, and chemotherapy alone would be ineffective.
There was also the question of cost – the consultation at Mount Pleasant with a US-based oncologist would cost $375, and weekly chemotherapy will cost us $300-400 – which would be around $2k per month. This is way beyond what we can currently afford.
Bella is expected to have 3-6 more months to live. The tumour has spread to her lips, and is now affecting her eating. Meanwhile, she will be treated with a mixture of steroids (prednisolone), antibiotics and painkillers (tramadol).
As she begins to feel pain and discomfort from eating, she will require softer foods, like Prescription a/d, which costs $4.50 per can.
We have spent $1,150.14 at Mount Pleasant for her biopsy, and we need as much help as we can for future expenses, for Prescription a/d and other medications.
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