I thought because we’re talking about two completely different species here that there’d be no comparisons between how human apes handle chemotherapy and how canines handle it.

Oops. At least one family member (I don’t talk to many of them) questions my judgment of choosing chemotherapy for Mina’s cancer treatment based on how another family member reacted. Friends at work have asked if Mina’s hair will fall out, etc. Y’all must think I’m some sort of non-human animal torturer.

Naw, I’m just your basic vegan terrorist.

If you’re curious, here’s a very good article on why chemo isn’t as hard on dogs as it is on humans. Essentially, it’s because dogs have smaller bodies than humans – so less of the cyto-toxic drugs are used. There’s also a handy list of a few chemo drugs and their side effects. Mina is a terrier, so it’s possible she’ll have a little hair loss around her face, but it grows back when the chemo stops. This hair loss does not concern me – it won’t kill her. The cancer, on the other hand, will kill her soon if left untreated.

As for my decision to go into debt to pay for Mina’s chemotherapy treatments – it was a no-brainer. I know it’s hard for most people to understand a deep connection between human and non-human animals, but if there were more of that in the world perhaps we wouldn’t be in the shit hole we’re in now, ya think? I’m also tired of the old notion that anyone who lives alone with a non-human animal must be deficient in some way and unable to interact “properly” with other human apes. Get real. My life is no accident. I live with Mina because I choose to and follow my ethics because that’s what I believe is right.

Will Mina suffer side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, appetite loss? Possibly. But my vet assures me that most dogs show little reaction to chemo drugs. I have a notebook on my desk of every bit of information I’ve been given by Dr. Birnbaum so far, including two pages on possible side effects and post treatment guidelines. I have a prescription for Metoclopramide that I can fill for nausea and vomiting.

Now, I hope that allays some of the fears expressed to me recently. If not, then you’ll just have to trust that I’m doing what’s best for Mina, whom I love more than anything – or anyone – on the the planet. Oh, and I ain’t stupid. I mean, really. I have to clean up the pee now …

s.

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