Mina had an appointment today at VIMP with Dr. Chiapella. I’ve never met Dr. Chiapella, I wouldn’t know her if I saw her. But because my telecommute day is Thursday I thought it would be easier to schedule Mina’s chemo treatments that day. We’re changing it to Tuesday next week and going back to seeing Dr. Birnbaum.

After all that happy pep talk by Dr. Smith on Tuesday night at the emergency vet clinic, today at VIMP they delivered a painful blow.

Mina spies another canine today at VIMP

Mina spies another canine today at VIMP

First, Dr. C. isn’t sure if Mina’s vomiting on Tuesday night was caused by the Vincristine she got last Thursday. Her LVT didn’t say what else it could have been. I mentioned that I’ve read many accounts online of dogs getting very sick on the third or fourth day after the Vincristine IV and that it was, for some, the worst part of the chemo protocol. My comment was shrugged off – as usual.

Next, I was told that in order to treat Mina’s cancer effectively they need to administer the next drug, Cytoxan, right way … BUT maybe she should rest over the weekend. Seems reasonable, right? Until the LVT then informs me that waiting AT ALL puts Mina’s life in peril and it’s my decision so it’s actually ME putting Mina’s life in peril. Then she tells me that some dogs have to wait as much as 10 days between chemo treatments. I guess their lives aren’t as perilous as Mina’s.

Then, she lowered the boom. An ultrasound was performed on Mina – I was not told about this in advance, in fact they rarely tell me what they’re doing to her when they take her away to the mysterious treatment room/lab – and her spleen has not changed since the original ultrasound on April 21. This news was delivered with photos of the ultrasound and a dire prediction that Mina may not be responding to chemo and the implication that the doctor may not want to continue treating her.


I’ve had it with a doctor that every other vet I meet calls “brilliant,” but has the bedside manner of the damn Grim Reaper. THAT IS NOT WHAT WE NEED. THAT IS NOT WHAT WE NEED.

We need a doctor who will be frank with me about Mina’s health but at least tries not to be so coldly clinical that every pronouncement is like a death sentence. So, starting Tuesday I’m switching my telecommute day so that Mina can be treated by Dr. Birnbaum.

I left VIMP feeling like they’d just started digging Mina’s grave. We drove to our regular vet’s office – it took a freakin’ hour in heavy traffic – to get refills of prednisone (Mina’s dosage is being reduced) and Tramadol. While there I saw Dr. Nolan and just went off on the news from VIMP and how I don’t like dealing with Team Grim Reaper and that I’m not going to deal with them anymore. I never want to be told I have a choice of giving her chemo now, just two days after a violent reaction to the previous treatment, or hold off for a few days and be made to feel like I’m responsible for her death because I want to delay in order for Mina to feel better.

I am not giving up, damn it. I’ve just become the nosiest, most opinionated, questioning client they’ve ever met. I’m never leaving that office again without knowing EXACTLY what Mina’s options are for survival and I’ll know BEFORE they take her away what they plan to do.

And if it takes listening to The Downward Spiral to be in a testy, confrontational mood when I get there – then that’s what it takes.