Y’know, one of these days I’m going to learn to take what Team Grim Reaper tells me with a grain of salt. It’s just hard, very hard, not to freak out when one of them tells you that it may not be worthwhile to continue the chemotherapy. I haven’t slept more than 4.5 hours a night since last Thursday because of that one phone conversation.

Well, Mina is scheduled for her Vincristine IV for next Tuesday. She had a good check up today and Dr. Birnbaum is pleased with her progress. Here are the highlights:

  • NO WEIGHT LOSS! Mina gained one-tenth of a pound, which isn’t much, but I decided before the appointment that if she didn’t lose any weight we’d call it a victory.
  • No palpable splenomegaly; prescapular lymph nodes are small but palpable at about 1/2 cm; two left submandibular lymph nodes are palpable at 1/2 cm. No change from last week’s exam.
  • CBC results: Stable mild anemia at 34 percent with a normal white blood cell count at 9,900.
  • Urinalysis revealed NO overt infection. Rare WBC on sediment, trace blood and protein, and dilute urine with a specific gravity of 1.015. There is 50 mg/dl of glucose in urine.
  • Blood glucose was normal at 85 mg/dl.

Mina will finish up the Keflex for the UTI on Thursday. I gave Dr. Birnbaum a note about the diarrhea and Mina’s history of tummy troubles and told her what she’s eaten, etc. They didn’t seem to think it was related to the cancer, but most likely to what she’s eating. I hope it clears up this week.

The only dark spot in this report is that they found mild glucosuria with a normal blood glucose which is likely early renal disease causing loss of glucose through the kidneys. Mina’s kidney values were normal on blood work from May. I’m to consider running blood work to check kidney values in the near future, depending on her progress.

Allyson, today’s LVT and one whom I really like, said this is normal aging stuff but we need to watch it. I’m going to search for a kidney support formula to see if I can help stave off the inevitable. It would suck to save Mina from cancer only to have her suffer with a long bout of renal disease, even though I know lots of dogs live with it for a long time. So if you know of any proven kidney support supplements, please recommend them to me!

Dr. Birnbaum did the blood glucose check for free today. I think we’re kissing and making up. I need to remind Mina not to have any crises on Thursdays when Dr. B. isn’t in the office. I understand that Dr. C. is considered brilliant in her field, but she and her team cannot deliver news without it sounding like a damn death knell. They truly are Team Grim Reaper and I’m glad Mina’s not on that team. Dr. Smith reminded me that he’s in the office the next three days if I need to call. It’s a good thing they all like Mina, s’all I’m sayin.’

Oh, and there are TWO new budgies at VIMP and they’re all four in a bigger cage now. They are very chatty – it’s a party in there.

New budgies are bright blue and pale yellow/green.

New budgies are bright blue and pale yellow/green.

We also met Ray the Blind Dog and his mom today. Ray and Mina share the same vet at Village Veterinary Clinic. He was the sweetest boy, very eager to sniff you over and meet you. I have him some of Mina’s liver treats and he loved them. He’s a rescue, probably rejected by hunters who inbreed their dogs and didn’t want to care for a blind one. Don’t get me started on hunters …