Mina and I just got home from her first post-chemo exam and CBC at her regular vet’s office. We took up far too much of Dr. Cliver’s time, I’m afraid, but there was a lot to talk about.

The first thing we did was discuss the results of her last visit to VIMP, the news about her remission, and the results of the skin scraping. Mina was scratching at her stomach with her back legs several times during our talk so we put her on the table to have a look.

Dr. Cliver thinks Mina might have sarcoptic mange, which cannot be detected with a skin scraping. She gave me a bottle of lime sulfur dip that I have to put on Mina today to try and help the symptoms. The cure for sarcoptic mange is large doses of ivermectin, but Mina’s immune system can’t handle that right now.

The next thing was to exam her lymph nodes. This is were things went really bad. The nodes on her right side, prescapular and mediastinal, are enlarged. Now, Dr. Cliver said this could be a couple of things … It could be a reaction to the skin disease or it could be an indication of a thyroid condition. The plan is to dip her in the lime sulfur stuff and we’ll return for another exam in a week (the CBC results won’t be ready for a couple of days). If there’s improvement, then we won’t aspirate a lymph node. If not, we’ll have to do that and send it off to a lab to find out if her cancer has returned.

I tried to hang on to a little hope that a couple of enlarged lymph nodes could mean something besides cancer, but after what we’ve both been through this year that’s a false hope. It was my greatest fear all along that once the chemotherapy protocol ended, the cancer would immediately re-assert itself in Mina’s body. I just cannot believe that it might be true. It’s more than I can take right now.

So, I’m off to put on some gloves and make our apartment smell like rotten eggs. And then I think I’ll do some work and try to think of something – ANYTHING – other than losing Mina to cancer before she’s even had time to enjoy her remission.