Mina seems to be feeling pretty good right now. She’s eating well, and has decided she prefers her chicken baked rather than boiled. We’ll see how long this lasts … The sarcoptic mange is in retreat and I’m going to dip her again tomorrow evening in the lime-sulfur stinky stuff. We may dip her one more time, though, to make sure it’s really cleared up.

Her hair is growing out, although in a different color! She used to be blonde, like a regular Wheatie, with a black spot on her back, like a regular Airedale. Her new hair is growing in red, however, like a regular Airedale! Her paws that used to be pinkish-brown from all the licking she did since she was a puppy, are now white. She doesn’t lick them anymore and both Dr. Cliver and I find that very odd. I have so many photos of Mina with those iron-colored paws and now they’re just white like when she was a wee pup.

So … on Tuesday I had a half-hour phone consultation with Dr. Charles Loops, DVM, a holistic vet recommended to me by Dr. Kocen’s staff. It was a pretty thorough conversation about Mina’s cancer treatment, her personality, her habits, her likes and dislikes. At the end of the consultation I paid my money and his staff sent out the homeopathic protocol via FedEx. I just got it today.

The instructions for homeopathic cancer treatment are really complex! I’ll have to consult this document every day and make sure my iCal is updated with the day’s treatment protocol. The remedies Mina will take, starting tomorrow morning, are Sulphur LM/3, Cadmium metallicum LM/1, Cell Salts, and Carcinosin plus 200C.

I’ve used homeopathic remedies for myself for years. In fact, my medicine cabinet is stocked with specific remedies for pollen allergies, but I rarely remember to take them. When I do take them, they really help. I’ve kept Rescue Remedy on hand for a long time, especially for during Mina’s chemotherapy protocol, and used it on both of us. Whenever we take a really long trip in my car, I give Mina a shot of Rescue Remedy before we get started. She’s great in the car, but it can’t hurt to help her out a bit.

We also saw Dr. Cliver today, the third visit in as many weeks. I needed another bottle of the lime-sulfur dip and I wanted her to check Mina’s right mandibular and right prescapular lymph nodes. They’re about 5 percent larger than last week, according to Dr. Cliver’s educated guess. We all believe it’s the cancer, even Dr. Loops was pretty sure of that. Dr. Cliver doesn’t believe that re-aspirating those nodes will give us any better information, either. She told me about a poor dog who’s been declining for more than a year now, whose seen a half dozen vets (including Dr. C. and B. at VIMP), none of the aspirates all these vets have done are conclusive. (Dr. C. at VIMP is certain it’s cancer as is Dr. Cliver.) So, it may be that we’ll never get a definitive diagnosis of the return of the cancer from a needle aspirate. We’ll have to watch Mina’s behaviors and habits for clues to how she’s feeling.

I will take her back in a couple of weeks though to have the lymph nodes examined. Dr. Cliver wants to give the homeopathy some time to work and see what results we get. It’s some strong stuff so I’m hoping it pushes the cancer back a bit and gives Mina some more quality time on this earth.

For my part, I have accepted that Mina is going to die from cancer. No point in fighting an immutable truth, is there? This acceptance has made it easier for me to enjoy our time together and relax a little, and that helps Mina a lot.

In the meantime, my beloved has a birthday coming up on Saturday – she’ll be 13 years old. That’s about a year longer than the average lifespan for a Wheaten Terrier. We’ll be visiting a favorite local winery and we’ll have cake and snacks and Mina will be her usual, sweet, very social self. If you’re local to my area and you didn’t get an invitation, my apologies, please send me an e-mail message to nothoney at gmail dot com, and I’ll tell you where and what time.

Now, I have to do lots of iCal entries for this new protocol!