Mina perked up quite a bit by the time I got home yesterday afternoon. Everyone must’ve left town because it took forever to get out of the District and another forever to get home – an extra half hour.

I bought eight jars of baby food on my way home, mostly organic, and so far she’s eaten four of them and completely rejected the butternut squash/apple combo. If it didn’t contain gelatin (which might contain the bodies of dogs and cats euthanized at kill shelters) I might’ve eaten it myself. Maybe she can smell something in it that I can’t?

This morning she ate a small portion of brown rice, almost a full jar of organic chicken-with-vegetables baby food, and only a couple of spoonsful of vanilla yogurt. I’ll just feed her these small quantities throughout the day and see how it goes. She’s taking the metoclopramide (for nausea and vomiting) three times a day now and I plan to continue that until she’s back on her Chow Now, which may not be until next week.

Yesterday evening we went outside for a potty break and she stopped at my neighbor Joann’s door and sniffed. I thought she might like to see her friend, Turk, who’s Joann’s elderly chocolate lab. Turk was very excited to have Mina as a guest, perhaps a bit too excited because he bumped into her bad leg a couple of times and got a snarl and a growl in return. Mina was wary of him after that and you could see that Turk’s feelings were wounded.

Speaking of that leg, it’s time to get a firmer brace for it. There’s no cartilage left in her right carpus and it’s bowed out and her foot faces inward when she walks. It’s gotta hurt and that’s why she takes 50 mg. of Tramadol twice a day. I’m going to photograph her crooked leg today and send it to dogleggs.com, where we got the original brace, and see if they can come up with something sturdier for her.

Today, I’m working from home because, according to her other caregivers, she really doesn’t eat that much for them and I want to get some food into her. I know she’s going to lose weight this week but I’d like her not to lose the entire two pounds she gained over the last week or so.

Overall, I’m handling this round of chemo side effects much better than I handled the Vincristine side effects. I honestly believe that switching Mina’s chemo day to Tuesday so she can see Drs. Birnbaum and Smith has helped me a lot. I’m less anxious and more hopeful about this process than in the beginning and that helps Mina, too.



Mina spent yesterday trying to get comfortable. She’d shift her position every few minutes and wasn’t sleeping much. I thought, at first, it was the temperature in the apartment so I lowered the thermostat to 76F and put on a sweater (I freeze under 80F, people). It seemed to help for a while, then I noticed the licking at her nose thing and gave her 5 mg. of Metoclopramide, the drug prescribed by her cancer vets for nausea and vomiting. She rested for a while, then we took a short walk, and then it was back to the shifting around.

So, I called PWCEV and asked to talk to Dr. Smith. He came to the phone, I explained what’s been going on since last Tuesday and he said the most important thing is to get fluids into her. He said he’d call in a prescription at the 24-hour CVS, then gave me a grocery shopping list: Pedialyte, plain or vanilla yogurt, Gerber Second Foods chicken or turkey baby food, and cinnamon applesauce.

The prescription turned out to be a complete bust. I drove to the CVS, no call from the vet. So, I went to a nearby store and found some baby food (not much in the required brand in organic so off to a bigger store today), some yogurt (again, none in organic – WHAT THE HELL?), and some organic cinnamon applesauce. Back to the CVS. I found one flavor of Pedialyte and a box of Pedialtye freezer pops. Mina likes cold things so figured that might work. No call from the vet at the pharmacy. Damn. So I got in my car and started home and called the vet.

They were calling it in right then, I was told. Back to CVS. I waited in a ridiculously long line at 9:30 p.m. for 20 minutes – NO CALL FROM THE VET. In the parking lot I called them again and was told to stay there and don’t hang up.

I ignored both requests. My cell phone minutes are not for being on hold for half an hour. Almost before I got home, the PWCEV called and said they really did call in the prescription. I’ll pick it up today.

So, Mina ate the light blue frozen Pedialyte pop, but didn’t seem interested in drinking the orange-flavored liquid. So I did what Dr. Smith suggested and used a syringe to get some into her mouth. She does not like that. Then she ate a jar of gross-looking chicken baby food, and about half a carton of vanilla yogurt. She didn’t seem thrilled with the organic cinnamon applesauce, though.

Around 1 a.m. I tried another flavor of frozen pop, but she didn’t care for it. I syringed a little more orange Pedialyte into her mouth, fed her a jar of turkey baby food and the last of the yogurt. This morning she’s had all her meds – Famotidine, Dasuquin MSM supplement, Prednisone, Tramadol, Metoclopramide. No wonder she’s freaking nauseated.

Time for the last jar of baby food then, I’m off to procure more plus the new prescription. I didn’t like Dr. Smith the first time I met him, but he’s turned out to be the most positive vet at VIMP/PWCEV so far and he takes my calls. Bless him.