Mina is a bit better this morning. Not so much frantic squatting and begging to go outside every 15 minutes.

I slept about three hours and 45 minutes. Stayed up until 2:45 a.m. for a 22.75-hour day. Mina woke me at 6:30 to go outside and we started her round of meds – 10 mg. of famotidine, then an hour later she got 500 mg. of Keflex, 50 mg. of Tramadol, a milkthistle capsule, and a scoop of almond butter.

It couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes later that I found her in my bedroom, head between two dining table chairs, consuming her own puke. I slapped on some latex gloves and started picking up what was left and examining it for her meds. I found some Chow Now, some slimy stuff, some partially chewed almond bits, but no sign of her meds. I called PWEVC and they confirmed that she likely consumed any meds that she puked up and to keep her on her regular medication schedule.

I think I’ve missed my calling in life. I can sift through puke and poop and still wash up and have breakfast. Awesome.

Do doo do doo do doo ...

Do doo do doo do doo ...



Yesterday I was keeping a close watch on Mina because her behavior seemed familiar from the day she got sick last time on Vincristine – perky, energetic, and hungry all day.

Mina ate two portions of Chow Now yesterday, about the 16 ounces she needs to maintain her weight, plus some pizza crust (I know she’s not supposed to have grains or flour or that shit but some habits will not die!), and the almond butter that hides her pills. She ate well, but I noticed around 8 p.m. that she was restless. She changed her position a lot and wanted my undivided attention. I knew then she wasn’t feeling good.

When she headed into the bathroom about 20 minutes later I followed her and, sure enough, she was getting sick. Bless her for choosing the bathroom where the tile is easily cleaned and I can throw the rugs in the wash. Same stuff as last time on Vincristine – chunks of partially digested food and a brownish liquid. When she got sick during the doxorubicin she only threw up food – never the brownish liquid.

I reassured her and took her away from the barf, and called PWEVC. I calmly told Christine what happened and she informed me that Dr. Smith was out of town this weekend. They know us! Her advice was to give Mina 10 mg. of famotidine since Mina had taken all her metoclopramide for the day, and to keep an eye on her and not feed her again until morning.

We hung out in the living room while I watched a movie through my eyelids, and finally went to bed around 1 a.m. Nothing unusual happened during the night.

Mina took a long walk this morning, everything was normal, and she ate her chow now after famotidine and metoclopramide. So far, she seems just fine, if not as frantically frisky as yesterday. She is, however, eyeballing my toast and tofu omelet rather like a raptor eyeballing a mouse.


It was almost a clean getaway. I was dressed, had my purse and backpack strapped on, and was about to say ‘goodbye’ to Mina when she walked into my sunroom office and threw up.

I gave her some brown rice for breakfast and she ate a little of her Chow Now, plus all her morning meds and supplements, most of which I saw in the puke. She is not feeling well at all. I gave her 5 mg. of Metoclopramide and I’m going to wait with her for an hour or so to see if she gets sick again. If not, then I’m off to work and her Aunties/Uncles will be around to check on her.

Orangemina (the very image of pathos)

Orangemina (the very image of pathos)

I found another site with a list of side effects for doxorubicin. It’s for bone cancer in dogs but has some good information. I guess we’re on baby food for a few days while this drug moves through her body killing cancer cells and everything else in its path. She’s gonna lose weight this week but next week she’s off the chemo for seven days so perhaps we can build up her appetite again.

The hills are high and plunges steep on this roller coaster.


Wow. Have I been naive about chemotherapy. I thought I was reading a lot of stuff and I’d be prepared but … FAIL.

Today Mina was clearly suffering just about every side effect from Vincristine that she could have. Lethargy? Check. Depressed Attitude? Check. Nausea/Drooling? Check. Vomiting? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Diarrhea? No.

All of Mina’s caregivers reported that she seemed sad and tired, but she was still eating like a champ. That continued even after I got home. About an hour and a half after she had dinner, she started vomiting. All over the place. I called VIMP, talked to her LVT, Christy, and we gave her a dose of the Metoclopramide. She threw it up. Dr. Chiapella was there and directed Christy to tell me to get Mina to the e-vet.

When we got there, Mina’s records were there, Dr. Smith was ready to see her and we got started. She threw up two more times in the exam room. This is the second time Mina’s seen Dr. Smith and I’m almost starting to like him. He needs just a little work on his bedside manner, but he’s very smart.

So, he told me they were going to take blood for a CBC, test some puke for alkalinity, give her subcutaneous fluids and inject meds for her stomach. He made sure his techs knew to do all of this in the exam room where I could watch and ask questions. I like that.

Long story short … it’s not all bad news. Yes, Mina had a bad reaction to the Vincristine IV she had last Thursday. This means we will not be giving her the next drug in the protocol this Thursday … but she will still see Dr. Chiapella and get a full physical exam and another CBC. Then we’ll set a date for the Cytoxan round.

The good news:

  • Her lymph nodes have shrunken further. Dr. Smith insisted that I feel them myself and I am amazed. They really are smaller. A lot smaller.
  • She gained a pound!
  • She’s no longer anemic! I am going to hug Dr. Cliver so hard for recommending potatoes to add carbs to Mina’s diet for the anemia.
  • Her white cell count dropped from 17,000 to 9,000!

I must thank him publicly for making sure that I know that good things are happening with Mina’s cancer, and that this is going to be a very long, very hard road.

Tonight, I’ll sleep on the couch near Mina and tomorrow we’ll fetch my laptop from work and I’ll stay home with her. Please, please feel free to remind me that there are other things going on in the world that need my attention. I feel a great need to not always be in the cancer ward, y’know? I think that helps Mina, too.