This is Mina’s last rest week in her Wisconsin (modified) chemotherapy protocol. She has four chemotherapy treatments left, starting next Tuesday.

Today, she had a CBC and physical exam by Dr. B. and that was all. We ran into Dr. B. in the hallway, first time I’ve spoken to her in months, and she said not to worry about the weight loss as they know it’s the chemo and she’s really pleased with Mina’s progress.

VIMP budgies got a big new house!

VIMP budgies got a big new house!

Here’s the pertinent information from today’s discharge orders:

  • Physical exam: bright and alert, popliteal nodes are tiny and barely palpable, weight loss this week likely due to decrease in appetite after chemotherapy.
  • Weight dropped from 49.7 lbs. to 48.3 lbs.
  • CBC: normal WBC count (9,600), hematocrit 39.9% (anemia resolved), normal platelets.
VIMP budgies enjoying their new home

VIMP budgies enjoying their new home

I learned today that the budgies and the two red-eared slider turtles all belong to Dr. Smith. He was happy to see Mina and she seemed to enjoy seeing him. She’s eaten a little and is resting now. Lately, she seems not to eat much in the mornings, which I understand is an old dog thing, but she eats a lot in the evening!

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You're gonna miss these guys when this is all over in a few weeks ...

You're gonna miss these guys when this is all over in a few weeks ...

Mina’s home from her day stay at VIMP for the Adriamycin/doxorubicin chemo treatment. She did very well and they gave her a reduced dose to help prevent any side effects. Mina was pre-treated with a Pepcid IV and a Benadryl IV. Here are the highlights from her discharge papers:

  • Physical exam: bright, alert, some alopecia (hair loss) on medial thighs and where legs were shaved for chemo, left popliteal lymph node palpable at < 1cm, all else within normal.
  • Normal white blood cell count at 6,700, normal HCT 38 percent (not anemic), normal platelets.
  • Urinalysis (free catch): specific gravity 1.025, trace protein, negative glucose, no overt infection.
  • She gained a half pound for a weight of 49.7 pounds!
Today's bandage was pretty cute!

Today's bandage was pretty cute!

I got this note from Dr. B. about the left popliteal lymph node that changes from less than .5cm to less than 1cm from week to week: “Dr. Birnbaum wants to let you know that the notation of the change in size of the lymph node is actually not precise as it is estimated based on feel, not with calipers, and that either ‘less than 1 cm’ or ‘less than ½ cm’ are both meant to indicate ‘barely palpable.’ She also stated that if the lymph node does change in size by this miniscule amount, that it may not even be related to her cancer, but could be related to her resolved UTI or any other process that might trigger the immune system locally. She said that either way it is not an indicator of whether or not Mina is headed for remission. She said she is more interested in the appearance and size of the spleen, which today looked wonderful.”

I thanked Amy for that note because this node has been worrying me a little for weeks now. I’m no longer going to worry about it unless Dr. B. tells me she’s worried about it.

Did you notice in the urinalysis the part about “negative glucose”? That means that Mina’s mild glucosuria has resolved. Her kidneys are working fine, but they do show signs of aging. That said, I still plan to complete the Five Leaf kidney treatment once Mina is done with chemo and has built up her immune system a little. I think a kidney detox can only be beneficial for her.

Resting after lunch

Resting after lunch

We got home and Mina drank a lot of water and I gave her a big helping of the chickens I’d boiled for her this morning, as well as a jar of organic baby food. I’m boiling the carrots for the ground cows dish right now and I’m not adding rice this time. She’ll get organic carrots and organic tomato all pureed and cooked in the ground cows with some safflower oil and parsely (and a little garlic).

Next week is her last rest week in the protocol.