I sent this letter to one of Mina’s cancer vets, Dr. Smith, on Saturday, November 8, 2009. I’m posting it here mainly to remind myself of how badly Mina was doing in the last two days of her life. Why do I need this reminder? Because as the one year anniversary of her death gets closer I still find myself second-guessing that last, awful decision.

Dr. Smith was wonderful to us during her chemo and during her final visit. Mina was quite fond of him, too.

I thought you should know that Mina is living her final days. Our vet, Dr. Cliver, estimates she has about two weeks, but given the difficulty she has breathing and swallowing food, I don’t know that she has that long. Nothing at all stopped the progress of her cancer, including homeopathy from Dr. Charles Loops, and her lymph nodes are gigantic. Her sub-mandibular and mandibular nodes are so large now that they can be seen without touching, and they’re causing her a lot of discomfort.

Still, she’s keeping a pretty good attitude most days. Yesterday wasn’t a very good day, but she’s brighter today. The only things she’s taking now are her fish oil capsules, IMM Power, Prednisone, Metronidazole, and an occasional Tramadol for arthritis pain. The Pred, of course, keeps her appetite very high, but her food has to be soft and mushy. She gags whenever she tries to eat hard foods such as biscuits. We are lowering the dose of the Pred slowly, but Mina won’t live to be completely off it.

Mina is enjoying a wide variety of foods now. She’s had vegan meals of French toast, waffles, and her first entire slice of non-vegan cheese pizza, courtesy of a friend. She’s gained weight, but it doesn’t really matter now. Every day that she’s with me is a good day, and I will treasure these memories all of my life.

Thank you,
Sheryl Bottner