Mina and I drove down to Woodbridge this morning and acquired this week’s chemo drug, chlorambucil. I gave her all 15 tiny pills in two spoons full of almond butter. Side effects on the drug information sheet are the usual – vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. I’ll need to call that pharmacy a couple of days before she’s due for another dose so they can keep it in stock.

Yesterday was a lot of fun. It was hot and divinely humid as I drove to pick up my niece, then we drove into the thunder-and-hail-storm from hell, then we saw a great concert. During the show I got text updates from Aunties Sherrie and Sue, and heard from “the boys” as I was driving my niece home after the show. I feel better today.

Everyone reported that Mina was perky and seemed happy to have company. She ate both her regular meals and a jar of Earth’s Best organic baby food as a snack. I’m glad Auntie Sue was with her for the thunderstorm because Mina gets nervous with a lot of thunder. They had to wait out the rain before Mina would venture down the stairs for a potty break. She’s pretty savvy about the weather.

Today we’re working and hanging out – lots of kisses and belly rubs.

s.

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I wrote to Dr. Smith yesterday asking if the change in Mina’s chemo protocol was a last-ditch effort to shrink her spleen or if it’s an opportunity to take advantage of the small progress she’s made? I mentioned that Dr. Birnbaum, in our initial appointment, said that if Mina wasn’t showing signs of progress after five weeks that we’d discontinue the chemo.

He wrote back around 1:45 a.m., during his shift at PWEVC. Here’s part of his response: “The main reason for altering the chemo protocol is to be more aggressive with regard to the spleen. She has made progress with regard to her peripheral lymph nodes and overall clinical status. We are extremely committed to Mina’s chemo. It is too early to make conclusions.”

See, this is why I like having him on Mina’s team – you can contact him and ask questions and get straightforward answers delivered without a hint of Grim Reaper. Mina likes him, too, and hers is the most important opinion.

Good day yesterday, very perky, took three longer walks, she ate well, still doesn’t like having her supplements added to her food but she eventually eats it all. I’m off to my chiropractor this morning because I haven’t been since March and everything is misaligned. Thanks stress! you dirt bag.

s.

We had a sleepless night. We went outside for potty almost on the hour until 2 a.m., then slept until 4 a.m. when it was time for famotidine, napped for a bit until 5 a.m. when it was time for prednisone and Tramodol, then awakened by Mina at 7 a.m. letting me know she had to go right THEN! She’s eating some chicken and a pancake this morning. I’ve sent a list of questions to the Chow Now Petfood e-mail address and hope to hear from them soon so I can pass on the information to Mina’s chemo doc.

Here’s the modified protocol that Mina’s docs will use for her chemo treatments:

L-asparaginase injection 9,400 IU
Prednisone 10 mg. twice per day for seven days
Week 1 – Vincristine IV
Week 2 – Cyclophosphamide PO (this is a pill)
Week 3 – Vincristine IV
Week 4 – Doxorubicin IV infusion (half-day hospital stay)
Week 5 – Rest or treat as case depends
**After this fifth week Dr. Birnbaum will determine if Mina’s making good progress with the chemo. If she is, then we’ll continue on with the rest of the protocol. If the cancer is not responding to the treatment, and Mina isn’t getting better, then we’ll cease chemo and make her as comfortable as possible for the time left.

Week 6 – Vincristine IV
Week 7 – Chlorambucil PO (a pill)
Week 8 – Vincristine IV
Week 9 – Doxorubicin IV infusion (half-day hospital stay)
Week 10 – Rest or treat as case depends

Week 11- Vincristine IV
Week 12 – Chlorambucil PO (pill)
Week 13 – Vincristine IV
Week 14 – Doxorubicin IV infusion (half-day hospital stay)
Week 15 – Rest or treat as case depends

Week 16 – Vincristine IV
Week 17 – Chorambucil PO (pill)
Week 18 – Vincristine IV
Week 19 – Doxorubicin IV infusion (half-day hospital stay)