Friday, March 28, 2008

this week’s drug is cytoxan

Ginger is still doing well. Last week’s dose of vincristine—besides turning her doggie farts lethal—lowered her white blood cell count. Not below the cutoff for the next round, but enough so that her onco vet asked us if we wanted to postpone the next treatment for a few days. We opted to go ahead with the cytoxan and feed her antibiotics and keep a close eye on her rather than disrupt the schedule. Since I work at home, I am able to watch over her. And trip over her. She keeps very close to me most of the time.

Cytoxan was administered with a diuretic—Dr. Elpinar told us we had about 20 minutes from the time of treatment to get her home and get her outside to pee. Ginger, of course, kept her own schedule and we had to make her go out. She’s on an antibiotic, half a dose of prednisone, her K-9 Immunity stuff, Omega 3s, and I just added flax seed oil.

Oh, and she overdid it running with Tattoo last Saturday and had a terrible limp for a couple of days, so I added glucosamine chondroitin to the list. The vet told us we shouldn’t give her aspirin while she is on prednisone because it will upset her stomach and gave us a painkiller that is safe with it. Seems to do the trick quite nicely. She isn’t limping any more—she usually does get over it after a couple of days, but this time she hurt so much on Monday that Stanley had to carry her down the stairs. So Tuesday, since she was still limping, Stanley dosed her with the painkiller about a half an hour before I got up so she could go downstairs herself.

The thing that’s making me crazy about this is Ginger has lost five pounds in two weeks. The vet says it’s because it takes a lot out of her to fight the cancer—and I know she’s right, but 5% of her body weight in two weeks seems like a lot to me. She started out at 86.5 pounds and is down to 81.5 pounds. It’s weird to go from worrying about her weighing too much (she was eating Beneful Healthy Weight!) to worrying about whether she’s eating enough to fight her cancer. (If only she could eat lots of Greenies every day—I still haven’t figured out what so addicting to dogs about those things!)

Update on the costs so far: $2,000 (two trips for diagnosis to her vet, intake and three chemo treatments by the oncology vet, K-9 Immunity kits, prednisone, antibiotics, and pain medicine. Oh, and high-end puppy chow, high-protein wet dog food, bones with vitamins, and lots and lots of string cheese. Stop ‘n’ Shop string cheese works best, especially if you take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you need it.)

In other news, we had a really nice time over Easter. I was going to use the time to catch up on stuff, but I was just too tired and barely checked my email.

And today we soft-launched the completely redesigned website for The Connecticut School of Etiquette: which I quite like so far. There are some glitches I need to work out and there is more content and photos and a bit of programming to add, but it’s a site the owner can pretty much update herself once she gets the hang of the interface and how it works. Done with ExpressionEngine, of course. The original design we put up quite a while ago—more than five years ago, I think—and while nice, it needed a redesign and needed to be easier to maintain because the owner’s business is expanding.

One of the things I need to do is make the black bar with the etiquette words at the very top of the screen work cross-browser. Looks fine in IE6 or 7, but has this annoying one- or two-pixel border at the top that shows the background pattern through in Firefox and Safari. Not sure yet how to handle this. Border and margin for the body are set to zero, so that shouldn’t even be there—I’ll check various CSS guru sites to see if there’s something I’m not doing that I should be. Every time I think I’ve gotten a handle on CSS, something new that doesn’t work right comes up and I realize I have miles to go—especially since I don’t want to use any hacks.

Friday I’ll be finishing putting together a database in Access. Among several other things. Work is not dull, that’s for sure.

posted by lee on 03/28/08 at 03:59 AM

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