Lori went in for her week-after-chemotherapy checkup. She was walking on her own, but clearly tired. Dr. Lacoste called me back with the news that her hematocrit (sp?) reading, which is normally around 35-40 and has been around 17 throughout her illness, was 11. In simple terms, her anemia had gone from "watch with concern" to "she could drop dead". Dr. Lacoste suspected an autoimmune problem, that her immune system is destroying her red cells, and performed a test which confirmed this. So I took her back to the hospital last night, where she got a blood transfusion and got started on high-dose steroids which is supposed to suppress her immune response so that she won't destroy the transfused red cells right away. Her hematocrit reading was 22 this morning, and Dr. Lacoste says she looks better than she did yesterday.
Unfortunately, with her condition more serious than it had been, and with my neighbor who was going to be taking care of her more busy than I had thought, it doesn't seem safe for Lori or fair to the neighbor to try to leave her at home while I'm gone, so I will be leaving her in the competent, but expensive and not terribly personal, care of the U of I vet clinic, probably until Tuesday because I'm not likely to get back soon enough on Monday to be able to deal with getting her home.
And just to make life extra wonderful, Windy (the younger malamute, but he's still 10) seemed to be a little off. I actually took him with me on my walk, and he seemed much perkier when he was actually getting attention, so I think he's depressed that Lori is not here. He's always been much fonder of Lori than Lori has been of him. Before the walk I was worrying about whether I should be taking him to see the doctor too, but after the walk he seemed much better.
Much that I should have done and had good intentions of doing remains undone, but I think everything that *has* to be done is done.