After Lilly’s massive vaccine-induced brain inflammation relapse in August 2012, we began again to rebuild her strength and her life. This time, we added a chemo drug called cytarabine … in addition to all the other immune-suppressant and seizure drugs. Lilly gets 4 injections over 2 days every three weeks. She will have her 8th cycle of chemo this coming weekend. At this point, we suspect she may need these injections for the rest of her life — however long that is.
Before Lilly’s adverse vaccine reaction relapse in August 2012, her prognosis was good. Afterwards, it became unknown. We truly do not know if she will be OK long term, but for now, she is perhaps 85% of normal and happy.
August 25, 2012
Our veterinary neurologist gets sad when I use percentages. He thinks I’m a BRUTAL Olympic judge. I suspect he would say Lilly is more like 95%.
Either way, Lilly was very happy to be home from another week-long hospitalization. Here she sits in the evening sun.
September 8, 2012
September 15, 2012
Lilly’s face still shows the ravages of her illness, but she most days she is content, if not outright happy.
September 22, 2012 (second chemo weekend)
Notice the muscle wasting in Lilly’s head from being on massive doses of steroids for so long. Parts of her body became quite boney. Other parts got blubbery since steroids cause muscles to waste away and fat to be stored.
Her new pot belly isn’t so much from fat (though, that’s part of it). Steroids cause the abdominal wall to weaken, so her belly pooches out now.
October 14, 2012 (third chemo weekend)
As we joked at the time, “Does this chemo make my nose look big?”
Nom, nom, nom … pumpkin … goooood!
Thanksgiving Weekend 2012 (chemo weekend #4)
Crazy clouds at sunset made things look a little apocalyptic outside the veterinary hospital windows.
We started walking again around Halloween — just 1/8 of a mile at first. Lilly can now walk 2 miles. It takes an hour to do 2 miles when we used to do 3 miles in the same time, but Lilly can do it. She likes to walk and sniff and be out of the house.
Her world has gotten quite small since she got sick. No dog training classes. Very little at-home agility training. No herding lessons. Very little time in public since her immune system is somewhat squashed.
As weather allows, then, we walk near our home.
Tomorrow, in our final Year in Pictures post, we’ll reflect on how far we’ve come in this unexpected and MOST unwelcome medical drama.