On June 23, 2013, after a 6-day, whirlwind hospice vigil (ending to a long, long illness), my mom died from PSP, a rare, fatal brain disease. That’s why the blog sits silent. After a total of 3 weeks off for hospice / bereavement leave, I’m in triage mode in every area of my life. It’s hard to resume the day-to-day demands, while under the crushing weight of grief. Below you’ll find my tributes to my mommio and a few brief health updates about our intrepid canine heroine.
Lessons I Learned from Judy Coet
(My Mom and First Friend)
Do your best, even when no one is paying attention.
Make and keep friends by being a good friend from day one.
Loyalty and humor will take you far.
Go all in with love.
Weather life’s ups and downs with grace.
Bear witness to the hard times of others.
Lilly Health News
Recent blood tests show that Lilly is NOT at therapeutic levels of cyclosporine (an immune mediator drug often used in people after organ transplants). She should be at 200-300. She was at 40 when last tested. Since she has been pretty steady at clearly not-helpful levels, we’re seeing how she does without this drug entirely. Today is day 6 off the cyclosporine, cold turkey.
Monday (July 15) out of the blue, Lilly developed a nosebleed for the first time in a very long time. It didn’t last long, but it’s still of concern.
July 29 we’ll retest Lilly’s blood and urine to see if the new lower-protein diet and new medication (benazepril) is helping curb her protein loss / kidney issues.
Last week and again today, Lilly ate the 1/2 of an incontinence pad that we use inside her washable diapers. Ongoing, daily steroids cause her to eat non-food items. She remains at 1 mg dexamethasone daily. These pee pads usually pass through her without incident, but it still makes me worried and frustrated. Until further notice, Lilly will be tethered to one of us or in her crate diaperless. Because inducing vomiting using hydrogen peroxide can sometimes trigger brain inflammation, we did not try that strategy at home with either of the recent diaper incidents. (She did it once during the hospice week as well.)
Lilly has chemo again next week.
Ginko Health News
While his blood work and urinalysis look darn near perfect, even though our big boy is now 13 years old, his recent senior dog wellness exam revealed:
- A possible heart murmur
- A possible heart rhythm issue
- Maybe the start of laryngeal paralysis
… because, you know, I don’t have enough worries.
He seems fine, and our veterinarian simply wants to listen to his heart again soon. So, we’ll see. She says the majority of dogs do NOT progress with laryngeal paralysis, so the coughing after drinking could just be an old dog thing that doesn’t get any worse.
Return to Blogging and Social Media
I really don’t know how or when I’ll return to blogging and social media. Right now, almost everything seems trivial or inane.
I do have some practical advice for those in hospice situations that I might share soon. We’ll see.
I’m just so heartbroken and tired. It’s a miracle that I get out of bed each day and function (or at least try) like a normal person.