Follow Up Visit to Cornell For Mr. Max

Max, our nearly-six-years-old Coton de Tulear was diagnosed with GME in July. I’ve written about his progress extensively, here and here and here. This is the original post where I detailed the trail to diagnoses and recovery.

Our return to Cornell last week brought nothing but good news for Mr. Max. His white blood cells are within normal range. We briefly saw Dr. Slanina, his neurologist at Cornell. She was very pleased with his progress and reduced his Prednisone. He is still taking his liver drugs, his pain medication and his liquid drug; Cyclosporine.

She told us many things about what to expect from Max going forward – eventually she hopes Max can go to down to one Prednisone pill every other day. That would be great, because as I mentioned before, Max has the Prednisone-munchies. He’s a fat-boy now. Usually he weights between 13-13.5 pounds. He was down to 11 pounds when released from Cornell back in July. He’s now at 14.2 pounds, and he was as high as 15.1 pounds!!

He is extremely food motivated now (where he never was before), and it is all due to the Prednisone. Hopefully that will reduce with a decrease in Prednisone. On the other hand, he sure comes when we call him now hoping for a treat as a reward.

Dr. Slanina told us that he should be on cytosar (his chemo agent) and Cyclosporine for the rest of his life. She also did tell us that after the next trip to Cornell, the (more) local Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center should be able to administer his Cytosar.

My first reaction was “no”. I wanted him to go to Cornell until we left for Florida, but thinking over the weather in December, I am leaning toward Orchard Park for November and December. Hey, a 30 minute drive is a lot different than a 3 hour ride. This will all depend on the timing of his chemo after October as I’d like to take him to Cornell the time before we head to Florida – if at all possible (depends on how long in between his next few chemo drips are – timing is everything!).

One of the best pieces of news from Dr. Slanina is an explanation of that “15 days to 3 years” life expectancy after a GME diagnosis. She said the addition of the Cyclosporine is new (which we knew), and they don’t have enough data to take into account a life expectancy when using that drug (which we had reasoned out for ourselves). Apparently, the remission (or cure!) could allow him to live a very long life (she was talking 10-12 more years!) That was certainly exciting news, although we are cautiously optimistic as there is no data to support this (there is a long explanation as to why, but basically the dogs that do into studies are in the care of a vet or vet hospital at the time of death, and so it skews shorter lifespan once the dog responds to the drugs).

Other news from the past month was no acupuncture for Max. According to the acupuncture-vet, acupuncture can stimulate the immune system which is contrary to what we are trying to do with Max.

The rehab vet is moving him down to one day a week. She said he has recovered a lot of his muscle mass, and she feels once a week is enough going forward (always subject to change).

The recap is: Max is doing very, very well as of now. He has to lose half a pound, but none of the vets is concerned about his weight at the moment. They apparently like him a little heavier just in case he gets ill. The prognosis is as good as we could have ever hoped for, and he looks a lot like “Max” now!

Previous Max posts:

Max’s First Cornell Follow-up Visit
Max Exercises More Than I Do!
Updating the Mr. Max Situation
A Mr. Max Update
Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max
It’s A Mr. Max Post!

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Easy Plum Pie Recipe

Easy Plum Pie Recipe

Now is the time to make this easy plum pie recipe when plums are in season! Sweet and delicious, this lovely plum pie is a wonderful dessert that everyone will enjoy.

Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook time:40-45 minutes


Prepared pie crust (top and bottom)
4 cups Plum meat (plum peeled, pitted, diced)
6 TBSP Tapioca
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 TBSP Decorator Sugar


Preheat oven to 375°
• Place bottom pie crust in deep dish baking dish
• Wash, peel, pit and dice 4 cups of plums. Use a variety of plums for color.
• Combine plums, tapioca, white sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
• Pour plum mixture into pie crust.
• Top with second pie crust, cut 6 slats for venting. Or, form a lattice crust with strips.
• Beat your egg, and brush over the top of the pie crust.
• Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of decorator sugar (you can use raw sugar if you don’t have decorator sugar) over the wet egg.
• Cover the edges of the crust to prevent burning.
• Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until pie is golden brown on the crust and the filling is bubbly. At the 30 minute mark, remove the crust edge covering to allow the edges to brown lightly.
• Allow to cool completely before serving.
• Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 8 servings of Easy Plum Pie

Originally, I had no intention of sharing this recipe. I had tried several times to make a plum pie, and they always tasted tart, didn’t set properly, burned, or something went wrong. Plums aren’t always that easy to bake with. I had no confidence in this recipe after my prior failures, so when Hubby asked if I wanted photos before he cut into the pie, I declined.

Hubby went away with his pie chewing like he hadn’t eaten in a week. He finished his slice in record time, so I decided to try a piece myself.

Hubby laughed at me when he heard me snapping pictures. When I told him I changed my mind, he laughed harder. He then complimented the pie. Hubby can be a tad critical of my (ok anyone’s) baking, so a compliment from him really is worth quite a bit.

Hubby liked this pie, and so did I! I hope you will enjoy this easy plum pie recipe too.

Note: for the crust, I used my Easy Pie Crust Dough Recipe because it is, well, easy!

• For a list of all Recipes available on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Laugh For Today

Laugh For Today

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