Max is Back to Chemo for His GME

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max, who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME

In July of 2014 Max, our (now) nine year old Coton de Tulear was diagnosed with GME. I’ve written about his progress extensively, here and here and here and here and here. This is the original post where I detailed the trail to diagnoses and remission.

I have not had a blog post update on Max’s GME since October, 2016. As they say, “no news is good news” and he had been doing quite well until October, 2017. If you subscribe to the Ann’s Entitled Life newsletter, you have read a few updates about little Max.

In October 2017 he again suffered what was thought to be a GME relapse. We made a trip to Cornell, his Prednisone was increased, his CycloSporine was raised a touch, and we hoped all would be well.

A few days into January 2018 we began to notice increased circling from Max. He would still stop if I commanded him to, but the circling did not abate. We took him to Cornell on January 11, 2018, and his resident neurologist – Dr. Sarah Stephan – as well as her neurology supervisor (a chief of neurology), indicated a relapse.

Max was sent home with a huge increase in Pred (10mg), Pregabalin (for the pain), and instructions for us to watch him, and lower his Prednisone dose to 7.5mg in 5 days. The hope was we would reduce that 7.5mg dose to 5mg, and we would reduce the Pregabalin to one per day when he dropped to the 7.5mg, and less than that at 5mg.

Well, the best-laid plans…

The positive to the Prednisone – which is a synthetic corticosteroid drug – is that it is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant drug. And Max’s immune system needs to be suppressed at all times. He does not get any shots, and he does not receive kennel cough. Nothing to ramp up his system in any way.

Since Prednisone is a steroid it can have longterm side effects including bacterial infections (he had a nasty skin infection last year which he needed to have a pet dermatologist treat), and weight gain. As anyone who has ever taken a steroid knows, you want to eat and eat and eat and eat. Max is here.

Now along with a voracious appetite, Max also gains weight while on the Pred. It takes a while to get that excess weight off him once the Pred decreases, and he is an unhappy doggie at 17 pounds or more. This time, with the pred increase we had him weighed at physical therapy (where he is weighed weekly) as well as his regular vet (where he went for a blood test). They both showed him losing weight with the steroid increase.

On the higher doses of Pred Max was not responding as he has in the past. The circling increased and got tighter. There were neck stretches (a sign that he was trying to relieve the pain), and when we tried to reduce the Pregabalin there were obvious (and loud) signs of pain from him when we tried to give him oral medication (he flails his head to get away from me every time (3.5+ years now)) and was now causing himself pain in doing so.

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


Mr. Max surveying his domain before we left Sunday morning.


We called Dr. Stephan and last Friday she suggested that we come in and start Max up on chemo again. We drove down to Cornell, and he received a treatment on Monday through to Tuesday. Cornell administers the Cytosar as a drip which is less “harsh” to his system. (Max had injection chemo in Jacksonville a few years ago… let’s just say that was a crappy experience.)

Some of the protocols have changed. In the past, we would have a blood test for Max one week after chemo treatment to check his white blood cells. That is no longer necessary. He goes back for another chemo treatment in a month, and they suggested we do the full panel ahead of time again so he can get right to the treatment. (We did it prior to this treatment not knowing he was going to have chemo… the tests were to check the immune system with the pred ramp-up.)

As to the non-weight-gain with the Pred? We were told it wasn’t as unusual as we assumed.

I am keeping Max home from physical therapy this month. We had planned a long road trip for the end of January and February, so I had nothing scheduled for him anyway. (That trip was canceled when the chemo became necessary.) His next PT isn’t until March, and by then he will have several chemo treatments behind him and should be feeling more like himself (I hope).

One of the things I keep telling Hubby – and that was reinforced (kindly) by the two neurologists we saw at Cornell this month – is that Max is well past historic longterm prognosis for this terrible disease. When he was diagnosed it was “not leaving the hospital” – to – “up to three years”. Max is now at 3.5 years. Both neurologists also made mention of how remarkable this is.

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME. Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system.


Mr. Max resting comfortably inches away from one of his (many) beds, Wednesday morning.


I have no idea how much longer we will have the little guy with us. To date, he has been extremely tough in battling this truly terrible disease. He’s set for several more chemo treatments, and we are hopeful this will zap that crushing inflammation and Max will truly be a medical marvel. We do know that, since Cornell is a teaching veterinary hospital, his treatment therapy could be of help to future dogs that come down with Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME).

We are just thankful for every day we have with him.


Previous Max posts (read in order from the bottom up to follow his whole story):

Max Had a Relapse
Mr. Max April 2016 Update
Max March 2016 Update
Mr. Max Post Cornell Visit Information
Max’s Latest GME Update
Max’s GME Update, One Year Later
Max’s GME Update, Month 11
Max’s GME Update
An Update on Mr Max, March 2015
Updating Max’s GME
An Update On Mr. Max
Last 2014 Trip To Cornell For Max
Back To Cornell
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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10 Best Posts of 2017

10 Best Posts of 2017 on AnnsEntitledLife.com


Every year since I began writing Ann’s Entitled Life in 2013 I have rounded-up the 10 “best” posts of the prior year in early January. I’ve chosen my personal favorites in the past, as well as highly trafficked blog posts. This year, I will continue to highlight the highly trafficked blog posts.

2017 continued on with the Facebook pay-for-play model, and Pinterest spent 2017 messing around with their algorithm, so it was difficult for new posts to gain much traction via social media with a monetary commitment (not happening with recipes). I could tell you exactly where the traffic for all 10 of the posts listed below came from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google, etc. – except for the macaroni salad. When I saw the one at number three I was kinda flabbergasted.

I did this a little different this year. First up are the top 10 posts I posted in 2017. None of them cracked the top 10 for blog traffic. The White Russian Tiramisu Cake Recipe came the closest at #22 overall.

Below the top 10 posted posts in 2017 are links to my top 10 trafficked posts in 2017. They have moved around a bit from 2016 and 2015, although a few favorites have still made the list. New at #1 is this Nachos Deluxe recipe. So how did an old recipe from 2013 that never hit my top 100 list make it to #1 in 2017 you might ask? New photos. If you are a blogger, consider updating old content photos. I can go through my top 50 for 2017 and tell you that over 10 are old content with new photos. It helps.

First things first: sign up for my weekly newsletter! You get a free downloadable e-cookbook when you confirm your newsletter sign-up!

White Russian Tiramisu Cake Recipe. This no-egg, no-cooking, tiramisu recipe comes together quickly. It can be served immediately, or made the day before your special event or dinner. The melt-in-your mouth creamy, rich, coffee-cocoa goodness of this white Russian tiramisu will have your friends and family asking for seconds!


These are the top 10 posts that were posted in the calendar year 2017!

1. White Russian Tiramisu Cake Recipe Make it! Make it! Make it!! This no-egg, no-cooking, tiramisu recipe comes together quickly. It can be served immediately or made the day before your special event or dinner. The melt-in-your-mouth creamy, rich, coffee-cocoa goodness of this white Russian tiramisu will have your friends and family asking for seconds!

This ended up being my #1 post for 2017, even though I posted it toward the end of the year. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! If you like tiramisu, you’ll love this easy to make recipe.

How to Make a Knot Pillow DIY Tutorial. You will not believe how simple it is to make this trendy pillow knot design. This knot pillow DIY version costs a whole lot less than a store bought pillow knot, and only takes about an hour to make.


2. How to Make a Knot Pillow DIY Tutorial – simple to make, and very inexpensive, this knot pillow was a big hit!

Herbed Cheese and Veggie Macaroni Salad Recipe. A new twist on an old favorite, this herbed cheese and vegetable recipe is simply delicious. An easy recipe to make, this summer side dish is a perfect accompaniment for backyard barbecues, picnics, lunches and evening meals.


3. Herbed Cheese and Veggie Macaroni Salad recipe – I gotta admit, when I saw this easy macaroni salad was my #3 post for 2017, I went “Ummmmmm”.

How to Make Turkey Gravy. Turkey gravy goes hand and hand with roasted turkey. Instead of buying canned or jarred turkey gravy the next time you make a bird, why not make your own? It is easier than you think!


4. How to Make Turkey Gravy I am not surprised this ended up being so popular – it went CRAZY on Facebook around Thanksgiving!

75 Acid Loving Plants. If you have acidic soil, you need plants that flourish within an acid soil environment. Flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees all have specific soil needs; these 75 acid loving plants are great choices for your gardening and landscaping needs.


5. 75 Acid Loving Plants – this went a bit wild on Pinterest this summer. People must have acidic soil!

Imitation Crab Salad Recipe. This is simply the best imitation crab salad you will ever make! Serve it for lunch or as a dinner side. Easy to make, this imitation crab salad is truly fabulous.


6. Imitation Crab Salad recipe – mere words cannot describe how good this imitation crab salad is! This is one of Hubby’s better recipes. Yum!

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe. Enjoy the sweet-tart taste of key lime when you make this easy key lime pie recipe. This smooth and creamy pie comes together in minutes. Your family and friends will love this delicious dessert.


7. Easy Key Lime Pie recipe – recipes do not get any easier than this! I am sure that is the appeal – well, that and it tastes good.

Easy Ravioli Lasagna Recipe. A fast prep, a quick bake, and dinner is ready in under an hour! A salad and fresh bread are all that is needed to turn this tasty easy Ravioli Lasagna recipe into a hearty supper your whole family will enjoy.


8. Easy Ravioli Lasagna Recipe – good, easy, comfort food. This is fabulous!

Love Bug Wineglass DIY. Make your own adorable Love Bug Wineglass. This easy step by step tutorial will show you how to easily make a wine glass love bug which is perfect for a centerpiece, mantel decor or table decorations this Valentine's Day, or for a wonderful spring or summer craft! If you are looking for an adorable craft project, this is it!


9. Love Bug Wineglass DIY – need a Valentine’s Day craft that is simple to make?!?

250 Things to Do In Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY.  A long list of over 250 different things to do in the Niagara Falls, NY and Buffalo, NY area that are great for adults and children. From state parks to museums, to architecture and zoos, there is so much to do in Western New York and this list of amazing places, spaces and activities will get you started.


10. 250 Things to Do In Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY – we do a lot in the area, and so does my family. These yearly Buffalo and Niaraga Falls round-ups are based on experience, so you know what you are getting into when you go! My goal for 2018 is 300 things, and my goal in 2019 is 365 things – something every single day!

Nachos Deluxe. This fast and easy Nachos Deluxe recipe can be eaten as lunch or dinner, or served as a snack! Great for game day snacking, movie time, or anytime. This delicious treat is ready in under 20 minutes, and is oh so good!


These were the top 10 most trafficked posts in 2017 on Ann’s Entitled Life:

1. Nachos Deluxe – easy-peasy snack, dinner, or appetizer for party food! Simply delicious.

2. Chicken Salad Recipe – This is the best recipe Hubby has ever made (and that is really saying something as he is an excellent cook!). This made the “best of” list in 2014, disappeared in 2015, and reappeared in 2016. We make this all. the. time. Try it! You’ll like it!

3. Orange Creamsicle Cocktail Recipe – This cocktail recipe was my #1 post in 2015. People have really enjoyed this cocktail – I’ve watched several youtube videos of people making it, and trying it live! With millions of views, this is one popular recipe.

4. Apple Pie Jello Shots Apparently, people like jello shots. This one took off this fall on Pinterest and never stopped.

Cucumber Caprese Salad Recipe. A beautiful and delicious take on a traditional Caprese Salad, this Cucumber Caprese Salad Recipe is a perfect side dish with steak, burgers, turkey legs, barbecue chicken and more! Easy to make, this Cucumber Caprese Salad recipe is loaded with sweet, fresh vegetables. Try it today!


5. Cucumber Caprese Salad – easy to make, Hubby and I eat this every week during the summer (most weeks twice). Another old recipe with updated photos!

6. Twice a Year Cleaning Secret For Sparkling Shower Doors – my favorite “cleaning” tip – hack is probably a better term since it reduces cleaning those frameless doors to twice a year. A

7. Glow in the Dark Jello Shots – I am going to start a jello-shot recipe blog. They are pretty darned popular!

8. Christmas Cookie Jello Shots – This was my #1 post written in 2016. Great holiday party recipe!

9. Banana Split Icebox Cake Recipe – Originally published in 2013, this delicious dessert recipe has been on my “best of” list every year since I have published it. It is really like no other banana split icebox cake you have ever tried!

10. Blueberry Pie Recipe – I LOVE this recipe!! And for the bloggers… new photos gave this old 2013 recipe new life.

I always find these “best of” roundups fascinating! (I am easily fascinated. )

To look back past past best ofs:

10 Best Posts of 2016
10 Best Posts of 2015
10 Best Posts of 2014
10 Best Posts of 2013


• For more Recipes on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

• For more liquor and wine cocktail recipes, tips and reviews, click here.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2018!


Good Morning!!! and welcome to 2018!!!

For the last nine years (geez that means I have been blogging for TEN years now!) I have written a New Year’s Day post filled with blog updates, new series ideas, and what to expect in the upcoming year, first on Coupons, Deals and More, and continuing the tradition on Ann’s Entitled Life. This year is no exception.

Note: next week I will post the 10 “best” (in other words most trafficked) posts of 2017.

First things first: sign up for my weekly newsletter! You get a free downloadable e-cookbook when you confirm your newsletter sign-up!

This past year was terrible for blog traffic, even as the blog made money (Hubby may never recover from this development!). My adnetwork (MediaVine) is fabulous and makes things easy to earn. I also did a few sponsored posts. These are difficult for me as I need to really love (or at least deeply like) the products I am being paid to highlight. Sponsored posts pay quite well (sometimes very, very well), so I make some pretty terrible faces when I am declining sponsored work where I do not love the product or service when I am offered mucho dinero for that post.

My Facebook 2017 traffic was horrible as Facebook is now strictly pay-for-play. I saw Facebook take a nosedive in 2016 as that model became clear, but in 2017 it was an even sharper decline. If you have a Facebook account where you follow business pages (a blog is considered a business), you probably noticed you see next to none of those brands in your stream these days. That is because if a brand is not paying Facebook to get into your stream, you will not see the brand’s content (not without designating favorites and liking EVERYTHING from that business that comes your way). Since I post recipes, gardening, crafts, and DIY, I cannot justify hundreds or thousands of dollars to boost posts and get into my follower’s streams. This blog just does not make that kind of money. So, I have a Facebook page to make the sponsored post people happy, but not for any other reason.

Pinterest was painful for 10.5 months of 2017 too. They were making tweaks and changes the whole year! (Full disclosure, I own Pinterest stock through a private raise a few years back – as an investor, I wasn’t happy with Pinterest-2017, as a user I was unhappy with Pinterest-2017, and as a content provider I was really unhappy with Pinterest-2017.) It wasn’t until November that I started seeing the return of traffic from Pinterest. My Pinterest page is still a top 10,000 account – out of 200M+ Pinterest accounts. That means that less than 10K Pinterest accounts have more followers than I do. Since I was a top 10K account in 2016, and basically held steady in growth, that tells me a lot of Pinterest accounts experienced Pinterest-pain in 2017.

My IG account grew a little bit in 2017, but since Facebook owns it I expect no traffic from it… and am rewarded accordingly!!! I just can’t get into Instagram. If I want to look at pretty pictures, I will go over to Pinterest. I am sure I am missing something on IG, but what, I do not know.

Twitter is still my first social media love. I had finally broken through and was getting decent traffic from Twitter in 2017 when they closed down the API for repeat-tweet schedulers. #@!*&% A tweet lasts approximately 8-10 minutes without a lot of retweets, so repeating the same tweet (a lot) was the only way I found to reach my followers. Since the repeating is dead, without hand tweeting all the time, Twitter is just gonna go back to being my playground, and not a source of “real” blog traffic. {sigh}

I plan on taking some content creation time off in 2018. The way blog traffic arrives these days is usually off social media or search. And, I have been a search-slacker on this blog since Day 1. A lot of it has to do with how I approached Ann’s Entitled Life – it was to be my hobby blog and cost me no more than $200 a month. At that rate, and as a hobby, I didn’t need to implement great (or even good) SEO.

Welllllll fast forward a few years and this blog is hurting due to that approach. Google doesn’t really like my blog, Bing barely tolerates my blog, and DuckDuckGo just isn’t that big yet. So, I need to rework some old posts, tweak my SEO a bit and hope to get into Google’s good graces this year.

I have purchased a bazillion blogging classes (you laugh! It is true! (not really but feels like it is true)), and I want to finish them. Blogging is always changing and it is one continuing-ed class behind the scenes. I need to finish two of the courses I bought in 2017 that I actually learned a few things from (when you have been blogging 10 years, it is difficult to find classes or courses where people are reinventing the blogging-wheel), and work on that SEO.

So, while I don’t expect to not post for weeks or months at a time, I do plan on cutting back days in the summer to get some of that blogging “to do” list finished.

I do not expect to start any new features this year. Blogging “experts” recommend tightening your niche, not expanding it. Since I am a rebel, I am going to keep Ann’s Entitled Life wild and free, but will stick with the recipes (which drive most of the blog traffic), crafts (which pays for most of my costs), DIY beauty, gardening (because I like it!) and cocktails (my oh my, do people like cocktails and jello shots!!) My weekly newsletter has become the place where I yap about myself, Mr. Max, Sonny-boy, and Hubby. I do want to do more yappy posts on the blog as I got away from that in 2017.

Now in the beginning of this post, I mentioned that the blog now makes money. You may wonder what type of bills a blog incurs that it needs to raise cash. Well, everyone wants a piece of the blogger-dollar-pie. Basically, EVERYTHING costs money to blog! The hosting, newsletter, VAs (virtual assistants), programmer, plugins, designers, schedulers … I could keep going and going… and going. Blogging has not been “free” for a long time, hence why you see ads, sponsored posts, social media ads, people selling e-books, classes and courses, merchandise, etc.

Many bloggers dream of the day where they can quit their day job and blog fulltime. How many hours do people blog per week? That varies by the blog of course. When I was a deal-blogger I never worked less than 60 hours a week. Complete nonsense for a “retired” person, but I did like to help people save money.

These days, I blog as little as 10 hours a week while some weeks I blog as many as 40 hours per week. Most of my time is spent on the social-media treadmill after the content is created and posted.

That’s about it for now. I want to thank you all for reading Ann’s Entitled Life. I wouldn’t mind if you all commented a bit (ok a lot) more. I love interacting with people who read Ann’s Entitled Life. I’d like to get to know you all too. So please feel free to comment on the blog!!

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And I can always be reached through the contact me page or by emailing me directly!

Do you have any New Year plans? Resolutions? Goals? Ideas?

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Fulfilling New Year. May 2018 be a year of much happiness and joy for you and yours!


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