Chemo Round 2 For Max

Chemo Round 2 For Max. 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

Chemo Round 2 For Max

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.

Last month, I relayed the sad news that our pooch, Max, had relapsed on his GME. We went to Cornell for the first of four planned chemotherapy treatments to try and push his Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis back into remission.

So many things have changed for Mr. Max:

His circling decreased and got wider. The small, tight circles of January were not as prevalent – only a few times this past month were they small and tight. Less circling is a good thing!

A few days before he was to have his chemo treatment, we went to our local vet and had his panel done. The blood test showed elevated white blood cells, and a decrease in his liver numbers (a good thing). He was put on denamarin in January after his liver enzymes came back elevated – a result of the huge Prednisone dose he has been taking for the last two months. This happened before, so we again hoped the denamarin would work… and it did.

When we got to Cornell they ran new bloodwork. His white blood cells had returned to normal range, so his neurologist thinks they were elevated was because he was feeling poorly last week.

However, on doing his physical testing she noticed the area around his stomach was showing pain. They did an ultrasound for his gallbladder. His gallbladder is enlarged, but there is no sign of mucus blockage or sediment. Because of this, we did get another medication – ursodiol – to try and make his gallbladder happy (so the plug doesn’t happen and so sediment doesn’t form a stone).

In January we were concerned because Max had lost weight while on a high dose of Prednisone – this month we are concerned because he gained almost TWO pounds!! For a small dog (15#) that is a huge weight gain. Because of this, and the discomfort surrounding his abdomen, Hubby was pushing for a decrease in the Prednisone. He wanted to go from 7.5mg to 5mg. Originally, Dr. Stephan agreed to that, but then she changed her mind and just dropped him to 6.25mg. I asked if it was because she was not convinced he was yet in remission, and she responded in the affirmative.

Chemo Round 2 For Max. 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.


Hubby and I sat down with Dr. Stephan to talk about Max’s future. The three-year longevity span came and went last July. As I said last month, we were (nicely) reminded that Max is well past that point. So, I asked how many dogs were past the three-year mark: she knew of FIVE (Max is one of them!). It was actually four now as one of those five pooches developed diabetes due to the high Pred, and was put to sleep.

Of the four dogs with GME currently being treated at Cornell that have survived longer than three years, Max is the one with the longest survival. By that I mean he was diagnosed the longest ago and is at the 3 years (nearly) 8-month mark – none of the other dogs are that far over the 3-year mark.

One of the questions I asked was about a necropsy. Like Alzheimer’s in humans, GME can only be 100% completely diagnosed in dogs after death. All the symptoms are there, the MRI says THIS, but the diagnosis confirmation happens after the pet has died. Since this may not happen on a visit to Cornell, I wanted to be certain Max could help future pets with this horrible disease (his local vet can arrange it). He’s clearly a fighter, and obviously, his treatment has been superior for his survival. If other pets (and their owners) can benefit from Max’s diagnosis and treatment, we want that to happen.

While Max may continue to beat all the odds and again enter remission for his GME, we are at the point where we know it is just a matter of time. Every day with him is a gift we will cherish. It is amazing to me how a little 13-pound dog (his natural weight before all this happened) could be so tough. The little guy is a real fighter.


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

Max is Back to Chemo for His GME
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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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


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