Desi and the Cyber Knife – Part Two
Well, we are almost four months post Cyber Knife treatment now and I’m happy to report Desi is doing very well. He does still have some congestion and sneezing, but an oncologist here said he may have those symptoms now because of damage to the nasal tissue from the tumor or the radiation. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and he is getting good airflow. He’s eating well and sleeping for most of the morning into the early afternoon, but he’s comfortable and that’s our main concern.
He is still on a very small dose of Prednisone. We’ll think about reducing that at some point, but for now we’ve been able to significantly cut back his Phenobarbital and he hasn’t had a seizure in almost eight weeks. His neurologist thinks the Pred may be helping with the seizures. The seizures had decreased in frequency after adding the Zonisamide, so I think the two drugs are helping him more than the Phenobarbital was. I’m happy we were able to cut back on the Phenobarbital as much as we have. It’s been really helpful as far as him being able to sleep through the night without having to pee and his appetite is more normal now.
Desi has moments of being kind of ‘out there’ and staring off, but he’s pretty easily redirected and does have lots of time (most times) when he responds appropriately and is engaged in whatever is going on. He almost never misses the sound of the fridge or microwave and he was totally tuned in for the grilling on Memorial Day. Some of his lapses are probably more likely related to the GME than the nasal tumor, but given his complete exhaustion shortly after treatment I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s hard to tell how long effects of radiation last and while he’s been strong enough to get through everything he has, Desi is an extremely sensitive little guy.
One odd thing we’ve noticed since his treatment is he is at times reluctant to be patted on his back. My husband and I are very gently with him and he certainly has no fear of us, but sometimes he ducks away. Another thing we’ve observed is sort of a clicking motion with his jaw. We wonder if he can still feel the tumor breaking up and having a post nasal drip sensation. We can do another scan to see exactly what’s going on with the tumor. It’s a difficult decision because we feel he’s been through so much we would like to let him be happy sans any more medical appointments. The flip side is if we wait and miss the tumor returning we may not be able to treat it. So the next question for the oncologist will be if we scan and see something returning, what are the treatment options? If the options wouldn’t be something Desi could handle we won’t put him through it. If it would be a matter of another session or two of treatments he’d probably be fine with it.
The one thing I know for sure is that he could not have handled fifteen or more conventional treatments and we did the right thing opting for Cyber Knife treatment. He’s with us and happy – waiting for dinner, actually – and he was uncomfortable before the treatment.
My goal here is to be helpful to other people and their pets facing a difficult diagnosis. I’m happy to say that some concerned pet parents found this blog online and I shared Desi’s experience (and ours) and they brought their dog to NY for treatment as well. She’s been through the initial scan and placement of the gold beads and will have her Cyber Knife sessions soon. We wish her and her family success and a speedy recovery!
You can contact me directly at Service@JoyPetProducts.com if you need more info.
All the best,
Patti & Desi