It had just dawned on me. Today is the 4th of June...and what happens every 4th of the month? It's banner change day! Not a physical banner of course, but rather the one at the top of Rilley's blog!
So today marks the seventh month since Rilley underwent the surgery at the University of Minnesota to remove the meningioma from his brain. The first few months seemed to move so slowly. Possibly because we were still on pins and needles just waiting for something bad to happen. Would he have another seizure? Would there be any side effects of the surgery or the vaccines? But, as you know, there hasn't been anything negative of note. Given his clean bill of health and spotless MRIs from the last two visits to Minnesota, Rilley seems to be on the right track. I am hesitant to use the word cured, because in the grand scheme of things, we are still in the early stages. Just barely over the half way mark of Drs. Ohlfest and Pluhar's clinical trial, but all indications are positive.
The months now seem to fly by. It seems like I changed the banner to say "6 Months Tumour Free!" just last week.
So Rilley, we have just five more months until our final visit to the Veterinary Medical Center at the one year mark.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Every once in a while we've posted updates about how Rilley has regained some of his youthful energy. When Discovery Channel came last October to shoot part of Rilley's story in our backyard, I tried to get him to climb into the kids play fort. It was very sad to see the impact that his tumour was having on him. He struggled with the ladder and in the end he just couldn't get the coordination to climb it. If you saw the story, it begins with him coming down the slide and what you didn't see was that I had to lift him up. Well, with the beautiful weather we've been having this week, I broke out the barbecue, so I thought I'd get some "edible motivation" and give him another try at climbing the ladder. Here is the result:
As you can see from the video above, Rilley is back to his old self in the coordination and dexterity department! He's even taken to climbing the ladder with just the promise of a treat. If he knows you have one, he will climb up and wait for his reward.
One thing that Rilley has never had trouble doing, with or without the tumour, was flopping down anywhere and going to sleep. The other day I had made the mistake of getting up from the bed and Rilley promptly took my spot, so I took the following picture. If you look closely, you notice his new bit of swag. Before he became sick and we went on vacation we would sometimes bring him back a new collar. The last one was his official Vancouver 2010 collar from the Olympic Games last year. Well, his six month check up was more or less a bit of a vacation for the girls so we stopped in at one of the campus clothing stores and bought Rilley a brand new University of Minnesota collar.
|With his new collar he's now an official U of M dog!|
In other news, during his six month checkup we discussed with Dr. Pluhar the possibility of rearranging Rilley's medication so that we can give it to him twice instead of three times a day. It makes it easier to ensure that he receives his doses on time. His afternoon medication would limit some of the things we could do with the kids as we would always need to rush back or make arrangements to have someone come in to give it to him. The bonus for us is that by making the schedule change we were able to switch to one higher dosage tablet, twice a day. This in turn reduces the number of tablets needed, which despite the higher dose, actually costs less. It allows us to save $100 a month on his medication! As I've posted before, the anti-seizure medication is quite expensive and he will be on it for life, so being able to save this much a month is a welcome surprise!