Fraggle Friday:When Life Hands You Lemons

Oh man. Life threw me a curveball that has kinda rocked my world.

Two months to the day of Stella’s back surgery, she had her second seizure.

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Siri does her best trying to comfort her

The fact that it was her second was significant. She had her first seizure 70 hours prior. We were on a walk and she fell over and started paddling. Stopped, sat up, and then got up. The seizure lasted maybe 5 seconds? We walked slowly back to the house and she slept most of the day. After speaking with her surgeon (who I literally have on speed dial) there were a couple of possibilities. 1) Hopefully it was a one time event. 2) She has some deficiencies, and we can see if calcium and other levels are low 3) She has a brain tumor.

So, when Stella had her second seizure, after going to the vet and her blood work being absolutely perfect, we’re left with really just one option.

I cried all day Tuesday. I tried to go to work and was just a blubbering mess. I kept apologizing, but was unable to talk about why I was crying, so basically I was just super awkward and super unprofessional. Fortunately, I work in animal welfare, with a bunch of caring, compassionate people, so they handled my blubbering mess well.

And while that Tuesday was horrible, and I know my time with Stella is limited, here is the lemonade part of this story.

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We started her on Keppra, an anti seizure med, and she is like a new dog. She sleeps through the night, she eats all her meals, she gets up to greet me at the door, she drags me down the road for walks, and yesterday, when I took her to the banks of the river, she wanted to play fetch.

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Momma throw sticks?

The meds made her a bit more unstable initially (and gave her serious diarrhea, but that has resolved), so walking hasn’t been as easy for her, but now that she seems acclimated to the meds, she is really feeling great. Like, pre surgery great. For weeks before her first seizure she would get up one hour after I went to bed and begin to pace. The pacing got worse and worse and lasted longer and longer. And it was after a particularly bad night that she had her first seizure in the morning.

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Searching for sticks…

I think Stella hadn’t been feeling right for a while. And I’m not an idiot. A brain tumor is not a diagnosis anyone wants to get. I know my time with her is limited (they say it is a rapidly growing tumor and if lucky I will have 1-2 months with her). I know that one day she will probably stop eating again. She’ll start pacing. And while it scares the crap out of me, she will probably have another seizure, and it could be far worse than the last two.

So, I’m literally enjoying every moment I have with her. I’m so thankful I get to see “normal” Stella again. I’m so glad she feels good. I love that she drags me around on walks again. Knowing the end is near gives me anxiety and I’m so sad, but instead of dwelling on it, I try to focus on the now. And how lucky I am to have had this dog in my life for nearly 15 years.

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And taking lots of naps. She still enjoys that!

So, be prepared for lots of Stella posts, she’s pretty much going to rule my life for as long as she possibly can.

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22 thoughts on “Fraggle Friday:When Life Hands You Lemons

  1. My heart goes out to you. When my corgi was 14 he started the night pacing and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Like Stella the meds made him a whole new dog. I know that feeling of your heart swelling to see your old dog become young again. Enjoy every second you have with her. You’ll be in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nadsnovik says:

      Ugh thank you. I’m sorry you went through this as well. Can I ask how long you had once diagnosed? Were there big behavioral changes towards the end? I’m just trying to figure out what to expect…

      Liked by 1 person

      • When the hubby put him on the seizure meds he gave him 6 months. That was unfortunately very accurate. He never started pacing again or had another seizure. He just looked miserable. Like he had the worlds worst migraine that would not go away. Which he probably had as the tumor grew and put pressure on his head. Hubby also said that the meds are really hard on the liver and Hero had a beached whale appearance after a few months. He was always so svelt it broke my heart. Eventually he just got to the point where it was time and I knew he was in pain and needed to go. Any time you want to talk please hit me up. I loved that dog and it was not easy to watch him decline but honestly the decision at the end was the easiest of any of the pets I’ve had to say goodbye to. She will let you know.

        Liked by 2 people

      • nadsnovik says:

        Thank you. This is super helpful. If I have 6 months with her I will be thrilled. She’s on Keppra which is supposed to be easier on their liver than phenobarbital, but clearly it still needs to be monitored. I agree- we know when it is time, I’m just really dreading it as I am sure you were.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. APitts says:

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear about Stella’s diagnosis 😦 Hopefully between the meds and the surgery that you and she will be able to enjoy the time left to the fullest. There’s never enough time with our four-legged family members.

    Like

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Enjoy your time with your sweet dog. You are both so lucky to have each other. HUGS to you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emily says:

    I am so sorry to hear this, but I am glad you have found a medication that is helping her feel like herself again. Dogs don’t know about tomorrow, but today, she sounds like a really happy dog. Keeping you both in my thoughts. ❤

    Like

  5. Keeping the both of you in my thoughts. I’m glad you have a little more time with her ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. emma says:

    oh no, i’m so sorry to hear this news 😦 my heart breaks for you. i’m glad Stella is feeling so good right now tho and so happy, and that you’re able to fully enjoy and appreciate this time with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Karen M says:

    Stella is lucky to have you. Glad to hear the medication is helping and y’all get some precious time together.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. draftmare says:

    So sorry to hear this news! Big hugs to you and Stella! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Liz says:

    Oh, Nadia. I’m so, so sorry to hear this. Tears lept to my eyes reading it. Make the most of every day and I look forward to all of the Stella photos! I’m so glad she’s feeling better and you two get this time together. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. martidoll123 says:

    she may surprise you. I hope she does. I am glad she seems happy enough and for a dog that is all that matters. I had a rescue schnauzer with a possible brain tumor. we only had him for 11 short months (he was an older rescue) and when we helped him pass he just went to sleep and all I could think was at least he is out of pain.

    Stella is happy right now. Live in the moment and then when the time comes you will know it.

    I hope she lasts another year for her on her terms 🙂 She is a very special dog and has a very special owner.

    Give her a hug for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. KC Scott says:

    Awww, hugs to you and Stella. Glad the meds are helping you enjoy the rest of your time with her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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