We had our appointment at the University of Tennessee on Monday. I so wish that I had better news to share today. The truth is that I haven’t been able to bring myself to write this post until now because I still can’t wrap my head around what is happening. Since Lollypop has only had one seizure that we know of for sure I didn’t expect a serious diagnosis. My hope was that the MRI and spinal tap would show nothing at all and that she would be diagnosed with epilepsy. Unfortunately, the MRI that was done did show a spot on her brain but they most awful part is that they don’t know exactly what it is because the spinal tap came back clear.
The neurologist told us that the spot looked to her like a lesion associated with Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis (NME). The radiology department that read the MRI was split on the diagnosis as some agreed that it looked like a lesion but others said that it looked like a Glioma tumor. Without the spinal tap showing an abnormality, they can’t give us a definitive diagnosis. Either diagnosis is absolutely devastating since there is no cure for either disease and the prognosis for both are a few months.
We were given the option to do a biopsy of the brain tissue which I declined. If the biopsy came back positive for a Glioma tumor then it would mean surgery and radiation that would only give us a few more months. Even with surgery, we were told that they would not be able to take enough tissue surrounding the tumor to make sure all of the cancer cells were removed and get clean margins. Not to mention the serious risk we take even putting her through brain surgery. Lollypop is a very nervous dog at the vet clinic. She absolutely hates strangers and clings to me everytime we walk in. There is no way that I could bring myself to put her through a brain biopsy, surgery, or radiation treatment to only extend her life for a few months. If it is a cancerous tumor then I prefer the time that we have to be filled with happy days for her and not days spent in a clinic being poked, prodded, and afraid.
They did take blood and urine samples to send off to have tested for infectious diseases that could cause seizures. None of the doctors that we saw seem to believe that any of those tests will come back positive because of the spot that showed up on the MRI. But then again they were very confident that the spinal tap would be abnormal and it wasn’t. As awful as it sounds, the best case scenario would be getting one of those tests to come back positive because they can all be treated and have a much better prognosis. Although it still wouldn’t explain the spot showing up on the MRI. Until the test results come back next week she has been put on a drug called Keppra for seizures and Prednisone for inflammation in the brain.
If you read my previous post then you know that Lollypop’s half sister Sophia also had seizures before she passed away at only 5 years old. I didn’t share this in that post but Sophia’s full sister Willow had two seizures before she passed away unexpectedly about a month after Sophia. I relayed all of this information to the doctors and they do seem to think that whatever is going on has something to do with genetics. There is just not enough research on these diseases to trace the cause and cure them.
For now, she is acting completely normal. She is eating normally, playing with Aysia, and barking at every single sound she hears outside. Today we spent most of the rainy day snuggled up all together watching Netflix. We are taking one day at a time and praying that she will defy the odds no matter what is really going on. We greatly appreciate continued prayers for her and will continue to keep you all updated here and on social media.
Jennifer, Bailey, Lollypop, & Aysia
Music City Maltese Social Media Accounts