Tuesday, January 12, 2010
3 weeks post radiation
Today was Tia's second follow-up visit at NEVOG since her radiation treatment ended. Dr. Rosen checked her mouth, measured her tumor, tested tear production in both eyes and did another dye test in the right eye. Good results all around. Her mouth is clean and her tumor has gotten SO much smaller, both inside her mouth and outside. Tear production tested at '20' in both eyes, which is normal. Last week her right eye tested 20 and her left eye was pretty much at 0 in 2 separate tests on 2 different days. The dye test was normal as well but Tia keeps squinting and blinking the right eye despite using the eye ointment. Dr. Rosen decided to change to an eye ointment containing steroids. We are going to keep her on the Baytril until our next visit in 3 or 4 weeks. Starting tomorrow I will taper the Prednisone to 1/2 tablet for 5 days and then 1/2 tablet every other day for another 5 days.
The skin on Tia's face where the tumor used to be is so light and incredibly soft - like silk. Dr. Rosen says that is because it is brand new skin. Over the next few weeks we should see some more pigmentation show through, and over the next few months the fur will come in. As for the hole in her mouth, she does not think it opens into the sinus cavity, but it is hard to tell. I told her I doubt it does, because if it did we would see her meals coming out her nose! (She is still on a totally liquid diet.) She agreed with this thought, but wants to repeat the CT scan when we return for our next visit. The hole in her mouth appears to have gotten bigger (to me) and this is because it is taking up the space once occupied by the tumor. We will see what happens over the next few weeks - if the mouth continues to heal and if the hole fills in at all. I hope it does, because none of us wants to face surgical reconstruction of the area!
Lastly, we discussed the fatigue that Tia seems to have been experiencing over the past 3 or so days. She doesn't lift her head off her bed when I come downstairs in the mornings and all around seems to be more tired than usual. Dr. Rosen says Tia's body is still doing some major healing, after the radiation and it could just be that it is causing her to be more tired than normal. She had told me that this was a side effect to expect, but I thought it was strange that it appeared to be worse just in the past few days. Of course there are also times when she has bursts of energy, especially when we get home from work, or at meal times. We'll continue to watch things, I'll check in with Dr. Leah at Ellington Vet weekly and I'll report to Dr. Rosen next week so we can decide when our next visit at NEVOG will be. If things are going well we won't need to return for another 4 weeks!