Answered Prayers

Posted on 12/18/12 154 Comments

First of all I must thank you all. John and I are completely overwhelmed by all of the amazing support that this community has shown for Encore over the past five days. Little by little Encore has been improving and I know all of your healing prayers had a lot to do with it. Last Friday when I first saw her at the Oakville Mississauga Emergency Clinic all that she could do was lift her head to try to kiss me when she recognized my voice. That lift of her head was more voluntary movement in Encore’s body than anyone had seen since she first collapsed with seizures the day before.

I will never forget the unbelievable feelings of relief and love I felt when I was finally able to lay down beside Encore and comfort her. Lynda took this picture with her phone between her own tears of joy. At that moment I knew we were ready to face whatever came, all I needed to know was where we were starting from. I had absolutely no thoughts of what Encore may have lost . . .it was all about what was possible from this point forward.

Saturday morning I got to see Miss E before her MRI and spinal tap. This time she squealed when she heard my voice and moved her front legs around as if trying to get up. The staff smiled as her squeals continued for several minutes. The MRI showed a lot of swelling on the left side of Encore’s brain and a small mass. We wouldn’t know more until the results of her spinal tap came back on Monday evening.

Her progress has been in leaps and bounds ever since. Saturday night the tail started wagging to go with the squeals and she ate her first bit of solid food. By Sunday morning Encore was brighter, more herself, now able to get up on her chest and trying to eat everything in sight as her meds increased her already ferocious appetite!

On Sunday evening were using a harness to help Encore to remember how to use her legs. It wasn’t an independant “walk” but it was her first few steps back to health!

Dr. Leslie came with my on Sunday evening and she shot this little video for Lynda (who had to go back to work and was constantly asking how Miss E was doing).

You can see from the video she clearly struggles with anything to the right of her body, I have been told this will improve, but may possibly have some residual long term effects (but they don’t know Missy En:)).

Yesterday I was able I got to the clinic around 10 AM, they once again put Encore and I into a beautiful private visitation room and told me to stay “as long as I liked.” So I decided to stay the day! I brought my computer in and sat on the floor with Encore until it was time for her evening treatments (around 6:30). Just in that time alone I was blown away at her improvements. We went for 3 “walks” and on the last one she actually used all 4 of her legs and managed to pee and poop on her own! I couldn’t believe how happy seeing my 8 year old dog poop made me! Celebrate the small steps baby!

Last night we got the results of Encore’ spinal tap. The good news is that there is no cancer. Yes she has a mass and it the neurologist believe it will shrink but stay there for ever. It is likely a granuloma or necrosis. She has been diagnosed with “Encephalitis of unknown origin” or possibly a GME (Granulomatous meningoencephalitis). For now she is being treated to get the swelling in her brain down, that is the important thing. But long term I personally will be looking at tick borne diseases as the source of these problems. Encore has done a ton of traveling in her short life; had 8 trips back and forth to various countries around Europe spent an equivalent of months of time in various US southern and western states so my vet Dr. Kelly and I agree we need to be looking in a bigger geographical area as a possible source to Encore’s problems.

Today Encore is having a 12 hour treatment with a drug called Cytosar which is supposed to help reduce the swelling in her brain (along with the steroids she is on) by immunosupression. This was the step that I was challenged to accept but decide to trust the consesus of Encore’s veterinarians and go forward with it.

But here is  the best news of all. tonight at 10 PM  Encore is being discharged! She will be spending tonight at home!

In preparation for Missy En coming home I went out and bought this big overstuffed dog bed. It has supporting rolls around three sides so she doesn’t flop out the sides — yet is big enough for somebody to sit with her/treat her etc.  Swagger and Feature have decided to keep the bed warm until Encore comes home later tonight:).

Today I would like to express my ongoing gratitude for all of you that have continued to stay by Encore side through all of this; for your positive thoughts and healing prayers. We have championed the first challenge in the battle and together will set our sights on a new journey of recovery. Thank you from the bottom of my heart you have helped bring my girlie home, there are no words that I can find to express how amazing this feels.

154 Comments

  1. Lori says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:50pm

    Oh, this is awesome! Positive news … so glad she gets to come home to begin her treatments. There is nothing better than being in the comfort of her own home surrounded by those who love her.

    Reply

    • Ruth says:
      Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:26pm

      Such fantastic news. Hugs from me, licks from Merry & Sapphy & may God continue to bless you and your family with the miracles of healing and love.

      Reply

  2. Wanda R. Kuzenko says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:58pm

    Such awesome news….Tears of Joy for Encore and her team.

    Reply

  3. sue-w says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:01pm

    So happy that Encore is coming home! She looks very relieved to have Mom back at her side. True to light, she will give it her all on her new journey of healing! You are in our thoughts and we will continue to send healing energy to the Team! Go, girlies (and guys)!!

    Reply

  4. Kate says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:02pm

    I’m so happy for you with the news of Encore coming home! That looks like my dog Lucy’s bed which she absolutely loves. Good luck getting Swagger and Feature out of it! You might have to buy another…

    Reply

  5. Jennifer Kolasa says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:05pm

    More great news!!!!! So happy each time you post an update with how she’s doing! Continued positive thoughts and prayers for her to have a successful recovery!

    Reply

  6. Margie says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:08pm

    Encore is an incredible dog and she always does things right so I know she will come thru this with flying colors..all of us are sending healing white light her way..and a little left over for you and John..Sometimes it is hardest on us caregivers..Margie

    Reply

  7. Carol says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:17pm

    Encore is blessed in the dedication of her support team to help her to make as full a recovery as is medically possible. I have seen many miraculous things happen with patients over the years so have tons of hope for a good recovery for her.

    Reply

  8. Stephanie says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:28pm

    What wonderful news. Love is an amazing medicine ♥ There is much love all around you. Bask in it’s warmth as we all give thanks for Encore’s continued healing.

    Reply

  9. Laurie Dana says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:29pm

    such great news!!!!!!!!! I am sure she will be as happy to be home as you will be to have her there :)

    Laurie
    Burn
    Triumph &
    Bosco

    Reply

  10. Ann Kenny says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:40pm

    That is such good news! For a while there it was looking so bleak. How great it must feel to have your girlie back home again with you. But I think you might have to purchse another one of those beds for the other two :)

    Reply

  11. NoraX says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:52pm

    I’m so glad that she is getting much better. What a relief for all of us, of course especially you Susan.

    Keep us posted and we keep sending positive and warm thoughts to you guys.

    Reply

  12. Christine doublelastname says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:53pm

    This is great news! Loving the new bed, special girl is going to love seeing her entire fam I bet.

    Keep at it Encore, stay strong as we all have you in our thoughts and prayers, keep living the dream and believe in yourself like so many others do.

    Reply

  13. Sharon Normandin says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:54pm

    So happy for you all, Susan!

    Reply

  14. Helen Verte says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:59pm

    What awesome news! I’m thrilled for the both of you that Encore gets to come home tonight and that she’s progressing towards health. Wonderful!

    Reply

  15. MarianS says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:08pm

    What great news! Your love and support have obviously helped Encore immensely. You are all in our thoughts.

    Reply

  16. Kelly Schlesinger says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:08pm

    So happy for you and your family! There’s no telling how far Encore can go with all this support. I’m sure she will be up and about in no time. Please watch out for her eating strange and non-food things when you get her home. Pica is a side effect of seizures and/or anti-seizure meds.

    Reply

  17. Elizabeth Ampleford says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:09pm

    So glad to hear that Encore is making good progress

    Reply

  18. Tanya says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:19pm

    God bless you all, Susan!

    Reply

  19. Julie says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:20pm

    Great news! Love the bed!! :)

    Reply

  20. Jacqui Rogers says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:25pm

    Great news! So glad to hear that you are taking Encore home. May she continue to improve as she has been. Good that Swagger and Feature are getting her bed broken in and ready for her!

    Reply

  21. Sandy Canary says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:32pm

    Susan, I can only imagine the relief & joy you must be feeling…it puts a lump in my throat. So happy that she will be coming home…continued special thoughts for her, you & your husband.

    Reply

  22. JoAnne says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:33pm

    I was out all morning and first thing I did when I got home was rush to the computer to check for an update ..and OH WOW a video!!. This is so great to see and hear, I am amazed at how far she has already come. Hugs to your both!

    Reply

  23. Liz McGuire says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:49pm

    You are HERS and she is yours…I am so confident that she will continue to get better, especially when she comes home to her new bed. Encore will be back where she belongs tonight.. A true Christmas miracle.. Enjoy!!

    Reply

  24. Teresa S says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:51pm

    Awesome News :))))

    Such a relief you must have felt just to be able to be by Encore’s side!!
    Those 21 hours of ………over.

    Sooo understand the moment of joy watching a critter stand alone on all 4 (or 3)legs and do their business :)))
    It is a moment to celebrate!

    Encore is in good hands and I am sure she is going to thrive with all the love and care coming her way!!

    Best Wishes – Get Well Soon!!

    Reply

  25. Barbara says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:03pm

    What great news that Encore is steadily improving, and will be going home tonight. Be patient for the drugs to work. When Dakota’s brain had swelling from an unknown source, the drugs eventually brought him back to normal, and he continued to lead a normal life, even running brilliant agility runs for years afterwards.

    Reply

  26. Tammy Watts says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:17pm

    Such wanderful wanderful news, coming means she can only improve so much quicker with mom & dad around and the dogs, good girlie Encore what a brave super dog you are to work through this.

    Tammy, Sweep, Dash, Rush & link

    Reply

  27. Kristine says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:22pm

    So glad to hear she will be coming home! My thoughts continue to be with you through her recovery. I hope it is all better from here!

    Reply

  28. Jane Gray says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:26pm

    Wonderful news Susan. Thank you for sharing that video. It is really cool to see how alert she is. Of course you would keep her occupied with recaller games! I’m glad you got your Christmas Miracle.

    Reply

  29. Carol Jo says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:29pm

    You will all continue to be held close in our thoughts and prayers. She is such a good girl. God bless.

    Reply

  30. Teresa York says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:29pm

    Praise God And Encore’s health and perserverance. She has a great mom and a great support system. Thanks so much for the update. Sending continued prayers your way.

    Reply

  31. Gemma Fisher says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:33pm

    Lovely to see the video clip and see how she’s improving. Keep climbing Missy En, we’re all right behind you xxx

    Reply

  32. Jacki n Hootie says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:52pm

    Tears of joy! So happy to see Missy Encore’s progress. I’ve been through some major medical issues with 3 previous shepherds. Trying to figure out whats the best course to take is nerve racking. The best anyone can do is be informed and never second guess your decision. I know Miss Encore and you have a journey ahead of you but the love you have for each other and her champion heart anything is possible! You and Encore remain in my prayers and thoughts.

    Reply

  33. Mickey says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:55pm

    Great news! We will keep the white light coming for Encore & wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

    Reply

  34. Shelly says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:58pm

    So happy to hear your girl is coming home! I will continue to pray for you both!

    Reply

  35. Suzie says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:03pm

    Awesome, awesome awesome, good luck for the road ahead :)

    Reply

  36. JanV says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:04pm

    Welcome Home Encore! Wishing you continued “leaps and bounds” of recovery. There’s no place like home!

    Reply

  37. lovell says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:10pm

    Tears of joy for your good news. She will improve so much faster at home. Thank you for posting. Healing energies continue. Blessings.

    Reply

  38. Gail says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:13pm

    A shot in the dark, but a largely unknown disease (outside of AZ and a parts of some neighboring states). I think you’ve been in AZ, possibly NM or NV. There is something called Valley Fever here that can cause lesions on the brain (and in most any part of the body). It is treatable with fungicide, and is from a spore in our dust. Many vets outside of our area are unaware of it. There is a blood test to diagnose which is expressed in a “titer rating”. Something to rule out anyway.

    Reply

    • Cindy Molieri says:
      Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 7:32pm

      Valley Fever is also in parts of Texas and California…Bakerfield I think. If Encore has been somewhere where she could have been exposed you should have her tested. You can go to this website from the University of Arizona to learn more about it. https://www.vfce.arizona.edu/ValleyFeverInPets/default.aspx

      Reply

      • Val says:
        Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 4:46pm

        Some dogs never test positive on the blood test, but treatment improves their condition. I know of one Border Terrier in Tucson that had neurological symptoms (paralysis in his case). He’s never had a positive titer, but treatment with fluconazole has totally resolved the symptoms.

  39. VallhundKrista says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:14pm

    So happy to hear Encore is going home!! Still praying….

    Reply

  40. Jan Schultz says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:24pm

    Wonderful news – the miracle of prayer!

    Reply

  41. kim laird says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:25pm

    Such a bountiful answer to prayer!!

    Reply

  42. Tara says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:25pm

    So glad she is doing better and will be home with you tonight:)

    Reply

  43. Lysa says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:26pm

    Home is best! Yippeeee…. Sending thots for continued strength and understanding

    Reply

  44. Gwen says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:34pm

    Tears of joy with continued prayers for a full recovery.

    Reply

  45. Ricki Abrams says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:34pm

    I am so very happy for you. I have gone through something similar with Bandit. I do know your joy of bringing her home tonight. I loved the video and am happy for you all that things are turing out so well.

    Reply

  46. Ellen says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:38pm

    Small blessings are all that count.Yay for nose touch! Never know when you need it.

    Reply

  47. Rachel says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:06pm

    I am so very happy for Encore, John and you! Godspeed recovery for dear Miss Encore and many more happy, healthy years together.

    Living in Europe tick born diseases are horrible and each season I try something new as I prefer a holistic approach to chemistry (we stil use Scalibor collars as you will see when you come to Germany unless I finally found a holistic alternative that works).

    We love Encore’s new bed :-) and wishing her a warm welcome back home.

    Reply

  48. Bob Griffin says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:10pm

    Such good news and you & John must be so relieved and pleased to be taking Encore home where she belongs. Cyd & I both send our best wishes for her recovery.

    Reply

  49. Heidi R. C. says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:22pm

    All good thoughts and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, Missy En!

    Reply

  50. Jane Dietrich says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:35pm

    (After reading your letter and watching the video I thought…that is where the saying “You lucky dog” must have come from.(Ha Ha) I sure wish you were my mom(if I were a dog) Encore is one lucky boy. Best wishes for a long life Encore!!

    Reply

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