Friday, January 16, 2015

The Memorial: 'CoCo's Living Tree' at the Little Rock Zoo

Thank you all for the amazing support. CoCo Bean Cox left us way too soon, but we can carry on her spirit together. Join me in keeping her memory alive with "CoCo's Tree of Life" at the LR Zoo. The tree will be a living gift which will add beauty to the Zoo and offer shelter, comfort and pleasure for years to come. Please help me give this gift for her.

To donate: . MAKE SURE to put 'CoCo's Tree of Life' in the designation line. Thank you all. My heart is full.

Friday, December 26, 2014

CoCo Bean Cox - Update and NEW Treatment

She started feeling really, really well. Then, with the snap of a finger - really, really bad. Seizures started back up and for the first time I could tell she didn't feel good. Met her awesome Vet early this past Saturday morning. She stayed at her home with her until she went to work on Monday. Doc met with the Neurologist and they discussed a chemo type drug and upped the seizure meds. This is/was our last hope, and by Monday eve she was feeling better. They overnighted the meds so she could take the 2 days of treatments before Christmas. Let me say, I didn't think we were going to make it to Christmas. I spoke in detail with her Doc on Monday because I really thought that it was time. We made a decision to try this. It was our last hope, and she was well. I had to. I couldn't think of not knowing.

The meds were overnighted on Monday. We waited all day until late Tuesday and realized they were lost, or stranded somewhere in Kansas. They didn't come on Wednesday. On Friday, they arrived late. She has had one dose of the 4 and is doing great. We have 3 more over the next 2 days.

I did get to bring her home on Tuesday. I decided that most important for her - and me, was to spend as much time with together as we could. She has felt really good, so on Christmas Eve, we spent the day resting and eating. Frozen peanut butter Kongs, a few green beans, bones, her freeze dried pumpkin, and her normal dinners. She had a great day.

Santa visited overnight and left all kinds of goodies in her stocking. She ate just about everything in it. We took a stroll, she shoo-d the birds, and walked a bit when she wasn't riding in her new 'wheels'. Today, after a good car ride and a bark or two at passers by, I 'brought the beach to her' - not the other way around. She is obviously too sick to travel, so we made due with a sand volley ball court here in town. She wasn't that impressed, but she played for a bit :) CoCo loves the beach more than anyplace else. I have just never seen her more happy then when she is there. I am trying to give her every experience I can. Just in case. The last few days have been so very special to me. I missed visiting with my family, but I needed to be here for her.

All of you have been so gracious. So caring and concerned. It's so heartwarming to hear from you all. People I have never met, people I haven't seen in 20 years, and all my closest friends and family. Our Vet's are amazing. Dr. Butner is just the best. Hands down. She cares for CoCo and I trust her. I don't trust anyone other than my Mom with her. CoCo LOVES her - and for those that know CoCo, I know you are quite jealous. Thank you all and Merry Christmas.

The Beach Comes to CoCo Bean

CoCo Bean and her stocking from Santa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CoCo Bean Update - The Rollercoaster

Sorry for taking a bit to update. Between the holidays, the businesses, and the baby Bean - it's been a busy time. We are just entering the 6 week mark of CoCo being sick - or somewhere close to that. I am not sure where we left off. Possibly that CoCo was having seizure like spells.

The 'spells' as I call them, were originally diagnosed as a type of Vertigo. As the days have gone on, seizures have also developed. CoCo was having about one per week. If that. Last week - during the first part of the week I was the most hopeful I had been. She was happier, more energetic, WELL - if you will. I was so happy, I knew we were on the right meds and on track for recovery.

Then Thursday night happened. CoCo had been on her first walk in a month. She as so happy and so energetic and she just wanted to go and go. She was tired and ready for bed and so we went early. She likes to be in the bed by 7:30 or so and she expects me there, too. Anything she wants.

Woke up about 2:30am - she was waking me up... she had a seizure right then. I stayed up with her the rest of the night and she seemed to rest peacefully. The next morning I just knew something wasn't right. She didn't want to walk or stand. She did eat, from laying in her bed, and she pottied, but something just wasn't right. After I spoke with her specialist Vet, we decided to start her on seizure meds right away. A friend came to watch her while I went to the pharmacy. When I returned, she had a seizure. I gave her the new meds but she still didn't seem quite as she had been. She didn't want to cuddle, or be touched. NOT LIKE HER.

I stayed with her, right by her side. She had a seizure about 7pm. I gave her more seizure meds. I decided to stay on the couch to make sure we were more covered in case of a fall. By 7am she had about 5 more seizures. To the point by early morn they were coming as soon as they ended. I gave her seizure meds after almost every one. I called my Mom about 1am and told her I thought it was time to have to say good-bye and in that moment, I honestly thought it was. My Vet returned my call at 2am and we texted through the night. She met me at the clinic at 8am. She decided to keep her, sedate her deeply and let her stay with her for the rest of the weekend AT HER HOME so she could watch her more closely. She called this a 'brain reset' - and it worked.

By Sunday, CoCo was better than I have seen since she got sick. Santa brought her a new stroller since she wants to be outside, so she could get around better. We strolled a long way and she loved the sun. She even walked some and had a ball. The worst was behind us. She was going to get better. All this week she has gotten better and better.

Last night, she collapsed as I was giving her her seizure meds. I believe it was vertigo. She did the same for her lunch meds this afternoon. She might just be in a super deep sleep of sorts. I just haven't figured that part out, yet. This afternoon she has been herself. Having fun, playing and wanting to eat. ALL THE TIME.

It's a major roller coaster. Truly the meaning of one day at a time. This really is living in the moment. There is no option of otherwise. Today is a good day. Today is a good day.

Thank you to all my friends, CoCo's fans, and Mom's friends and fans for all the well wishes and comments. I have read everyone. I know I need to respond to many of you, but thank you all. I will try to answer them as I can. Bare with us :)

I have to say again - CoCo is not in pain, she is not suffering, and she is not aware she is sick. We are doing everything we can to keep it that way.

For daily updates, please follow her on Facebook at

CoCo Bean and Jen

Our AWESOME Sunday stroll.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

GME - New Treatment Begins for Baby Bean

It's Wednesday and CoCo began the new treatment after bad results last week. Her first dose was yesterday. She is still on 5mg of prednisone and takes a half twice a day. They have added Atopica / Cyclosporin - 10mg once a day. The hope is to let this get into her delicate little system and in 2 weeks begin weening her off the steroids in hope this becomes her new, safer treatment.

Day one. She took this big capsule that tastes and smells bad with no problems first thing in the morning. Around midnight she had another seizure like spell. This one was as bad as the first. She couldn't have anymore steroids as she had recently had the evening dose. Being on such a high dose is dangerous in itself, to add to it would be awful.

I held her until it stopped and stayed up with her the rest of the night. Watched bad Christmas movies and infomercials. She slept peacefully the rest of the night. The rest of the day has been quite quiet. She hasn't felt too well. More tired than sick feeling. Slow moving and very cautious with her steps. Of course, part of that is from the brain inflammation.

I am told this new medication is for patients of organ transplants and it is given to them to keep the body from rejecting the new organ. It is now being said that CoCo's body - or immune system - is attacking her brain. We are now unable to be around other animals and are basically confined to the house. No more outside shoes and we will wash our hands a lot more for now. It's extremely important that she not get sick.

Dec. 6th will be one month that this has been going on. It has been some roller coaster. Major highs and major lows. Might have to hire someone to grocery shop and shower for me. It's getting more and more difficult to leave her. I am working from home and apart from my self owned businesses to my 'day job' - so to speak - there's a lot of juggling and little sleep. I would do it every single day for her to be well. Please continue the good thoughts. We really, really need them.

CoCo is still starving all the time from the medicine, would eat the couch if I let her, is in no pain, and isn't aware she is sick. She is cautious in her movements, but I think she is smart :)

I don't want to know of a time where she suffers and is in any pain. I cannot let that happen.

More soon.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

GME is the diagnosis. What is it and What to do?

Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis. It's as scary as it sounds. It's dangerous, too. Simply, it's an inflammation of the brain. It's hard to treat - at least it has been in our case. CoCo was originally given a different type of steroid - while we awaited a diagnosis. Once we had this, she was prescribed Predinizone. She took 1/2 of a 5mg tablet twice a day. In addition, she took an antibiotic 3 times a day. We saw great results within a couple of days. Almost no symptoms.

After about 2 weeks - I can't even remember everything just runs together... We were instructed to begin weening her off as these are not good for her and we need to find out what the smallest amount she can tolerate is. Her dose was cut in half - taking 1/2 once a day. On the night of day 2, we had an major step backwards. As fast as it came on, it relapsed.

This morning, I called her vet. We are back up to the heavy dose to get through the holiday. On Monday, the vet & neurosurgeon will start working on a new type of treatment. Possibly other medications. It is extremely difficult to see her almost without symptoms, yet know she is so critically ill. I have been working from home to be with her. My hopes are to research 'Dr. Google' and locate some holistic treatments to help her. If you know of any good resources, my email is in the contact area of the blog.

Good thoughts for CoCo Bean and some balance in treatment, please. Happy Thanksgiving to you all :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

CoCo Bean Cox - Back on the Blog

My apologies for not being present on here for so long. As with lots, we have just been busy, busy, busy. I am hoping to make sure I update here at least once or so weekly. Bare with me while we readjust to being back!

As many of you know, CoCo has been quite the little trooper. She is an extremely healthy dog but has been plagued with allergies for most of her life. After years of modifying her diet, eliminating allergens, and keeping her exercised and healthy, we were able to 'beat' those allergies and she no longer has to take shots. On a rare occasion, she has an allergy tablet, but that is rare.

On November 6, 2014, CoCo Bean celebrated her 8th Birthday. Unfortunately, she also was rushed to the Vet with symptoms that appeared to be stroke-like. She was showing very subtle signs of confusion, vertigo, and slow reflex. She also was not energetic and had trouble walking. It was immediately evident that this was severe. I was told they believed this to be her brain or a neck injury. I had much hope of the neck injury, a brain injury would be devastating.

This was on a Thursday, so they sent CoCo and I home with a steroid and antibiotics and asked me to keep a close watch and call with any updates. Friday was good. I stayed with her and she slept the whole day and night. Saturday she awoke in good spirits and after confiding in “Dr. Google” I decided this was a severe inner-ear infection and we would be great once the medicines were able to work their magic. Saturday evening on the way to bed, CoCo Bean had a seizure – like spell. It scared me to death. I was sure this was the end.

On Sunday, my Mom came into town. CoCo was sleepy and drugged. We watched her all day long. Everyday her appetite was strong and she was perky. Just tired and showing little signs of symptoms other than the seizure – like spell.

Monday, we headed back to the Vet. A nuero – specialist had been called in and anther Vet – other than her primary care Vet, Dr. Cathy Caga. We were determined to get answers. Fifteen minutes later, we had agreed to a CT scan with real time reading and possibly a spinal tap. Within a few hours, a spinal tap was performed.

No definite results. We waited. By Tuesday, we knew one thing. It wasn’t her ear. It wasn’t her neck. It was her brain. Not just one spot, but two. They said rare tumor, a rare type of lymphoma, or some type of GME. Nothing sounded hopeful. By Wednesday we were still waiting and on Thursday afternoon came news. CoCo Bean has GME.

Next up… getting CoCo Bean stable. . .

-CoCo Bean Cox after Spinal Tap. Shaved Neck. She did not cut her hair herself :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back on Track :) Food Allergy Trials are OVER!

Back on track with a new review! As I mentioned before, I have been going through food trials for about a year. The results are in and we know what I cannot eat. Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Duck, Turkey, and just about any domesticated meat product does not agree with me. I also have not been able to eat the hypo-allergenic diets such as IAMS' hypo-allergenic formula. After lots of food trials we have found a perfect match that my Sis can actually find locally. We live in a relatively small city and remarkably there is a store that carries it for us. The brand is called California Naturals. The formula is Grain Free Kangaroo & Red Lentils Formula. It is a dry food and the bites are small enough for me. Many of the others Sis had to crush up in small enough bites for me. For treats, my Sis gives me carrot slices and kangaroo jerky. The kangaroo jerky comes from Rayne Clinical Nutrition. The jerky consists of kangaroo meat and honey. There are no other ingredients. We found Rayne through our Vet Allergy Specialist located about 130 miles from home. Her name is Dr. Tina Brown. She is the BEST. Hands down :) Rayne provided us with the diet that I tested on. It was actually kangaroo and sweet potato. Sis wants me to eat dry food and they did not have a dry food available for me, yet. This is why we went with California Naturals. It's been a bit over 6 months since I changed to this diet. I am happier than I have ever been. I lost 1lb. once we got my diet modified. I just feel so good every single day! Thanks to everyone that helped us find what I needed! There is a lot of bad information out there regarding food allergies and pets. If you are inquisitive about what all we learned in this process email my Sis. She will hook you right up! I am going to the park. Adios, until next time! -CoCo "I lub kangawoo" Cox