Friday, March 29, 2013


What did I learn from this experience with Annie?
  • If the consequences of the medical issue can be profound, always get a second opinion even if you agree with the diagnosis. We should have done this from the very first time the subject of the lump was discussed. An earlier surgery would have translated into less anxiety and worry for us, less of an ordeal for Annie and probably lower medical expenses.
  • Don't lose sight of the bigger picture. I convinced myself everything would be OK, losing sight of the worst case scenario. I'm not advocating doom and gloom here, I'm just saying that hoping for the best but preparing for the worst might be the best course of action.
  • Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. And did I say ask questions? Ask 'em until you're blue in the face; ask 'em until you have satisfactory answers you can live with and enough information to make intelligent decisions.
  • Stay calm and carry on. The British motto from the days of the blitz holds true when dealing with medical emergencies. The stress of a major medical crisis is the same as being under siege. If you don't stay calm you won't think clearly, act rationally or make solid decisions.
  • If you're uncomfortable with any aspect of diagnosis, treatment, etc. talk it over and talk it out until you are comfortable.
  • Above all, love your animal and try not to communicate your negative feelings. Our pets really do sense what we feel. You want to stay positive, calm and loving so your pet won't be stressed any more than necessary by their medical emergency.
  • Finally, don't spend time beating yourself up. You are only human after all, there is only so much you can do and as long as you are doing the best you can be easy on yourself.
Annie's saga is by no means over. Our little family will  have to relive the possibility of another cancer diagnosis with every 3-month Oncologist visit. Another medical emergency came back in force and it will be the subject of the next post.


  1. Excellent list. And equally useful for human medical issues!

    1. Thank you. Yes, it's an excellent point you make that the takeaways are equally useful for human medical issues.