Thursday, December 30, 2010
No results yet from UC Davis -- probably won't be until next week.
In the meantime, met with my usual vet today to discuss my concerns about the diagnosis, the lack of follow-up by the specialist, and etc. He was a very good listener and agreed to explore the additional testing I want done (which I found recommended in the professional veterinary literature). Further, he agreed with my decision not to start Maize on steroids (prescribed by the specialist) in case the diagnosis is incorrect; if she needs chemo, it is not good to have her on steroids right now.
Here is the bottom line for now -- I took Maize to campus today because her 2011 goal is to have fun and do fun things, and she loves to visit people. Well, she was racing around in the snow, chased a squirrel, visited Aunt Heidi, and in all ways was happy and energetic and perfectly normal. She eats, begs, runs, plays, and in no way acts sick. This doesn't mean she doesn't have a bad diagnosis -- but it does mean it is okay to raise questions about it since the preliminary diagnosis just doesn't fit her clinical presentation.
We must be our dog's advocate, and think critically and ask questions. True professionals are interested in the truth and so they do not mind when one brings up pieces of the puzzle that do not seem to fit. When a professional of any kind is more invested in being right than being accurate -- well, time to make a fast change...
Although my usual vet did not get the right tissue when he biopsied Maize the first time, I am not at all annoyed about that -- he did his best, he is human, and it was a difficult mass as we have learned. What he does that keeps my business is he listens, he considers what I say, he disagrees with me when that reflects his position, and he seems to respect that I might actually have a good point or two.
When all is said and done, I am the one who has to live with the decisions that are made for Maize -- and so what matters is not what the vet thinks is right but what I think is right for Maize and for our family. Diagnosis determines treatment options -- I want to know that we had the best and most accurate information possible and therefore made the best treatment choice on Maize's behalf.
In other words, what I am doing now is preventative -- I am preventing regrets. I know I am facing heartache down the line -- but I want to face it knowing I did everything I could to make the best decisions possible for our beloved Mrs. Maize.
It is times like this when my naturally curious mind and my willingness to say what I think comes in very handy -- if you need an advocate, I am your person! However, I am booked right now -- but you can be your own advocate and not only that -- you should be because guess what? You deserve it -- just like Mrs. Maize does :)
Posted by Mary-Ann Bowman at 6:36 PM