Announcements Cancer Friday Woo Medicine Personal Skepticism/critical thinking

Your Friday Dose of Woo will be on hiatus for a while

It’s been a week now since my wife and I learned that our beloved dog, whom we’ve had for eight years, had terminal cancer. At the time I was so sad and down that I just couldn’t even imagine getting myself into the appropriately light-hearted frame of mind that I try to maintain. In the week since the shock of learning the diagnosis, I still can’t achieve that frame of mind, although, as you may have noticed, I’ve been able to achieve the level of sarcastic snarkiness directed against pseudoscientists and antivaccinationists that my readers have come to expect. It’s easy when you’re angry that a member of the family will soon no longer be with you. Still, it seems best for now to put Your Friday Dose of Woo on hiatus for a while until I’m more able to achieve the appropriately wacky frame of mind that this weekly exercise requires. This can also be an opportunity to take stock and see what changes I would make in a resurrected and revamped version to make it more entertaining and educational. Maybe I could call it Your Friday Dose of Woo II.

In the meantime, I’ll give a brief doggy progress report and then later today post another piece written last night. Echo has had some ups and downs in the week since the diagnosis. On the down side, the mass on her hind leg has clearly grown. There’s just no doubt about it, as much as I’d like to pretend it’s the same size as it was. She’s also favoring that leg a bit more, but doesn’t appear to be in any pain, as far as we can tell, but, more ominously, she’s seeming to get short of breath more and more often. On the good side Wednesday night, I even took Echo out for a brief walk, and upon seeing the leash she went into her usual conniptions of delight, wiggling and squirming as I tried to secure the leash. She even pulled at the leash with surprising strength. Still, her endurance wasn’t so hot. We made it up and down the block once before she was slowing down and showing definite signs of being very tired–but not so much that she didn’t have an amazing resurgence of strength when she saw two dogs being walked nearby.

Still, my wife and I are acutely aware that any time she could take a turn for the worse, and we torture ourselves with the question of when it will be the right time to euthanize. It’s a heart-rending, agonizing decision that we never suspected we’d have to face so soon.

When Echo finally dies, I will post a tribute. I don’t care if it ends up being self-indulgent twaddle. It is something that will need to be done, just as my post last week was something I felt that I had to do. The tribute will contain a brief video snippet with incontrovertible evidence that Echo is and will have been the Best Dog in the World.

None will be able to deny it.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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