Mast Cell Tumors (Part III): Brief Overview

Falling Down the (internet) Rabbit Hole
Does this sound familiar? It’s after midnight. You’re exhausted but can’t seem to fall asleep. Recently, you haven’t been feeling 100%. So, you decide to search the following symptoms: headache and fatigue. Dr. Google diagnoses you with the flu, mononucleosis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Midway down the page your eyes catch an article snippet: “even a symptom like fatigue can indicate a serious health condition.” Hmmm…You click on the link, it mentions: night sweats and sleep struggles. Sleep disturbances? That sounds right. You read a little further and find out that sleep disturbances are a symptom (in women) of a cardiac event (e.g., a heart attack) or a weakened heart muscle. Uh oh? I did wake up last night feeling really warm and I haven’t been sleeping well lately. You amend your search: headache, fatigue, and night sweats. Dr. Google changes your diagnosis, now suggesting that you are pregnant, have mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, HIV/AIDS, or leukemia.

Ground Rules
I think we can all agree that the internet is a hot mess. If you’re not a professional in a specific field and/or if your ability to focus has been compromised, figuring out which of your 650,000 search results deserves a “click” can be overwhelming. With the ebb and flow of a wide range of emotions, I knew I needed to proceed gathering Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) information with caution. This is not a time to set off unnecessary alarms but rather, a time for diligence and vigilance. Knowing that I have a tendency to over research to the point of obsession, I gave myself a set of ground-rules:

  1. Understand the basics of mast cell tumors
  2. Grasp the basics of mast cells
  3. Move into the specifics of the disease as they relate to Mahana
  4. Avoid imagined or “what if” scenarios
  5. Avoid negative discussion boards
  6. Limit research sessions to (no more than) 1 – 2 hours in length
    If you find yourself getting teary eyed, overwhelmed by negative thoughts or”what if” scenarios, then stop. It’s OK to give yourself permission to take a short 15-minute break  or however long it takes until you are ready to keep reading…knowledge is power.

Canine Mast Cell Tumors- The Very Basics
Before I start learning about something new, I like to have a sense of where I am going.

Video Notes

 

Sit. Stay. Part IV coming soon…