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Have pets helped you cope with your diagnosis?

Some research shows that therapy dogs and other animals are beneficial in coping with a cancer diagnosis. How have pets helped you cope with your diagnosis?

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Community Answers
  • Ann Harper moderator
    5 months ago

    I was amazed by my daughters dog. Her dog, Chloe, never left her side. Crystal was usually sick for a week after treatments and her dog was by her side the whole time.

  • jorjanm
    5 months ago

    Sadly the dog I thought would be my rock throughout treatment died suddenly 4 days before my 1st appointment with my MM specialist. I was already reeling from my cancer diagnosis, Bella’s passing ripped my heart out.
    I had two other dogs at the time. Harley my GSD-Lab mix & permanent foster (for 12-ish years) and Dexter an American Bull Dog mix. Interestingly four months before my cancer “adventure” Harley sniffed the location of my lesion for a solid two minutes. She had never done anything like that before or after that one occassion. At the time I thought, “The way things are going right now I probably have cancer”. I should have followed that thought and seen my PCP. I’m not sure earlier detection would have changed anything. The lesion existed I was going to need treatment. Six weeks after coming home from my second SCT in October 2017 Harley also passed. I was so glad I had time alone with her (Dexter was being cared for by a niece). It was the first time in those 12+ years she and I got him spend time alone.
    Since November 2017 it’s been Dexter and I. It has been an adjustment for him being an only pooch, but I hope to adopt a sister for him late this summer. Dexter makes me laugh EVERYDAY. He’s a big goofball. He doesn’t understand what toys, especially balls, are for. On the very rare occasion he gets a toy out of the toy box I make sure to make a big deal out of it and play with him. It usually only lasts a minute or two, but I’m laughing or giggling the entire time.
    We haven’t taken many walks this winter, but I’m looking forward to doing so as the weather improves. He’s such a silly soul I look forward to spending much more quality time (and training time) with him. He’s 4 1/2 years old and half of his life I’ve been on my journey with multiple myeloma. I miss my girls every day, but Dexter turned out to be my rock. Love him like crazy!

  • Anthony Carrone moderator
    5 months ago

    @jorjanm This is such a bittersweet story. I know losing Bella and Harley was so difficult but I am so happy to hear you and Dexter have formed such a strong bond together. There is really nothing like the love and attention a dog gives. Please keep us updated on how you are doing and if Dexter ends up getting a sister! Sending positive thoughts your way! Best, Anthony

  • Mollymaya
    5 months ago

    She is a Springer Spaniel / Border Collie mix. Rescued her at 9 months from a shelter. Sweet personality and very smart dog.

    I got her right before my diagnosis. Probably wouldn’t have if I knew before.

    She is a blessing.

  • Catmom23
    5 months ago

    Already had my furry friends when I was diagnosed. Now I’m not sure whether I ought to ever adopt again. Glad you have someone to keep you company and get you going thru the day. May you both live long & happy lives.

  • Pamela Kline moderator
    5 months ago

    @mollymaya – Spaniel/Collie mixes are such beautiful dogs! It sounds like Maggie found a wonderful forever home with you!
    – Pam (Team Member)

  • Mollymaya
    5 months ago

    Yes. By taking care of my dog Maggie, I am taking care of me. I have to get out of bed to feed her, take her for walks, meeting other people. Keeps me from dwelling on my CLL/SLL

  • Pamela Kline moderator
    5 months ago

    @mollymaya – I’m so glad you’ve got Maggie to keep you company! What type of dog is she?
    – Pam (Team Member)

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