A few years ago, I was asked to write a textbook for Iowa State Press on geriatric oncology.
I asked David Rosenbaum how many chapters and contributors he wanted. He said no contributors; he wanted me to be sole author and write in my "clinically breezy" style, similar to the tone of the Oncology Outlook articles that I wrote for Veterinary Practice News from 1999 through 2004.
At first, I was shocked, humbled and filled with dread just thinking of taking on such a monumental task. So I mentally declined the offer but told David that I would think about it.
David kept after me to remove the walls of my exam rooms and let veterinary students and practitioners in on consultations and decision -making. He wanted this to be a legacy book based on my 33 years of real-world experience.
I recalled the grueling job that my University of California, Davis, oncology mentor, Dr. Gordon Theilen, and his wife, Carolyn, endured as they verified the numerous references for his landmark textbook, "Veterinary Cancer Medicine," published by Lea & Febiger.
David agreed that I could emphasize the bond and use source books without citing specific references.
After I sold my practice, David refreshed his offer along with an advance. Out came 25 chapters. Then entered Blackwell Publishing, which acquired Iowa State Press. David joined another publishing house.
Things and people changed. Blackwell wanted me to ratchet up the language and add references. Ugh! It became a difficult chore to sit down and finish the job. Anything became preferable to sitting at my desk even dusting and picking weeds!
The guilt of writer's block and not being productive was a new amorphous burden. It was love for veterinarians, clients, their pets and the many powers of the human-animal bond that motivated me to go beyond the temptation to quit.
The manuscript and galley proofs are finally done, thanks to the organizational skills and editorial help of Laurie Kaplan, MSC, and the excellent staff at Blackwell.
Laurie wrote the book "Help Your Dog Fight Cancer" from Jan Gen Press. This is a very helpful home care and feeding guide for clients with dogs that have cancer. The book and general information for clients are available at Laurie's website, www.helpyourdogfightcancer.com.
Veterinary Practice News readers can save $15 to $20 on the prepublication offer for my book, "Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond" from Blackwell Publishing at www.blackwellvet.com.