Life On Hold

Sometimes, things happen in life that require you to press pause on everything else. And to realize what is really important and what is just noise.

The day after Thanksgiving, my dear sweet kitty Fifi was diagnosed with cancer – large cell lymphoma to be exact. We were absolutely devastated! She means so much to me, and has made my life so wonderful with her loving little presence. She is always the first thing that I want to see when I get home, and makes all my troubles melt away when she loves on me.

We are very blessed to have found a wonderful feline oncologist, Dr. Lucas. She is an absolute gem. She went through the same thing with her own kitty many years ago, and understands everything that we are feeling. There have been many recent advances in the treatment of feline cancer, and she has recommended a top-notch chemotherapy protocol for Fifi. Large cell lymphoma is very aggressive, but has an 83% remission rate when this protocol is applied. Fifi is otherwise in very good health so she should tolerate the treatment well.

Dr. Lucas explained that the first sign of lymphoma is weight loss. There is nothing that we could have done to prevent it or catch it earlier than we did. She also explained that chemotherapy for kitties is not like the treatment that is used for humans. The medications are given in much smaller doses, as the quality of life of the animal during the treatment is every bit as important as the outcome.

Going into the first round of chemo, Fifi did not feel well and was dehydrated. They gave her extra fluids during the treatment, and she seemed to feel better later that day. But the next two days we terrible! She wouldn’t eat or drink, and her little stomach was upset. We were concerned that we would have to check her into the hospital to be placed on a IV. But on the third day, she hopped up next to Steve and demanded part of his turkey sandwich. She snarfed up all the turkey happily, then she drank an enormous amount of water and fell asleep in the sun. Since then, she has been eating and drinking well, an acting like she is feeling better. She scratches the furniture, comes running for treats, and sleeps on the bed.

This week, at her second chemo appointment, Dr. Lucas said that her tumor has already shrunk a bit. We were delighted! The treatment is working! Though she is eating better and looking better, but they gave her some more fluids as an extra boost. She has seemed a bit tired but otherwise is really doing wonderfully. I am so thankful that she is beating the cancer so far, and even more thankful that she is feeling better. Everything takes a backseat to helping Fifi get better!

This weekend, she and I are being “sick buddies”. She is recuperating from her treatment, and I am recuperating from my fall down the stairs on Thursday night, during which I seriously bruised my hand and shoulder, and cracked a rib. I have no choice but to press pause and just relax and get better, spending time with my favorite kitty Fifi and a quiet Christmas with my family. I can set aside the to-do list for a while, put life on hold, and enjoy this little bubble of time with those that I love. Even though some of us aren’t healthy, we are together, and getting better, and happy. And that’s the most important thing.

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