Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I am here….

It has been a long haul since August 22nd…my last chemo treatment.  I am just starting to get some energy and most of the bruises are gone (just a faint one on my wrist).  So too, are the “cold flashes” or…at least, they don’t burn my skin anymore.   My cough seems to be worse but, both doctors don’t seem concerned at all and…I guess…nothing showed up on the xrays or scans.

Not been fun emotionally for me….I lost my best friend.  To others…he may have just been a cat but, to me…he was so much more.  

I got to pick him out of the litter the night he was born…he was probably about 2” long and the only tabby.  He came home eight weeks later on my birthday.  It took a few days for his name to come to light…we had company and the door was opening and closing most of the day.  Later that night we started to look for him…we called and called…we searched and searched.  Friends searched where we had looked and we looked where friends had searched…no kitten.  I went to bed and cried myself to sleep picturing him lost and alone and an animal snack (we had coyotes, bears, raccoons and cougars where we lived).  Rick woke me up about 2:30 a.m. with this tiny kitten in his hands…he heard the meowing and…sure enough…the kitten was in a space I looked, he looked and friends looked.

A day or two later…the same thing….he was missing.  This time I didn’t panic.  I looked in the spot he was before…I looked everywhere and no kitten.  I was standing in the doorway of the living room and looked over at the couch…one tiny tuft of an ear was peaking out from behind the sofa cushion.  Sure enough…the little rotter was hiding and thinking this was so funny watching me look for him.  I sat down on the computer and googled “practical joke” and the word “hijinks” came up…it stuck…his name was now ‘Jinks.

A year later we found out he had a level 4 heart murmur and he was placed on heart meds (actually…the same ones my dad is taking).  I didn’t think we would have him long but, the years started to roll by…fifth birthday and he was still with us.  He loved to travel in the motor home…didn’t like the driving but, loved sitting in the big window spread out on the dash surveying his kingdom.  Two years ago we had an ultrasound done on his heart and he was doing great….however…he needed to lose some weight.  Man, oh man, he hated that…you would have thought we were starving him!  His energy level picked right up and for the past two years he was acting like a kitten again.

It must have taken ‘Jinks and Abby (the dog) a bit to notice something was not quite right with me.  When they started the chemo and radiation…Abby started staring at me and wouldn’t stop watching me until I would tell her I was okay and then she would go lie down.  At night she would stand by my side of the bed and not settle down until I got into bed and pulled up the blankets.  ‘Jinks started following me around from room to room and when I would settle down he would climb up and lie down beside me with his tale draped over my lap…one paw touching me….and purr.  Man, that cat liked to purr.  He started the second he woke up and didn’t stop until he was asleep.  He was there through the worst of the chemo and radiation.  I would come home and climb into bed and he was there.  I would get up to go to the bathroom…he was there.  I wandered from room to room and he was my shadow…never settling down until I did.

October 8th…normal day…Rick was cooking supper…Abby was in her bed in the living room…’Jinks was beside me on the couch and Rick dropped a pot or something.  Abby was off like a shot and so was ‘Jinks….he headed for the bedroom and under the bed.  Suppertime came and I doled out his supper…tiny voice in my head wondered why he wasn’t begging for supper.  Time for bed….noticed ‘Jinks hadn’t eaten supper…with a sinking heart I went to the bedroom and looked under the bed…he was there but, didn’t look up and I knew.  I went to the other side of the bed…lifted the cover…and saw he was gone.

It has been really rough as I see him everywhere.  I do something and he is not there.  I can still smell him on my blanket…a certain sound and it is like his meow…I have a hard time going to sleep because he is not at the foot of the bed lying on my feet.  I wake up in the morning and he is not walking on the bed around my head…back and forth…trying to get me to get up and feed him.  He gave me so much comfort when I needed it the most and I am not done yet and still need him and he is not here….okay, enough tears…suck it up!

He had such an attitude….I had an “in box” on my desk in the office and he decided that was  his.  So, while I was working he would climb into his basket and watch me.  If I didn’t pay him attention my papers would land on the floor.

One day I was working on the computer and I couldn’t figure out why the typing was so nutty.  I glanced down and…sure enough…his paw was on the keyboard…not paying him attention!  I know deep down if I close my eyes he will be there…and I will argue with any theologian….he had a soul and is now in Heaven chasing butterflies!

Peace….driving to the hospital every day getting treatment…looking at the scenery go by…I would notice some trees between No. 3 Road and Whatcom Road that gave me peace…don’t know why…they are not special…just gave me a sense of calmness.  If I saw them…it was a good day…if I didn’t…I felt anxious.

Like I said…nothing special…just some trees lining a driveway that caught my eye and meant something to me.

This one looks so much like a rubber stamp I have and that is why I noticed it.  Right now the leaves are changing colors and there are golds and yellows ready to turn into reds and oranges.

Saw my ex-bosses and co-workers on Friday...not a good day.  One of the guys I worked with for over 20 years was killed on a job site and Friday was the funeral.  It was great to see people I have missed...working with them for 21 years and then not seeing them anymore was a difficult adjustment.  One of my bosses gave me a hug and told me to keep in touch...excuse me...I told him I would and his finger was not broken by the way.  The guys invited me to the Christmas party so we shall see if the invite makes it my way.  I really was hurt with the way I was treated as I was going out the door to retirement....we shall see.

The waiting game is the hardest right now….December 22nd seems like such a long way away with results on January 7th.  Life on hold!  Trying to not think about it…trying to not worry…some days I seem to forget most of the time that I have cancer.  Finished the 3d advent calendars for the grandchildren…I want a piece of me to be there with them so they don’t forget me.

Nope…done with the tears…not talking about scary things right now….swim, swim, swim!

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