Tag Archives: cancer

Cat Memories

Oh- I remember you. You’re the cat trying to steal my Can Opener’s heart. Too late. It already belongs to me and Sushi.

Do you ever wonder what or who your cat remembers? Do we forget things?

I can tell you that Sushi and I remember very clearly that the Can Opener left us on Thanksgiving last year because the critters’ parents needed a cat sitter for our cousins Serafina and Abby. I can also remember that we were afraid she might forget us- but she came home just like she had said she would! And I remember how extremely happy we were to see that she didn’t forget us- and we both remember how much she spoiled us when she came back.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I remember how the new year started for our Can Opener and her family. I remember seeing our Back-up Can Opener sicker than I’d ever seen him before, and suddenly the Can Opener was going to the hospital every day, and then they both came back (in an ambulance). Soon the couch was disposed of, and a hospital bed took its place in the living room. Then strangers – (nurses, chaplains, social workers) were stopping in and calling every day. And someone called “our Pastors” stopped by.

I remember it was Christmas time- and the heavy snowfall that my Can Openers and the Critters longed for finally came- but they weren’t able to enjoy it. The Can Opener was running back and forth all night long (every hour) – to take care of “hubby”- and give him morphine to help the pain. I was on top of the desk watching over him- and Sushi and I knew something had changed.

Then about 10 days after coming home from the hospital, he coughed three times- and never inhaled again.

Sushi and I would’ve cried- but we’re cats and we don’t know how. But we both knew we wouldn’t see him again. And we watched as they took him away, and everything changed.

Yes, we cats have great memories. And I remember it took a long time for our Can Opener to “recover”- if that ever really happens. But most of all we remember that she took extra special care of us after that because she knew that we were affected by it. And it gave her strength to comfort and cuddle us.

We still remember the Back-up Can Opener too. We are just thankful our Mom is still here with us and that she’s smiling again and starting to enjoy life again. Most of all, she never stopped spoiling us rotten.

How good do you think your cats’ memory is?


Grief Counseling Has Begun

Photo by lilartsy from Pexels

“The wild feral animal that comes in your house and won’t leave (or listen to you).”

That’s the way the grief counselor described how an event like this – (a sudden devastating diagnosis and death of a loved one)- affects the human brain. And it’s completely accurate.

It’s also a great way to describe how the memories of the lost person plow into you when you least expect it. Welcome or not, they come flooding back like an unexpected assault right when you think you’re going to be okay.

It’s only been a little over a month- it still feels unreal- yet the ashes prove it is real.

Nothing is the same. Suddenly there’s no one (except pets) to greet you when you wake up in the morning. No one to brew coffee for and start the day with. No more dinners out, nor birthdays, nor holidays to share together. No one to give the much-needed hugs, validation, and encouragement.

And yet, there is so much to do. Little time to grieve, or even dare to let yourself feel. Numbly, life goes on unmarked by everyone but the family who are left with a tangle of emotion that they don’t even know how to vocalize. And the children- and grandchildren- who just can’t even process what’s happening.

They throw themselves into work, or play, or anything they can to get a reprieve from the hurricane of un-named feelings swirling around in their minds. And the 5 – year- old in her innocence and inability to grasp the finality of it simply turns it into a pretend situation with her Barbies.

I’ve been advised to write about it by both my counselor and my doctor. I’ve noticed that trying to carry on as I always did before isn’t working very well. The emptiness and feelings just refuse to be ignored. Yes, I know and am confident that my husband is no longer in misery and constant pain. And for that I’m grateful- What I watched him suffer, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I will write because they have advised me to- and somehow it really does help. I am returning to my daily workout routine (trying anyway). I’ve lost 13 pounds and my blood pressure is great- I’m eating well – I was already in the habit of eating ‘clean.’

But I have headaches every single day now and my hair has started falling out. Somehow this is especially upsetting, because my husband – (and everyone else) – has always loved my long hair. The Doctor confirmed yesterday that both the hair loss and the headaches are due to the stress that erupted like a volcano in December and continued as I provided hospice care for my husband until he passed away last month.

Apparently you really can’t get by on an hour or two of sleep every night for weeks, and not be affected by it. I am told that the hair loss will correct itself once the stress is reduced- so I am doing everything they said I should do- counseling, writing, making sure I get enough sleep, managing stress and resuming my exercise routines. Adding to this a scoop of collagen powder in my coffee every morning, a balanced, clean diet, biotin and other vitamins. I’ve also started watching comedy and making time for relaxing things that I enjoy but “never have time for.”

Laughter really does help- It doesn’t take away the feelings, but it does make it easier, and keeps me from dwelling on the things I can’t change. And where these things fail, The Lord Himself takes over. He reminds me that my peace, hope, and security is found in Him – even in the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23)


https://www.bible.com/bible/114/psa.23.4


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