I opened my eyes after a long nap on the sofa to see Bobcat’s big green eyes staring at me. I weakly propped myself up against the pillows and took his furry face into my hands and kissed his the top of his head. He came closer and “kissed” my forehead, then pulled back and continued his concerned stare. “Bobcat, yes, I feel awful but I’m going to be okay—don’t worry sweetie!”
Yet, I knew that something was terribly wrong with me, and so did Bobcat. I could almost hear his mental chatter; the questions in his mind as he tried to understand why I rarely moved from my reclining position on the sofa, why was I sleeping so much and why was I up at 5:00 a.m. dry-heaving so often? Maybe he thought I had a bad case of fur balls…
Like most of us, I was preoccupied with the pandemic and doing all that I could to stay safe and stay healthy, and thought I did so successfully. So when my tight skinny jeans started to become baggy and my usual high-energy self struggled to get through the workday, I figured the weight-loss and unusual fatigue were related to stress from dealing with the COVID way of living—so did my doctor back in July over a zoom appointment. Her recommendation was to self-monitor and if my condition didn’t improve before my annual check-up on September 4th to let her know.
I experienced slow but continued weight loss despite efforts to add more calories into my daily food intake and reduce stress. As my September appointment approached, I began to experience nausea, dizziness, increased thirst…sharp pains in my lower abdomen and relentless mental and physical fatigue. After more blood work, doctor visits, diagnostics, and finally a referral to a gynecological oncologist, my fear of what ailed me became a reality. On October 20, 2020, I was diagnosed with uterine (endometrial) cancer. I was careful not to get COVID, but social distancing and mask wearing doesn’t stop cancer.
Coping with cancer has debilitated every aspect of my being, but in the midst of pain, fear and shock, I found the blessings. I have a compassionate oncologist and medical team at the Hoag Cancer Center; the cancer only metastasized to a lymph node (para-aortic); my treatment includes three rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the large mass; then surgery followed by three more rounds of chemo; and radiation might be a possibility, but I won’t worry about that until if and when I need it. My doctor expects a full recovery whatever the treatment plan turns out to entail. I’ve had two rounds of chemo and with that, signs that the mass is shrinking. The enervating symptoms brought on by the cancer have been reduced to lingering weakness and mild fatigue. Although it may be a few months before I fill out my jeans again, I’m starting to gain weight.
Bobcat’s mood is lighter as he senses the uplifting shift in my energy. I no longer catch him broodingly staring at me. Now, on those tough days following chemo, he curls up next to me and looks at me through slow, comforting blinks that seem to be saying don’t worry, you’re going to be okay.
My gratitude for my support team of family and friends who have overwhelmed me with their compassion, generosity and love goes beyond what words can convey.
My dear friend, how beautifully you write. You are one strong and awesome woman and 2021 will be your year of full health and a renewed sense of accomplishment. You have such a moving and inspirational story to share and I hope this story gets out to everyone who needs to follow this emotionally compelling (and ongoing) journey. Much love to you, Gail
My dearest Gail, fellow Cat Lady—thank you so much for reading the story and your undying support!
This is beautiful Pam. Thank you for sharing your story. Love you. T
Tanya, thank you dear friend! xoxo
I’m happy you wrote about your trials and tribulations the past few months Pam. And I’m sure your words have been a comfort to all those who also are suffering whether it be the pandemic or something more personal. We are so happy you have been doing so wonderfully with the treatments so far and looking forward to a full recovery for you soon. Love, Mom
Thank you for your support and love!
I have missed your posts Pam, and I’m sorry to learn of this. But I’m glad to know that it’s treatable and it’s responding to treatment! I’m sure Bobcats blinks are helping enormously! Please keep us posted when you can.
Leah,I was worried I’d been forgotten, so it is heartwarming to hear that I was missed! Yes, Bobcat is a wonderful support! Hugs to you and Franklin.
Sending you purrayers and Power of the Paw as you continue to regain your health – and to sweet Bobcat who clearly has your back !
Yes he does have my back! I appreciate the purrayers! Love it…
Pamela, You are an inspiration! You are loved by many. Keep up the good work you’re doing.
Marilyn, thank you! xoxo
Cats just know when loved ones are sick. You will be in my prayers for no recurrence.
They are so in-tuned with us. It never ceases to amaze me… Thank you for your prayers and support.
Hi Pammie! Thank you for the update on your health and happy to hear that chemo 2 is over. One more round to go before surgery and keeping you in my daily thoughts.
It’s nice that you have Bobcat there with you. It’s amazing how these little critters offer companionship and unconditional love when you are most in need. ❤️
Sending hugs and love your way.
Robin, thank you for reading my latest and for your constant support. Stay tuned…
Hi Pam, Thank you for letting us know what has been happening. The other day I was thinking I hadn’t seen a new post from you recently and was wondering how you and Bobcat were doing. I send you lots of love and wishes for a speedy and full recovery! I hope that 2021 will be a better year for all of us.
Karen, I’m so glad that I haven’t been forgotten! Thank you for your healing thoughts and wishes! Let’s intend that 2021 will be a much better year for us all!
What a beautiful post. Bobcat is one lucky cat to have such a strong, resilient cat mama. Listen to his instinct because he knows best!
Thank you for your supportive words! I don’t always feel so strong…
He does know best! Happy New Year to you!
What a sweet, loving and caring boy you have in Bobcat. Sending you good thoughts!
Thank you so much! He is the best, but aren’t they all?!
Oh Pam!!! This is so beautifully written. I’m so glad you are feeling better. I can’t imagine any better feeling in the world. Health is so important. Even Bobcat knows this. 😊. So glad you have had him by your side. Pets are such a blessing…but I don’t have to tell you that. Here’s to better days ahead for you in 2021! Much love and healing strength to you ❤️
Mary, Thank you for reading my story and for your kind words of support! We both know the importance of our animal companions, but I must say, it comes to the forefront during illness.
Happy New Year to you and your canine crew! xoxo