Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Living (And Loving) For Today

Anna the Fluffy Diva
Meet Anna, my feline BFF for the last fourteen years. Anna and I have seen a lot of life together. She's actually been great for my contamination issues. So many times, I felt like she was dirty, but I kissed and hugged her anyway, well, because she's just so cute and squeezable! She's a diva who runs our house. Anna has been known to hiss, swat, and even bite, if she's angry enough. (I have a few small scars to prove it.) However, she's also affectionate, loving, and purrs so loudly, that sometimes you can hear it from across the room. She's the only cat I've ever met who doesn't like to eat shrimp or tuna. She loves milk though, and if you set a bowl of cereal down and walk away, you will come back to find little milk droplets on the counter around the bowl, and all over her fuzzy little face.

Unfortunately, my little girl has a growth on her lower lip. I saw the veterinarian on Monday, and the vet said it looked like a cancerous tumor. An aggressive, cancerous tumor. We won't know for sure until we receive biopsy results, so we scheduled a biopsy for this morning. I have been, of course, obsessing slightly over this. I did some research on the type of tumor that my vet thinks it may be, and the prognosis is not good. I was really looking forward to getting this biopsy done today, as I knew it would at least give us an answer, one way or the other.

I drove all the way to the vet's office this morning with my baby, only to be reminded that I was supposed to have withheld food and water from Anna after midnight last night. The biopsy is to take place while kitty is sedated, and it is necessary to have an empty stomach for safety reasons. Ugh, I can't believe I forgot to tell my husband not to feed her this morning! This means that we are unable to have the biopsy performed until next Tuesday. More waiting. More uncertainty.

I'm going to choose to look at this waiting as an exposure. If it's the type of tumor we think it is, there is really nothing to be done to help Anna, other than make her comfortable. One more week will not make a difference to her survival. It will give me one more week, however, to simply enjoy her, not as a sick cat with cancer, but as the little cuddly fluffball that she's always been.

I have been mentally preparing myself for this day for the last year or so. I knew she was getting up in age, and this is not a shock. Of course, it would have been better if I had just lived in the moment with her and been mindful, rather than wasting any time of this past year to prepare for this. It obviously changes nothing. It just steals the time away. I am going to work really hard over the next week or so to just enjoy her. She's here now, it doesn't appear that she is in any pain, and she's acting like her usual, high-maintenance self.

I don't know what the future holds. The truth is, I never knew what the future held, even when I was unaware she had a tumor. I have today, though; that much I do know. You have today too. Is there anything in the future that you're worrying about, when instead, you could be enjoying what you have today?

16 comments:

  1. I am sending you good cat vibes. My kitteh has really helped me and even coming home after a bad day, he lifts me up a bit.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. Yes, I too have often enjoyed my cat's company when I'm feeling lousy. She just has a way of making me feel cozy and comfy.

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  2. Sunny, I'm so sorry that Anna has this problem. I hope it is not the bad kind of tumor.

    This is something that hits close to home, as you know. I tried to be mindful, too, and enjoy Waddles while I had her, and that is a comfort to me now.

    God's blessings on you and Anna. God loves all his creatures.

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    1. Tina, I was actually thinking about you and Waddles when I wrote this. I know losing your kitty was very painful for you.

      You know, I never thought about it that way. By being mindful and enjoying my time with Anna now, if and when she passes, I will have the comfort of knowing I spent that time with her, enjoying her. How insightful, thank you. I will make a point of remembering that.

      Yep, I really hope it's not the bad kind of tumor either. Whatever it is though, I know God will help me deal with it (though I'm sure not looking forward to it.)

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  3. I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and I hope you get surprising good news.

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    1. Thank you, Ann. I need to remember that I very well could get surprising good news.

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  4. I so hope the news is good for Anna and yourself. It is just so cool how animals can be a helpmate to us & our OCD. Our dog Zoe Rose was better medicine for me than the OCD medication.
    As for your question about worrying, I recently had to cancel out on a vacation that I was taking with a friend. She always returns my calls or emails promptly so when i didn't hear for her for 3 days I thought she was upset, which then progressed in my mind to I probably lost my best friend. When she did call she was disappointed, as was I, but totally understood and said we would find another opportunity to do it. Oh and she said her elderly mom had taken a fall and she'd been at the hospital over the weekend, which is why I hadn't heard from her. So basically, I ruined a whole weekend fretting over that for nothing. Ugh!

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Krystal Lynn. Animals are awesome medicine!

      I'm sorry you worried all weekend about your friend being upset. Thanks for sharing that story. That is precisely the kind of thing I was talking about. I have done that as well, so many times, usually for nothing. Lots of cognitive distortions here, like all or nothing thinking and mind reading. I should know, they are two of my "favorite" distortions. I'm happy to hear that your relationship with your friend is just fine.

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  5. Sunny, I have nominated your wonderful blog for the Sunshine Award. Congratulations! Follow my link for details:

    http://bringingalongocd.blogspot.com/2012/04/sunshine-award.html

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    1. Aw thanks Tina! Aren't you sweet. I have to tell you that I LOVE the name of the award - Sunshine. : ). Thanks for this huge honor!!

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  6. I'm really sorry, Sunny. I hope your kitty is OK. I'm deeply attached to my pets, and the one I lost a year and a half ago...well, I'm still grieving for her. I know pets don't live as long as we do and that's something we must accept when we give them our hearts, but it's still rough. You and your kitty are in my prayers!

    Hugs,
    Jean

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    1. Hi Jean. Thank you so much.

      Oh, I'm so sorry you lost a furry friend. I am always surprised at the depth of my attachment to Anna. I was just saying to someone the other day that you open your heart in order to love animals, but then you also open your heart to the pain of losing them too. It's still better to love in spite of the pain. Wish we could skip the pain part though.

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  7. Sunny, Just wanted you to know that I'll be thinking about you and Anna tomorrow as she goes in for the biopsy.

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    1. Much appreciated, Tina, thank you. Anna is home now. She tolerated the procedure well. We will know in about a week if it is cancer or not. Thanks for your concern.

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