This hasn’t been my week. Sunday, we lost our beloved cat Akasha, and I miss her so much. I knew her death would hurt, but I didn’t realize how heartbroken I would feel, carrying around a constant ache. There’s also the pain of waking up, those moments when you remember your loss, and the leaden weight settles into your chest. It’s been sad, but we have made it through a week without her.
On Thursday, however, I experienced a physical pain in my chest and stomach and spent all Friday in urgent care and the emergency room. Remember that mysterious spot on my CT scans that thankfully wasn’t Hodgkin’s lymphoma? The best guess was that it was something on my pancreas, and we would keep an eye on it. In July of last year, it was still showing up, and in January of this year, it had shrunk. I don’t think it even warranted a mention during my last scan. But apparently, something’s up with my pancreas, and the doctors suspect I had a bout of pancreatitis this week. Luckily, I got to go home and didn’t have to spend the night or the weekend in the hospital. Unfortunately, I did a little Googling about pancreatitis and have now scared myself after seeing people’s stories. Other things I’ve read say it’s pretty treatable, so my fingers are crossed.
Also this week I got some news about the health of a loved one and I have to take a week in October to help.
Overall, this week has left me a little shaken. I feel as if big changes are ahead. I am sad, because I liked things as they were.
For some reason, when things are good, I always have a fear of things not staying that way. I attribute this to growing up during the Cold War and being constantly convinced that I was going to be obliterated at any moment. Whenever I said goodnight to my family, I worried it would be the last time. I guess I was a morbid child. But I also try to remember good moments and times and appreciate them as much as I can—especially if they feel as if they’ll be the last time.
Last week, when both cats were on the couch with us as we watched TV, I knew it might be the last time there were four of us. When Akasha, weak as she was, snuggled up to me and draped herself across my chest and purred, I knew that it might be the last time. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the other times. I wanted to save that moment. “This is good,” I thought. It was bittersweet as she pressed her thin body into my leg as we both slept on the floor that Friday night for what I knew might be the last time.
The risk of having something good is losing it. I wouldn’t trade my time with Akasha for anything. I’ve read that nothing is permanent—and this is the case for both happiness and unhappiness. It’s personally challenging for me to appreciate a happy time fully without waiting for it to be snatched away. Or to irrationally think, “I don’t deserve this.”
As my remaining cat curls up on my lap, purrs and nuzzles his head into my arm, I am reminded that this is good, no matter what the coming months and doctors’ appointments bring. This moment is good, and I am lucky and I am happy.