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On Super Bowl Sunday 2008, Mama J and Daddy B went to the San Francisco SPCA to find a playmate for their two kitties, Chai and Little Bit. Mama J was wandering around looking in the rooms and reading the bios on the windows. She read mine and thought that I sounded like a good fit, but she couldn't see me. Then she looked down and saw me at the door looking up and meowing at her.
They came in and I jumped in Mama J's lap and gave her a nose kiss. Then I jumped in Daddy B's lap and gave him a nose kiss. Daddy B looked at the sheltr volunteer and said, "Who do we make the check out to?".
My name at the shelter was Colette, but on the way home they renamed me Sugar.
After ten days I got my stitches out. Then a couple of days later, I went back to see my oncologist, Dr. A. to get the biopsy results. My tumor was malignant, which was not surprising, since that is the case with a 95% of feline mammary tumors.
Dr. Mehl, my surgeon, did not see any evidence of the cancer in my lymph nodes and the type of cancer that I had was slow in replicating. So the recommendation was to monitor very closely and go back for monthly check-ups.
I loved my new home and every year when I went to the vet I got a good report. Then in January 2013, Mama J felt the lump. On January 23 our vet, Dr. Lum, examined me and extracted some fluid from my lump. The next day around 7:00 pm he called Mama J with the bad news - it was cancer.
Dr. Lum referred us to a specialty veterinarian hospital here in San Francisco. Mama J called that night and got me an appointment with an oncologist the next day. Dr. A examined me and recommended surgery. They did some blood tests and also an x-ray to see if the cancer had metastasized to my lungs. Everything was clear, so Mama J and Daddy B took the next available surgical appointment, which happened to be the next day.
We did get some good news that once again, the cancer was not in my lymph node. But the recurrence did mean that not all of the cells were taken out the first time, so chemotherapy was recommended.
I had five rounds of Doxorubicin and tolerated it very well with no side effects. On August 5, 2013 I had my last chemo treatment.
On January 24, 2014, I celebrated an important milestone and Mama J made a video to commemorate it. You can watch it here.
9/27/2001 - 5/22/2014
On April 26, 2014 we celebrated another important milestone. I had been in remission for one year and I was doing very well.
Then, just a little over two weeks later, I had to be rushed to the emergency hospital because my breathing was labored. After several tests, it was discovered that I had inoperable cancer in my lungs and chest.
Mama J and Daddy B were devastated and had to make the heartbreaking decision to give me the final, unselfish gift of love, a peaceful journey to my tenth life. On May 22, 2014, in the sun room, Mama J held me in her lap with Daddy B by her side, and Dr. Lum kindly helped me cross the Rainbow Bridge to the land of love and light, where there is no pain and no cancer. The last words I heard were Mama J and Daddy B saying, "We love you" over and over. The last touch I felt was both of them lovingly stroking my fur.
I had two checkups and they were both very good - no sign of anymore lumps. Then just three months after my surgery, Mama J was giving me a Sugar Rub! and she found a lump in the same spot as my first one. She was shocked and so afraid. It was a Sunday and she called immediately and got me an appointment the next day with Dr. A.
He aspirated it and to no one's surprise, it was a cancerous lump. So, two days later Dr. Mehl did surgery to remove it.
I had another good recovery in the sun room and even had some time to work on my Sugar Rub! Facebook page!
My mastectomy and lumpectomy went well, and Mama J came to visit me that night at the hospital. The next day I was able to come home.
Because my incision was quite large, my parents kept me in the sun room so I wouldn't be able to jump on any high counters. They felt bad about isolating me, but they needed to keep me as calm and inactive as possible.
I had to wear an e-collar so I wouldn't nibble on my stitches and I took antibiotics twice a day to ward off any infection.
All in all I was a good sport! Mama J & Daddy B spent a lot of time with so I wouldn't be lonely. Here is a picture Mama J took while we were napping together in the sun. You can see my ginormous incision!
I saw you through the glass door
Your faces looked so dear
It was the day that I'd been waiting for
Finally you were here!
We took a short ride in the car
To my new forever home
I meowed and meowed with so much joy
You were glad it wasn't far!
Through the years our love grew strong
We learned each other's ways
Cozy nights cuddled up in bed
We treasured all of our days.
A terrible disease came calling
It darkened our home's door
We fought it hard together
Facing whatever was in store.
Now the time has come
It will soon be time for me to go
To the special place called Rainbow Bridge
It is breaking your hearts I know.
Death cannot take away
All that we have had
Our memories and love are forever
The good ones outweigh the sad.
My spirit will always be with you
The love we shared lives on
Cancer can't destroy that
Love's power is much too strong.
Cancer is not the winner
It loses to our love
The cancer will die with me
And our love will live on.
You've given me 9 beautiful lives
And soon a peaceful journey to my 10th
No one could have been loved more than me
Thank you for your final gift.
Copyright May 2014 Jeanette Aden Cereske
Please do not reprint without credit to the author.