I am back in a familiar place that I don’t want. I wrote in January about being on a Runaway Train that’s out of control. Now, I’m back on the train, and it’s picking up speed. We’ve already lost two of our family this year (Nutty and Jackson) and Russell Sprout’s looking like he could be a third.
He was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease in February, and he has been doing well on a special diet and a couple of medications. Then, a few weeks ago, he developed a lump under his jaw on the right side. It morphed from day to day, bigger, smaller, longer, wider. One day, it was almost flat again, but there was a pea-sized lump further down his neck. I’d hoped that it was just a draining lymph node, but I couldn’t ignore it. We finally got him in to see a specialist today. They aspirated the lump and sent it off for analysis. Now we wait, but the doctor seemed to indicate that it was just a question of bad or worse; a good result isn’t expected. It’s just a matter of determining which type of treatment he needs.
Russel Sprout is a typical cat, and he doesn’t like medication. I also sense that he is at peace with dying, but he’ll stay as long as he can. I recognize that my resistance is what’s causing me pain, but it’s difficult to let go. Russell has lived with me for eleven years, and I’ve come to depend on his solid presence. He seems so young for this.
Russell has a special fondness for the backyard, and I get a feeling that he takes credit for the thriving garden. Whenever I go out there, he accompanies me and puffs up with pride and a high, straight tail when I talk about how good the grapes or tomatoes look. He spends a lot of time there, loving on the plants. I can tell that he doesn’t feel as good as he did a few months ago. He comes to me at night, to sleep close to me and seek comfort. He was more indifferent last year. Now, he needs me, and I’ll do my best to be there for him emotionally and physically. But I still feel a heaviness about it, a combination of helplessness and dwindling hope. And as much as I want to be optimistic, I know where the train’s last stop is.
The train is picking up speed for Russell Sprout, and once more, I’m there for the duration.