How to Cope with Major Challenges

We haven’t even reached the end of January, yet so far 2012 has been full of challenges.

I’ve been struggling with the discovery that one of our beloved cats, Patsy, has developed a cancerous growth on her leg. We had been told that it wasn’t the type of tumor that spreads. So the prognosis was that removal of the growth would be relatively easy.

We checked Patsy into the animal hospital early January to undergo surgery that cost more than £2000, and as far as we are concerned, worth every penny. During the operation the surgeon discovered a further two “nodules”, which he also removed and sent off for analysis.

It’s now two weeks since Patsy had her operation and her recovery has been amazing. She’s back to her old bouncy self. However one of the nodules tested positive for cancerous cells – just when we thought everything was going so well. We are now left not knowing if all the tumours have been removed or if they have spread to other places in her body. So we have no idea if Patsy will be with us in 4-6 months time, or live for another 8-9 years.

Coming to terms with not knowing can be a struggle, even at the best of times. When it’s something like this it’s even harder. You don’t know whether to grieve or celebrate and nothing seems to help. We’ve realised that no matter how long the uncertainty lasts, the main priority is for us to enjoy spending time with and loving Patsy – however long she’s got. Whether it’s a few months or a few years, we are now committed to cherishing every moment with her.

No matter if your struggle is with a pet, a loved one, a job or any situation where coming to terms with “making the most of it” is tough. We all deal with things differently. But allowing yourself to go through some sort of grieving process is incredibly healing.

Talking about the situation with friends and family is absolutely key. Getting plenty of rest is also vital, as it’s astounding how draining this kind of emotional turmoil can be! Don’t be afraid to cry, with others or even on your own. Tears are an excellent way to release pent up emotions. Finally making a vow to “do the best you can” is always a good mindset.