Cancer is the greatest enemy of life. Barring psychological illness, everything else which causes suffering on a mass scale - war, poverty, hate crimes of ignorance and so forth, are issues of human nature; curable in a flash of global maturity – even if unlikey to arrive. Cancer is a different evil. Your age, gender, skin colour, financial status, ethical belief systems, and even to a degree level of health are irrelevant; the disease chooses to attack whoever it wants, whenever it wishes, in as an aggressive or passive manner as it sees fit. Cancer is the greatest enemy of life, because it is the enemy of all life; including the animal kingdom…
It was Super Bowl Sunday in 2008, when a cat loving couple visited the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to find a playmate for their two kitties. As they tend to, a beautiful six-year-old tabby named Colette chose the pair as her humans and – now renamed Sugar, left to discover her new forever home; to be treated like the queen she knew she was – as well as play with the other kitties.
As a rich and happy life motioned on, each year Sugar would endure the yearly visit to the vets; always receiving a clean bill of health. In January 2013, however, Sugar’s mom noticed a small lump on the top of her inside right leg. After rushing Sugar to the vets – who drained fluid from the lump, the agonising news was delivered to her family by phone a day later; Sugar had cancer.
She was referred to a speciality 24-hour veterinarian hospital in San Francisco; where Sugar’s mom booked an oncologist appointment the next day. Thankfully, testing revealed the cancer was still central, and had not metastasized into her lungs. Sugar underwent surgery to remove the lump. The following ten days - while difficult for all involved; Sugar’s isolation and uncertainty of the situation, as well as her parents worry, the stiches were removed, and her next appointment revealed a malignant tumour. The lymph nodes were clear, and her form of cancer was known to be slow in replicating. Sugar had survived, and was sent home; on the agreement to a series of monthly check-ups, to make sure the cancer remained at bay.
|"One year later"|
The first two were all clear. However, whilst receiving from her mommy one of many loving Sugar rubs, a lump was felt exactly where her first had developed. A veterinary appointment the next day revealed the lump was cancerous and had to be removed. While still free from affected lymph nodes, chemotherapy was recommended due to the cancer's recurrence. Come August 5, 2013 and the fifth and final round of chemotherapy later, Sugar was feeling fit and strong, with zero side effects. Come April 26th, 2014 she had been in remission for an entire year; an important milestone in any cancer survivor – human or animal.
Two short weeks later, and everything changed. Sugar was rushed to hospital with laboured breathing; the cancer had spread to her lungs and chest. After fighting the disease like a true warrior for so long, Sugar could not take anymore. It was here – on the 22nd of May, 2014, her parents made the heart-breaking yet selfless decision faced with all owners of beloved pets, to let her pass over the rainbow bridge; knowing they will meet again, many years down the line. Sugar was loved; deeply loved, but even the strongest fighters, can only hit back for so long…
Cancer is the greatest enemy of life. At the same time, human beings – when working together, are an unstoppable force of pure heart, determination and desire. Whether human or animal, visit your local doctors or veterinarian clinic and get you and your loved ones checked. Because should any issues arise, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This Sunday I run a half-marathon to raise funds for The Animal Cancer Trust charity, here in the United Kingdom. If anyone can raise awareness or donate to the cause, please click the link HERE or below, and together we can work to both extend the lives of angels like brave Sugar, and eventually eradicate this awful disease, once and for all…
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