A woman and a dog snuggle

My Best Friend

A lung cancer diagnosis can be very isolating. Before you are diagnosed you are living your life. You may be working, retired, a stay-at-home parent but you are living your life. Before I was diagnosed, I was working a full-time job and taking in every little detail of a hectic life. I had just met my now-husband and started a new job. The one thing that was consistent in my life was my furry friend. His name was Deejay. I got him when he was a puppy and when I was diagnosed, he was seven years old. He was a Yorkie.

After my diagnosis, I was hesitant to let others in

I know that my diagnosis was hard on a lot of people, including myself. In the beginning, I did not tell a lot of people my diagnosis as the word spread very quickly throughout my family, friends, and acquaintances. I did not have to be the one to tell them, they already knew!

I sometimes think back to how some people may have reacted and got a slight giggle out of it. I was a young, never smoker who was just diagnosed with lung cancer. It is almost comical. Of course, that has taken some time to get to this point.

Our dogs are always there for us

I remember one instance very vividly of my Deejay comforting me. We were celebrating Easter at my parents’ house. I had just received good news regarding my scans. However, I still was not feeling the best. I do not remember exactly what treatment I was on, but I was nauseous and tired. I was sitting back on the recliner and just relaxing.

A family member commented that I should not be as tired as I was and that I needed to start participating in the family events more. I had just received good news so that meant to them that I was healed, and all was well. I know they meant well but sometimes not being the one with cancer it is hard to understand. My Deejay cuddled with me on the recliner and comforted me in my time of need. I have a picture of us, and I cherish it to this day.

I remember after I was diagnosed being very sad. I was thinking about the possibility of my passing and him not understanding. I take this as a blessing in disguise that he passed just before Christmas in 2019. I think of him often. He got me through some of the roughest points in my cancer story. Whether that was taking walks to get me moving or just cuddling on the couch on my low days. He was always there for me.

Making new memories with my fur babies

I still have two dogs and they have continued to comfort me just as Deejay did. I now have Ruru and Rizzo. Fun fact: Ruru is Deejays' son, so having him has given me that last little bit of comfort from my Deejay. I look forward to nice weather and being able to take my fur babies on walks and to get puppachinos from Starbucks.

Do you have a pet?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.