This week our star is Ginger Marie. Her person-mom explains how
important Ginger Marie is to her.
"Hi, my name is Lisa. My best friend's name is Ginger Marie Kitty
Dinoff. She is 14 years old. I am 46. She came to me one day
when I was living Modesto, California.
"I left Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the age of 26 to pursue a career
in medical transcription. When I found her, she had been huddled up
amidst her mother and other siblings, all dead, in an irrigation
canal for approximately a week before her eyes opened and she found
her way to my doorstep. She was barely as big as my hand but PURRED
SO LOUD I CALLED IN SICK THAT DAY TO WORK!
"Soon afterwards I had cervical cancer, total abdominal hysterectomy,
and after 15 years in California around Christmas of 1995 I returned
home to Alabama after having non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She was with me
through chemotherapy, radiation, and sat right under my feet on the
airplane home to Alabama.
"Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease (BOOP --
Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumoniae). I soon underwent
two lung surgeries, more chemotherapy, and an open lung biopsy. I
only have 1/3rd of lungs to use now so every 4 hours I have to use a
mechanical nebulizer machine for treatment. She will wake me up if I
am not breathing correctly or am having "labored" breathing. She will
sit right beside me (even though the machine makes a lot of noise and
puts out the "mist" for me to breathe) and sometimes I think she
enjoys it too as she will seemingly breathe better afterwards also!!
I do hear her having little breathing problems sometimes like
allergies, so it must be good for her too! Soon after that, I was on
prednisone and was quite large from the steroid use after having open
lung biopsy (cut from under my right breast to almost my spine) and
had to sleep in a recliner. She would come and lie oh so carefully
right up under my right arm. I only suspect that she was 'comforting'
me or 'healing' me.
"Following that, I began to have seizures, and she now comes and
seems to 'tell me' that I am in need of sitting down because she
will grab my leg, and sometimes even bite my pants and pull. I will
sit down and usually find myself feeling ill, but it will usually
pass if I take my medicine and sit down.
"This darling daughter of mine (I could have no children) has been my
most precious love for 14 years. She has 25 words that she can
speak very clearly...and I am NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HEARS THEM!
"She also will come and let me know when we are getting bad weather
as we get tonadoes and flash floods here quite regularly in the
Spring. She has mostly been an indoor cat and she does have minor
arthritis in her hips, but I sure dread the day when I see her having
any other problems other than the problems that come with her age.
"Recently I had to have her x-ray'd for some abdominal and
respiratory illnesses and when they gave her the sleep medicine, I
found I could hardly cope with seeing her just become very
nonresponsive. I hope she will 'tell me' when the time comes for that. I am not sure I will handle that near as well as she does me!
"In February of 2002 I had neck surgery after a great deal of
infection set in (which no-one diagnosed for over a month) thus I
have lost a good deal of my biceps and triceps function in my left
arm. Sometimes she will come and 'knead' my left arm as if she knows
that the muscles need to be kept from further atrophy. She does not
do this anywhere else on me. When I had to take 8 weeks of
antibiotic treatment via jugular veins (both) after this surgery, she
would sit right next to me until the IV was done, and then would lay
with her paw across my chest as if to say 'I'm sorry mom'.
"Lastly, recently she has begun to wake me at my 'designated' times
for taking my medications (I have very many to take with this lung
disease and other things, and they must be taken ON TIME). She will
get up, walk up to me and take her paw, and lightly push on my cheek
until she has awakened me -- well, SOMETIMES she will get a bit
aggressive, but mostly she will just be significantly determined
until I am up, take my medicine, then she will let me lie back down
until the next time. She has not EVER missed a time in the last 4
years, but recently with the addition of a very IMPORTANT medication,
she is *Ginger-on-the-minute*. Right now I am on 17 different kinds
of medications, plus the nebulizer treatments, and all of these meds
are taken at various times during the day. If I have to leave for
any few minutes, or go outside (which is quite dangerous for me with
my immune system being mostly nonexistent), she will sit in the
window and watch until she sees me return. SHE WILL NOT MOVE FROM
THAT WINDOW UNTIL I RETURN.
"My life is full with this darling one in it, and I know that God has
allowed me to have this angel through all this to keep me laughing
and happy with such a loving and unconditional sacrifice she has made.
"Thanks for allowing me to share my long but MOST IMPORTANT love