Who would have thought that being tired could be a symptom of something so sinister? It seemed so normal, especially for someone who works as hard as my husband does. Especially in Costa Rica where it’s so hot.
Who would have thought that the pain in his shoulder wasn’t a strained muscle or a pinched nerve? Who would have thought that it was a reflection of things going wrong in an organ that can’t feel pain–his liver?
Who would have thought?
But then pain started under the right side of rib cage, and the tiredness grew into a constant sort of pallor and an uncharacteristic exhaustion.
Who would have thought that when that ultrasound showed something that the doctor would refer to as “metastasis” in my husband’s liver, I would be the one having to lie on the floor with my feet up because of the dizzy spell that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go?
Who would have thought, or even begun to guess, how many things were silently going wrong? But blood tests don’t lie.
Who would have thought I would find myself sitting at my desk on a Thursday afternoon, refusing tears, buying plane tickets for Italy two days later?
But that is exactly what happened. As an Italian citizen, his medical care will be nearly free here, and let’s not compare the doctors in Milan with the ones in Liberia.
Who would have thought that it takes 10 days to get the results of a biopsy?
Who would have thought 10 days could take so long? When you watch your husband become weaker by the day and all you can do is smile and try to breathe, it seems like 100 years.
Who would have thought I could put on my shoes in the morning, go outside for a run, and could run 7 kilometers before I was tired enough to stop? Not me. I don’t even like running. Although I like it better than waiting.
I keep reminding myself of what I wrote a few months ago about being fearless vs being brave. Right now I am being brave. Because I am scared to death. I’m afraid of what might happen. I’m afraid of what might not happen.
Who would have thought that exactly two years after my husband and I came to Italy on vacation we would be back in the same city, staying with the same brother at the same time of year, but with for the purpose of saving his life?
A month ago, he was complaining about being tired. He thought he had dengue. Two months ago he had a sore shoulder. Three months ago we were getting up at dawn to go surfing.
Who would have thought life could unravel this far in two weeks? I guess, really, all it needs is a minute.