So, the other day a few weeks ago, I was sorta being normal.
You know, laundry piled up, but not too bad.
Dishes to do, but not unmanageable at all.
My girls were playing quietly in the school room which I should just name the art room because that’s just what it is. Really.
And my husband came home early. What a nice surprise!
Oh yeah, he had that followup appointment to the MRI he had a few weeks ago.
I hadn’t even really thought about it that day except once or twice when he mentioned it in a text…because the doctor had told us, “We have to do this to rule out a tumor. I promise it’s not that though – you have some inner ear damage from a flight landing too fast. Once the insurance’s required MRI is out of the way, we can treat it with a few steroid drop treatments and you’ll regain most of that hearing back.”
I stood up to say hello to the man I’m blessed enough to greet at home every night and quickly looked around the house to see how bad things looked – his coming home early usually doesn’t bode well for the perfect image I portray to him every night when he comes home right on time – with the dinner simmering on the stove, music playing, table set, kids making him cards….
Ahem. Uhhh…let me try again.
I *do* make valiant attempts most days, though, to give him the “cleanest slate” possible to spend his precious few hours at home with our girls and I – otherwise, he’ll just help me and clean the whole night.
So yeah, he comes in early, I remember why – that followup! – I put down the shirt or something I was folding and stand up and lean in for a hug and say so casually, “So how did things go?”
He just hugged me for a long time.
Too long. And too quiet.
And I pulled away to look at his eyes right there in the middle of the little mess that had suddenly disappeared and things started to fall out at rapid speed and I had questions and he had answers in the form of a page long MRI report that should have only been a few sentences.
“It’s called an acoustic neuroma.”
But because his is so large and displacing his brain stem, it’s in the brain tumor category.
He said, “The doc told me he’s been in practice for 10 years and this is his first one ever.”
Completely in spiritual heart failure, I replied, “Well of course. Because that’s my family. Of course whatever is strange and unheard of and rare and life threatening is going to happen to us.” Of course. of course. Of course. I start throwing folded clothes in the laundry basket completely angry, not caring where they fall.
“It’s not cancer…” My physical heart started beating again.
“…but it’s probably been there for 20 years.”
I glanced at our wedding photo on the wall. Our anniversary was coming up in a few days. He had that tumor then and none of us knew it.
We spent our last anniversary talking about our dying son. This time we’d spend it talking about my husband’s tumor. On his brain.
(And even now, in hindsight by a few weeks, I’m still in a sort of shock about it all.)
My brain was racked with questions. Why now? One year ago, almost to the day, we began our big trial? What now? We’re supposed to go to Disney World in 6 weeks. What if? it *is* cancer. I can’t do this again right now.
And thus began one of my lowest points of heart failure – spiritual heart failure – in my life.