Truman is sick again. On Monday night, he stopped using his back legs. His front legs work fine, and he can drag himself forward by those paws. But his right leg is tucked uselessly under his body, and he’s dragging it around like a deflated balloon.
The vet said, as always, bring him in.
He has lost weight again despite eating enormous amounts of food. She took x-rays to rule out a fracture, which leaves us with two possibilities. An infection (the same one or a new one) that is affecting his nervous system. Or cancer.
The twins’ faces crumpled when she said that word — how can your face not crumple when you hear that word? — and we continued the conversation silently through stares and shrugs. What can we do if it’s cancer, I asked aloud. Nothing, she told me with her eyes and a head tilt.
So now we wait. And we give him the antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory drug. It may be an infection or it may be cancer, and we won’t know until we know.
We went down to Hilton Head on holiday. The ocean is fairly calm, and you can walk far out into the water.
We were jumping waves in the sense that we were bobbing up and down every time a gentle wave passed by, and I was hanging off of Josh’s back because the last time I put my foot down in the water, I accidentally stuck it in a crab’s pincer. I rationally know that oceans are not swimming pools and they are homes for animals, but… I don’t like the reminder.
So we’re in the water when a man comes running down the beach and screams, “Massive shark! Get out of the water!”
Fuck the crabs! I race for the shore, screaming at Josh, “Get my daughter out of the water!” (Like that I get all possessive when panicked? She’s suddenly mine and only mine.) When we get to the sand, I turn around to survey the water, expecting to see a huge dorsal fin where we were just bobbing. But nothing is there.
When the man loops back, I stop him to ask about the shark. Massive shark, he told me, came within 10 feet of his child. He was running up the beach to warn people. But where is it? I asked.
Over there, he pointed, many many yards away. We could have swam towards the shore at a normal pace, and it still wouldn’t have reached us.
But isn’t that life? Everything seems dangerous until it’s not dangerous, and simultaneously, everything feels fine until you realize it isn’t fine. It could be a calm day in the ocean or it could be the seconds before a shark attack. It could be an infection or it could be cancer.
You just never know until you know.