Over the past few days, Will started feeling more and more uncomfortable. It was getting harder for him to catch his breath after even the slightest movement. He was needing more oxygen even when just sitting and resting.
On Friday, something was off. We both knew it. He said he felt different, that he couldn’t stop what was happening, but he didn’t know what it was. That morning I asked him if he was ever tired of fighting so hard. He said, “Yes.” I asked him what keeps him fighting. He said, “I just want to glorify God here… and I got stuff to do” (in his typical “I got stuff to do, people” voice).
We continued on with the day, with all the hurdles that seem to be so common to our day-to-day lives lately.
We needed to be transported to another location from the clinic. As we were leaving, the transport man seemed stressed. Will looked at me and whispered, “We need to pray for him.” The man loaded Will in the van and closed the door. The moment he closed the door a look of terror came across his face — Will was locked in the van without A/C and with the keys in the ignition. Thankfully, it wasn’t 120 degrees out, but he was still only hooked up to a small can of oxygen in a hot van. The man and I frantically looked under all the tires for another key, while Will was able to reach a bungee cord thing and tried to swing it at the window. We called 911. Within minutes the doors were open and we were off.
It was a really long day, but we finally made it home. We did our range-motion exercises and massage. Will was able to eat a little bit and then went to bed. At about 1:30am, I noticed that his breathing had changed. It seemed to be heavier, but he was on a good amount of oxygen so I thought he would be okay and that it was safe for me to go to bed.
At 2am, Will woke up. He was having trouble breathing, and it was getting worse with each second. I tried to call 911 but it wouldn’t go through. I then tried with Will’s phone… same thing. Will was gasping for air, sweating, and starting to change colors. I ran to the lobby to have them call 911. It was terrifying. I was crying. Will couldn’t breathe. “Lord, help me! I don’t know what to do! Help me! Help me please!” The paramedics were once again there within minutes. They rushed him to the hospital. There were many people, many questions, many procedures, many needles and he was hooked up to everything. It took awhile but he began to stabilize and then they were able to get a CT Scan. Will was able to lay flat except for his head which is a huge improvement. At around 5am, he was taken to the ICU.
After a very long and incredibly difficult day, Will had fluid removed from around his lungs. After it was complete, they had over 3 1/2 liters of fluid! It wasn’t until about 9pm that Will was finally able to rest and feel a little more comfortable.
Will does have pneumonia and diminished lung capacity on both sides, but he made it through the day. He has suffered so much over these months, but today from 2am until about 9pm it did not stop. He is still in the ICU and still has pain in his side that for some reason his pain medicine doesn’t seem to effect. They are hoping to move him to another floor as soon as they are confident his breathing is okay.
I feel like when Will said earlier this week that there was no amount of pain that would stop him from fighting that it was almost prophetic. His suffering was so intense, but he fought. Even when the doctors talked to us about just being made comfortable because of the advanced cancer, Will fought for life.
Will’s fight and drive do not change, even as his physical body fails him. His strength, his love for others, his desire to live and to live to the glory of God, just make me cry out to God even more. Will makes the world better, and he makes all of us around him better, too. Lord, please be merciful.