We’re All Dying, Just Some Faster Than Others

I didn’t prepare for it.

Yesterday’s gastroenterology appointment was one I cast as what can she tell me that I don’t already know?

“I feel like this is going to be a total waste of time,” I said to my husband before leaving that morning.

I had the appointment to see the real specialist set for June thirteenth — this was just one of those consults my doctor ordered to get a second opinion.

I wasn’t ready for it.

I went in thinking it was just going to review my file and she’d say something like, “I don’t know why your doctor sent you here. You need to see a specialist.” But it wasn’t like that at all. It was: “We need to get a handle on your liver disease before this moves into cirrhosis territory”.

Liver disease. Cirrhosis?

Holy fuck.

I knew my liver and spleen were enlarged, but you’re telling me “liver disease”? It has a name?

Why does a name make this all more real, more pressing? Impertinent.

Am I dying?

We’re all dying, Sara. Just some faster than others.

Endoscopy, scheduled. Colonoscopy, scheduled.

I’ll schedule the robust blood work for next week.

Right now I’m still processing.

I busted a leak in the gastro’s office, tearing up twice at the weight of what was happening. She delivered me to the woman in her scheduling department who said: “Are you all right, Hun?”

Look at my fucking paperwork, Lady. Look at my face. Does it look like I’m all right?

“I’m still alive,” I said. I don’t know if it was for her or for me, but I am still alive.

Why did you wait so long?

Wait for what? For doctors over the past three years? Three fucking years I’ve been passed around like an unsolvable case and now I’m sitting here, crying in the office of a gastroenterologist, completely unprepared for the news I got.

“I should’ve been there with you,” my husband said later that evening.

“We didn’t know this was going to mean anything at all.” Tears, gushing.

I don’t want to die.

How long do you have to process for? How long does shock last when you’re the patient and not just the patient’s teenaged daughter?

I’m not quitting yet. I will get better.

Unlike my mom, I’m going to be here for everything, goddammit.


I’m Sara Eatherton-Goff, a non-fiction and fiction writer, visual artist, and entrepreneur mom-person currently writing on Medium and other publications. Check out some of my collective works on my website, and join my Creative Community for a weekly update, story share, and more.