I woke at four in the morning. Ginny clutched her stomach and moaned. “It hurts!”
I opened my eyes and saw the light from the street filtering through the curtains.
“Gin,” I mumbled. “Are you OK?”
“Mikey, I hurt.” She turned to me. “I think I’ll go downstairs. Maybe I’ll feel better on the sofa.”
The week before, a strain of flu made its rounds through the members of the house. First, the two youngest had it. I got it next and then out oldest grandson Seth got it. The next day, my step-daughter and her husband were sick. In one weekend, it spread quickly through the house. Ginny seemed to be the only one who avoided it, although, she did complain of stomach pain on the Monday, after everyone else was feeling better.
As the week wore on and the rest of us recovered, Ginny’s stomach pain continued. The pain began in the upper stomach. We thought she was gas pain. By Friday, the pain was in the lower stomach. “Maybe I’m just constipated,” she said. Her attempts at relief caused so much pain she vomited.
Saturday morning, I took her to the emergency. They did an X-ray, which didn’t reveal anything. The doctor examined her and decided to do a CAT scan. “The nurses are all betting it’s colitis,” he said. While she waited to be wheeled away for the scan, the doctor took urine and blood samples. He did a rectal exam and looked up at Ginny. “I feel a mass here.” He frowned. “This puts a whole new twist on things. We’ll have to wait and see what the CAT scan shows.”
Ginny curled up on the bed. I sat beside her. We looked at each other and said little. Questions flooded our heads. What kind of mass could he feel down there? A tumor? What kind? He didn’t say he felt something in the bowel. It was a mass outside the bowel. What is down there?
I looked at Ginny. “Baby, this is scary.”
“Tell me about it!” she said.
They rolled her out for the CAT scan. When she returned, we held hands and waited. The worse thoughts went through our minds.
I prayed. “Lord, don’t take this woman from me. We’ve been through so much in a short time, but I want more.”
Ginny prayed her own prayer.
We waited in silence. My mind drifted back to another hospital room and another spouse—hearing words I didn’t want to hear.
The doctor finally entered the room. “Well, it’s your appendix.” He said other stuff too, but we heard little. We looked at each other and our tears began to flow. She had to have an operation and we were happy. It was fixable. This we could handle.
It put things in perspective. Things can be bad, but they can always get worse. We thought it was cancer. It was only her appendix. An appendix is bad, but the alternative is a lot worse. We felt the weight of the world lifted from our shoulders.
Ginny was released from the hospital the next day. She is recovering well, but has to wear a drain. The area around the appendix was so inflamed, the doctor wants to keep the fluids from building up.
When Ginny got home, she told us something we weren’t there to hear the surgeon tell her. Dr. Agee said, “I’ve never seen an appendix swollen so large that hadn’t burst. I sent it to pathology. I’m concerned there may have been a tumor in it. If there is, there’s a chance it’s carcinoma. This type of cancer is known to spread to the liver or brain. It’s just a slim chance, but I need to be sure.”
We won’t know the results until next Monday, when Ginny goes in to be checked and have the drain removed.
I’m asking all you prayer warriors out there to please pray for the biopsy results to come back negative.
We had the weight of the world lifted from our shoulders, only to have it slammed back down again. Ginny needs the power of your prayers.