I wrote a ton about my sister in the fall of 2009. She is a twenty-two year non Hodgkin lymphoma cancer survivor. She has always had a compromised immune system but lived a full life but she got every cold that came down the pike. In 2009 she got pneumonia and it went to far. She wound up in septic shock with a 3% chance of survival. She was gravely ill and was kept alive on machines in a coma for weeks. Her kidneys failed, she had a heart attack, her lungs could not work on their own, but slowly she got better. She defied all the odds and the day she stood and walked while still on ventilator the ICU staff applauded. We like to joke she is cat with nine lives.
This past weekend my sister started not feeling well. She had sharp pains in her abdomen and thought she was having a heart attack. She wound up at the hospital and it was declared she had appendicitis. She had emergency surgery and the hospital quickly released her. She went home but couldn’t eat or drink. She returned to the hospital the next day because she was dehydrated. The doctors who were taking care of her did not know that a person who had a bone marrow transplant react differently to surgery. Only a handful of doctors in the world know how to deal with my sister because long term survival after bone marrow transplant is rare and her twenty two years after transplant is a miracle.
My sister still in the hospital. She still can’t eat and until she can keep solids down she is staying in the hospital. Of course I found this out way after the fact. It is how they tell the youngest child.
When have not visited my Mom’s house since Ryan had a seizure at my Dad’s funeral. We planned all summer that I was going to take the kids to see my Mom on Monday and Tuesday. It is the first time we are sleeping out of the house since that time. We were in crisis for almost two year and this is the first time I think the kids and I could manage a positive visit. Last time my sister was sick we were supposed to have Thanksgiving with my Mom and Dad. My sister fell ill the week before Thanksgiving and was in a coma at that time. If my sister starts doing better we will go to New York Monday morning but if not we are not going.
Being the youngest in my family by a decade is hard. My mother is elderly. My sister who is ill works part time retiring from her high powered job about a decade ago. My older sister is an empty nester who is selling her house and thinking retirement. It sucks a simple visit is hard to make happen.