Saturday, April 21, 2012

And So Back to the Hills

Returning to Sarah’s Mountain
View from the kitchen window
It was too good to last – Sis’s amazing recovery from radical cancer surgery. Not that the whole thing wasn’t miraculous. It was. But shortly after I left her in January, (A) her refrigerator quit, and she had to haul her stuff up to the bunk house to save it, (B) she’d just gotten back from a tiring round of doctor appointments down in Santa Rosa when she discovered this, (C) the next day was a lengthy one with repairmen and well diggers on the vineyard property she oversees, and (D) there’s the endless stress of dealing with insurance companies, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and hospital billing clerks.

So late in February things started to go wrong. In acute distress she called a neighbor who rushed her down the mountain to an ER. She was hospitalized with fluid on the lungs, one of the places her cancer has metastasized. Drained and released the next day, Sarah came home to continue negotiations for a new refrigerator.
Less than a week later – back to the hospital. This time they surgically inserted talcum between the lungs and the encasing membrane to absorb and redirect. Egad. Has that ever been done before? For several days afterward she had what the nurses termed a garden hose stuck in her side to keep her drained.

This ordeal was followed by a week in rehab, and it quickly became clear they would be sending her home before she could fend for herself on a remote mountain. Worse, the winter that failed to materialize while I was there in January has now arrived with a vengeance.
So once again little sister (me) is throwing things in a suitcase and heading for the hills.

Happily, Sis has wonderful friends, coworkers and neighbors to offer transport, fill her woodshed, and carry logs in for her stove. They’ll hold the fort until I get there to handle the day-to-day meals and cleaning.
But this time I won’t take my laptop. There will be no trips to civilization to seek hot spots. You will see this and the succeeding blogs after the fact!

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