When I arrived in Honesdale. Pennsylvania, my younger sister, Carol, texted me directions until I arrived at my mother's home. Carol and her two children, Kristin and Anna, had been waiting all day for my arrival. They all had cabin fever. Since it took me much longer than expected to get up north, we all immediately piled into Carol's SUV and headed to the Honesdale Hospital where Ruth was in the intensive care recovery ward. I went up first while Carol watched her kids in the waiting area downstairs.
Ruth was surprised to see me, and I was shocked to see how frail she looked. Her spirits were down, so we weren't demonstratively affectionate. We spoke for some time about her health and then I told her about life in Orlando. She has never seen my blog. She has never even owned a computer. Her health had deteriorated since the last time I saw her several years ago. Her breast cancer had spread and she had undergone intensive chemo therapy to try and stop the spread of the disease. Most family members feel that the chemotherapy was the cause of so many of her new symptoms. Ruth's Oncologist, Dr. Scholi, seemed to feel that Ruth was something of a miracle in that she should have died three years ago, but she responded so well to the chemotherapy at the time that she got three more years of quality living. The doctor said, "Her present condition is the result of the combination of her cancer, her age, and the chemotherapy. It's all caught up to her and has taken a pretty heavy toll." On the afternoon of my second visit, a doctor came in and told my stepmom that she was being discharged from the hospital. Her next stop would be Ellen Memorial Health Care Center.