This is the first time I've posted an an online forum. I have struggled to find any information or support for adults whose siblings have cancer. All information for siblings seems only to relate to children. And many people seem to be supporting family members who are older than them (such as a mother or father). My sister is just two years older than me, and I am hoping to connect with other adults who have a sister or brother with cancer.
It has been nearly 12 months since my sister (my only sibling) was diagnosed with inoperable, late-stage liver cancer - terminal cancer. She has received chemotherapy for 10 months, but we recently received the news that her cancer has now spread to her bones and spine. We are currently in a limbo to see what kind of treatment she will receive next.
I am very close to my sister, and am struggling to deal with her diagnosis. She has always been such a go-getter, and now her busy and successful life has ground to a total halt. She feels hopeless, and I feel hopeless with her. My life has also been completely turned on its head by her diagnosis. I was living in Europe when she was diagnosed, and moved back to Australia with only three days notice. Nothing in my life feels as it should be, and I am struggling to carry on with my own daily living, in the face of her diagnosis.
I feel physically, emotionally and psychologically pushed to my limits, and don't know how I will cope with more bad news. It is very difficult to hold onto hope, after nearly 12 months of hope being snatched away at every turn.
I hope there are some people here who can relate. I would love to connect with anyone - even people who have other family members or loved ones with cancer. I would love to hear from anyone who has a similar experience, and perhaps talking will help share the burden.
Hi Ariel, I'm glad you found this forum, it's a great place for venting/encouraging and giving and receiving support. My husband was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, when he was 39 and I was 35. I can still remember the days of diagnosis and treatment, so I understand where you are coming from. I found that forums like this definitely do help, as you realise there are people not too far away that have been where you are. You will get there sweetie, and your strength will arrive just when you need it. Sending lots of encouraging hugs, Emily
That sounds like a really really tough situation. How fortunate that you have discovered this forum. I only discovered it after finishing treatment and found it quite useful so far.
It is common for family members to experience more distress than the patient themselves. This definitely held true for me and my family. So, it is really important that you look after yourself physically and mentally even though you're not the sick one.
What strategies have you used previously to cope with stress? While I was having treatment I took up meditation, journaling, and gentle exercise to help alleviate stress. I found that quite useful. I bought a meditation CD from http://www.bookdepository.com/. They have a pretty big range and it's a great alternative if you don't want to join a class. You and your sister could do it together. My mother on the other hand, knitted with great zeal for the duration of my treatment (even though it was summer). She is a super creative person so that was her therapy. At the end I think she had made about 10 pairs of mittens!
How old are you/your sister? There are some organisations out there that provide support for 15-25 year olds (maybe a bit older). It is a tricky stage in life for anyone but with a cancer diagnosis thrown in the mix it's just a huge emotional explosion.
Sending good vibes and healing thoughts
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.