Re: New here w/?'s
I am so sorry to hear about your sister along with all the other family issues, I know how hard it must be for you if you are 800 miles apart. Just being there even if it is via e-mail or phone to listen to her will help. This is a frightening time for her so just having you for support will help. The journey is quite a roller coaster ride so get ready to hang on. Don't listen to what the doctor says about how much time she has left as my mom was told 6 months without treatment 1 year with well it has been 27 months. No one knows how she will respond and she does sound like a survivor so it is between her and god.
I don't know if you can really help her come to terms with it or not. My mom is NSCLC stage IV currenlty a 27 month survivor and when she was first told while in the hospital. I was upset and she remained calm and told me she had had a good life and if she had to die now she was ok with it . I thought wow she has accepted this so well. Well since that day she has lived in total denial and pretty much convinced herself she will survive and win the battle.At first this was upsetting for me as she would talk about things that where years away planning to be there for them, and I new she probably would not be, then my co worker got Hodgkins Lymphoma.
My coworker went throught her whole treatment in total denial and when it was over and they were pretty certain that she had won the battle, she and I had a talk . She told me to let my mom live in denial as that may be where she is most comfortable. She said that had she been forced to accept her illness she would not have been able to handle it so denial was a good place. It was about 6 months after her intense treatment ended that one day at work we were talking and she said "wow I had cancer, I could have died" She has always called it hodgkins disease instead of Lymphoma as calling it Lymphoma was accepting it was cancer.
My mom and I did an online survey for lung cancer patients about 6 weeks ago. I read the questions and filled in the answers and she answered them. There were several questions about if you felt you would survive and to my surprize my mom answered she was pretty confident that she would. Well she is on what she has been told is her last chemo and has been on it since Feb. so I was taken back abit by her reply but it is probably her attitube that has gotten her this far. She has refused to let the cancer consume her life and just goes on each day like it was before the cancer. She is having a difficult time right now do not know if it is the cancer or the chemo but she has been totally exhausted and not bouncing back after her chemo and has been making statements like This is not fun and I don't know if I can take much more of this not being able to do anything. She had next weeks chemo put on hold she feels so weak so I think she may be nearing the spot where she decides that she wants no more chemo and places this all in Gods hands alone. She has been lucky as she responded to the drug Tarveva and it did away with the actual lung tumor so for over a year her battle has just been with the multiple liver mets so she has not suffered as much as so many here have.
Give your sister time and let her process it the best way she can, try to view her as not just a cancer victim but a survivor. In other words don't just talk to her about cancer and treatment but the rest of her life as she is still alive and I think we tend to forget that and only focus on the illness. Let her know how much she means to you and validate her life and the important role she has had in it. If you can spend time with her do so. I live 120 miles from my mom but have worked it out so I only work Fri-Sunday ( 12 hr shifts) so I can be with my mom as much as possible, it is difficult on me as it envolves a drive through Los Angeles and the Traffic sucks, and my life here at home is pretty much just about work but I know I will never be sorry I chose to do this as being there just spending time with my mom helps her alot.
Come here to vent or ask questions as we do not see it as whining as we have all been there or are currenlty there. Others in your life may say they understand but unless they have gone on this roller coaster ride they really do not so having this group can be great support. Your sister will join the others in my prayers. JanMarie
Last edited by Janmarie2; 09-14-2006 at 12:32 AM.