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Struggling to cope 
Créé par rmrm
19 janv. 2023, 0 h 38

My sister is 2 years older than me, 24 and she got diagnosed woth brain cancer a few months ago and has had 2 brain surgeries and is on her second last day of radiation.

I guess we have been told we will know more in about 1 month.

the last two times I went out with my friends I've blacked out. Going to support dry February this month for cancer @ BUT that being said I think I need to talk about how I am doing in this situation more and counselling is just not doing the trick because it's so expensive and not often enough.

I don't really know where to start when I think of talking about it with my friends or family( I have few friends) but I just don't really know what I'm feeling.

maybe starting a poll here will help bring out some of my thoughts.

To start, I was hoping if anyone can share how they found ways to cope with their loved ones or even specifically, older sibling has cancer.

I feel like I used to be able to go to her for everything and now I can't stress her out with my problems because she has bigger issues and doesn't need to hear my stress.

It would be appreciated.

Réponse de eKIM
19 janv. 2023, 17 h 10

Hello, my dear. 

Not knowing your first name, I will use "dear" – all people are dear. 

I am the father of two grown daughters.  I can't imagine our family’s reaction being faced with what you are going through.

I am sorry that this is happening to you and I am reaching out to you just as I would want someone to reach out to my daughters. This must be very upsetting to you. 

My sister-in-law just got diagnosed with cancer and I was terribly upset in the beginning.  She is very upbeat and hopeful so she has helped me and my wife use hope as our primary coping mechanism.

Until you find out more in a month, hope is something that can “get you through”.

I have found that in helping people (over the last 12 years), that the need to talk through one’s feelings is important for many people.  It can be very therapeutic.  In doing so, we can find a measure of peace by releasing our emotions. 

Counselling is not an option for many people because of the cost.  Our local hospice offers counselling at no cost.  You might want to check out this or a similar option where you live.  I am not a professional counsellor.  I am a volunteer.  Getting help from a professional therapist one-on-one is very beneficial for many people.

In addition to that, you have come to a good place here at Canadian Virtual Hospice.  You can (anonymously) post your feelings here as often and for as long as you like.  There will always be a compassionate “listener” here to reply to you.

As far as how to cope with what you are going through, different things work for different people.  There is no “one size fits all” method of coping.  The moderator here, Katherine can suggest some good resource material that you can check out for ideas.

Getting back to “hope” and “positivity” to help you cope, let me share this with you.  When we hear that scary word, cancer, we can’t help but let our minds wander to a “bad place”

However, there are millions and millions of people who have survived cancer.  We don’t hear about or talk about this as often as we should.

50% of my “immediate family” are cancer survivors.  In the late ’90s, my wife had a lump removed from her breast.

In the year 2001, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer of the saliva gland – an extremely aggressive cancer.  She underwent surgery and radiation and to this day is cancer free.

So there, my dear, I hope this story boosts your spirits a bit.

So, tell us your story.  You will be answered with judgement-free compassion.

In the meantime, I send you thoughts of peace and love.


Réponse de Sadgirl3
19 janv. 2023, 22 h 01

I'm sorry to hear about your sister. I lost my brother June 2022 from cancer. He was the third member of my family to die in less than 6 months. The way that I cope is by leaning on a higher power. Am I allowed to say that on this site? My faith has helped me get through these tough days. I have learned to appreciate what time I have with the remainder of my family and try not to take anything for granted. Taking things one day at a time and living in the moment are ways to handle the stress of such a situation. Don't be afraid to ask friends for help if you need it, that's what friends are for. Sites like this help too. God bless you and keep you. 
19 janv. 2023, 23 h 12

Welcome RMRM. I am glad you found us.  It sounds like you and your sister have a very close relationship - perhaps with you leaning on her more as the older sister. I can relate to that. 

I used to be a nurse in a cancer treatment clinic and one of the things I heard frequently was that when someone got a diagnosis of cancer their family and friends would 'treat them differently'. The person understood why that was but for the most part they wanted to be treated 'normally'.   

Only you will know what is right for you, but would you be able to tell your sister how worried you are and that you want to help, but are not sure what to do or say? I was wondering if that would not only help your sister, but might help you to be able to say those words to her. 

As eKIM suggested here is a resource you might find helpful - and as he said, hope is important. This article is a little long, but I thought it would provide you with some ideas. 

"Although people worry they will say the wrong thing and upset the person, there really are no special words for talking to people who are seriously ill. There is nothing wrong with talking about your day, a movie you’ve seen, or even the apples that are on sale at the corner store. If you restrict yourself to subjects that seem important enough to mention, you may never say anything at all.

Think about what you would have talked about together before the person was diagnosed with illness and start from there. If that doesn’t help, try starting out with "I’m really sorry you have to go through this." Likely, feelings of discomfort about what to say will fade as you spend more time with the person.

In an effort to protect the person who is ill, people may hesitate to talk about the seriousness of the illness. Although shielding the person from sadness or worry may seem like a good idea, avoiding the topic of the illness may make the person feel isolated and lonely. If the person is raising fears about the future, acknowledge those fears and encourage discussion. Instead of changing the subject or telling someone not to worry, you might say "Tell me more about that,"  to open up discussion.

Family's sometimes protect each other from their worries, trying not to add to each other’s burden. Instead of burdening each other, they may find that through open discussion, they are able to support each other.

If family members are arguing or strongly disagreeing with each other about an issue, you might consider holding these discussions out of reach of the person’s hearing, since they may add unnecessary stress to the person’s life.

However, if your family has always held intense discussions when you get together, changing your normal pattern may leave the person feeling left out or more isolated. A good thing to do is check with the person. You might say something like "We’re talking about some pretty intense feelings. We don’t want to burden you with this, but at the same time, we don’t want to exclude you if you want to participate." Deciding when to include the person who is ill is a bit of a balancing act because difficult discussions may require a lot of the person’s energy."

Know you are not alone,

20 janv. 2023, 0 h 30

And SadGirl3

The Discussion Guidelines ask only that people remain courteous, respectful and polite on the forum. Those are attributes you have always displayed.

Kind regards,Katherine
Réponse de 12
20 janv. 2023, 3 h 03

Hello RMRM

I have found this forum to be very comforting. Honestly sometimes I was so upset I am sure what I wrote made no sense.. But everyone is so supportive.

If you feel like it, I found a support group for famiy members with cancer to be very helpful. It was free and just being aorund people who were having a similar expercience helped.



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