We are Macmillan. Cancer Support
Please click here for more information
I feel your pain. I lost my sister at the start of december past she was 29 and would have been 30 in january and me and my dad are devasted to say the least she had battled long and hard with cancer and it was harder on us watching her suffer.
My advice would be to take one day and a time, don't put too much pressure on yourself, every day will be different so don't plan to far in advance. Cry when you need to that's ok, get plenty of support around you, you will need it, don't be afraid to ask friends or other family for help, it took me a while to get my round that. Talk about your sister often, remember the good times, i started a grief journal where i write down exactly how i feel, i don't write in it every day but it's there for when i need to get things out.
It's hard when you loose a sister because people expect you to be strong for your parents, but it's ok not to be strong don't forget that you have suffered a loss too and a lot of people forget that. That was something i struggle with frequently especially at the start people kept asking how my dad was and how my sisters husband was coping and totally dismissed the fact that i had suffered a loss too and i got so angry one day that i actually sayed "what about me i'm suffering too!"
Also get plenty of rest and eat well too to build your strength up. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister it's a very difficult time but honestly getting support to talk things through with people has really helped me so much.
I'm so sorry Lorna.
Your experience is a little like mine- my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at Christmas 2011, then January 2012 she found out that it had already spread to lymph nodes,spine & liver. She had 9 bouts of very strong chemo and it was horrible to see the effect it had on her. She lived alone so me and my Mum took turns at staying with her after each treatment, to look after her.
In July 2012 I went to stay with her, as usual, following her final treatment. She was very weak & disorientated- much worse than usual but she refused to go into hospital (as her nurse and GP wanted her to do). A week after her final chemo, I took her morning cuppa into her room & found her unconscious. I called 999 and she was rushed to hospital where she died on the 9th of July, with me holding her hand. She hadn't fully regained consciousness but had occasionally muttered funny things to me, smiled or asked for a drink etc. She was only 48.
It sounds daft to some people when I say that it was a shock because we knew her prognosis was not good but her scans were showing a positive response to the chemo & we were all feeling we would have her around for longer than we did.
The advice Weegem gives is bang on I think. I can only stand to think of getting through 1 day at a time because thinking about the future is unbearably hard. Other people think I should now be fine because it's 8 months ago- rubbish- I still find every day is a struggle. It's hard to listen to other people moaning about how awful their lives are because of some petty problem like having too much ironing to do or the car failing its MOT; I feel like shouting at them "if that's the only thing you've got to worry about, you're bl**dy lucky".
I also hate it when people say "You must look after your Mum because it's far worse for her". I always DO look after my mum but it isn't some kind of competition to see who is suffering more. We are all going through hell and trying to cope in our own ways.
I read a very good book recently and it says some useful things like, life will never be "normal" again and it's unrealistic to say you will ever "come to terms" with such a monumental loss. You just try to discover a way to cope. I was offered counselling by my Dr because she said it might help but I said the only thing that would help was to have my sister back and as that wasn't going to happen, I'd rather just try and do my own thing.
I'm lucky enough to have a very caring husband and a lovely brother so that is a great help and my sister's close friends are very supportive too- we meet up for drinks and talk about Michele a lot. We're all so different so what works for one of us won't work for everyone but everything you and Weegem say is very apt and all I can say is that I send heartfelt and positive thoughts to you.
My sleep pattern went up the left for ages afterwards. It's only been in the last month mine has started coming back to "normal" don't worry about that your sleep will come back again. Rest when you need too even if it is just for an hour or too.
Take one minute at a time of each day. I know i had to do that and on the day of my sister's funeral i had to literally talk myself through each basic thing just so as i could make it through the day. Even for a few weeks after i had to talk myself to get up, get showered and dressed - basic things you do each day, I had to talk myself through each step.
If i can be of any help to you just say.
If you have any questions about our organisation our Macmillan team would love to hear from you
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2010
what are these?