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Dealing with grief

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

Hi,

In November of 06 my oldest sister, 53, called me and told me they found lung cancer. She told me she was optimistic and was going to fight and beat it. The chemo and radiation pulled her down hard and she asked me if I would come and help her. I left my job on a FMLA and home and went to her (mid west) the 1st part of February.
She continued with the chemo, making her so sick and weak then the cancer moved to her bones. My sister had tumors coming out on her every where.
I watched her dwindle away daily, body and mind. She died May 26, 07.
When you become a caregiver you try and do your best for the person, and when they die you're left with questions like, "Did I", "Could I", "Should I".
There are 7 of us siblings, well 6 now but my sister and myself were really best friends. I miss her so much and I am grieving so hard. We lost our mother 2 years ago to lung cancer, I was her caregiver too, I was left with the same questions after she died and I am still grieving over her. I am back in my home state and back to work as of June 11, 07 now trying to cope but it is is hard. Any words of wisdom I would appreciate and also your prayers.

mystikpepper
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2007

It all must be incredibly painful, you were a source of inspiration and support for them, now that they are gone Im sure they would not want you to give to yourself any less that than the support and inspiration that you gave to them while they were alive.

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I also lost both my mom and older sister to cancer within a few years time. Being a caregiver to someone dying from cancer is extremely hard because there is so little you can do to help. It's even harder when you really haven't had time to adjust to the first lose when you get the news about the second one.

It's a normal part of the grieving proces to try and find a way to "fix it" so you never have to go through it again. You did the best thing you could ever have done for both of them and that was be there when they needed you. As a cancer survivor myself I can tell you how important that is to the patient.

Could you have done some things differently? With out a doubt yes. Would they have made a difference? Not likely. As hard as it might be you need to stop second guessing yourself. Even if there are things you wish you had done differently it no longer matters. Hind sight is always 20/20 and you did the best you could do at the time.

Find some one you can talk to about how you are feeling. It helps to get it out instead of holding all the pain and grief inside. If you would like to talk directly with me send me an email (you can use the little envelope icon). For me it also helps to remember the good times and fond memories I have of my mom and sister. At first it was hard because I knew I wouldn't be able to share those things with them again. But I also know they loved me and wouldn't want me to be in pain any more then I wanted them to be. Time really does help. I still feel their loss but the pain is not as sharp as it was and I can remember the good times without crying.

I absolutely will keep you and the rest of your family in my prayers.

Dee

Cindy54's picture
Cindy54
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi Debby.. I usually visit the ovarian board but I just came across your post. I too was a care giver for my Mom. We fought ovarian cancer for a year and a half. I took FMLA also. I know what you mean about the what if's and if only's. There will come a day when you will know deep in your heart that what you did was the right thing and it was enough. Talk to your Sister as if she is still with you because I am sure you feel her love living deep inside you. One day you will come to know that peace will settle inside you. But it does not mean the tears will stop. I lost my Mom in December. And some days my heart breaks wide open over the most smallest things I can think of. But I know my Mom would want me to remember and push on. She was my best friend and last family member. And I always thought she would live to be 100. Try and find one really good memory from the last six months or so that you had with your sister. Let that comfort you for now. I remember one night about a month before Mom passed..she could barely speak by then...we were sitting on the couch just snuggling and she kept snuggling up to me and giving me a huge smile. We had been trying to find something on TV to watch and ended up with "Singing In The Rain". That is one good memory I have. Even though Mom could not talk she said a lot just by her smile and her snuggle. If you would like to ever talk you can email me. Take care and I send you a prayer and a hug. Cindy

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