My sister, Marilyn, has Stage IV mets, and was diagnosed in April 2013. She was in remission for seven years and then the cancer came back with a vengeance. Marilyn has cancer in her liver, lungs, lymph, spine, bones, brain and bloodstream. After being diagnosed in April 2013, she underwent brain surgery to remove a large but superficial tumor, and then ten days later had CyberKnife radiation therapy for the large tumor on her spine at T2, and then Tomotherapy radiation for the large tumor on her spine at T7. A few weeks later she had Gamma Knife radiation on her brain. The docs tried immunotherapy for the first six months and that didn't help, so they put her on chemo.
Over the last year, Marilyn has been on three different kinds of chemo, which helped in some areas but not others. Her last CT scan revealed two new tumors in her brain, which were treated by CyberKnife therapy this past Wednesday. The week prior, Marilyn had a PET scan which revealed more legions on her liver and lymph but there was some improvement in the bones.
The reason I am writing is because I am having a hard time coping and would sincerely appreciate your advice, if you are willing to share.
The issue for me right now is that my sister has been distant since our father died of colon cancer in 2002. We used to be very close but after dad passed, and after Marilyn was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she began distancing herself from me. My mother and I thought it was because I had four children and Marilyn could not have any children after chemo triggered menopause. While my sister kept a very close relationship with my children, she has completely cut me out of her life.
Our mother has been battling bladder cancer and had four surgeries last year, and is now in remission. At a time when you might think this would bring Marilyn and I closer together, she became even more distant and verbally absuive. This was just before she was diagnosed with Stage IV mets in April of 2013.
Since Marilyn was diagnosed with mets last year... she wants nothing to do with me at all. She won't speak to me, won't allow me to visit her in the hospital or support her in any way. Marilyn and her husband Kim were blessed with two beautiful boys they adopted at birth, Robert age 7 and Emerson age 5. Marilyn will not allow me to have a relationship with her boys either, even though she sees my children frequently.
My mother is caught in the middle and is afraid to talk to Marilyn about restoring our relationship because Marilyn might cut her out the way she did with me. She wants to be there for Marilyn and is with her as often as Marilyn needs her to be.
You should know that we also lost a brother at the age of 18, Robb was his name. He died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Marilyn was 15 and I was 14 years old.
I am really struggling right now because there is a high probability that I will lose both my mother and sister in the next five years (mom is 82 yrs old). With my dad and brother gone, and then my sister and mother pass... I honestly don't know how I will manage to survive.
There are no words to describe the pain I'm feeling. I feel so bad, and guilty, that my sister is harboring bitterness toward me. I want her to be able to let that go and allow me to love her, and be there to support her in any way possible. The negative energy she is holding onto is not helping her medical condition and I feel responsible. I also feel horrible that I'm not there to love and support her. If she dies with hatred in her heart toward me... I will have to live with that the rest of my life. Knowing that I contributed to her pain... I don't know if I can live with that.
Then there's a part of me that's angry because Marilyn and I could be spending time together, and it's such a waste of precious time for her to be angry at me... and for what?
I feel so helpless but don't know who to reach out to because I don't want to make this about me.... my dear sister is the one who is battling cancer.
Do you have any advice for me? Is there something I can do to help her understand how much i love her and want to be there for her?
I'm so sad.
<message edited by ElizWhitney on Friday, September 05, 2014 9:22 PM>