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Thread: My Brother Has Cancer - I'm Having Trouble Dealing

  1. #21
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Big hugs. I am so sorry. I hope that he improves. If you need to vent, vent here or to your bf or another friend, but probably not to your brother. Just try to be supportive. Send him a care package next time he has to go to the hospital. I hope that the best case scenario occurs and he gets cured.

  2. #22
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Katrina, I wish you lots of strength to help you through this moment!

    Others have given you some great tips. Anyway, as someone who is dealing with a close family member who has cancer and has known other people that went through this, here's what I learned which might be of help to you:

    1. Honestly, there isn't a proper way to react as everyone deals with something as serious as this differently. You have the right to feel the way you do.
    2. I remember trying to get a grip of my family members' situation in my own way whilst navigating my other family members' feelings, emotions and reactions. Not an easy task and at times I crumbled. You will at times crumble too. But that is okay. Situations like these make us stronger!
    3. Diplomacy is your best friend. Not everyone will process this in a calm or rational manner. What is reasonable to us may be unreasonable to someone else.
    4. If they want our opinion they'll ask for it. Meanwhile we just hang out with them or bring them soup or whatever else they ask for. Even if it may not make much sense to us.
    5. Taking care of ourselves has to be a priority. Our sanity and well-being is utmost important in order to obtain the strength we need to help those we care about and to be able to navigate life with it's everyday issues.

    From what I have witnessed here at enotalone, Katrina, is that you are a conqueror and resilient! Blessings to you!
    Last edited by greendots; 12-30-2018 at 07:44 PM.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Originally Posted by SherrySher
    I lost two very close people to me in the past year due to cancer so I am sorry you're going through this.

    I think the number one lesson I learnt in it all is, this is about him, not you.

    I had a hard time swallowing that one too, but it is true. I know you're upset, I know it's hard to think about losing him but your focus right now needs to be on his feelings.

    If you have to keep your feelings to yourself, so be it. Make things as comfortable for him as possible. Keep being positive (in front of him)..cry at home later if need be.
    Keep trying to remain strong around him even if you don't feel it and even if it seems phoney to you.

    It's not easy. I know it's not. It can be so draining. But for now, this is about his comfort and him feeling as less stressed as he can be.

    I hope you have a good support system too, so that when you do finally go home, you have someone who will listen to you or will be there for you when you cry.

    Again, I am so sorry you're dealing with this.
    Yes, this. And all of it including how sorry I am. When my cousin and dear dear friend had stage four cancer what I learned was that my role was to do my best to figure out what she needed -it was all about her -so if she needed space from me, my need to connect had to take a back seat. For example. She passed away almost 15 years ago and I miss her very much.

    I wish you strength and you are a great support to him.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Katrina , you are being so wonderful and supportive to others here while going through such a tough time....I am terribly sorry.
    In the summer I had an operation for my tumor ...had a cancer too. It's not easy.....I know that I did not want to see sad faces or anyone crying because of me....it did made me think that things must be worse than I hope for ....
    Stay strong and let it all out on here and to your friends ....try to be as positive as you can a front of him....
    I will pray that 2019 will bring your brother wonderful news !


  6. #25
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    I just read everyone's responses, and my goodness thank you all so much for your support! I don't have time to respond adequately to all your questions, but wanted to say I am feeling much better and calmer today; we spoke again and I encouraged him to continue reaching out to me, that I will stay strong and positive!

    Miracles do happen sometimes, especially when the energy is positive, and heck if he can stay positive even with such a grim prognosis (which he is), so can I!

    Thank you again and hope everyone has a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    Stay safe!

  7. #26
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Hey guys, so I just thought I'd update you since you've all been so supportive; I just spoke with my brother again and he's been referred to one of the top oncology specialists in the country so he and his wife will be flying there to meet with him.

    His regular oncologist told him that they plan to have him start on a special drug therapy that will attack (and hopefully kill) all the cancer cells in his body which versus chemo which made him very very sick.

    His doctor also said it's not in crisis mode yet (good news!) and encouraged him to stay positive, hopefully he will respond well to the drug therapy!

    He is feeling very positive and so am I! I did not get upset when speaking with him, I kept my (and his) spirits up and we even started laughing about something unrelated!

    Wished each other a happy new year and he said he will keep me updated once he meets with the specialist.

    All in all, very good news, which makes me very happy!!

  8. #27
    Platinum Member katrina1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    You want to hear something incredible? I asked how long he has had this tumor because it had grown very large by the time he started feeling symptoms and the doctors discovered it -- about the size of a large grapefruit if you can believe that.

    They told him it had most likely been growing for 20 years!!

    No symptoms, nothing, he was even getting regular yearly check ups, blood work, etc.

    Meanwhile this tumor was growing and growing, I dunno I just find that amazing and very scary.

    But I'm gonna remain positive.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Just listen to him. Be is shoulder.
    And find your own support network - good friends, a counselor, etc, for *you* to have a shoulder of your own - you don't have to be positive when you are not in front of your brother - its okay to cry, to fall apart sometimes. And when a peer (brother, classmate, etc) goes through a health crisis like this it is jarring to us when we are young because things don't happen to people our age, etc and it may touch on our own mortality

    I have a relative who had a tumor they say he could have been born with (it was benign but it grew to the point where he had to have a vocal chord removed). But they would not have even think/known to look because it is not anything that was indicated in blood work or any other symptoms or risk factors. So the fact that it fgrew so long is not odd to me.

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