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My Brother is dying from Cancer 
Started by Ceildah
28 Jan 2015, 5:30 PM

How do u cope and be the strong one!

last year my Beither was diagnosed with esophagus cancer they performed surgery and thought they got rid of the cancer! Then they found some in his rib bone now it's different, bone is incurable usually! U dont lose hope! Till ur told that he has been told to get his affairs in order! How do u stay strongb for him and ur Parents! He's in his mid 50's my Mum is not handling this well of course how do I stay strong and deal with this myself without falling apart? I don't know! I just don't know! I am sitting here in tears and can't imagine my life without my Brother how do I do it! How do I deal with this? I just don't know!  
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Reply by EastCoastPEI
28 Jan 2015, 8:25 PM

Hi Ceildah, 

I wish I could say I had all of the answers for you.  The only thing I can really offer is perhaps some comfort... that, from experience, it's amazing what you will be able to get yourself and your family through, especially by taking things ( dealing with things ) one moment/minute/day at a time.   It's a terrifying thought imagining life without your brother. It's a delicate balance of taking the time to enjoy the "now" while knowing what may transpire in the comings, days, weeks, months.  

It's a balance of being there for your brother in whatever way he needs you to be, but also being there for yourself and making sure you're handling things as "well" as possible.  

Different family members take on different roles .. during my father's illness and death one of my sisters was the strong one.. I was the useless one haha.  it's the most difficult process, when my father went through this  I remember feeling incredibly helpless, useless, and a giant weight of dispair .. but I got through it, my family got through it.   

Then when my mother went through it 14 years later, I was the strong one, and my sisters were in the background.  

you'll deal with it your way.  If you're meant to be the strong one, so be it.  But do, listen to your inner voice and make sure you're taking care of yourself too. 


 Keep posting here and we'll keep checking in.  This is a great place to let it out. 

Take care.  
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Reply by BettyH
29 Jan 2015, 1:10 AM

Hi Ceildah,

I am thinking of you and wishing you comfort.  My younger sister and my step-sister  passed away within five days of each other recently and so I can relate to  what you are going through.  I was fortunate to have my brother-in-laws and other family members for support but it was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  My younger sister and I were very close and life will never be the same without her.  Crying helps.  Sorry I am not very good with words but just know that I am thinking of you.

Take care,
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Reply by Ceildah
29 Jan 2015, 1:25 AM

Thank you so much Bettyh! Your words were great!

thank you for replying it's comforting to know ur not alone and knowing that others are there for situation cause they have been there!

I i like the word balance it seems so hard but it seems that is the best way to go! It's just finding that balance, hope I can find it! 

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Reply by NatR
01 Feb 2015, 3:57 PM

Hi Ceildah,

It is amazing that when you fiind a place to talk - it relieves a bit of the burden you carry.  I have just read your first note and then your last one.  I can tell that having notes back from others who understand your pain and your sorrow helps.  Here you will find others like you - we all have dealt with loss, with some kind of caregiving role for loved ones...and it really makes a difference to have some support.

I read the other posts from forum members, who are so understanding and strong.  It is a place where you can vent, ask questions and if need be cry while you type.

I cannot fully understand your situation but I have lost parents and siblings...and I have worked as a caregiver in nursing homes as well as helped care for a family member...so I do understand some of your situation.

Caregiving is the hardest job - done with love.  That is your gift to your brother, to your mom,, and your role is challenging.  But you can get through it.  Finding the forum is a tool you can use to share your burdens, your fears, and get things out that you may not wish to share with friends or family.

We can help you stay strong, we can listen, we can support.
Its a minute by minute, hour by hour process...and you are not alone.

Sending you a hug and hoping that you feel the kindness of strangers.
best wishes,
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Reply by KathCull_admin
01 Feb 2015, 4:52 PM

Hello Ceildah
You have already been warmly welcomed to community - but I want to say hello to and tell you I am glad you found us.  

I was looking back into the archives of our discussion forums for words that I could add to the wonderful ones you have already been given. I found this posted back in 2012 to Scared to say goodbyeI know GWTBB is talking about her mother, but perhaps there is an idea here that might be helpful for you.

She writes, "I thought “how can I say goodbye to a person I love so very much?” So, instead of goodbye, I decided to thank her for being such a loving and wonderful mother. I remember sitting down with her one day when she was still feeling okay. I told her how much I loved her and how she was such a very good Mom. She told me that she loved me so much and that she had appreciated that I had taken care of her because it made the whole thing less stressful for her. She told me that she wouldn’t worry about me because she knew I was a strong person (when things get tough nowadays, I think of her saying those words)."

Take care Ceildah

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Reply by KathCull_admin
15 Mar 2015, 3:03 PM

Hello everyone,
I have thought about you over the last few weeks Ceildah - wondering how you are doing thinking too about the conversation of balance. As EastCoastPEI says - it's delicate.

A new member, Mark's sister posted to  When grief is fresh and feelings are raw.this morning. Her brother too was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died this past Friday. 

Could I ask those who are able to consider responding to her?  Thanks for thinking about it. 


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