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Spinal cancer 
Started by Mbrus
05 Jan 2013, 10:12 PM
Sitting here bedside with my sister almost at the end of her life. I don't know what is harder. Learning she was terminal or watching her slowly fade without food or water. So hard to bare. I want to be here when she crosses over.
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Reply by Tian
07 Jan 2013, 4:12 AM
Dear Mbrus

First of all you have my sympathy on the imminent passing of your sister. Perhaps this is the most difficult time in your life and you have many thoughts racing through your mind but I would suggest to try to focus on your sister's needs right now. Just by being there you are helping her immeasurably and I highly commend you.

As a volunteer in a palliative care ward I have seen patients waste away but that is a natural process for the body to undergo when it is shutting down and is much different than when a healthy person is forced to go without food and water. Regardless it is very distressing to witness so I would advise you not to hesitate to ask the medical staff to explain what you observe and help them keep your sister as comfortable as possible.

I would also advise you not to neglect your own needs so that you can care for your sister as well as possible. Is she in a palliative care ward or hospice? Are you sharing the caregiving with other family members, friends? You can say however little or much that you want here and know that you are among people who want to provide comfort and wish you the best.

Tian 
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Reply by Mbrus
07 Jan 2013, 1:49 PM
Dear Tian,

Thank you for your kindness and support. As hard as this is I can not see myself any place else. Unfortunately this particular cancer spreads very fast not leaving you with much time for unfinished business. I was given a book last night from her nurse(She is receiving palliative care)which explained allot about the dying process and what I am seeing. Your web site helped me in understanding her body no longer craves food or water. I do have my other sister and family staying with me so we are a team. My sister and I spend long hours at her bedside in addition to my dying sisters family. Little things like doing laundry or making the bed are somehow comforting. Typical daily life recharges your batteries.


I would like to thank you again for the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings in this forum. I would also like to say that you write beautifullySmile


  
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Reply by Tian
07 Jan 2013, 4:51 PM
Dear Mbrus

I appreciate your kind words and I'm glad we have been of some help to you. It's great for your dying sister that she is surrounded by her loved ones and that you can all support each other. Whatever comforts your sister is good and the same applies to you whether it be mundane or sublime. With your sister receiving palliative care I'm sure that if you are not in the room the staff can contact you when the moment is near so you can be present.

Your thoughts and feelings are always welcome here and will cotinue to be so after your sister passes on. Hang in there.

Tian
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Reply by Plum1
08 Jan 2013, 9:00 PM
Dear Mbrus,
Just wish to add a little further support as you set with your sister. Tian has already given you many words of wisdom and suggestion. I cannot really add a great deal. However, I can bring my "presence" to you as you are present to your sister.
 
The dying process is so full of mystery. No one wishes your sister to die, and I am sure she is not choosing death herself. At the same time, this is one of the most powerful times your family will ever live together. It sounds as though you are a very loving family, and that spirit of love must pervade the room where your siters lies. It is that love which is giving her the courage to pass through these last days. And perhaps this time is a gift to all of you, drawing your together in a way that nothing else could. I can only hope that the intimacy that you now share will remain after the death of your sister. Do you think that she would wish that?

I support Tian's encouragement for you to take care of yourself, and that applies to each member of your family. As you take care of your own strength, you will be able to be a more peaceful and loving presence to your sister.  And as Tian says, this is a place where you can share whatever feelings, thoughts, concerns, you may have.

I will hold you, your sister, and all of your family in my heart and prayer.
Plum1

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