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I don't know how to "do" this 
Started by marymoo24
12 Mar 2016, 3:55 AM
Hello everyone,

I have just found this group, and am so happy I did.

My older brother (and my last living family member) was recently dx with Stage 4 bile duct cancer. It's terminal. I cannot deal with this at all, and don't know what to do with myself, or for him or his wife. It feels like I am in a terrible nightmare and just can't wake up.

My brother has always been my "go to" person, whenever I had problems with just about anything. I don't know how I will survive without him.

I'm also so very angry that this is happening to him. He is such a gentle soul, so giving. Why is this happening to him? I keep wishing that I had it instead of him.

I've been through this once before, with our son. He was dx with Stage 3 neuroblastoma when he was an infant. We are one of the few fortunate ones who can say that he is still alive and kicking, no evidence of disease, and just turned 18 years old last month! :o)

This latest event, my brother's illness, is a huge wallop. At least with our son, there was hope. My brother is only 62, and lived a very healthy life. How can he be dying?


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Reply by NatR
12 Mar 2016, 5:35 AM
Hello Mary,

welcome to the forum - you will find a variety of people who are going through sickness loss and all the feelings that come with those situations.

thanks for explaining your situation.  Man it's so hard to see your beloved brother going through this - and having gone through treatment and illness with your son - you already know how difficult it is.

It's impossible to understand why we or our loved ones get sick - it's unfair for them  and for us who watch them go through it.

i want to encourage you to write as you feel comfortable doing.  We can listen We can offer ideas or find resources or information - and we can help ease your pain by hearing your story and writing you back with sometimes with replies -  sometimes good quotes, or just tell you to hang in there 

going through a difficult health situation or diagnoses without support is most frightening.
please keep in touch 

I am a retired caregiver both personally and professionally - and I know I have gotten a lot of support in my own life - losing my mom - feeling the pressures and stress - and coming here and getting replies has been very helpful to me 

sending you warm thoughts from me to you.
i hope you will feel the understanding and support from everyone as they connect 
NatR 🌷
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Reply by KathCull_admin
12 Mar 2016, 5:40 AM


Welcome to our community marymoo34.  Your questions are ones that other people ask as well – some things in life are so hard and seem so unfair. I am glad your son is doing well.

I wondered if you might find some support from the article Rituals for Patients and Families.

Another member, Ceildah, started the thread My Brother is dying from cancer – on that thread you will meet Ceildah as well as EastCoastPEI and BettyH  - all who have experienced the loss of a family member.

Do you have family and friends who are able to support you marymoo24?

Look forward to hearing from you again.


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Reply by JennJilks
12 Mar 2016, 4:37 PM
It's a tough go, isn't it?
I think you can help yourself in a couple of ways, if I may be so bold!

We don't know why our bodies grow cancerous cells in a vast majority of cases. Being angry I know won't help. My dad was so angry with his brain tumour. I did a lot of reading.
Let go the anger. Give yourself permission to pregrieve (yes, this is a thing!). Try to remember the good in your brother, and all the great things he is and was to you. When you find your anger rising up, send it away and bring back an image of a favourite time. This will help you, since anger only serves to go inside us and make us ill.

Remember your son. Be grateful for what you have, not what you do not. It truly helps to be positive.
Enjoy the diamonds each day brings!
Many people with cancer say, "Why me?", but why not you? Cancer isn't a thing coming after us, it is our cells growing wrong. It just is. 
It does help to talk about it. This forum is a wonderful one, where we find all sorts of means and ways to cope. And you will cope. You are strong. You will get through this. You will be able to be there for your brother, as he has been for you.
Many hugs. 
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Reply by Princess peace
15 Mar 2016, 6:10 AM
I am so sorry that you have to go through this.  I lost my rock/best friend/sister a year ago.  She was having the time of her life and was such a beautiful person...and then poof.  Taken from this earth.  I have learned that there is no explanations of why things happen to certain people.  It really is a terrible nightmare but we must rely on whatever means will give us support.  This group is great because we all understand and want to help one another through these unfortunate circumstances.  My heart is with you at this time and please reach out anytime you want.  It is really good to talk about it...
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Reply by Marymary
20 Mar 2016, 11:03 PM
Mary Moo - (like what JennJiks said)

Some parts of life do truly SUCK the big one.  So glad to hear your son made it through.  It's a major reality check for sure.  I know that is not too comforting for you to hear what has been said from dr's or even what his wife or your brother or the rest of the family has to say that is why I say reality (sucks) - I do - believe you me they are just words which at times like this - is all we have. 

You cant take it away, you can't make it better, you cant make him feel better - so many things you just can't do - sucks.  It is out of your control - that is the biggest thing to accept - I know that feeling and it's a huge one to swallow.  Your MAD /ANGRY / UPSET BUT AT WHO? we all know not at your bro or his wife?  You just have to go through your feelings and do your best to make amends with them somehow, it'll take a bit of time but you will do it.  

What I've learned is that you go one day at a time, what can I do today.   I am going to choose to be relatively joyful, be supportive today, be loveable, caring and nurturing today.  I also think you do know why does this have to happen why??? You have more questions than you do answers.

Not sure if you are a spiritual person - (I'm not religious) but I really believe power of prayer works wonders - I had a hard time with a friend and wasnt sure how to pray for her and an Elder said just pray for whatever Creator/God sees fit for her & I do the same with my son's father who has Stage 4B throat cancer - I find it helps a lot, taking time out for yourself and being in nature so helps.  Any little thing that takes your mind off of it for jsut a bit., like listening to the sound of water at the river or wind through the trees - well that helps me but to each his own.  Go for walks etc. 

I will pray for you and your family Mary Moo and keep your chin up ok
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Reply by Carlyn
17 May 2016, 5:31 AM

Some very wise people up above have said it all. I'm with you in thinking positive.

Your words "he's my go to person" resonate strongly. A childhood dear friend and I each experienced this, in different years, with a close brother. Nothing can prepare you. I can share that we are both doing well and surviving. My firend is sort of thriving which is wonderful. So ... yes you will survive this, unfortunately. That's the other thing your words leaped out to say to me - that we survive it and what does that mean? 

All I can think to say is it's individual for all, it's grief, and you will survive. Lean on us, and all those who love and support you, as you feel you need the extra suppport. Of if you need a distraction and different conversation maybe to give you a bit of emotional reprieve. Everyone here is excellent at these matters. We're all here for you when and if you need it.

It's a terrible thing to go through for all of you and I'm so sorry, for all your sakes. Be with him as much as is good for all of you and just take it day by day. I want to say savour this time... unsure if savour is best word.

We're all with you. Sending positive thoughts and healing thoughts, peaceful calm, to help you savour these days with your brother. 

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Reply by KathCull_admin
27 May 2016, 8:22 PM
Hello everyone,
I am wondering how the last few months have been for you marymoo24... Has there been opportunity for you and your brother to talk and to say the things you and he want and need to say? 

I am so glad your son turned 18 this year. I would imagine not many days go by that you are not thankful for him.

It sounds like your brother is a wonderful man - from your description I am picturing him and thinking about what the idea of losing him might feel like. Do you have those wise words written down somewhere or do they come to your mind as you need them?  

A new member, laudi started the thread hi this afternoon.  Her baby brother was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer just a few months ago and he is now on the palliative care program.

Take care all
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