A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Monday, August 25, 2014

My sister and her cancer

I hate cancer. I have a good reason too. It killed both of my grandmothers and my mom. Now it's killing my oldest sister.

My dad went to Washington two weeks ago to do two things: meet my cousin's wife who we've never seen before and celebrate my cousin's 50th birthday (he's an Australian citizen now and has been since he got married and we were pretty sure he'd never come back to the States because of how expensive travel is), and to spend some time with my sister who's dying.

I won't go much into my dad's visit with my cousin. My dad got to meet his wife. She was nice and fits in well with the family. My aunt loves her daughter-in-law.

I want to talk for a moment about the visit my dad had with my sister. He told me all about it last week when I returned his car to him. He let me borrow it for errands while he was gone. He told me my sister is losing weight, is going bald, and is on oxygen. The first two I can understand because that's what happened the last time she battled cancer. The oxygen is a new development for her.

And yes, I said the last time she battled cancer. This is her third go around with it. The problem this time is it has metastasized so there's no chance it's going to go away completely. She had five good years with her family with the hope that cancer wouldn't return. That ended a month ago with the new diagnosis.

My dad said my sister told him they're now looking at quality of life instead of quantity. They haven't given up on treating the various problems she's having with the cancer, but they're not sure how much more time they can give her. As a result, my sister is doing as many things as her health will let her.

When my dad went to Vancouver (WA) to see her, they went to the beach several times. My sister carted around her portable oxygen tank and went out to explore with them. They couldn't do the bonfire her husband wished they could because she can't handle the smoke. Someone a little way down from where they were having a snack was cooking on a barbecue and my sister couldn't handle the little bit of smoke that reached them from that.

But my sister poked at jelly fish, helped my younger sister collect shells, let the ocean chase her up the beach. Dad said if it wasn't for the oxygen tank, you wouldn't have known she was sick. She was being as close to her normal self as she could.

When they left, she promised to call every week to tell dad what's going on. If she's too sick, she'll make her husband do it. But one way or the other, dad's going to be kept in the loop. Dad said he'll tell me. He's passing the info along to my brother and other older sister as well.

When I have the ability to donate to anything again, I'm going to ask Himself if we can donate to that. I want to support something that's touched my life deeply. It'll be too late for my sister, and my few dollars won't make much difference, but maybe it'll be enough to give someone a dose of medicine that might help treat their cancer better.

If you have a cause you feel passionate about and can donate to it, try to find a way to budget a few dollars for it. You never know what your donation can do.

And hug your family members. You don't know when something will happen to take them away from you.


  1. At least your sister is trying to make the most of her time. Who knows, maybe she'll get more than anyone expect. Either way, each moment is special.

    1. Yes it is, and every moment we get to spend with her is a moment cherished. If she's feeling up to it, she'll be down for Thanksgiving. If she is, I'm hoping to be able to get over to see her. We don't know for sure right now though.