• Guilt

    Asked by Tinya on Friday, January 24, 2014


    My sister has CLL AND I feel guilty, my sister has cancer not me, yet I feel so horribly lost right now, I wish I could be with her all the time, I wish I lived closer. I don't want to place my sadness on her, so I haven't told her how scared I am that her life has been shortened. I realize we al only have the moment we live in, but with her medical problems and now cancer I feel like I am going to loose her sooner than anyone thinks, I just don't feel hopeful about this situation. It's hurts so bad the emotional pain and fear is almost unbearable.

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • cam32505's Avatar

      First of all, it's ok to tell your sister how you feel. Maybe, start out with just a little bit to see how she handles it. I have had 2 cancers in 2 years, and I know my sister is worried about losing me. We don't really talk specifically about it, but I bring it up sometimes just to break the ice. She's just trying to find ways to spend more time together. Nothing like cancer to make us do what we should be doing all along. You'll find a way to break the ice with her.

      almost 7 years ago
    • lavieestbelle's Avatar

      It is exactly the feeling I had when I found out the illness of my mother. I was not around when she was not feeling well then we got the diagnosis, everyday was a scary day to live. I can still remember when my father and I were asked to talk to the doctors during my mother's surgery. We had to decide for her, because the test they had during the surgery turned out to be cancer positive. Then I signed the consent form, my father had a panic attack and he cried, I was the only one that my under anesthesia mother could count on. I remember my mother's elder sister said to me then that she believed in my mother, life is strong. That really gave me the faith and the courage to fight cancer by my mother's side. I gave up my job and partially my study (I am doing a PhD) and I returned home, now most of the time, I am occupied by housework and doctor appointments. Around March, I will have to take on some part time jobs to pay for the medical fees what our insurrance does cover. But I am sincerely and completely happy about the fact that my mother is here with me. I am enjoying every second of it. You know you will eventually overcome all these fears and you will see life differently. Good luck to you all!

      almost 7 years ago
    • glam's Avatar

      Dear Tinya.....your sister needs you so much that I think you should not lose any time with bad feelings such as "guiltiness" and start helping her the most you can....additionally I don't know the stage of her sister cancer nor her healthy condition but I do know that the only who really knows our deadline is God and for him nothing is impossible so grab his hand, talk with him and gather your strength to help her with all your faith......cancer is not a death sentence anymore and there are lot's of resources, technologies and support out there to help us to aggressively fight against his stupid disease....I can tell you that I am stage IV B and several doctors had gave me 06 months of life and some didn't even want me to be treated because they said treatment would drain my energies and I should keep them to organize my papers.....and I am here after 15 months and cancer free.....so believe me we can do.......dedicate you energy and time to see how you can really help her and be as close as you can.....she will need your positive energy so ban all negative thoughts and be with her in this fight.....I am sure you will get surprised on how strong she is and how stronger your relationship will become.....wishing you both all the best...God bless your sister, you and continue blessing all of us.....

      almost 7 years ago
    • ladyd2013's Avatar

      The best way to stay connected is communication. Talk to your sister let her know how you feel. So she can express her feelings. The last thing we want is to not be able to talk about it. It helps to be able to let someone know what its doing to us. When I found out I had cancer noone wanted to talk about it. I felt very alone. I would cry alone just so I didn't upset my husband, daughter. Everyone tipped toe around the issue. My family and I grew apart and I didn't talk to my siblings for what was going on 5-6yrs. And then we found out I had cancer. My mom begged me to let tell the kids. I let her it took 2weeks and one by one they started texting me and then they called. All those years ago are lost. It took cancer to put us together. Cancer isolates you from everything .people who know you don't know how to act. I had a lady friend who didn't want to see me cause I had cancer. That hurt so for her I stated away. Stay connected and talk to her. I carry guilt cause I put my friends and family through XXX. Granted I got my siblings back but it took cancer to get that. We don't know what tomorrow brings just embrace today cause tomorrow will come soon enough. One day at a timeTinya. Communicate and just be there for her. Even though you can't be there physically your there emotionally and trust me that is enough. I'm sure she knows you want to be there to help. My siblings wanted the same but were not all in the same state. Its ok just talking and getting text made some days go a little easier having them on my team. I wish you well and you sister. God bless you and your family.

      almost 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN (Best Answer!)

      We all react differently to finding out this kind of news, and to how people act around us when we are the patient. For me, I do not want anyone near me that is going to be falling apart and acting like it's the end of the world. Yes, it sucks and I don't want to have cancer, or die. But having someone around me who is a basket case all the time doesn't help anything or anyone, I want people to be acting like semi-normal and not like we're having a funeral. I want everyone to know that while it's tough and hard on me that I am OK, I will make it through this OK.

      Talking is good but try not to freak everyone out by panicking. You mentioned that you feel like you are going to lose her sooner, what is her prognosis? Have they told her, or do you know for sure? And even if she has been given a poor prognosis that doesn't mean she won't be with us for a long time. We have lots of folks on the site that were told they would be gone in 6 months or less, several years ago, and they are doing great today.

      So while it's tough, try to be strong and as positive as you can, but realistic. Just don't let the reality of the situation drive you over the edge. We wish you and her both the best!

      almost 7 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      I'm sorry this is hard on you. My sister was diagnosed with cancer just a year before I was. The first thing I did was cry and tell her I didn't want her to die. Wow, what a big mistake... in my opinion that's the LAST thing someone diagnosed with cancer wants to hear from their sister!! One year later she was much better and handling my news. I personally think it's best to stay positive for your sister but to find someone else (friend, family, therapist) to talk with about how this is impacting you. Caregivers certainly go through a lot, I'm not denying that one bit. The one thing I appreciated most about my husband is that he had every bit of confidence that I was going to be just fine, and I am! If he ever thought about losing me he never let me know it. Same for my mom and my sister and friends. Now, they could have been talking to each other about such a topic and that's fine. You get my drift. Prayers to your sis and you.

      almost 7 years ago
    • StamPurr's Avatar

      Not sure if this will help (but it won't hurt) so here goes: My dad was diagnosed with CLL more than 10 years ago. His doctor told him that if you had to have cancer, that this was the one to pick. He has had minimal treatment, no major side effects, no real treatment for the past several years, only blood tests to keep track of everything. He is in better health now than he was 10 years ago. He says he has no symptoms. He is now in his late 70's. His doctor told him that he will die of something someday, but not from this. Now I know from personal experience that everyone is different and everyone's disease progresses differently, so this is just his story, but it is a good one and should encourage you and your sister. P.S. yesterday while I was waiting for my radiation therapy, I overheard one of the ladies talking about having been diagnosed with CLL more than 15 years ago and she is only being monitored. So more encouraging news. Cancer is never good and the unknown can be frightening. Feel what you feel, let your sister know you love her, and then both of you get on with life.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DeniseD's Avatar

      Mom mother was in her mid 80's when she finished her cancer treatment. She was not in the best of health and I really worried that she wouldn't make it through. She not only made it through, but her health improved. Just as she finished I began my treatment. I told her, " if you can do it, so can I." Don't count her out. I was sick for a long time before I started treatment and am doing much better now. Good luck and God bless.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Tinya's Avatar

      Thank you all so much!! I needed a safe place to discuss my feelings. My sister is I remission as of today, but may have an abscess or something. I am think if us going somewhere when she has a weekend. I do talk to her three times a day and text often. We use to do so much together and I miss that so much. But I did recognize life changes. Today she is sorta ok...and I won't tell her she is going to die, that my fear.....

      almost 7 years ago
    • Schlegel's Avatar

      Tinya, I can honestly say I know how you feel. My brother was diagnosed with lung cancer in October. He lives in Pennsylvania, and I live in North Carolina. I sometimes feel guilty because I think I should be there, but I can't afford to do so. And I fear he will be around less than a year. Ideally, he should move down here because I have a better living situation and better medical facilities, but he does not want to do that. So I do a lot of caregiving by phone. And I am planning to go to a caregivers support group.
      I have follicular lymphoma, so I can say it is harder on the family than the patient. One positive for you is that with a diagnosis of CLL she could be around a long time.

      almost 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      My Sister was Dx'd in 2001. My best friend in this world. I let myself get into such a prolonged depression that it developed into PTSD. I lost my sister in 2008.
      In 2010 I lost my Mother to cancer and I was Dx'd 2/12.

      My best advise is to go and see her as often as you can and look for cancer support organizations in your area as they offer support for care givers too..Also read books for care givers like "When life becomes precious".

      But also watch out for depression as it can really sneak up on you.

      And help your sister get tot he best cancer care team for her type of cancer.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Tinya's Avatar

      I will take much of the advice you all have given me and like I said yesterday, I am very grateful for the input. I am just really afraid and have no control over the outcome. Next weekend I am planning to spend time with my sissy, that's if she feeling up to it... This is weird though because no matter what the big "C" is always looming.

      almost 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Tinya, just remeber NONE of us get out of this World ALIVE. Death is always looming for all of us.
      I hope this can keep everything in perspective for you but remeber you are still in shock and so is your sister. Give youself PERMISSION to go easy on yourself.

      almost 7 years ago
    • CakeLady's Avatar

      Just reach out to her when you can without breaking down and let her know you love her. She likely understands but I felt hurt when my sister didn't call as often to cheer me up or say I am thinking of you. I know that they were busy and working when I was trying to make it though the days of chemo and when I did get to see them they were able to see that I was still the same person just living with a terrible new condition. Be strong she is likely feeling lost too and may help you through it too.

      almost 7 years ago

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