My Sis in Law is loosing her battle need support

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/1/2007 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new here. Dont mean to be depressing to those of you who are recovering or whos outlook might be different. However I am looking for support and some advice. My sister in law (brothers wife) is battling Breast Cancer. She was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At that time she was already at stage 3. She is at stage 4 now and the cancer has become very aggressive. She has had 2 rounds of Chemo and Radiation as well as all the meds one could be given. At first it seemed to help,the it spread to her blood and from there went behind her right eye. They were able to remove it . Since that removal it sprouted up behind her other eye and is now in her bones and a few days ago my brother thought she was having a stroke so he took her to the hospital and the worst had happened, the cancer had spread to her brain. She had surgery yesterday and they were only able to remove 95% of it because the other 5% was too deep within her skull. She is in so much pain. My brother is scared out of his mind. Since the surgery she has not been able to move her left leg, the doctor assures my brother that once the swelling has gone down around her brain, the feeling should return. She has a big drain tube coming out of her skull to keep the fluids drained from her. Whats so sad is that this was a first marriage for my brother, he spent over 17 years in the Air Force and retired early in good standing and met her and they were married only about a year when she found out the had breast cancer. She had an Aunt that lived two years with the same type of cancer and passed away. We know it is only a matter of time for her now. I just dont know how to be supportive to my brother. Last week he and I were talking, before all this latest took place and it was my husband and my 20th Wedding Anniversary and he said "I hope Carol and I have that many years together". What could I tell him? I said "Just enjoy the time you have together now". It just seems to unfair. She has an 11 year old daughter from a previous marriage that my brother has agreed to adopt once she is gone. I dont think the little girl even knows her mother is that bad yet. They havent told her. I think they need to tell her, but that decision has to be left up to them. Does anyone have any idea how I can support my brother? They are not financially well off, just living on his retirement and her disability, he had to quit his job to stay home and care for her. He wont leave her side to eat, bathe, or sleep. They had to run him out of ICU last night. He is sleeping in the lobby on a couch because he cannot afford a hotel room for him to sleep in. I wish there was something I could do for them to help them financially but I just dont know who to contact or what. Thanks for letting me vent. Ill try and keep you updated on her progress.I also wanted to add that they have found a lump in her other breast now in addition to everything else.

Post Edited (gjet68) : 11/1/2007 11:04:19 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/1/2007 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
oh my goodness, my heart hurts and goes out to you and your family. I don't know where you are located but there seem to be many organizations across the country that help financially with supporting family members who don't have the means to stay in hotels, etc. Ask the hospital social worker in and if they are not helpful look for non-profit support groups in that area. I am in northeast Ohio and we have several support agencies that I know could help out in that situation. Perhaps places like these could also helpyour brother and his daughter-many of these places have programs for family as well as patients. Praying is helpful to me but if you are not a religious or spiritual person, seeking solice through friends and sometimes even nature can be very calming. Peace is what you ask for, healing is not always what we get but I think peace is the most helpful. I'm new to the messaging too. looking for something. I wish I could say something profound and helpful but I'm just a teacher who's surviving breast cancer looking for something as well. But, please know that I will be praying/thinking of you and your family-sometimes it just helps to get it all out, maybe that will be what helps you get through. Be strong and hopefully we will hear from you soon.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 11/2/2007 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gwen, One the very hardest parts about dealing with breast cancer is the loss of young women with children. My daughter has had a recurrence after eight years. So far it seems she is doing well on treatment. I was diagnosed two years before she was and have been what we call NED. No evidence of disease. I would gladly trade places with her, but that is not the way it works. Then there is my mother, 94, healthy but a little feeble and her mind is not the greatest. She doesn't enjoy living and wants to die.

Believe me it is harder to deal with breast cancer in loved ones than it is your own. Being there for your brother and letting him know you love him and his family is as important as anything. Every hospital has a social worker who should be able to answer some questions for you. They should be contacting your brother, too.

What I don't understand is why they would do the brain surgery when it was so obvious cancer was spreading so rapidly. Why put her through that and why put more financial strain on the family? Dear God where is compassion anymore?

Do what you can to be supportive and loving. Let him know you are there for him in any way he needs you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Please do keep us informed.

Hugs Mary K.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 11/6/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   

My prayers are so with you and your entire family.
Brain tumor 1981
Dx.Crohns disease 1996 no meds now due to breast canceer
bowel resecction 2001
Thyroid cancer 2001 tons of synthroid
breast cancer .....mastectomy 09-14-2007 waiting on chemo possibility
seizure disorder .....all my life. tegretol, keppra

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 11/7/2007 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi there, I am so sorry to hear about everthing, you and your family are in my prayers. I wish I could say something profound also, but I do agree with checking with the hospital social worker. I am a social worker, and did medical social work as one of my internships. He or she will be able to give you support as well as information on the help you need. That is why they are there. Many times they will even do much of the work for you to get things rolling. There may even be a special social worker on your sil unit. There are many services out there, we just have to know where to look!!! Please take care, let us know how everything is going.

Jazzy1 Jen

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 11/8/2007 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Gwen!

I am so sorry you and your family have to go through this! I know how difficult it can be for the family. I lost my Mom last year to breast and ovarian cancer and my sister is now losing her battle as well with mets to her lungs and liver. Just knowing you care means a lot! I am most concerned about her daughter. She needs to know what is happening, NOW, before it is too late. An eleven year old is not too young to understand. She needs time to adjust to losing her mom and make the most out of their time left together. If her family tries to "protect" her, she will resent them forever.  She needs to be with her mom now, more than ever! I hope you can share this with your brother.  My thoughts and prayers are with you!


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 11/16/2007 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gwen,

i really hope all goes well and i just prayed for your bro and sis in law and you. hang on.

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