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The other shoe drops.

Old 03-27-2015, 11:44 AM
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EG, I think it is wonderful you have been able to be there for your sister
but it sounds like you need a brief respite.

Time to talk to your other siblings and ask for some support.

Her healing may be a long road--time to pace yourself dear friend. . .
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:55 PM
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Update

I'm sorry to report that my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer a week ago Tuesday. Though her doctors are optimistic, her prognosis isn't great. Lots of crying since then.

Mary Ann remains an active participant in her recovery in terms of diet and other lifestyle changes. She's planning on taking a spin class and maybe yoga. She met with her boss last week, and he said she'd done more to help the bank in the ten months she's been there than her predecessor did in five years. He's willing to fight for her and do whatever it is she'd like to do. I wasn't surprised and, knowing her as I do, and something about their relationship, I told her that this is what I imagined would happen beforehand. She's very much leaning towards making a clean break from work for several reasons, one of which is to use the time for things she'd like to do rather than working.

The news knocked me out as well. Until now, I couldn't bring myself to comment on it here on SR. I'm spending a lot of time with her, making sure she has what she needs. I took on additional work, since she may need financial support as well. Though she's prepared well for her retirement, cancer treatment can bankrupt anyone, even someone with the best insurance. I experience intermittent mood swings, something which is new to me, as well as spells of anxiety, which is also new to me. Though I continue to take care of myself, I've temporarily lost something inside.

I get strength from many of the people who post here, though I must admit that I've lost some of my compassion for people who refuse to take care of themselves, here and in the real world as well. I just don't have anything to offer them.

On a more positive note, I remain in awe at both the quality and the tremendous amount of support that people offer here, both to me and others.

Thank you all again and, as always, it makes a difference.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:04 PM
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I'm sorry for the news EndGame. I hope you'll use the support available here and elsewhere for yourself as well.

Best wishes continue for your sister and for you.

D
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:05 PM
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I've been thinking about you. I'm so very sorry that her illness is progressing. Endgame, you are a wonderful brother, a gift in so , SO many ways, and she won the lottery having YOU in her corner.

Sending much love and mad respect to you friend.

XO AO
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:09 PM
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I'm so sorry EndGame.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:29 PM
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Sending you & your sister hope, light & love.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:09 PM
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peace to you and your sister. hoping for the best.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:24 PM
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EG, I have only just today found this thread. Read through it all, up to now.

It felt a bit feeble to only click on the 'thanks' button during the bulk of the story and responses. But, maybe there's a time in our lives when even seeing those acknowledgements from people around the world can add a tiny bit to the comfort you mention receiving...and needing.

I have always admired you hugely, as an erudite and considered chap. You bolster Socrates' argument that the unexamined life is not worth living. [One of my retorts occasionally to people who say 'you think too much']. Most of those don't realise that we not only 'think', but feel and experience, and it's all an indivisible package. Hence Socrates' point.

In some respects - i.e. not telling others about their bodily or mental suffering - your sister sounds very like my two sisters. One is recently deceased and the other, the eldest, is equally stoically (or stubbornly) silent on such matters.

Having said that, I am glad that you've felt able to reach out here to this group of motley fools myself included from around the world. As you no doubt know, another of our wise elders (!) is also engaging in deep, heartfelt conversazione about his trials and tribulations with life-threatening cancer. Many of us have talked with our friends here on the boards about all manner of enormous difficulties and griefs, myself included in late last year.

I wish I could 'do' something for you, sir. But of course, as you well know - and as your sister is now coming to terms with - sometimes there is little we can 'do'. We can only 'be'. As my dead sister said to our eldest sister not long before she died: 'A, some things just can't be "fixed"'. We're a fix-it society - yes, even over here in Great Southern Land. We can only practise a degree of acceptance. I believe you mentioned that in one of your more recent posts in March. Mind you, I agree with you that a spot of rage would also be a sign of your sis' walk towards acceptance. Totally concur with you on that.

You don't need the likes of me to add to the urgings to care for yourself as best you can. Verte's suggestions among others seemed most apposite. I like that you have a dojo to go to. If I had the physical abilities, I'd do the same!

Heartfelt wishes and regards,
Victoria
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:31 PM
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PS EndG,

I meant to also note that your sister Mary Ann sounds like one of those brilliant, amazing and infuriating (!) women in our lives. Personally, I'd like to think I might be remembered as same.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:39 AM
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Endgame,

Just a hello to wish you a good day inspite of challenges for your sister and you. Make your day count and may God help you both along the way.

Hugs.................
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:42 AM
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You and your sister continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, EndGame.

Stay close; let us take care of you.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:19 AM
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EndGame, I'm so sorry this is happening to Mary Ann, and in a different way, to you, her loving and steadfast brother. Crying is a good release. It's such a human experience.

It is difficult to be optimistic when the prognosis is grim. For myself, if it comes to palliative care, then and only then will I give up the good fight. There is always hope, of course. Such a strange thing is hope I think. It really shines best where no hope rationally exists, and yet hope too is such a human experience. I have every good hope for Mary Ann.

My friend, I understand how something has been temporarily lost. Its not unreasonable to think how life must look now so different then it did before you knew of Mary Ann's cancer. I know for me, I'm changing on layers of ongoing change. You're so close and involved with your sister's care, I'm sure you've come to a more appreciative awareness of people taking life for granted. I hope you don't reproach yourself for such a newly tuned awareness. I too have little to offer for those who choose to waste their life away. It is what it is.

I also think having some high sharps of added anxiety is to be expected. Please don't think any less of yourself. Same with the mood swings, my friend. You're deeply invested into the good care of your beloved sister. There is cost to all that giving. Its a worthy cost nonetheless. If I may, I'm very proud and strengthened by your devout selflessness, my good friend.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:22 AM
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EndGame,
I am sorry to hear this. I can imagine how it throws everyone for a loop. Your sis sounds like a very brave and strong woman, and I send best wishes for both of you. She is blessed to have you, btw.

prayers for peace and healing!
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:53 AM
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I am very sorry but will chose to join the doctors in being optimistic. I have learned so much about the person I want to be from some of the people on here and you are one of them.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:02 AM
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As another poster noted, these are the times when "I wish I could do something for you."

This is a place, though, where countless people -- ones you couldn't pick out of a crowd -- will do what we can for you. And that is to be here, to read and to offer our support. You, EndGame, stand out in our crowd for your ability to mix kindness with keen insight. You give a lot here.

In times like this, it seems like what we can give back is so limited. You are the one comforting us when you observe it makes a difference.

Whatever we can do to comfort you, we are here for you. I don't often refer to our world on SR as "we" because we are so different in so many ways, our lives are so varied. But we have been on the same journey, are often stronger because of your support and we will walk with you.

Please remember to take care of yourself in this time of uncertainty and sadness, particularly as you take on added work out of concern for your sister. I wish this was a time when you could cut back to concentrate on her as well as yourself. Reach out whenever you need us, knowing we care for you deeply and continue to send hope to your dear Mary Ann.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:22 AM
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I am very sorry to hear about the latest news in Mary Ann's condition. I don't have much wisdom to offer that wasn't already expressed above by all the wonderful people who commented recently. I'm going through a period of fatigue and intense emotions myself and I think I understand how we "lose it" temporarily sometimes when either the external or internal challenges become overwhelming. You clearly are doing what is humanly possible to support Mary Ann and be there for her both practically and emotionally. I do understand though feeling helpless, limited, and exhausted sometimes when trying to push our limits, and when there are obvious limits beyond our control. Please be gentle with yourself while experiencing these things.

I sometimes found connection and moments of transcendence in these sad situations that I could not imagine without experiencing it directly..., new heights of purpose and unity that I did not know existed before... it's not something I can easily describe in words but I am sure you know what I am talking about. As for the mood swings and anxiety... well, I would say something would not be quite right if you did not feel these. All dimensions of our humanity challenged by situations like what you are in, sometimes in unexpected ways, and when we would prefer to stay calmer, I believe.

I also think that losing compassion for people who seemingly never learn from their experiences and continue destructiveness endlessly is perfectly normal. I commented on this here on SR before, that I believe completely unconditional love probably only exist in myths about saints, or perhaps in parental love... but maybe not even that. We are programmed to survive and to want to survive for the most part, and this instinct inevitably involves selectivity in our choices and emotions.

I agree with Venecia about your ability to mix sensitivity/kindness with insight, and will add in a genuine way that would stand out in any environment, I believe. The posts here speak for this clearly. You have helped so many on here, and I am sure IRL as well, probably in ways that go sometimes far beyond the moment when the interaction occurs. Definitely been the case with me as well and my expression is only scratching the surface.

Be yourself, my friend, the whole palette that is so undeniably YOU
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:36 AM
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Endgame, I'm sorry to read the news about your sister. Both she and you will continue to be in my thoughts.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:43 AM
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EndGameNYC, I'm sorry to hear this. You and your sister will be in my prayers.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:44 AM
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Hi endgame, like others ive not got anything to add, just wanted to say you're in my thoughts and that posts like yours put my own petty problems in to perspective. Take care of yourself and stay strong for your sister.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:45 AM
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I'm very sorry to hear the sad news about your sister. I'm sending prayers and good wishes to both you.
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