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4 Things I Learned During My Sister’s Cancer Diagnosis

August 15th, 2017 |
Family & Parenting

by Anastasia | Caregiver: Rhabdomyosarcoma    Connect

The following post was written by Anastasia Attia, a Champion for the Sony Foundation's You Can Program.

The best thing you can do to your loved one is to give them love and continuous support.

People going through cancer need all the support and comfort they can get, and as much reassurance that everything is and will be okay as possible. As this is a difficult journey both for your loved one and yourself, let them know you'll always be there for them and that you love them so much.

It’s important to find the balance between being hopeful and being realistic.

At first, this was hard. But as my sisters health got worse, I had to be more realistic. I had to keep my faith strong in God and continue praying and that gave me more peace and comfort. I also became more realistic when I saw other people going through the cancer.. It might be hard to comprehend what people go through but taking the time to do so makes you very thankful and allows you to appreciate life a bit more. It's always great to give hope to your loved one, even if it's just saying "keep strong, don't give up and don't stop fighting". These few strong words can be so powerful.

It's so crucial to look after your own emotional health.

Take some time out and go have a walk down by the water - somewhere peaceful where you can reflect and cry if you need to. If you can't do this on your own, take a close friend or family member with you. Everyone wants to be there for you, too. It's hard to stay strong - not just in front of your loved one going through cancer, but in front of your whole family If you are struggling, I recommend seeing a psychologist who can help you out. I never had to do that because I had a strong church community, which I found to be very beneficial. But always seek help if you need it.Don't try and hide your feelings and emotions because that is not healthy.

Spend as much time as you possibly can with your sibling.

My sister needed me throughout the whole journey, but towards the end, I felt she needed me the most. She wanted me to be by her side all the time. Thank God, I was unemployed and was at uni for about 2/3 days during the week which meant I could spend more time with her, even if it was just sitting at home next to her. We did most things together - whether it was reading, doing a puzzle, watching a movie or sitting outside in the sun to get some fresh air. It doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you're both together enjoying each other's presence. Try your best to be there for those happy moments. After Chrisy's last radiation round, she rang the bell outside the ward to signify that she was done and that made her soo happy. Mum recorded that moment and I can still picture it to today. It's those little or big memories that will last forever when you reflect on the amazing times you've had together with your loved one.

Are you a sibling to someone with cancer? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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Anastasia's picture

Anastasia has been a You Can champion for many years now, ever since her sister was diagnosed with cancer. She supported her beautiful sister Christine, throughout her cancer journey until she passed away in 2014. She believes it's so important to stay connected with people going through the same thing as they are the ones who understand what it's like to go through the same journey. Anastasia is still part of You Can and always loves to help those who need someone to talk to.