When my sister first told me she had breast cancer I had no idea how to react. I felt like life had handed her a very cruel challenge at a time in her life where she possibly had the most to lose. Not that there is ever a good time. I tried to put myself into her shoes and imagine how I would take the news and how I would try to handle the challenge. How easy it seemed to let a cloud of darkness and fear manipulate my thoughts. But how would that help my sister? Why did I think I had any right to feel sorry for myself?
I thought of the hurt and struggle that would face her husband and young family if she was to leave them. I thought of the gaping hole that would be left in our extended family. The only way to handle this unjust hurdle would be to fight. It is easy for me to say that. It wasn't my problem. But it some ways it was. The problem is shared by anyone who cares for my sister and her family. Luckily for us my sister is a fighter and she knew her battle was not just a roll of the dice. I'm no doctor, I don't even consider myself that well educated but I'm pretty sure that the strongest weapons you have to fight cancer are attitude and support.
The treatments my sister endured were not just a battle but a war. I can only imagine most of it from what she has told me, having never experienced anything like that myself. I could see the struggle she was facing and felt disappointed that I didn't or couldn't do more to help her at the time. Her attitude towards it all is what makes me so proud. And that is how you beat this thing. You do whatever you need to do to give yourself the best chance of killing this foe. There are no guarantees in life so you owe it to yourself, family and friends to stay as positive as you can and fight. You are not just fighting for yourself but for everyone in your life and also those who haven't even met you yet.
I feel extremely under qualified to lecture others about this battle many people face in our society. It hasn't been my battle. If I face a similar battle to my sister in the future I only hope I have her strength and courage. Even though she is four years younger that me I look up to her. I am so proud, but mainly grateful, that she is a fighter and a survivor.