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Topic: Death and grieving how are you doing?

Forum: For Caregivers, Family, Friends and Supporters —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: May 5, 2019 10:42PM

thatsvanity wrote:

It has been almost nine years since my sister died of breast cancer. I don’t cry everyday anymore. I miss her and think of her everyday. If I listen to music the grief is fresh and new or when I’m alone

Atypical lobular hyperplasia(11/11/10) PBMX NS mastectomy on 5/26/2011 Dx 11/11/2010, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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May 5, 2019 11:22PM Peregrinelady wrote:

Tomorrow is 11 years since my twin sister passed away from MBC at almost 46 years old. I cried every day the first year and then gradually tried to remember her before cancer entered our lives.The first five years were the hardest, but year ten (last year) was also difficult. This year has been better, but I still am upset that she missed so many years of her life. I am sorry for your loss, but glad that you have been proactive with your health.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 6, 2019 12:19AM Meow13 wrote:

Do you have dreams where they appear and are not sick? I do every so often I always am so happy when I talk to them.

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May 6, 2019 12:10PM thatsvanity wrote:

meow13 I haven’t had a lot of dreams but the dreams I’ve had she lets me know that she is okay. Maybe now that I can talk about her without sobbing, I may have more dreams. I hope so!


Atypical lobular hyperplasia(11/11/10) PBMX NS mastectomy on 5/26/2011 Dx 11/11/2010, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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May 6, 2019 12:19PM thatsvanity wrote:

Peregrinelady,

I am extremely sorry for the loss of your twin sister. Losing a close sibling is such intense pain and grief. A hospice nurse and writer asked me, “Who will be there for you when you die?” I said, “I don’t know.” She answered, “your sister will be there for you.” I believe we will be with our loved ones again. When she was transitioning she believed she was going on a trip. Death isn’t an ending it’s another beginning

Atypical lobular hyperplasia(11/11/10) PBMX NS mastectomy on 5/26/2011 Dx 11/11/2010, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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May 7, 2019 12:03AM Peregrinelady wrote:

Thank you, I remember when a politician in Europe lost his twin brother in a plane crash, they said losing a twin was like losing a spouse. It is difficult to fathom that she missed out on half her life and her son has now lived longer without her then with her. Unfortunately, my dreams have been few, but yes, Meow, she was healthy and happy. I have to think of that as a sign and carry on positively. None of our loved ones would want us to be sad forever, but these anniversaries can be tough.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 23, 2019 06:42AM - edited Oct 23, 2019 06:44AM by IrishTwin

I wish there was a forum for this issue. I am so sad. My sister passed away May 6, which I just noticed is the day of your post, after an 11 year battle with advanced cancer and I still miss her so much. I stayed positive as much as I could that whole time, and so did she although I knew she was struggling with fear and sadness as well as pain and fatigue and loss of taste and loss of hair and all the other medical miseries. We would play Boggle in bed together, and hang out and chat, and distract each other. Even though she had so much to handle, shealways encouraged me because I was looking after my parents with dementia and she knew I was burned out, and I just wish I could still talk to her and lie next to her and say prayers with her and hold her hand.

My Sister: Dx 4/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage III, Grade 3, 16/23 lymph nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Stage IV 9/2013 (bone mets), Arimidex 11/2013-3/2014, Fulvestrant + Xgeva 4/2014-10/2015, Radiation 11/2015, Palbociclib+Letrozol+Xgeva 1/2016-2/2017
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Oct 23, 2019 07:17AM - edited Oct 23, 2019 07:31AM by IrishTwin

Dear Peregrinelady,

I read your post and wanted to reach out because my sister was my “Irish Twin", ten months younger than me. We slept in the same bed till I was 11, did everything together, had the same friends, the same interests, the same values. For her, the first five years were very hard because of the severe mental adjustment of the diagnosis, the traumatic treatments, especially for someone who all her life had been terrified of needles, the feeling she had of being behind a mask that looked like her old self but had nothing to do with the different, frightened, injured person inside with chemo brain that stole even the potential consolation of feeling good about work. And tamoxifen made her depressed and tired. When the cancer came back after five years and she got off tamoxifen and also stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop since it already had, her life improved in a way. She wasn't depressed anymore and the new treatments weren't as bad as the old treatments. We did so many fun things together, travelled to the Galapagos, Santorini, Turks and Caicos, spent time hanging out at her place and my place. She cheered on my daughter, made my husband laugh, was the beloved goddess to my shichon, and somehow made all our lives better while going through so much herself. The last year was hard for her due to dexamethasone side effects but we spent time together time, travelled together, prayed together. Her humour, her courage, her faith, her positivity, her selflessness, her amazing calm, warm vibe were things she always had but which grew throughout her illness and made us see that some people really can make good come of bad things. Spending time with her was a salve for the soul. I know this sounds screwed up because she was the one suffering the most, and yet her presence consoled the people who came to console her. I really can’t do justice to her with words but I miss her so much

My Sister: Dx 4/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage III, Grade 3, 16/23 lymph nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Stage IV 9/2013 (bone mets), Arimidex 11/2013-3/2014, Fulvestrant + Xgeva 4/2014-10/2015, Radiation 11/2015, Palbociclib+Letrozol+Xgeva 1/2016-2/2017
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Oct 23, 2019 07:41AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

IrishTwin, I'm sorry that you lost your sister and you miss her so much. It's great that you got to spend so much time with her doing enjoyable things but it must have been so hard to see her suffer and then lose her. Sending you hugs.

I lost my identical twin sister on May 23rd after she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer only 19 months earlier. It's still so hard for me to process her suffering and all the loose ends that weren't tied up.

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018 Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 23, 2019 08:49AM - edited Oct 23, 2019 08:51AM by IrishTwin

Dear Aussie,

Thank you so much for your kind post. I am so sorry about your sister. 19 months is not enough time. Stupidly, even 11 years can be not enough time if you're greedy :(. You are right in everything you said. We were lucky to have the time together but I somehow wasn't prepared for the suffering and the loss and I am still trying to get past it. I send you hugs too.

My Sister: Dx 4/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage III, Grade 3, 16/23 lymph nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Stage IV 9/2013 (bone mets), Arimidex 11/2013-3/2014, Fulvestrant + Xgeva 4/2014-10/2015, Radiation 11/2015, Palbociclib+Letrozol+Xgeva 1/2016-2/2017
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Oct 23, 2019 09:12AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

IrishTwin, you're very welcome and thank you for your sympathy. Please don't feel greedy for wanting more time with your sister. It's hard to let loved ones go no matter how much time you have together. It's understandable that you weren't prepared for the suffering and the loss because things like that are so unpredictable and no one would know how to prepare for it, especially when you couldn't know what was coming. Please be kind to yourself because dealing with these things is so hard and you never totally "get past it". We can still have meaningful lives but there will always be that sister gap. Thanks for the hugs too!

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018 Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 23, 2019 08:25PM - edited Oct 23, 2019 08:31PM by Peregrinelady

I empathize with you both. What a beautiful tribute to your sister, Irish Twin. The time you spent together will give you valuable memories for the rest of your life. Aussie, I hope you can start to heal in your own time. The grieving process is tough, but I do wish that I had allowed myself time to grieve. After watching my sister go through treatment for almost 4 years, I was ready to forget about cancer. When I was diagnosed, it brought up the trauma of her death (from chemo) that I had not dealt with years before. I had major PTSD. Sadly, Irish Twin, I just noticed that our sisters passed away on the same day in May (the 6th)

Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 24, 2019 12:53PM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Peregrinelady, thanks. I'm sorry that you had major PTSD but I understand that it's traumatic to watch someone you love go through cancer treatment and lose the battle and then to get cancer yourself as well. There are so many traumatic aspects to cancer and loss, so it's good that we can support each other.

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018 Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 24, 2019 05:56PM edwards750 wrote:

I know how you guys feel. I lost my only sister this past August to metastatic breast cancer. OMG she suffered so. The cancer came back 3X from 2012 and the last time it took her life. I am heartbroken and devastated too. It’s bad enough to have BC but for her to suffer so much makes it even worse.

I’m still in the state of shock and denial. Maybe one day...

Diane


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Oct 24, 2019 06:04PM farmerlucy wrote:

I’m sorry Diane. I didn’t realize you lost your sister. You’ve mentioned her so often in your posts. I know you guys were very close. I’m sorry. Hugs.

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Oct 24, 2019 06:21PM Peregrinelady wrote:

You can’t replace a sister. 😥
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 25, 2019 07:50AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

I'm so sorry, Diane!!

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018 Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 25, 2019 12:37PM edwards750 wrote:

Thank you everyone. One day at a time. Thanksgiving is coming up and she and my BIL always came her for the holiday. She and I went shopping too. At some point my brothers and I have to help settle her estate. She was very specific in her will. My BIL isn’t ready to do that yet.

I have a number of pictures of she and I and the family framed on my dresser. In some subliminal way it makes me feel like she is still here.

Diane

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Oct 26, 2019 12:54AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Diane, I know Thanksgiving will be difficult for you and your BIL but I hope you get through it as well as possible. I understand that having a picture there helps. I have one of my twin sister in our lounge room and it helps. Sending you hugs.

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018 Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 26, 2019 06:22PM edwards750 wrote:

Thank you Aussie. Tomorrow she would have been married 40 years.

Diane

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