I Lost My Sister Judy to Cancer

by Jeanne Rankin
(Visalia, CA, USA)

My beloved sister Judy died 3½ years ago from cervical cancer. It still seems like it just happened because I relive the last year she had and the memory of being at her side when she took her last breath over and over again. It won't stop. I think my soul will never get over it. I will miss her every moment I live, and dream of the day we are together again.

I was there when I saw the doctor crying as she walked out of the radiation room. I was with my sister when another doctor told us the news of Stage 4, and that she only had 1 year to live. I was there helping her walk when she limped through the waiting room of the cancer facility. I was there when we had to tell my parents the bad news. I was there to shave her head when her hair was falling out, and I was there in the middle of the night when she didn’t want to be alone. But still, I did not do enough because if I would have given her just one more backrub for the pain, if I could have found one more thing she would have liked eating before she stopped, if I didn’t fumble as much hooking up her bag to her port, if I would have gotten to the beeping of the pump faster to make it stop, if I would have tried to make her laugh during the transfusions when she was crying, if I told her once more that I loved her, and if I whispered in her ear a million times more how much I would miss her, then maybe it would have been a little bit better for her.

I’m so sorry Judy. I love you, I love you, I love you forever.

Comments for I Lost My Sister Judy to Cancer

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Sep 27, 2014
by: Kim

Jeanne - I knew your sister in high school and shared many a laugh with her. Judy was a good person and I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.

Nov 29, 2013
I feel the exactly the same way
by: Stacey

I cried when I read your story, it sounded as if you had written my story and just changed the names. My sister Cheryl passed august 9th 2013 from a long battle with metastatic cervical cancer. I was there with her everyday at every doctors appt every treatment, every test. I left my husband and son and moved in with her, so I could take care of her. In the last days of her life, and to this day I keep thinking how if I had just done more for her, if I had been a better caretaker, if I had got her better medical care. I lost my closest sibling we were Irish twins, just barely a year apart in age. I don't regret all the time we spent together, in fact I cherish every minute we had together, both good and bad. My sister was a very strong women, who refused to let anyone see her cry over her sad fate. She stayed strong,even when she was in unbearable pain she would try to laugh it away. She was more worried about all of us, and how she needed to be here to take care of all of us. It wasn't until she died and I was going through her papers, that I came across a journal she had been keeping. When I read the words she had wrote, that I knew the true extent of how she felt about everything. The fear she felt about leaving all of us, the pain she felt but tried to never let us see. I miss her everyday just like I know I always will...it was that night I took her to the hospital for the last time. That is the scenes that play through my mind and I wish I could have just ! more chance to tell her how much I love her, one more time sitting in the car in front of the house, just talking and laughing, being goofy. A second chance to try to do it better, to try to save her...I hate that I had to watch her slowly and painfully dying, but I wouldn't trade one second of my time with my sister Blu. It sounds weird to say I can't wait til we are together again, but it's the truth....

Jun 27, 2013
I understand
by: Pam Galley

Today marks four weeks since my younger brother died of cancer at age 41 and I also remember all of those milestones in the journey. I picked up the phone and heard him say while sobbing "it's stage IV cancer, there's nothing they can do", I was with him for two years of oncology visits, I helped him get on hospice and I was at his side when he died. I also remember him with a grin on his face of pure joy driving his boat on the lake listening to tunes as we all took turns tubing and skiing. I'm realizing the pain of loss never goes away. And yet I'm grateful to have had such a great brother and he made me a better person. I so understand your pain.

Jun 07, 2013
I Lost My Sister Judy to Cancer
by: Doreen U.K.

Jeanne I am sorry for your loss of your sister to cancer.
There will always be "If only". grief seems to assault us at a time we don't need this. We have a human nature with limitations. Remember all the support you gave your sister. You were THERE for HER and WITH HER, throughout this cancer journey. That says it all. just as if you put more water in the sea it would never be enough. We can only do our best and I think you did more than your Best. Don't beat yourself up. Just fill your mind with. "I WAS THERE." You will never fully recover from your loss of a sister. You will just learn in time to live with this loss. My husband died of terminal cancer 13 months ago. I was his caregiver for over 3yrs. and it was a long slow painful death for him and I shared this. But I did all that was humanly possible in his care, and he knew it, and said so. Your sister would have felt the same way, I am almost sure of this.
Cancer destroyed our family and will do this to many more families broken by this cruel disease.
Grief counselling helps many people to move beyond the pain into coping with loss. But it is still a journey we all have to take whether we want to or not. I lost my mom 10yrs. ago and only just now grieving this loss with the loss of my husband. It sometimes takes one death to trigger off another. We can only live one day at a time with our loss till we can find our way back. I hope you will be supported in your grief as it does make a difference.

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