Losing All My Family Members thru Cancer
by Stacey Zembik
I will try and make this as brief as possible as not too overindulge my frustration. My older sister has been suffering from cancer for nearly 13 years. We were told once she left the hospital for home care with Hospice she has 10 days left of life. We grieved and planned funerals and went thru all of the emotions you'd might imagine. Long emotional story later, she is still with us a year later. However now is going thru an additional procedures for her fourth type of cancer. In the meantime, my younger sister was diagnosed with stage IV lobular breast cancer, had a radical mastectomy and treatment with radiation which subsequently resulted in secondary bone cancer all in her legs and spine. She now has been diagnosed with Stage IV Thyroid cancer has been given approximately 8 months left. She is also diabetic, doesn't follow the rules for that and continues to exacerbate her condition. Since then, two months ago my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia. She endures blood transfusions every 21 days and they don't seem to be helping. She is considering bone marrow transplant or stem cell something or other. I am having a hard time keeping up with all of the information. My dad hurt his back and during a back procedure they discovered cancer cells in his spinal fluid. All the doctors tried to find the originating location of the cancer but he has since died just two weeks ago. It had only been four weeks since his back surgery and he had only a week of radiation treatments before he fell at home, stopped walking, talking, eating and then living.
I feel I must mention that my sisters both live with my parents and have for the last 30 some odd years, so you can understand the disfunction and some of the emotional dynamics that occurs due to all of the financial dependency my sisters incurred onto my aging parents. Yes, my parents were complete enablers. I have not lived at home for nearly 35 years, so non of us are young. This is where the emotional turmoil begins to simmer to a boiling point. I have never been the favorite child. Although I am the only one who makes it on my own. There is too much and too many tedious complicated facts that make this a truth, but I find whining has never gotten me ahead with any satisfaction regardless of all the truth and facts.
I have tried to speak with my sisters regarding the oncoming realities coming like a tidal wave. Property responsibilities, taxes, insurance, all the things that real people do in their adult lives. I might has well speak with a tomato plant. My anger with my parents and their enabling and their choices to continue to "save" my sisters from the harsh challenges of life is now at hand. Their demands and manipulation has left me not only on a mild anxiety medication but emotionally on the verge of an all out battle ending with me walking away forever. I do love my family, but they have made feel crazy for so long all I want to do is run away. I am currently fighting that feeling and trying to cope and be patient and kind and caring but taken advantage of. I do not have the luxury of guaranteed pensions and healthcare. It has been all on me to save and make sure to ensure an income once the horizon of my life has approached, and it is now almost here. I don't think it's fair that I should squander my entire life's savings on two people who have danced in the rain of life while I have gone without to prepare for my old age. Hearing the resentment and anger in my writing? I also feel tremendously guilty for not having such horrible health challenges.
I do realize this will not be forever. Their time in life here is almost over, I am passionately trying to keep my cool and also my humanity. I had a wonderful little dog to lick my tears and he died as well. I'm about to lose it. I have a wonderful family on my own who have a short temper when it comes to my sisters and all the past bad behavior. A son who is currently deployed as an officer is the U.S. Army, a bit of stress there, and a beautiful daughter in the "Hollywood Biz" a wonderful husband who walked out four years ago but has returned and things have been amazing since and it has been fours years since that horrific event. What more is there to say? I have babbled on long enough. I appreciated your patience with this longer than I intended letter, thanks so much for reading and any silent prayers you might send my way. If on the late news you see a crazed woman on the top of a bridge, it might be me. I am actually kidding, but trying find some form of humor to cope with all this emotion. Thanks again.