We went to the hospital with them this morning and she may need to be an inpatient for over 2 weeks as she has to be in high dependency for a few days. The tumour is the size of a small plum and she has the CT scan on Thursday.
My brother came round last night and I think he wants to get their flat tidied up and sorted out when she is in hospital (and I am not joking when I say it's as bad as the places you see on "How Clean is Your House?"). I've also advised him he needs to tidy out the spare room and put a single bed in there as there may be times when they need to sleep apart - they keep saying they have got a folding bed in the attic, but my brother has arthritis in his neck and arm (one of the reasons why he took voluntary redundancy), so I feel a decent bed would be better for him. They are comfortably off but they never spend any money on things for the home, the carpets date back to 1975 and were bought for a previous flat. I'm more than happy to get help my brother get organised when she is in the hopsital, I will even cook for the freezer if needs be - she doesn't seem to have taken on board the importance of the healthy diet aspect of all this yet and my brother told me last night he hopes they will send her to a dietician.
On a happier note, when I was at the hospital this morning I bumped into my breast care nurse, first time I had seen her since after I finished Herceptin (although I had spoken to her on the phone last year). She remarked on how well and healthy I looked, also how she thought my silver hair was now a fab colour, so I was pleased - been a bit down over the weekend worrying about my brother, so it lifted me up.
It sounds like you are doing your best to support them, given the circumstances. As you say, you wouldn't wish this on anyone, so I agree you need to try to support your brother as best you can.
I guess you need to wait to see what treatment she will get, and then maybe consider some practical support? Cleaning the house may not be appreciated - your SiL may think you are pointing out her defficiencies, but maybe you could take them some meals round, or help with the laundry?
Not about BC, but sadly my SiL was diagnosed with bowel cancer yesterday after attending the local screening programme. She had to have a colonoscopy last Saturday as she had provided 2 stool samples which had blood in them. She has to have a CT and surgery in Feb. Apparently she has told my brother she has been feeling a bit off for a while and has had a bloated feeling in bed at night. I have a feeling she may not have wanted to go to the doctor as she is about 6 stones overweight - also she is the sort of person who goes to the surgery for extremely minor things and they do say to her all the time to get her weight in check as she has high blood pressure. It's not unusual for her to take 2 weeks off work with a cold.
Thing is, I'm not particularly close to her and I think it's fair to say within the family as a whole she has merely been tolerated over the last 35+ years as she can be a really nasty person (in recent times she was totally unsupportive towards my brother when our father was becoming very infirm due to the onset of dementia).I also don't visit very often for all they live 10 minutes away as she is very lazy and keeps a house like a pig sty, she never diverts her attention from the TV when we visit either as she is so rude. The house is so untidy that my brother has lost the plot because when he has a clear out she clutters the place up with junk again - last time I dropped in there you couldn't sit down for stuff piled on the furniture, there are also 2 cats. However, I would not wish this disease on my worst enemy and feel I need to be there for my brother as he is a highly strung person who does not cope in a crisis. When I was diagnosed he came to my house every week and for 6 weeks he couldn't make eye contact with me as he was so distressed.
She has to see a colorectal Consultant on Tuesday and as luck would have it my OH has the appointment following her at the same clinic (purely a check up for some minor treatment he has had for piles in the past year). We have offered to take her and my brother with us as the hospital is 9 miles away and parking is difficult. I've also offered to print some stuff off for them as they weren't given anything by the hospital and they are not on the internet.
I really don't know what else I can do, but my worry for my brother is that he took redundancy from his job in December, so he no longer has work to get up for or the support of his workmates. I did a CV for him as he was looking for p/t work but he has told me last night he is putting this on hold now.
I can't believe this is happening as my other SiL was diagnosed with lung cancer about 6 months ago, thankfully she is now in remission. It's very difficult when it's family, but you haven't really got on with them over the years. Have to admit, I didn't sleep all that well last night as it brings it all back again.