a shorter version Hi Cherub, I was writing such a long message to you that when I was distracted (husband with multiple screlosis) the automatic "log out" had kicked in and I couldn't send the message.
Herewith the shorter version: While I have been ill, my selfish sister ( spoiled by her lovely husband and in good health) has come to realise that I am important to her, and has started to treat me with more consideration. I am hoping that this will happen with your sister, too.
I am very relieved that your sister has no claim on your house. I don't expect that you will actually tell her that she could not stay, but she should learn to treat your home with respect. I would have rather had had friends stay and help after my operation (husband unable to help) but other sisters, further away, shamed the oldest (selfish) one to come and help. I wanted to say that I did not want her but I couldn't hurt her feelings. It was not easy to have her but living in the same house but it made it easier to have some arguments that cleared the air.
You and your OH sound like a good team, I think that you'll be fine.
Thanks to all for your postings. I feel a bit better today and better equipped emotionally to deal with things.
One thing I wanted to clear up is that the house belongs outright to me and OH as it's ex-council and we loaned dad the money to buy it on the understanding that it would be willed to us on his death. We asked my sister if she wanted to come in with us at the time we put the money up and she wasn't interested. It's currently worth 10 times the purchase price and I think this irks her. When dad died nearly 2 years ago she assumed we would immediately sell when we got the deeds. However, it's our home and we want to stay here as it's quiet and we have good neighbours.
I just feel she needs to start realising it's our house now.
do without seeig her Hi Cherub,
Really feel for you. Coming to the end of treatemnt is always hard and taxotere knocks it out of you...no wonder you are feeling down and with good reason. its perfectly normal to feel as you do...anyone who's had breast cancer and chemo thinks they might not live long at times...this isn't being miserable or negative its intelligently facing the reality of what might happen.
You said in you post that you feel you could 'do without seeing her'and that feeling comes from your heart. At the very least insist she stays in a B and B and that you just meet up at times of your choosing, or tell her straight you'd rather she didn't come. Please don't have her stay in your house if you can't face that.
Families are hard and complicated. I have barely spoken to my brother in 40 years though we had to be civil during the times of our mum and dad's death. I told him when I first had breast cancer and he made one phone call (one too many really.) This time I've got a recurrence I haven't told him at all. If my auntie who I like wants to thats up to her. The point I'm making is that we choose how we behave with our siblings...we can acknowledge we may love or have loved them but we don't have to like them.
best wishes with your last chemo and search on this site for the article by Peter Harvey After Treatment Finishes...you might like to send it to you sister or just reda it yourself
Courage, Cherub! Oh, Cherub, this is more complicated than I realised.
First thing is how to make her understand how ill you have been and still are, Perhaps she might realise when she actually sees you? Do you happen to know some of her friends whom you might meet accidentally (on purpose) and then tell her/him how grotty you feel?
The house being used as a base is dfficult, if she still thinks of it as her childhood home. I guess that after your farther died, the house would have been inherited equally by you and your sister. If that is the case, and you have not bought her share then it will be almost impossible to keep her away. If you have bought her out, however, then you will find the courage to tell her that you do not want your home to be used as a base.
In any case, it is your home. Why not email her and say how you would welcome help from her, and ask her stay in and help? If she will not help, then choice words are called for.
You have a couple of weeks to practice on how you are going to approach all those things that you need to discuss with her face to face. You said that you've got the brains; that will be more than match for her self-confidence.
hi Cherub, i have three sisters that i have not seen in thirteen years, two are older than me and one is younger, i have felt no desire to contact them since i got the news on wednesday, like you, my sisters were not very nice to me, all better looking, but i am me and always will be me, only really heard from them when they wanted something, my hubby suggested that i might want to talk to them, but i am happy with my life as it is and really do not want anything to rock the boat, and getting in touch with my sisters would do that, at the end of the day Cherub, you are the important one, you must do what you think is best for you, and if that means putting your sister off then do it, its your life, your space and if you have a good partner, good friends and a good support network round you then go with your gut instinct. all the very best for job hunting, and for your future
Cherub - I totally understand how you feel about your sister from your posts. My immediate reaction is to be totally honest and tell her exactly how you are feeling following your treatment and that you just cannot have guests in your house at the moment. I am sure your doctor and oncologist would back you up on this. Since she appears to use your house as a hotel maybe there is a B & B round the corner or do you have other relations who she could stay with. Looking after yourself and getting yourself fit again is your no 1 priority and don't ever forget that.
I remember 17 years ago when I was recovering my husband went off on a 3 week fishing trip and left me with his sister-in-law. We had a major fall out and luckily she left and we are only now starting to speak very occasionally on the phone.
Take care, keep smiling and spoil yourself a little.
I think part of the problem is that when my sister is here she uses my house as a base and we never really see her as she goes off gallivanting with the friends she hasn't seen for a while. This was formerly our late dad's house and I came back from London to look after him here until he went into care. Sister would come from London for a long weekend on the premise that it was to give me a rest, then she would be out the whole time (she would be on a flight getting in at midday and would turn up at 11pm having met friends). I really cannot cope with this at the moment as it would feel like we were just being used as a free hotel. I also cannot stand all this "being back to normal" talk. When I was diagnosed she said "oh well, in 12 months time you will be fine again". She obviously does not understand the enormity of the situation, yet we have tried to discuss it with her until we are blue in the face. She has been abroad working for over 2 years now and she is staying on, yet she has all her mail sent here and I then have to forward it. All she evers asks about in her emails is whether there is any mail for her and it makes me quite angry. I'm going to talk to her about this as we are trying to establish a business and are busy with that. I feel like her unpaid administrator.
She knows how ill I have been this last few months on account of the bad reaction I had to Taxotere and she needs to come to terms with it.
To Cherub Dear Cherub,
I believe that you should email your sister, saying how you look forward to her coming because you are going to need a lot of practical help in the house with the chores and lots of emotional support. It might not be easy for you to have your sister doing anything in your house because she will have her own ideas of how to do things, different from yours. However, this is one time when you should not treat her as a guest. Selfish she may be, but sisters should help each other. If she is not willing to help you then she might choose not to come, and it seems that you would not mind if she doesn't.
If she does arrive, ask her to go food shopping and ask her to prepare meals. You might not even like her food, but don't let her know that. You should rest, and your OH should say to your sister, often, that you are poorly. It will sink in, eventually.
There are always issues that need to be discussed between grown-up siblings in every family. It will not be easy, but you will be alright if you just remember to keep you voice down if she wants to start a row. Stay calm. (I am speaking from experience with my older sister.)
Further Support Hi Cherub
I am sorry to hear you are feeling stressed at the moment, I am sure you will receive plenty of support and advice from other users, but you may find it helpful to talk to someone in confidence about how you are feeling.
Please feel free to contact Breast Cancer Care's helpline where you can disucss these feelings with somebody who is either a breast care nurse or has experience of breast cancer issues.
The staff on the helpline are there to listen and offer support in all types of situations and I am sure you will find it helpful to speak to someone with whom you can share your feelings and concerns.
The number to ring is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.
I hope this helps.
Breast Cancer Care
Feeling a bit stressed I felt really stressed last night to the point that I was saying things to my OH along the lines of this disease was going to kill me, I didn't think I was going to have long life and that I didn't think any employer would want me after this (long story, I was jobhunting and attending interviews when I got the diagnosis). I've felt really down this week despite next week being my last chemo session. This is the first time I have really been like this, I have remained positive about my future most of the way.
Thing is, I've got my sister coming over from abroad in 3 weeks and I feel as if I could do without seeing her. I know that sounds awful, but she was here last year when I was given the bad news (out of the blue in my case as I went into hospital to have a benign fibroid removed, all my tests and path results were clear). Since this blew up my sister has been a bit in denial and from the emails and phone conversations we have it's as if she thinks I've got a bad dose of flu or something. She was supposed to come back at Christmas and put the trip off, now she keeps going on about what she wants to do when she's over as my chemo will be finished and I'll be "back to normal". She is going off to see other friends for a week in the middle of the trip as if she doesn't want to spend too much time around us.
OH said last night she will get a big shock as I look so tired (that was what stressed me out last night as I felt I must look dreadful). We both kind of wish she had left things until the autumn in order to let me recover from Taxotere. She's expecting to stay with us and I just can't be bothered with anyone under my feet at the moment. She is older than me, single and quite selfish I'm afraid. Also, I've found a lot of issues have come to the surface relating to my relationship with my sister over the years. She's older than me, tall and quite glamorous and obsessed by being thin. I'm short and curvy and I got the brains. Over the years she has said some quite cruel things to me and wasn't all that supportive when our late dad had to be looked after. I'm worried we might have a row and am finding it all a bit too much.