Bernard's Blog: So, my sister has cancer (part 4) - CBS46 News

Bernard's Blog: So, my sister has cancer (part 4)

Updated:

It has been a few weeks since I updated my blog and I am sorry. I just have had a hard time navigating my feelings as well as my sister's. Although writing about my sister's illness helps me deal with what she is going through, I am not going through it and she deserves as much privacy and time to deal with things as she wants.

I have been hesitant over the last couple of weeks to share some of the things that are going on with her because of the fear I was invading her privacy. However, after talking things over with her and my brother-in-law, I feel a lot better.

As I mentioned in my last few entries, Barb was doing extremely well with her chemo treatments. Yes, she was feeling the after effect of the chemicals, but she was told the tumor was shrinking, we were all happy and encouraged. Then last week happened. She has had a setback.

Backstory:

As she explained to me, when you are going through chemo, the first half of the treatments, doctors give you the HEAVY DUTY STRONG chemicals that aggressively attack the tumor and shrink it so it can be removed. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix said the treatments were working, the tumor was half its size.

The problem is your body can't continue to take the harsh chemicals, so doctors switch it up to chemicals that still do the job but are less harmful to your body. Unfortunately, once doctors switched Barbra to the new chemo treatment, the tumor reacted aggressively. Doctors said in one weeks time, the tumor had grown back to its original size. Think about that! In one week it wipe out the progress that was made in 6-8 weeks.

Doctors told Barb that last week. They said she would likely have to remove one of her breasts and they wanted to do it two days after they told her. I got the news at work while I was on my way to a story. My parents called and told me what was happening. Needless to say, I was devastated.

I felt HORRIBLE that my sister would face such an invasive and intrusive procedure. I had trouble holding back my emotions, I couldn't focus. I wanted to give Barbra a call but I didn't know what to say. When I finally did I was shocked and taken back by how strong and upbeat she sounded. She obviously didn't want to lose her breast, but she said if it gets rid of the cancer, and keeps her from having to go through Chemo again, she was all for it. I honestly can't imagine how Barb does it. How does she remain so upbeat and strong? Her faith, family, friends and belief in self.

I wound up chatting with Barb for awhile. She actually made ME feel better! Huh? Aren't I the one who is supposed to support her? I'm terrible!  But just as I was starting to feel better, I learned some more bad news a few days later. Doctors told Barb they were going to remove both her breasts and they would do it right before Christmas. Can you say BLOW TO THE GUT? Once again I felt the weak and empty inside. Not only was she going to lose both breasts, but they plan to do it Wednesday December 21. She'll get out of the hospital on Christmas eve. Fortunately my parents will be there to love and support her, my brother-in-law and my niece.

This is a tough time for us now, but our faith is strong. We understand that while the surgery is a tough thing, it is the best way to ensure Barb remains cancer free.

Thank you to all the people who continually ask about my sister. You have no idea how much it means to me and my family. Thank you also for all the well wishes and most importantly, the prayers. They help and work.

Check out the pictures I added to the blog as well. It was Barb's last night out with the "twins" before her surgery. I know I am biased, but I think she looks STUNNING AND GORGEOUS!!

I have also included a link to Barb's blog. It's a good read, better than mine. Check it out.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone!

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