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Scared Shitless

MimMim I prefer my lovers…dead.Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
To jump right into it I have a younger sister (who is 19) who right now is going through a difficult time not brought on by her own actions. When she graduated high school we found out she has a rare skin cancer that, as the dermatologist dubbed it "if you were to have cancer, this is the kind you'd want to have" and begun treatment for it right after we found out it was this specifically (since she was I believe 14 they thought it might be eczema or dry skin or that thing Michael Jackson has). Since then I've been okay with this, minorly freaking out if she gets a cold or says her lymph nodes hurt or something and try to make it a point to ask questions so I better understand what's going on. Much to her chagrin.

To go a bit T.M.I for a second, since my sister hit puberty she hasn't had a regular period at all. Maybe once every six months. Up until now, doctors have only guessed at why she wasn't having one, but our recent gynecologist put her on a hormone and she's having her period right now. They decided to run some blood test and something unusual came back up in the blood test (my sis said the gyno mentioned something about a number being at 200 but didn't specify what the number was) and they were going to run another one. The gyno thinks the second result will come back more normal but thinks the problem lies in her ovaries. Her pap smear and physical exam came back normal, however.

My mind leaped to ovarian cancer, I looked up the symptoms but she didn't fit any of them at all. She doesn't feel it's another kind of cancer nor does anyone else, but I'm extremely worried that it might be. She doesn't want me to ask questions about how she's feeling or anything at all because it pisses her off but I really can't help it. Beyond her skin cancer and lack of period (which is now being fixed by the hormone they have her on) she's really healthy. Vegetarian, works out, lost some weight (not drastically) and is a bit of a pain in my ass normally.

She hasn't had anything unusual beyond those two conditions and I keep telling myself that if she had, had ovarian cancer this entire time she'd probably be dead by now or something would show up in the physical exam.

I also have anxiety disorder, which I have left untreated for the most part because I'm on my parent's health insurance and I generally try to ignore it as much as possible because they feel it's something I should grow out of (as I've mentioned in previous threads). I'd do something about it, but the reaction my mother had to me getting on birth control for regulating my periods (which wasn't a lie) was bad, and I fear their reactions if I went behind their backs, causing me to think I should wait till I move out and get my own health insurance, which won't be till after college. This disorder could be extrapolating my fears because right now I feel shakey and a bit nauseous and panicky.

I can't talk to anyone in my family about it without making them mad for trying to be self centered or overly worried and I'm really not trying to be self centered I'm just worried I'm going to lose the only sibling I have.

How do I cope? What can I do in the mean time to lessen the anxiety? I'm going away next Tuesday to be with my boyfriend who I know will hold me and let me cry, but I don't want my vacation to be a sob fest.

nix the nausea, I totally threw up. Feeling much better, could have been the spaghetti I ate (I hate spaghetti, shouldn't have eaten it).

Mim on

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    Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Keep telling yourself it's going to be alright, because it will be. Your sister is going to be fine and everything will turn out to be okay in the end.

    Bendery It Like Beckham on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh man, this is exactly like my old roommate, except he concentrated all his health worries on himself. Just about textbook anxiety disorder, with the exact symptoms you have.

    It's not just amplifying your existing fears - it's causing them, though that isn't clear to you right now.

    Doc on
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    MimMim I prefer my lovers… dead.Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Keep telling yourself it's going to be alright, because it will be. Your sister is going to be fine and everything will turn out to be okay in the end.

    I keep telling myself that. I keep saying that along with "If she had ovarian cancer all this time, she'd be dead by now" or that it'd be much worse, cause this has been happening since she was around 12 I believe. And missing periods isn't a symptom of it, and she has felt fine other than that and her pelvic and pap smear exams were normal and it occurs in older women and blah, blah, blah. But it's not helping.

    I want to thwack her in the head for not asking what the number thing was about though.

    Mim on
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    apacke09apacke09 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    First, remember that this is not a situation that you can control. Worrying about it does not help. I recognize that this is very hard to control for someone with anxiety issues, but you have to realize that it is not healthy and it is not helping to be this worked up over it, so try the best you can to to manage your anxiety. You can try to justify it by saying you have every right to be worried about your sister, but that's misguided, there is no justification for this situation to be causing a crippling amount of anxiety.

    It's sort of like being an alcoholic. Get in a fight with the spouse, that justifies a drink. Bad day at work, that justifies a drink. Well, ok sure, but if it's to the point where there's always some reason to drink every night, even if in your mind every instance is justified, there's no getting around the fact that you're in alcoholic and that's the real issue.

    I hope I don't sound cold, I empathize with your situation, I really do, but as a previous poster indicated, your reaction is extreme to the point that it seems to be much more due to your anxiety issues than to the trigger (your sister's health issues).

    My mother-in-law has anxiety issues and, for her, it's almost a control thing, she freaks if something is going on that is out of her control. I don't if it's the same for you, but if it is, you have to somehow learn to be ok with not being able to control this situation. I would recommend going to church, praying, giving it up to God.

    At the least, try to focus less on your fears and more on your sister's feelings. If you're constantly asking how she's feeling and it's pissing her off, that's not good. You're doing it out of love, I know, but really, it's selfish. By trying to assuage your fears and needs, you're making things worse for her by nagging her about it. So think about what she needs? Does she need you to be reminding her of the issue and worrying over her all the time? Or does she need smiles, positive energy, and positive experiences? Instead of giving her the dreaded big-sister-is-worried look and asking how she's doing all the time, go rent a silly comedy movie with her, or go get some ice cream and talk about boys, whatever, just something positive and fun.

    I really hope this helps. God loves you both, I hope you can feel that.

    apacke09 on
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    MimMim I prefer my lovers… dead.Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Thanks Apacke. I'm not deeply religious though, but I get what you're going for.

    I'm going to try to not worry till we get the results back, and I'm going to tell myself that she's not experiencing the symptoms yet so maybe we caught it early if it is that.

    If she just happens to have a hard time conceiving, it'll be sad but I will also be extremely happy because I could just help her out in that situation by carrying her kids or something.

    Mim on
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