Studies have shown that a cancer diagnosis can be harder emotionally on family members and loved ones than on the diagnosee. They watch from the sideline, feeling pretty helpless as the one they love goes through physical pain and suffering with little relief. They can't prevent the hair loss, the nausea, the surgery pain and scars, and radiation burns. Some family members distance themselves, feeling useless or unneeded. I'm so glad you weren't one of those.
I know it had to have been hard for you to watch me go through what I did. I know it had to have been hard to deal with my mood swings, lethargy and emotion. But you did so with a smile on your face, a great listening ear, and all the hugs I needed. You stepped up and brought me to medical appointments because you wanted to be there...to be part of it (and because I needed both the support and a driver!) You worked your butt off to raise funds and train for these three days and 60 miles of walking because you felt the need to do more.
It wasn't necessary. Walking 60 miles three months after having a baby is a very impressive feat, and definitely something I didn't expect you to do. But you were determined, a quality that I've always admired in you. You wanted to make a difference...and believe me, you have.
It's been a tough year, for myself and our entire family. It's been filled with illness, uncertainty, and lots of emotion. But it's also been filled with love. I simply cannot imagine going through this journey without the support of my family. In my weakest moments, it was so comforting to know that I could rely on your strength.
When I received my diagnosis, my first thought was "how could this happen?" My second thought was "I'm glad it was me and not my baby sister." Not because I didn't think you could make it through all of this, but because I never want you to have to.
I am grateful for every step you take, and every penny you've raised. I am forever grateful for our relationship. So honored to call you my sister...my friend.