The first show I binge watched on NetFlix was Grey’s Anatomy. It was a winter day and I was snowed in. That’s when I decided I was going to watch that show I’d heard so much about – Grey’s Anatomy. I loved the fact there were no commercials plus I could watch show after show without having to wait weeks between.
One of the most memorable episodes was when Christina explained to Meredith that Meredith was ‘her person’.
What Christina meant was Meredith was her safe place, the person she could turn to at any moment, the person she could count on, the person who wouldn’t judge her, the person that would just be with her when she needed someone and the person she could dance with in the moments when life was hard.
Three weeks ago my sister made a hard decision. She decided to stop the chemotherapy and to let the cancer run it’s course in her body. You see she has stage 4 colon cancer and has been fighting it for six years. When she told me of this decision, she said that I was ‘her person’. She needs me to be there with her till the end, she needs me to be strong for her, she needs me to take care of her, she needs me to help with the difficult decisions that are before her, she needs me to be there as she enters hospice, she needs me to make her last wish of going to Lake Winnipesaukee happen.
She squeezed my hand when we’ve visited the oncologist together and told him of her decision. She squeezed my hand when we had the family meeting when she shared her decision with the rest of the family. She squeezed my hand when the hospice nurse was taking her vitals. Each hand squeeze reminds me that, I’m ‘her person’.
Being ‘her person’ was not something I saw coming and it’s scarey to me. Somedays I don’t feel like I have enough strength for myself, let alone for someone who is dying. However, I don’t let on to those feelings. You see, I’m the big sister. I’m the one who has to be strong. It’s my job to be stronger and to protect and to fight for my sister. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s the role of my birth order – first born. I’ve been able to fulfill that role really well, until this thing called cancer arrived. This was a battle I couldn’t fight for my sister. I still remember the phone call she made to me the day she found out.
I remember where I was and what I was doing and how I stayed strong on the phone for her and how I lost it once I hung up. That was the beginning of many moments of being strong for her in front of her and then losing it when I was alone. That pattern continued for the six years of this battle, but now things are changing. My sister is telling me to ‘stay strong’. I think she knows. She’s onto me. She knows how my heart is aching for her and it’s hard for me cause I can’t fight this cancer for her. I’m letting her see the tears now. We’re crying together now.
The doctors have given her three months – till July. That’s when the tumors will have taken over her liver and then the rest of her organs. God has just allowed my world to be turned upside down. My days are different. I cry more than ever, at random times and I surrender to the tears when they hit me. By evening time I’m so exhausted my body just collapses and I’m forced to bed early. I wake ready to face the day, and never know what it’s going to hold. This is a journey I didn’t sign up for, but I know God wants to me to travel. He is my source of strength.
I love my sister, and I’m going to be ‘her person’ all the way to the moment she leaves this earth and enters Jesus’ arms.