My Sister's Cancer

This is my point of view of the events following the diagnosis of my younger sister's cancer. From December to May.

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2. November 2013

November 2013

Athletic, smart and extremely beautiful, Emilie has always been perfect to me. I have envied her so many times. Towards mid-November, she was very unwell: back aches and stomach aches. I was certain she was exaggerating. I clearly remember being jealous of the attention she had from the others. I had written my thoughts in one of my couple journals:

“I hate this. Emilie supposedly has depression and everyone hurries to take care of her needs...Why doesn’t anybody care about me?”

“My sister is sick. Everybody is doing everything they can to make sure she recovers from whatever she has... They hug her, let her skip school. Fucking hell! When I wanted to die it didn’t bother anybody?! Because my pain is mental, it’s suddenly less important? Why am I worth less than my sister? Why am I worth less than the others?”

“Emilie screams because she’s in pain...Pfft I’m pretty sure it’s not that bad.”

“Last Tuesday I woke up with a horrible stomach ache. I was sure I was having an appendicitis attack or something. I was frightened for a second because if really that was the case, then I would’ve needed to go to the hospital for an operation and no doubt the doctors would’ve noticed the fresh cuts decorating my stomach. But then I welcomed the idea. Somebody would’ve noticed my pain. Would’ve helped me.”

All I wanted was someone to notice how much I was suffering. My math teacher was one of the first ones to notice something was up, mostly because I had stopped smiling in class.

“My math teacher came to see me twice this week. She says I look sad. Why is she the only one who noticed? I’m suffering yet no one is doing anything. I have difficulty even acting somewhat happy. I’m not able to anymore.”

That was two weeks before my sister was admitted to the hospital. My math teacher had asked me to stay after class. She asked me if I was okay. Obviously, I lied and told her I was only tired. I doubt she believed me but she let me go nonetheless. Out in the hallway, I burst into tears and when my friends asked me why I was crying, I replied the same thing I’d told my teacher: I was simply tired.

The days go on and I’m woken up nearly every morning with the moaning and groaning of Emilie. My annoyance for her grows. I even told her she was selfish once, as she complained about the parents not driving us to school every morning. I recall being so angry after her, especially when my parents allowed her to skip school. Even though my grades are acceptable and I have lots of good friends, I loathe school. It’s hell. It’s long and boring and I’ve lost the will to learn. I honestly want to do nothing when I grow up. When I think about my future, all I see is a void. A dark, depressing void.

Emilie’s English teacher, and my earlier one, came to talk to me a couple of times, asking me what my sister had and why she wasn’t at school. I told him what my father thought at the time: problems with her thyroid gland. Not once did he, or anybody else for that matter, ask me how I was really doing, and it frustrated me even more.

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