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Sister’s illness and lack of communication

(36 Posts)
Kovou Mon 11-Jun-18 06:29:09

Sorry this may be a long one. My Dsis has been having ongoing issues with her bowels and has organised a colonoscopy to see what the cause is.

For background our DF passsed recently from bowel cancer and she has been quite affected by this. However she has also been the sort of person who overreacts and is in hospital for various things every second week.

I rang her after a friend told me she was in hospital and checked on her. She told me that is likely to be a minor issue that kept reoccurring that may require surgery to fix or possibly bowl cancer, therefore a exploratory colonoscopy was required. She was quite tearful and I tried to comfort her by trying to make her laugh etc, which I realised didn’t go down well so changed tact and tried to reassure her.

My problem is since then I have tried calling her to see how she is and how it went by sending messages reminding her that I am here for her and no answer. It’s been about a week and she did say that she would call three days ago.

I feel like she has taken offence and is ignoring me. But for reference I don’t buy into the dramatics due to her lying about having cervival cancer four years ago, having bio-polar and other instances where she was tried to make something out of nothing.

She has put up on Facebook a rant yesterday about cancer and her real friends need to repost on FB which makes me worried that she may have bowel cancer.

Also we live in different states so can’t just visit her.

AIBU to be worried but annoyed that she won’t let me know??

Kovou Mon 11-Jun-18 06:48:26


Waitingonasmiley42 Mon 11-Jun-18 06:51:32

You seem to have little respect for her and that's probably come across. Totally understand it can be frustrating when people lie/exaggerate but it sounds like she also has genuine health problems. If your dad died of bowel cancer it must be terrifying for her to have issues with her bowels.

Send a message apologising for offending her and try to phone her. If she won't reply then give her some space.

52FestiveRoad Mon 11-Jun-18 06:51:34

I think you just have to go with her timescales and wait for her to contact you when she is ready. It must be worrying but there is nothing more you can do.

Phosphorus Mon 11-Jun-18 06:52:32

It's completely up to her.

You have no right to pester her, or to know anything about her condition/health.

Leave it until she contacts you.

feathermucker Mon 11-Jun-18 06:52:55

How do you know she lied about cervical cancer and about being bi-polar?

Kovou Mon 11-Jun-18 07:06:29

Fair enough, just will wait it out. I know she lied about having cervival cancer because I organised to leave my job to move to become closer to her and then went to the doctors with her (at her request) and it turned out it be literally just a weird papswear result.

I was gobsmacked but then her husband requested that I help her and this was the start of a manic bi-polar episode which she had to be hospitalised for and I become the main caregiver for her children.

Also I have not pestered her, I have tried calling her twice in the last week and one message. I have been respectfully of her boundaries but of course am anxious about the possibility of supporting another family member through cancer.

I will just leave it and wait for her to contact me if that’s what she wishes. Thanks for those that commented in a helpful, constructive manner.

FYC Mon 11-Jun-18 07:21:18

So she had an abnormal smear result, and leapt to the conclusion that it meant cervical cancer? That’s not lying, that’s mistaking the results for the worst case scenario. The stress of this then triggered a bi-polar episode in which she was hospitalised.

She told you she was worried that she might have bowel cancer, and your response was to joke about it?

Yes, I think you have offended her. I think her response to the smear result was a common one, and instead of being relieved it wasn’t cancer, you saw it as her lying. Her bipolar illness is real (and yes extremely difficult to deal with), but again you seem to see it as somehow fake.

Your response to her in general is unkind. I would send her a message apologising and then leave the ball in her court. I hope your joke wasn’t anything to do with the cervical cancer scare she had. You seem to lack empathy for her.

Kovou Mon 11-Jun-18 07:33:03

Wow massive overreaction FYC, of course I didn’t joke about cancer (bowel or cervical). My jokes were simple harmless ones like I might have to visit just to give her real food etc, nothing spiteful or related to her illness but I realised she didn’t respond to this and tried to comfort her.

It’s something our family does to lighten the mood and even my dad would use it in his dying days to joke about the illness as a coping mechanism.

As for the bio polar illness, I course I understand it fucking real! My DM has it since I was born and I actually actively work to dispel stigmas surrounding it. I understand a weird pap smear result being commonly assumed to be cancer but she was stating that she had been diagnosed and was about to start treatment for cervival cancer.

JustVent Mon 11-Jun-18 07:39:29

I think I’m with your sister on this one.

mountainfalls Mon 11-Jun-18 07:43:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FYC Mon 11-Jun-18 07:47:33

I think you might need to examine how you come across, and how you may have inadvertently come across to your sister. The fact that your dad liked jokes when he was seriously ill, doesn’t mean that she will.

It does sound like you’re good at the practical family support, but aren’t connecting with her emotionally, as successfully.

It could be that she’s been given the all clear and is worrying that you’ll assume this was her making a mountain out of a molehill again.

I remember my sister presenting with a load of symptoms, one of the possibly causes was a brain tumour, so she needed testing for that. She was worried she might have cancer, and that was her focus for a while (even though it was unlikely). Some of the things she said could have been interpreted as thinking she had cancer, but that was just her anxiety about the situation.

I hope you can repair your relationship.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Mon 11-Jun-18 07:48:05

It's a difficult combo... Bipolar plus some level of anxiety, plus not seeming to understand basic medical results.... Abnormal smear isn't 'treatment /diagnosis of ca cervix...

DuchyDuke Mon 11-Jun-18 07:50:56

They now find most Cervical Cancers before they become Cancerous. It’s possible she had pre-Cancerous cells removed.

OP just sounds like a narcisstic piece of work.

Tiddlywinks63 Mon 11-Jun-18 07:52:29

I'm with your sister too; I've stopped discussing anything with my sister other than mundane stuff because of her lack of insight and empathy.

MrsDilber Mon 11-Jun-18 07:53:22

It does come across like you think she's overreacting/lying about her health. It might be that she simply doesn't need eye rolling as she goes through whatever is going on now.

I'd drop her a text, not needing to apologise, but, with sincerity, asking how she is and telling her you're there for her (if you genuinely are, without minimising what she's going through).

Hope she's ok, MH issues on top of heath problems makes for a sister in need of support.

Hope she's ok, op.

Bluetrews25 Mon 11-Jun-18 07:53:54

If she does have a bad diagnosis, I'm sure she will let you know very quickly, she always has before! Take it that no news is good news.

Nikephorus Mon 11-Jun-18 07:55:24

Why not try writing to her instead? Apologise for sounding insensitive and explain that your jokes were a misguided attempt to cheer her up? If she is genuinely going through a crap time then she'd probably appreciate it, and if she's not then you've lost nothing but a bit of time and the price of a card and stamp.

LIZS Mon 11-Jun-18 07:59:55

Think you need to back off and wait for an update. Maybe a "hope you are ok" msg then wait. You are not entitled to know any more detail than she chooses to share. Hopefully she has other sources of support rather than cut herself off, but again that would be her choice.

Dobby1sAFreeElf Mon 11-Jun-18 08:02:32

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying she does have bi-polar or was that another lie? Your first post suggested that was another mountain out of a molehill.

Like blew though, if its bad she'll likely contact you quickly, so no news if probably good news.

Give her some space now.

londonrach Mon 11-Jun-18 08:11:10

Your poor sister having you as a sister. Please read whats youve written op and think about it. Im hoping in real life you arent as you come across in this. Give your sister space op and hopefully in time she trust you to not make jokes about any illness shes going through.

diddl Mon 11-Jun-18 08:14:49

I think that if she doesn't like how you responded to this situation then she's as well to not contact you.

There's a difference between being positive & reassuring & making jokes imo.

It perhaps felt as if you weren't taking her worries/concerns seriously at all.

She has problems which are being investigated.

It's not as if you know that there is nothing at all wrong.

adaline Mon 11-Jun-18 08:18:06

Maybe she wants support and not someone to make a joke out of it all?

I had abnormal bleeding last year and had to have investigations into it. Luckily it turned out to be hormonal and everything is fine now, but when they were doing all their investigations it was quite scary. I had an extra smear to check for HPV/pre-cancerous cells, abdominal scans to check for tumours/polyps/cysts, and blood tests too. Yes, the likelihood of it being cancer was tiny but it was still unnerving to have to go through it.

Please think of having some sympathy. Lots of people discover they have abnormal/pre-cancerous cells at smears and get them removed. Okay, so it doesn't mean she has cancer but you only have to read all the threads on here about people who have treatment to remove abnormal cells. Pretty much all of them are terrified or worried about what's going to happen, and having to have smears every 6 months afterwards to make sure things are still okay.

mountainfalls Mon 11-Jun-18 08:20:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

montenuit Mon 11-Jun-18 08:26:19

But for reference I don’t buy into the dramatics due to her lying about having cervival cancer four years ago, having bio-polar and other instances where she was tried to make something out of nothing.

you clearly say she was lying about having cervical cancer and bipolar.

The cervical cancer overreaction I can understand.
Does she have bipolar or not?

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