My sister Nancy (1963-2012) just passed after an 11-month battle with stage four lung cancer. Her diagnosis was a shock to our entire family. She never smoked a day in her life. She had been sick the previous three years, but the doctors missed the cancer in her lung. It was found in an x-ray in a chiropractor's office after my sister complained of her ribs hurting. The tumor had burst through her lung and had broken two of her ribs.
The cancer had already matasticized, and was in her liver, brain and hip. Despite all this, the doctors were cautiously optimistic. And after a couple of operations, radiation and chemotherapy, Nancy was beating it. But by February, the chemotherapy stopped working, and the cancer returned with a vengeance. By April, she was transferred to hospice, given two months. She passed away two weeks later surrounded by her family and my mom and dad.
I miss her dearly. She was my big sister, and always a part of my life. She was a wonderful violinist, teacher, Christian, wife and mother. And losing a sibling difficult, especially if your parents are still alive. Watching my folks dealing with this has been heartbreaking. It's as if they have aged 10 years overnight.