Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Voices of Choloangiocarcinoma. Voice #2 Anne Rivera. A Sisters Story.

Voices of Cholangiocarcinoma, Voice #2.
A Sisters Story, told by Eddie's sister:  Anne Rivera.


Hi Dorien!! 

Happy Monday!! 

I will try to capture the feelings of losing a sibling and how it's affected me. 


I lost my brother to this horrible disease on March 4, 2013. 
(At the very young age of 46!)

His diagnosis obviously shook me to my core! 
As I am his youngest sister, I grew up fatherless so basically 
he was my father figure. 

I came across your blog on a Saturday, maybe in late April of last year. 

It was a rainy cold day in California and I remember sitting there bawling my eyes out! 

You captured every emotion that we had experienced. 
Every fear, every piece of anger, ALL of it.

It gave me peace knowing that I wasn't alone.

My brothers diagnosis wasn't just shocking because he was so young,
 but it was so unfair that he developed a terminal disease 
and left a wife and three kids behind

My brother Eddie's diagnosis was unthinkable.
 I nearly fainted when we got the final confirmation. 

With a parent I guess it's somewhat expected to lose them but I don't think 
we ever envision a death of a sibling.
 It's expected that they will always be there! 

I had some differences with my brother from time to time 
and I had regretted so many things. 

But I always thought there would be time to make it right. 
Suddenly I was faced with the fact that he would die. 
And I would not have much more time. 

At that point I made a promise to him and myself
that spending time with him was a priority. 

I knew I would have the rest of my life to travel, meet with friends, 
and lets not even talk about the career. 

I pretty much put my life on hold to walk this journey with him.

 I needed him to know that I was there for whatever we faced. 

I traveled over two hours to attend chemo days. 
Him and I would sit there and laugh and just talk or 
sometimes say nothing at all.
 I would cry, he would cry and that would be our day. 

The last year of my brothers life was the worst, 
but was the most precious.

 I truly got to spend such quality time and
 I didn't leave room for any regrets

I let him know how much I loved him and I assured him 
that I would be there every step, even after he was gone. 

His last few days on earth were beyond precious to me.
 I didn't leave his side. I sang to him, I read to him, I comforted him,
 and I held his hand when he left this earth. 

I wouldn't change a thing.
Although my brothers passing was unfair,
sad, and devastating it also made me stronger.

I love harder now, I don't stress over the small things.
I know there is nothing I can't handle and I don't ARGUE with my
siblings anymore. I run circles to make sure my siblings
 know I love them and we are closer.

Tragic events will do that. 


I look at this from time to time and reminds me of the bond siblings share 
no matter how far apart in age we are! I lost my dancing partner but everyday I know 
he's still holding my hand as I dance through life. 


Thank you Anne for sharing this beautiful and heartfelt story about your brother.

Again, it is AN HONOR for me to share these voices with the world.

They have touched my soul, filled me up, made me cry, made me love people
I have never met.

I have more to publish --and if by chance someone else reading this blog
would like me to share THEIR story, PLEASE feel free to contact me.

Via email:


Facebook:  Dorien Nielson

I would love to add ANY, and all, voices to this that want to be heard.

Stay tuned for the next voice of Cholangiocarcinoma, coming soon.

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