It's been a while. I've been doing really well-- even had an almost symptom free month-- which has been almost 3 years that I could say that. The past couple of days have been rough to say the least, and I'm afraid that I'm going to slide down the same road where it all started.
3 years ago, my sister was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had been dealing with anxiety for my entire life, but following the news, it blew up. After about 1 yr, she was in remission. I still struggled but found help from my family doctor who referred me to a CBT and also started seeing a therapist at school. My sister, after a bad break up, started having heart issues. Of course, I guess the only good thing about my health anxiety, would be that I urged her constantly to go get it checked. Found out that she had hemochromatosis [sp?] and later, aortic stenosis. Two days ago, she went to the cardiologist who informed her that her valve was closing very quickly-- in 2012 it was 1.2 cm squared; last month it's now 0.9 cm squared. She's going to need an angioplasty in a month or so and then a valve replacement within 6-12 months. Apparently at 0.5 cm squared, she'll be at a high risk of stroke/heart attack. She's only 26.
I'm so scared that one day, I'll wake up and find her dead in bed. Or that she'll have an emergency. I'm just so afraid to lose her. She's my best friend. I'm trying to look at the positive side-- like that she's being monitored, that it was caught when it was etc. I'm trying to be strong for her, and told her that if she needs to, not to worry about my anxiety because I want her to talk to me about what's bothering her. But she's scared that she's not going to make it which, of course, is triggering me. My right palm is covered in very itchy hives (which is embarrassing for me, and disgusting to look at/ touch). I don't want to tell her to not tell me or include me in any discussions-- because I feel that'll be worse than actually knowing. I want to be normal and be able to be there for her.
I'm hoping that anyone will have advice that I can be there for her, but be able to manage my anxiety regarding this situation so I don't go back into a spiral. To be honest (and positive), compared to 3 years ago, I feel at a much better place now, I'm just nervous to put my coping skills that I've learned the past couple years to use.
Anyways, will appreciate any thoughts/advice/suggestions.