Sarah Standing has been a journalist for over 30 years and her sister Emma Forbes is a broadcaster. Here the sisters talk about Sarah’s diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and the impact it has had.
Both sisters reflect on how isolated they have felt because of COVID-19; Sarah because she had to receive her diagnosis and treatment alone, and Emma because she hasn’t been able to offer the hands-on support to her sister she would dearly love to have given. Living in the USA Emma explained that all she wanted to do was to get on a plane and be with Sarah, but that simply wasn’t possible.
They talk about their coping strategies. For Sarah, she has turned to writing and been shocked by the kindness of strangers who have reached out to her. For Emma, she has found ways of supporting her sister through planning and sending weekly parcels that are designed to put a smile on Sarah’s face.
As a ‘fixer’, Emma explains how she has had to comes to terms with not being able to fix this, but has taken the lead from her sister: ‘We’ve had scary moments, we’ve cried together but we’ve also had some great laughs during this time.’
The sisters have always been close, but they explain how Sarah’s diagnosis has made that relationship even more precious. As Emma comments: ‘When something like this happens, you realise nothing else matters than your loved one getting better.’
22 February 2021