Sibling Spotlight: Aryan and Ethan
Aryan (13 years old) and Ethan (9 years old) are typical brothers. Sometimes they play fight, sometimes they argue, but most of the time, they love and care for each other, and they enjoy doing things together. Aryan is the sensitive and introverted one. As the oldest child in the family, he shares some of the household chores at times. Ethan, on the other hand, is more outgoing, energetic, and carefree. When Ethan was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in September, 2019, it was especially difficult for the family, not only because this is a relapse after 5 years of remission, but also because the pandemic hit the United States while Ethan was in the middle of the inpatient treatment. Right now, Ethan has been discharged from the hospital and is making good progress. The love they share often shines through in the activities during sibling support sessions. Lately, they enjoy talking or drawing about the characters from Naruto, an anime they both love watching.
What came to your mind when you learned about the relapse?
Aryan: I was confused, because the doctor said it was rare for cancer to come back after 5 years, and because Ethan had to remove one of his eyes.
Ethan: I felt sad, the memories about cancer and treatment from last time came back.
What kind of emotions or feelings do you experience most often in treatment?
Aryan: I was annoyed and disappointed because Ethan’s discharge was pushed back several times
Ethan: I was in pain. I was angry, frustrated, and mad because I had to stop playing video games with my friends so many times for surgery or treatment while I was in the hospital. That’s why I want to become a scientist, so I can cure cancer, and other people don’t have to go through the same thing
What or who helped support you during this time?
Aryan: My mom, she helps me with the house chores I have to do
Ethan: Yes, so Ary can have more time to play with me.
Ethan: Mom, my aunt, and grandma all helped me, they took care of me when I was in the hospital, but it was mostly Ary.
How did you support each other through this time?
Aryan: Ethan would play or talk with me
Ethan: Ary plays with me when I feel bored or sad, and I help Ary when we play fortnite. I also play roblox and super smash bros.
What do you like the most about your brother?
Ary: Ethan is understanding of everybody
Ethan: Ary is helpful to me, he’s my favorite gaming partner, we make a good duo because we always win
How does the pandemic affect you?
Ary: It is annoying, we have to wear a mask when we go out, and there’s no school
Ethan : My family couldn’t visit me when I was in inpatient. It annoyed me because I missed my family.