Guilt and Shame?

I've noticed from reading posts on this site and dealing with cancer myself that we can have a lot of guilt and shame.  This may not be everyone but I know that this is something I often fight with.  I dismiss my feelings by comparing myself to others.  I beat myself up over not getting diagnosed sooner.  I feel ashamed of all the ways the treatments and surgeries have changed my physical appearance.  What I have to realize is that I didn't ask for this.  I've been through a lot.  My treatment may not have ravaged my body as badly as others, but I still had CANCER.  That's right cancer, only one of the most terrifying things that could happen to you in your life.  It's okay to be scared.  It's even okay to act like a lunatic sometimes because there is no right way to deal with the emotional weight of cancer.  I don't think there is any logical way to face everything that comes with this disease.  You deal with it the way you deal with it and eventually, hopefully, you find a way to make some kind of peace with it.  There are no easy solutions.  All the emotions stirred up are not easily resolved.  This is something we carry with us.  It's a constant process of grief, loss, and reconciliation.  I'm saying this to myself as much as I'm saying it to you guys.  We shouldn't feel any more ashamed of this than we should feel guilty about a piano falling on us.  You had no way of knowing that piano would fall on you.  You shouldn't feel bad just because your friend may have been more hurt.  You still had a freaking piano fall on you, that's traumatic, it's okay to feel angry and sad. 


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • @Trilenz I am right there with you, your words could be mine. Just wanted you to know I'm with ya
  • You're right. This is definitely something I needed to read. I have been in remission for two years and done with treatment for a year and a half and still have issues from treatment that, of course, people who haven't been in the same situation can't understand or comprehend. I still have a hard time figuring out who I am and what I want out of life. It's not the same as it used to be. Sometimes I just feel stuck and get mad at myself that I'm not moving on and all of my close college friends are.  Great post!!
  • Hi, totally new here, but I totally get what you're saying. I saw a health psychologist and she said I have survivor's guilt. I "just" had surgery for treatment  I wasn't sick, I don't have to have chemo or radiation, but it is an awful experience.  And I felt totally alone because those around me don't get it.  I'm really glad she pointed me here.