Survivor Guilt

Survivor guilt is not something that one would associate with cancer, but it happens. I can only speak for myself but I feel bad when some one dies of a brain tumour. They get diagnosed and they are dead within a couple of months. When I was diagnosed I was told I could go in a second or I could go in 20 years. So I feel sometimes like a fraud that I am still going while others pass.

I do feel blessed that I am still here, I have children to raise, but so do others. So why am I still here and others are taken? I do believe I have a reason as to why I have survived especially all the trauma I went through with chemo, but it still seems unfair. I know of a young mum with a baby and a toddler, she passed within a month of being diagnosed. Why was I spared? Is my purpose to promote the better health for my people? Get better and more appropriate help for us?

I did have many times when I was in great pain, where I thought the doctors were right and that I would die, but I always came back. Even when I did cross over, I was brought back with defibrillator and CPR. Is it true only the good die young? No that can’t be the case because my parents lived for quite a while and they both passed away with cancer. Nelson Mandela, Ghandi both incredible men were good, and lived to a ripe old age.

So why do some of us stay and others go? I get annoyed when I see people who have been given another chance just continue in the same old way, do they not realise they were saved for a reason?

This is survivor guilt and I am sure that I am not the only person who has cancer and feels this way. I was at first considered inoperable now medically speaking I am terminal, but I don’t intend to die anytime soon. I want to live. I want to get a job again, I want to watch my children complete university and the youngest to complete high school and go to university. I want to nurse my first grandchild and many more. I know this is very selfish, but I want to live. I am at peace with myself as to my death. I do not fear it.

But I do wonder why I haven’t died yet and why I still keep going when others don’t make it. They say Cancer is a journey, well it’s not a nice journey, it’s not a peaceful trip down the stream, its white water rapids and waterfalls. Yep it’s one hell of a ride. But why do some survive, are cured and others live with it for years? Why do some pass so quick?

Medical science has a lot to do with it, a will to live also has a lot to do with it. I know some people see cancer as a death sentence. This is common with my people, cancer is a dirty word. But we need to move on from that and talk and share and help each other to get through it to have more survivors and conquerors.

But back to the question, why am I still here? What is the reason? What should I do. I know that these things will be revealed in good time and hey I am not knocking the fact that I am still standing. I just get tired and I just don’t see the justice in how some keep going when others who are no different, who have more to live for just fade away. This is survivor guilt and I am sure that I can’t be the only person who feels this way. I know there has to be others out there who question why they are still here. Maybe I should talk to someone about it, but I find that the psych’s who deal with me and my cancer and pain don’t really get it or me. ( I will write my next blog on my experiences with this)

So I guess I will just keep pondering this, keep promoting Cancer Advocacy and working for my people and raising my children.

Thank you

About proudblacksista

An Aboriginal woman. mother of 4 diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour 7 years ago.I want to share my story to help others. I am working to help other Aboriginal people face the battles of Cancer. Email me with your stories or concerns at View all posts by proudblacksista

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