I often think back to last year and my breast cancer journey, especially when I limp more because my knee and feet still suffer from the side-effects of Letrozole (the medication which is supposed to prevent breast cancer from developing again); or when I am too tired to make myself a cup of coffee – luckily that doesn’t happen very often any more and the tiredness seems to be further and further apart. But I also think about the BC journey when I read about other cancer-survivors who are so positive and went through it smiling.

I realise those people struggled as much as I did, but they handled it so much better; or maybe they are simply people who never see a glass half empty. I am a teeny weeny bit jealous of them. And it makes me feel guilty for being such a drama queen and so negative at times. And I feel a bit upset that I didn’t handle it better, coped a bit better, maybe tried a bit harder to at least put up a positive front? Maybe if I was more positive things would have been better at school? Maybe I would have been less stressed all the time and would have healed better and faster?

For a long time, after treatment, I still felt that I had cancer and every ache and pain caused me to worry. My sore knee and feet – maybe bone cancer; my migraines – maybe brain cancer. It was very much in my ‘head’. But I am so grateful to say that I don’t feel like that anymore………..and I know it is thanks to the ovarian cancer scare I had this year. And the fact that the surgery went well. The bone scan also contributed to this because it would have shown ‘hot spots’ where there could be possible cancer spots

So even though I feel so guilty about the way I travelled this journey, it is now behind me and I am feeling good and healthy. Yes, I limp, but even that is now a reminder that I am healthy

It feels to me as if I need to find something to do – a part-time job, maybe volunteer work. And that makes me feel good! Yes, I still have a job to go back to next year, after my year’s leave, but I have so many negative memories of that environment that I definitely don’t want to go back. I am starting to look at job adverts, though this is a very small town and I am not really at an age which counts for me. In the meantime I am looking at volunteering, not sure where yet but it is a definite option for the future



5 thoughts on “Guilt”

  1. Don’t feel guilty about how you handled things Susan! Everyone is different, and none of us know how we will react when faced with something like cancer.
    My Mum died of skin cancer at the age of 50 and I have lived my adult life trying to stay out of the sun, going to see a dermatologist at the slightest little mark.

  2. oh and forgot to add . . . you look positively radiant in that photo ^^ The picture of good health and I do hope it stays that way!

  3. This is the first time I’ve read your blog. Your thoughts are so honest and I’m sure will help others dealing with the same thing. We all handle things differently and that’s OK. You came through it and that is the important part! It’s also possible that the others who seemed more positive than you might not have posted about their bad days. You are a survivor and a winner! Thank you for this post.

  4. Susan, the past is the past. You have learned from it, and your outlook is different because of it. You have made changes because you learned. Your experience will make a difference in the lives you touch because you are a caring person. I think this is a false guilt, and I encourage you to embrace your new health, celebrate, and keep sharing all that love and caring as you have been. You are a champion in my book, and your honesty about your head struggles makes you that much more special. You have taught me much about life with your transparency, and I count that as a precious gift. Hugs!!

  5. Thank you Susan for such a heartfelt and honest post. I don’t think anyone knows how they will react when life takes an unexpected and terrifying turn. It’s easy to think – Oh I would do this or I won’t be like that, but the truth is you react the way that feels right to you at the time it happens. And that reaction is never the wrong way to act, cope, or deal with your situation. It is wonderful that you are doing better now and in your picture you look so happy – honestly and sincerely happy. Good for you not wanting to return to a job that did not bring you joy. It’s almost impossible to find a dream job but it’s awesome that you recognize that what you had was not good for your mental health. Good luck with your search and you might want to consider selling your adorable little crochet dresses!! 😀

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