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A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer... and There Is One

March 7th, 2013

Survivor’s Guilt

03_05_2013_cancer_funny_survivors_guiltIn my last post, I brought up the fact that I’m beginning to have survivor’s guilt. I don’t know exactly when it started, I just know that it seems to be there, all the time, just beneath the surface. At what point does a person shake that off? I wonder.

I was discussing the fact that I had survivor’s guilt with a woman named Linda a few days ago. Our conversation wrapped up and as I began to walk away, she held me back. “Maria, you do not need to feel guilty that you are still here.” I had to swallow the lump in my throat to keep from crying in front of her.

It amazes me that just a few short years ago, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see Adriana, Michael, and Jonathan grow up or celebrate retirement with Ken, and now, I’ve gone back to complaining about trivial things like I did before cancer: I complain about wanting to bulldoze my house over because it needs so much work, I moan all the time about being fat and addicted to sugar, I’m not happy with my hair or face, I get after my kids constantly about cleaning up after themselves, I don’t like our dog because she’s so needy… the list goes on and on.

I can’t help but think to myself, “What good do I do in the world? I didn’t invent anything, I don’t volunteer anywhere, and I’m having a hard time even getting dinner on the table for my family these past few weeks and that’s my job.”

I’m slated to give a presentation at a cancer survivorship conference on March 20. I really hope that I can be encouraging to the class about owning that survivorship myself.

 

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Marie de Haan

Marie de Haan

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