Sep 05, 2006 - 11:50 pm
I am new to this site, but enjoying reading the discussions in various areas and even more so enjoying responding. Which is probably a bad thing.
But here's the deal: I had a 15-hour surgery for neck and tongue cancer back in October of '05. That was, of course, followed by chemo and lots of radiation.
And I am still here. And...I don't fear cancer. Didn't from the start, but certainly don't now. More importantly, I don't fear death. If I did before, I don't now.
This is astonishing, in that I still have petty but very real fears about keeping my job, paying my bills, preparing for frigging retirement!
And, most important, I now look back, something I never did before, and wonder if I made the right choices. What I mean by this, succinctly, is that I am fairly convinced I have not done enough in my life to merit the effort put forth to save me thus far. Wow. A mouthful. But that's it. It's like I don't deserve this "second chance". Like I don't deserve these hours and days and months and hopefully years, because I am not contributing to humanity's well-being, I am not doing the things I should be doing to justify my existence.
Something like that. Hard to put into words. I reference the word "guilt" elsewhere, in talking to others. It seems to me that cancer survivors are either extremely happy and upbeat because they beat it, or...they are guilty somehow. And that is not just me. I know a lot of cancer survivors, many from long before I was one of them, and too many of them seem to have this sense of guilt...or something close to it. That may be the wrong word...but something close to it, if it is wrong.
Am I completely off target here?
In any event, bless all of you, and may you stay, as Bob Dylan sings, Forever Young.