Survivors Guilt

mary20 Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
A friend of mine was diagnosed with liver cancer about 7 weeks ago - hospice is with her. Her family feels she will pass tonight or tomorrow. Why did I live and she is so ill?


  • Ellen866
    Ellen866 Member Posts: 2
    I understand your feeling guilty. A dear friend of mine, whom was diagnosed a year before me, recently passed away. I was not only feeling guilty but also a bit scared of maybe losing my fight. I have come to terms with those feelings after talking with her husband. Their fight was different than mine, not right nor wrong, but what they felt was best for them. You have to use what you have learned from your experience and realize no 2 people have the same experience or the same cancers. Some cancers are much harder to beat than others. Keep the faith, keep up your fight and use your survival to help others to learn from what you have learned.
  • sassysally
    sassysally Member Posts: 150
    Mary, I do not know if you are a religous person or not. But, I have had breast cancer three different times and am still her. I look at it this way... I still have a job to do here, spirits to raise, help to give, and love to share. Friends of mine that have passed on, their work here was done. They touched the lives of those they had to, and in their moving on possibly still helped someone else with the grieving process and such.
    I send you my deepest sympathy in the loss of your friend.
    Now maybe it is your turn to help someone else in your friends position, or someone with breast cancer through the journey with the wonderful memories you have of your friend, and how SHE helped you.
    We do not understand it all...believe me, I certainly dont. Why just last month I had had bacterial meninngitis and pulled through, but a 12 yr old boy who contracted the same thing passed. Why??? Thats the million dollar question.
    I have a job to do, and this room gives me the opportunity to do just that.
    I also have a son with Autism and am now quite knowledgable about that and help many families to cope with that diagnoisis as well which for families that hear it, just like those that hear the word cancer, it is daunting.
    You have a job to do, you may not know what it is yet, but you do.
    My sympathies,

  • Moonwalk
    Moonwalk Member Posts: 7
    Mary, I was ready to reply, but do not think I can say it better than "Sassy". I think she hits the nail on the head. I do want to add that I prayed last December and asked God to show me why I am here, and what my purpose is. Several weeks later I was diagnosed with BC. We never know, but after much thinking, I took it as a sign that I could now show people my faith, and the strength I derive from it. And I think I have learned how to love my fellow man better. I think I am still here because I have something yet to learn, and perhaps more to give here too. My prayers are with you.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi mary20:

    My deepest sympathies for what your friend is going through. I know it is very difficult for everyone and I can only hope that her endtime will be peaceful and as pain free as possible.

    No matter how hard we try there seems to be no really good way to say goodbye to someone
    dear to us. Our hearts just never are ready to completely let go of someone whom we have cared about.

    Your question has surfaced several times here and I liken it to asking this: When someone endures, suffers or dies from anything, would we then ask "why did it happen to them and not me"? (Car crashes, the loss of spouses, children, parents and friends, to diseases/conditions/genetic errors and accidents of all manner). It kinda doesn't seem a logical question, does it? I say that mainly because there is no answer. It seems that in this case, your friends cancer was quite advanced by the time it was discovered. Why did it happen that way? Why wasn't it discovered earlier? Why wasn't there some type of advanced treatment for her? There are so very many questions which have no answers and acceptance is a hard fought and hard won battle for most of us but worth every moment spent in getting there.

    I think it can be especially painful to us survivors because losing someone to something we've had a close encounter with ourselves, naturally can bring our deepest fears and worries to the surface, while also bringing to our hearts, the pain of losing our dear one. It's more personal and more challenging to make sense of it.

    However, your life is a gift. Precious, unique, special and valuable. It is like no other. It is yours to live and share as you choose. Please remember that! On your worst days and on your best days, remember it and be grateful for it and try not to question why you're still living.

    Maybe it can be helpful to ask ourselves what we learned from our friends who have passed. To honour and value what they shared with us as our friend. To realize and appreciate that the role they may have played in our lives somehow strengthened us and/or made us better human beings. When we say goodbye, our dear ones do take a little piece of us with them, but they also, I believe, leave a special piece of themselves behind with us, to remember for always.
    That piece of them will live as long as we do and that's also a wonderful gift to treasure!

    Love, light and laughter,