Not Your Fault

Last updated: June 2020

I recently read a post by one of our members. It seems her family, and in particular, her parents implied that it is somehow her fault she has cancer.

The mother suggested prayer for healing, but not treatment because treating cancer patients is too much of a financial burden on society. Ah, excuse me... What the heck? A mother said that? And Dad told his daughter she wouldn’t have cancer if she’d lived her life right.

Can anyone reading this look at those two last paragraphs and not get angry?

I’ve always tried to make my posts as positive, uplifting, or at least as informative as possible. I’m sorry, but this is not one of those posts.

Did I do something to cause my leukemia?

I’ll admit that in the beginning, I wondered if my diagnosis was my own doing. Did I do something wrong to cause my leukemia? Was it the stress I let into my life that weakened my immune system? Should I have exercised more? Did my eating habits contribute?

If I’d taken better care of myself could I have avoided leukemia? Maybe. Maybe not. But whatever the cause, I didn’t intentionally do anything to deserve getting the disease. It was not my fault.

It's not your fault

I wonder what those people mentioned above would have said to the family of a little 8-year-old girl named Katie who died from leukemia. She lived too short a life to have made any poor life-choices. It was not her fault.

There are, sadly, some cancer patients who beat their breast, begging for forgiveness, thinking God has punished them for something they did wrong. Do they really believe in a God who would do such a thing? Their “sin” did not cause their disease. It is not their fault.

There are parents who look for blame in each other, wondering if they contributed in some way to their child’s disease. Really? That sounds like a rapid path to depression, self-hate, and divorce. If your parents are thinking that way, please tell them... your cancer is not their fault.

Love supports, it doesn't accuse or condemn

Look. Even if someone has a cancer that could be traced to something they did, such as lung cancer and smoking, should anyone, especially his/her parents, condemn them for it or make them feel guilty?

Love does not accuse or condemn.

My wife loves me. She doesn’t just say it. She shows it every day when she steadfastly supports me and treats me like a normal human being and not some poor, culpable, cancer-ridden fool.

Cancer is a life-changing, sometimes life-ending, disease. It is inconceivable to me that any person would try to make things worse for someone who has it. We are dealing with enough all ready. I guess some healthy people, wallowing in their own self-obsessed world, just don’t get it.

Sorry. I promise my next post won’t be such a rant.

But for now, to paraphrase John Lennon: All we are saying... is give empathy a chance.

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