Shifting Focus: Survivor vs. Living Being

When you survive a life-threatening disease like cancer, there is a transition period where patients learn how to incorporate that experience into their lives moving forward. For me, survival was a mixed bag of emotions. I felt a sense of intense optimism and gratitude that I believed could help champion people to survival. But soon, I was grounded by the reality that not every story ends like mine. My optimism quickly developed a dark undertone that followed my survival everywhere I went.

How could I feel sad or angry about anything when I felt like it was a privilege just to be alive? Sometimes things don’t seem so bad when you have the perspective of a life-threatening sickness, but experiencing this guilt is part of the challenge of survivorship.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (1)
  • Daniel Malito moderator
    4 months ago

    Much of my guilt came from the buden I put on my family and others around me. I even felt guilty that I was taking away the ER docs from other patients – how crazy is that? I kept apologizing as I almost dying, as if someone was keeping score of my politeness. It’s a natural feeling that comes along with being ill, and you are right in the fact that we all have to find a way to encorporate it into our lives. Well said. Keep on keepin’ on, Daniel P. Malito (Blood-cancer.com Team Member)

  • Poll