Emotions I feel I’m going to be blown out of the water for asking this, but has anyone found that they have survivor guilt. I went through a WLE with five other women. on 7th March. One had a benign growth, but of the others, I seem to have come off the easiest. My wound was fine, all tests on the tissue outwith the tumour and my lymph nodes are clear.
I had problems with the planning for the radio therapy because of my shape. (34DD), but these were solved. So I’m waiting to start radiotherapy on 2nd May.
On the emotional side, my brain finally started to come out of shock mode on Good Friday. Now I feel guilty that I got off so easily.
I’ve been going to my local Maggie Cancer Support Centre because I felt that I’d get answers to questions that I have now and might have in the future. They are very good at supporting people through the medical side of the process and teaching stress management etc, but none of the staff, who all seem to be ex-nurses have been able to say ‘This happens’.
Do people feel guilty if they don’t need chemotherpy?
PS I should stress that I’m not feeling sorry for myself.I’m extremelty grateful for the support I’ve received from the hospital and the Maggie Centre, but I’d appreciate the views of others.

Guilt Hi Lacey
I can honestly admit that I get a certain relief if I meet people who are having a harder time than me…God, that sounds so bad. If you see my profile (dx with secondaries in sep 04) I’ve not exactly had it easy but still, when I met another women during my chemo with similar history, she was having chemo every week for 18 weeks…all I could think about was thank god I’ve only got to do it every 3 weeks. I think its natural and helps you to cope with what you have to.
There is always someone worse off than you , I don’t think we should feel guilty about not being ‘as bad’ as them, if it helps you cope , go with it.
Perhaps, one day, when I’m ‘really’ bad, (!!!) I can return the favour and help someone else feel better about their own experiences cos mine are so awful
Love Kitkat

guilt i too have felt guilt, think its because i also didnt need chemo. no lymph node involvement and grade 2 IDC.
its down, i think , to hearing other women so positive going through chemo etc.
sometimes i feel a bit of a wimp, still worrying about daily aches and pains, fretting about things that havent happened yet and hopefully wont.
feel even worse when people i meet remind me how lucky i am!!
i think we have to accept we are all different and we have different stories but in essence, are all the same.
support, understanding and a few empathetic words go a long way
as ive said we are all human, and shouldnt apologise for that
good luck with your radiotherapy

yes Yes I think the phemomenon of ‘survivor guilt’ is very usual, and yes I think we should find ways of talking about it, and sharing our feelings. In my case I was misdiagnosed 7 months before diagnosis and that contributed to (though didn’t cause) my poor prognosis at diagnosis…chemo, mastectomy 23/25 nodes more chemo, triple negative, grade 3…almost as bad as they come for a primary diagnosis. There have been times when I confess to a bit of survivor envy…give me a nice little grade 1, no node DCIS tamoxifen kind of cancer…and then at other times I have this overwhelming sense of being so so lucky. My treatments lasted 10 horrible months but I recovered pretty well…I am now 2.5 years past diagnosis…and well…women diagnosed after me with better prognoses have secondaries or have died…there but for the grace…go I…and I may still but I have had the privilege of months of well time which I didn’t think I’d have back in the dark hours of October 2003.

I think what we all share is the fear and the unpredictability…none of us knows for sure what will happen to us and we live with that uncertainty best we can for the rest for our lives.