Guilt/Blame - How to cope

Hi all,

I’ll set the ball rolling for new threads. I was originally diagnosed with IBC in 2006. I had had symptoms for about 4 months before going to a doctor because I associaed breast cancer with small painless lumps. My breast just gradually got harder and sorer. I was diagnosed with bone mets this July and liver mets two weeks ago. I blame myself for my present situation due to my ignorance and stupidity. If I had been more clued up things and gone to  a doctor earlier maybe it wouldn’t have come back. I struggle to cope with this. Has anyone else had a similar issue and how do you get your head round it?

Best wishes to everyone and hope you all have a lovely Christmas. x


Guilt , Guilt , we all feel it , what if , if only … we are NOT responsible for what has happened. I went for my first routine m’gram and was dx with bc and sbc at the same time Sep 2013. Stop beating yourself up , cancer doesn’t deserve all that attention, look after yourself and enjoy the next couple of days. M xxx

Hi Waffles I do this a lot too. I knew I had a lump - it was there for ages - but I genuinely didn’t think it was anything to worry about. Also I have a tendency to bury my head in sand.

I don’t seem to have learned from my mistakes because i have just been diagnosed with liver and bone mets having left going to GP until literally couldn’t move with pain. By the time I was taken into hospital I had a pulmonary embolism, chest infection and a massive enlarged liver! I am still here 2 weeks later trying to get sorted out.

Don’t blame yourself- we do what we do and because of all the fear and terror- it is not easy to always do the right thing at the right time.

Just concentrate on doing what you can now and tell yourself that you wouldn’t be so harsh on anyone else so be a bit kinder and give yourself a break.

The blame game is a sort of right of passage with a dx such as ours… What if… I must of done something wrong to of caused this…and if course the biggie Why me? The bottom line is its Not your fault, you don’t deserve this you didn’t do anything to cause it! For as many people that are dx who have drank, smoked and generally abused there bodies there are equally the same amount of people who are t-total, health fanatics who are marathon runners, and have never smoked who have been dx with the same thing you cannot fathom this disease it is random by it very nature, no one is immune to it it affects both the old and the young, for the present it remains a mystery. Maybe I should of found it earlier…is the thought that crosses your mind well mine was only discovered after I went to the drs with an irritating persistent itch to my rhs breast, there was a lump but that turned out to be a cyst the cancerous lump was being masked by the cyst, then after a day from hell involving a biopsy it was finally dx then 2 weeks later I was dx with multiple secondaries to both lungs and a few spots on my liver, that was 5 years ago the lungs are now completely clear and the liver spots are reducing. Life is hard enough without beating ourselves up over what we should if could of done. There is hope life does continue and we live in an age of miraculous discovery, healing is a big part of it. Love to you all xxxx

Waffles - it takes time to adjust so be gentle with yourself, in time you will become used to a new way of living, my saving grace was the realisation that all any of us has is this moment with or without cancer. I live for the moment and in doing so have learned to cope with something I never ever thought I would be able to come to terms with. You can and you will survive and thrive. Sending you love and light x

Hi everyone

Guilt ,blame we all have those feeelings but where does it get us living for the moment is the most important thing that I have now. My blame journey started September 1996 when I decided to go to my GP my nipple had started to go inverted Feb of that year. There was a lump 2cm and it was cancer grade 2 bordering on 3 2 week later I had to have my auxiliary glands done to check the lymph nodes and it was there as well one was cancer. So guilt no1 I had radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy. A mark appeared under my breast and after a routine check up with the surgeon he was concerned so a bone scan was done all clear good they had got rid of the lump given me rad and chemo I had a bone scan so great cancer had been kicked out of the door.

I carried on in my little life feeling it had gone but the mark was changing and began to look like a bullet hole I was going for regular mamograms nothing showed no-one seemed concerned about my mark they thought it was my scar and I told them it wasn’t. IF I had pursued it could I have known it was cancer again. Little help was around then and my onc left and I was put under a different onc who disscharged me after 5 years.

18 years later the breast looked worse and the bullet hole looked worse so off to the GP again and she knew it was cancer. Who did I BLAME the onc who disscharged me after 5 years and it was him who I saw regarding my second primary on the chest wall along with another in the breast and sacrum (spine)


It was my fault for being nieve in the first place and not asking questions and my Fault for not pursuing the alterations taking place. But life goes on and I am not ready to give in even though I was dealt another blow before Christmas bone scan revealed 5 new mets. Also forgot to mention I was dx with MS after primary so I feel I have been dealt a raw deal and I’m not a bad person but I have met so many good people through my journey and alot of good things have happened since the beginning of my journey.


So I forget about all the guilt blame and if’s and enjoy my time now while I can.

Love to you all xxx

I think that most of us have missed the dangers of the secondaries and ignored things for too long like I did but in a way Im a bit glad as I moved house last June and enjoyed all the Summer holidays with my grandchildren swimming etc - despite hip pain and buying new things for the home etc I had  blissful ignorance of what was lurking inside my bones. 


When it was finally diagnosed in October I was pretty much crippled up and the rest is history now as I can only just hobble on a crutch .


As most of us dont have the medical knowledge that something is wrong and if like me are 63 - put it all down to old age etc. 


Carolyn xxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Carolyn, like you I am 63 and yes aches and pains we do put down to old age and yes I am glad I didnt know about SBC because I have enjoyed a fantastic quality of life. Even now I dont have any serious problems that I can put down to SBC. Stay positive x6

Just reading the older threads I can see that we have all been caught out by the diagnosis. At the primary stage we find a lump and most of us get it investigated. Then as the years pass we forget all about reaccurence and trust the chemo, hormone pills we have took to do the job but forget about the rogue cancer cells that don’t die but just hibernate and sit ready in wait when we least expect them to appear. ( this is my oncologists quote) .
I keep saying my reaccurence was after 11 years but of course the bone Mets were happening secretly probably a few years back further than I know of.
Like everyone I ask myself why? What have I done in life to deserve this. Then I think would I want to end up in a old people’s home in my 80s …dribbling, loosing my bladder control and just waiting for a visit from family or even worst having to play bingo everyday …eyes down full house for a chocolate biscuit…no thanks.
Carolyn xxxx

Hi everyone!

I hope you don’t mind me joining in your conversation. I’m fairly new to the forum having posted only once before. First of all a bit about my diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with primary BC in Oct 2013 aged 49. In the July I’d found a lump high up in my ribs. I didn’t think it was anything to worry about because it was in my ribs not my breast. Also I’d had costo chondrites for years and had been to the GP 3 times with it (all on my affected right side) which makes me think now if I might’ve been misdiagnosed? Also I’d noticed that the skin on my right breast had been pulling but it never crossed my mind that anything was wrong! Can’t believe I was so complacent! Post diagnosis I was advised to be positive because the lump wasn’t large, hadn’t spread and wasn’t aggressive. After the lumpectomy I was told it was large (4.8cm) and aggressive but wasn’t in my lymph nodes. I had chemo/rads/tamoxifen and went back to work in Oct 2014. In Feb 2015 I had pain in my ribs. My oncologist wasn’t going to scan me as she thought the pain was caused by rads. Thankfully my sister mentioned my niggly cough and a chest X-ray was done. The X-ray showed a thinning of the rib which my BCN said had shown up pre lumpectomy! Further scans confirmed secondaries to rib, left shoulder, hip, spine and liver. My shoulder was so bad they were going to replace it but luckily rads sorted it and my bone is regrowing! My onc said the cancer had spread through my blood not my lymph nodes. They said they didn’t know about the secondaries, which must have been there from the start, because my blood was clear. I can’t help thinking if they’d scanned me post op maybe the bone mets wouldn’t have spread to the liver? Anyway I sobbed for the whole weekend then told myself I wouldn’t cry like that again and needed to get on with it.

I’ve had docetaxel and am now on capecitabine. My bones are stable and the largest liver met of 6cm is now 2.9cm and the smaller ones are now tiny. My onc wants to refer me for keyhole surgery to remove the largest one if it shrinks more and the smaller ones disappear.

I live in the moment now like some of you have said. Before, I used to worry about everything and get very stressed. Now I don’t worry and try to enjoy my life more than I did. After all it’s the quality of your life that counts not the quantity? I enjoy my life so much more now and never take anyone for granted. I chat to strangers more and have met so many fabulous people! It’s almost been a blessing as cancer has taught me so many valuable lessons! I know now that I was sleepwalking through my life without enjoying it as much as I should.

I feel lucky that I have a great family and friends who have formed a circle of love around me. I used to feel so guilty that I’d let everyone down but I know now that this is wrong. Cancer is indiscriminate but I must say that from experience it seems to pick only lovely people! Before, I always said God only sends us what we can cope with so I accept that he thinks I can do this! I count my blessings and live life to the full now. My friends laugh that I’ve tried every restaurant in town as I’m always out for lunch!

Don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days too but I try to stay as positive as I can. No one knows what’s round the corner. A cure may come soon, so I’m determined to still be here when that time comes!

Thanks for listening - sorry for rambling! Best wishes to you all xxx

Dear Scousegirl

Thankyou for sharing your cancer journey what you have been through and to come through it with such strengh I salute you. You are amazing. You are in the right place.


Love Rose xxx

Thank you Rose
It’s so nice to be able to chat with other ladies like me. I hope we can all support each other through this cruel disease. xxx

Hiya welcome Marie. You find a lot of support here from ladies all gong through the secondaries . You have to stay strong and have faith in your oncologist who will prescribe the best treatment for you. It’s always about the chemo in some form and its a hard one to deal with. Are you cold capping to save your hair loss? Looking back to 2004 when I had fec I hated the hair loss most. But it will grow back.
So you have the Mets in the hips too. I have hips, pelvis and femur …it’s took away a lot of my mobility hey ho just get on with it.
I’m sure u will get loads of replies from the other ladies here so chin up and keep visiting us all here.
Hugs xxx

Hiya Maria. Maybe the cold cap will save at least some of your hair but you sound like you are very much in control. Fingers and toes crossed …I don’t think I have liver Mets …mine is in bones . I’m on letrozole and hoping after 5 months …it’s keeping everything under control but I haven’t had a scan since dx in October so a lot could have happened.I’m afraid I’m a wimp and don’t really want to know where its all to at moment ! ignorance is bliss.
No I can’t walk far and that’s the cruelist bit as I have always been so fit and healthy.
As u r on FEC chemo …most of us have had that one so any questions will certainly get answered by one of us …so keep in touch for support and help.
In the meantime …loads of hugs xxxx