• Coping as a Survivor - Two Friends diagnosed at the same time as me, neither survived. How do you cope?

    Asked by Phoenix76 on Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Coping as a Survivor - Two Friends diagnosed at the same time as me, neither survived. How do you cope?

    I feel awe, I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful. I feel like I have to live my life that much more to the fullest, so that they didn't die in vain. And, the thought of recurrence is never very far away, so I get check-ups. It's now been five years since diagnosis. Have you been in a similar situation? What were your thoughts/feelings?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Being a 32 year survivor I have had this fairly often. People get diagnosed, some are friends and some are relatives. Some have died while others have made it. I have survivors guilt sometimes. But we have to live life and be grateful we are still alive.

      about 1 month ago
    • HardyGirl's Avatar
      HardyGirl

      I have a friend that was always the "healthy one", she exercised, ate right, watched her life as a whole to be sure everything was just right. We both got diagnosed about 6 months apart. She died and I'm still here. Survivor's guilt is real!

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I am in the same situation. Almost 5 years since diagnosis - several friends have passed away during this time, including my 'best" cancer sister - we were both diagnosed at the same time and both Stage IV.

      Each person responds to treatment differently. We don't have any control over how our bodies respond - this is how I help deal with survivor's guilt. I, like you, try to live my life to the fullest and to give back to those facing cancer.

      My scans are tomorrow. I stay busy with writing. I've learned to watercolor and I am an avid amatuer photographer. And I remain grateful for every day and try not to waste it.

      about 1 month ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Perfect timing. Yet another friend who went through cancer with me lost her battle yesterday afternoon. I spent yesterday questioning why I survived and my three other friends did not. At times like these, I have tremendous survivor's guilt.

      My husband assures me that there is a reason and maybe one day, we'll understand why. My SIL passed away more than 15 years ago leaving a small child. My BIL has since remarried and has another child. My husband and I feel that our new nephew needed to be born and that's why my husband's sister had to pass. Perhaps our nephew will discover a cure for cancer, invent something or have a tremendous positive impact on the world. We don't know, but it provides us with comfort.

      I say that if I've helped just one person through their cancer fight (I'm a coach and I've mentored many), or saved just one life by inspiring and encouraging my friends to get their preventative screenings, then perhaps that is why I had cancer. Who knows. It's days like yesterday when I want to step back from the cancer world for a breather...but here I am, drawn to WhatNext and have the urge to continue to help, encourage and inspire.

      The pain is real, however. The guilt is intolerable. And I dread my dear beautiful friend's upcoming funeral, where I will have no words for her children and family.

      about 1 month ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had a friend that passed on while I was fighting. It messed up my sleep and I ended up seeing my counselor because it was hard to understand.

      about 1 month ago
    • MissWiz's Avatar
      MissWiz

      I don't understand it either. I've had many relatives with different cancers (most prevalent colon and esophageal), none have survived I'm almost 2 years cancer free and grateful for every day. I pushed my cousins to get their doctors to run tests that normally would not be done. 2 came back positive low grade and are now getting treatment .
      I'm also in health care and have seen patients grade IV and told chances of survival were low, not only survive but thrive, and others grade I who should of had treatment and survive only to die in a short time. It's truly a mystery.

      about 1 month ago
    • Leuky's Avatar
      Leuky

      I have had that feeling myself, I just didn't know there was a term for it.

      about 1 month ago

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