• Have you wondered why you are still here hanging on to life while so many others around you have fallen?

    Asked by MyLungCancer on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    Have you wondered why you are still here hanging on to life while so many others around you have fallen?

    I can't help but have a little survivor's guilt every time I hear about someone that I know who has been diagnosed, fought it but died. Some go quick, others fight for years before finally being taken. I know it's huge question with some deep thought and debate. It just gets to me every now and then. What do you think?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • 2943's Avatar

      I have asked the question. I have had doctors ask me where my feisty attitude came from. I sometimes wish others had sought another opinion. Gone to another source of medical advice. I am at 4 years with renal, and breast cancer and 14 months later lung. All separate, not metastatic. I am not the person I was then. I am here, doing well, defying odds. Why? Maybe I am supposed to help others in this crazy journey. Hugs to so many here who have been part of my journey.

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      This is a no-guilt zone! The fact that you are here means that your life continues to have purpose. Much of life is a mystery and we soon come to know that each day is a blessing. Personally, I believe that suffering is redemptive. That lends purpose to it, which is radically counter-cultural. It lends perspective, which is often lacking in this world. Knowing and believing this, a sense of peace may be achieved amidst the turmoil of daily life. An inner oasis that may be visited each time it is brought to mind.

      So there!

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      True, we should be happy that we are still here. But it does get tough each time someone i know well that is younger than me dies from cancer. Like a loyal soldier i keep marching.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar

      I like to remember this: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the Present! Wishing you all lots of Presents. I hate hearing about people I know dying before me. I know we all have to go sometime. It makes me even more grateful to still be here and gives me more purpose to carry the torch for those who no longer can.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Many of us wonder why we survived and someone else doesn't. Part of cancer survival is just "pure plain luck." Many cancer deaths are because of genetic mutations or that they had high grade cancer cells (as defined in the pathology report). Those are conditions that no human has control over.

      I used to feel a lot of guilt over my survival, but now I'm grateful. And I try to make every day be a good day. I hope that you'll find peace soon. You shouldn't feel guilty about surviving.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I don't feel guilty. I feel angry. Why does this %%"$% disease take some people way too young before they've had a chance at life? Why does it attack some in old age causing them great suffering at the end? Why does it take a parent from their children or a child from there parents? Why does it allow some to be "cured" while others are taken swiftly or linger on for months or years in agonizing pain? Questions that cannot be answered. It leaves all of us it has touched with fear and uncertainty as we try to pick up our lives and go on. No, I don't feel guilt. I feel rage.

      about 1 month ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar

      I've never felt survivor's guilt. I have asked why, but I know the reasons ~ I had symptoms early on due to the exact location of my tumor and I found the right facility with the right team of doctors. Everyone I know who has gone there has survived. Yes of course I am aware they have lost patients, but nobody I knew. I have told many people over the past 19 years to go there. Most make excuses why they won't or can't, the main one being it's a 3 hour drive. So they go to another "famous" facility which is a 1 hour drive. I don't personally know anyone who has been cured there although I have attended far too many funerals of friends who died while being treated there. How can I feel guilty if I told them where to go and they refused?

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar

      I had terrible survivor's guilt when I first started my journey, and much of my guilt had to do with my own selfishness and self-esteem issue. I was in a terribly dark place in my life when I got my diagnosis. I really didn't like myself or my life at all. In the last few months of 2019, I said I was going to get through my 50th birthday and then my 25th anniversary so my family wouldn't have bad memories of events that "should have been" and then I was going to set forth on getting really serious about my mission to take my life. I had begged and pleaded with God just to let me go and let people "much more worthy" live- to cure the cancer of others, the addictions of others, anything bad that was happening to someone I thought "more worthy" than myself. I believed I was useless.
      In early November 2019, I got my suspicious mammogram. In December, I got my biopsy and found out I had DCIS. In January I had a lumpectomy and in February, a mastectomy. On the night after my surgery as I was in my bed in the hospital and had sent everyone home so they could rest and I could rest, I had a reckoning moment with God. I felt like Lt. Dan on the shrimp boat in the storm. Oddly enough, it was raining and lightning really bad that night and I do live where some of the filming was done.
      I was so sad that everything had gone from "normal" to "I am missing a body part" so quickly when every part of my being said "Three months ago you were begging to die and there was nothing wrong with you. Well here's your chance." I really think God gave me a possibly life threatening prognosis to see what I would do with it. I definitely have my days when I just don't get it, but I believe my "purpose" is to tell people that no matter how boring and average their every day life seems and how much I thought people didn't like me, I am here to show that I can be tested and brought through the trial and come out the other side ready to fight.
      I believe God tested me and said "Okay, I am giving you a chance to die. What will you do with it?"
      I hate that people die from this ugly disease. I hate that people I still believe are more worthy than I succumb to this disease.
      We all have to decide what part we play in the master plan that we are allowed to remain on this earth. We can be happy about it or sad about it, but when it's our time to go, we will go.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I generally don't feel guilty for continuing to survive, but i do feel very grateful. If i have learned anything over the last few years of great loss, it is that life is promised to none of us, regardless of age or health.

      I am very religious and in my faith, i rely on "God has this in His hand. His plan is perfect, whether or not i understand it (and sometimes, i definitely do not understand). But, i don't have to understand.

      about 1 month ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar

      Talking about cancer
      Catch of the Day - Daily Devotional and Fishing Tip

      The Madness of Germ Phobia


      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Another thought: who says the dead do not pity us, as we continue to suffer? I see no room for guilt there.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I’ve never felt guilt about surviving, but I’ve felt sadness, especially when I read about kids or young adults who die of cancer. In my own group of friends, several have had breast cancer (three I met in a post-treatment breast cancer support group held in my hospital). We’re all alive, though I know of another of the original ten group members who died years ago. And my cousin died at 66 of ALS, and a friend died of CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), which is rare, fatal, and worse than most cancers. I hope we can allay any guilt and try to enjoy our good luck in being here.

      about 1 month ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more lung cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Lung Cancer page.