• How do you keep survivor's guilt out of your mind as we get older?

    Asked by Julianna on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

    How do you keep survivor's guilt out of your mind as we get older?

    It's a fact that as we get older more and more of the people we know our age are dying. But even though that's true, I can't help but have survivor's guilt after beating cancer and these people some of them just up and die. I feel bad every time I go to another funeral. It just keeps getting worse.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar

      I know my mom feels this way. Especially since her husband and son have passed. And each year she sends out Christmas cards and she gets less and less in return. Here she is in her 80's and her friends are all leaving this planet. It's kind of sad.
      I don't know if it is survivors guilt, but it's just how life goes.

      8 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I don't have it that bad, but I do understand what you're feeling. Mainly I get it when someone younger than I passes away from cancer. But I don't blame myself but rather I feel thankful that I am still here.

      8 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      I sometimes have survivor's guilt when a person has the same exact treatment that I had but it doesn't work and they die. But I'm working through that.

      Whether we live or die from cancer is based on a complex interaction of stage of disease, response to treatment, severity of side effects, genetics, our motivation to eat and exercise and unknown factors. There is simply no way to understand why one of us passes away and the other person becomes NED.

      I just try to make every day the best day that I can make it because life is a beautiful gift.

      8 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      I agree with clinda, aging is part of life, I have no survivor’s guilt that relates to aging. I am thankful I have made it to 73 and counting. When I was diagnosed on the cusp of my 67 th birthday, I did not think there would be a 68th. I remember attending my high school’s fiftieth reunion and looking at the names of those who had past- I was stunned to see my high school best friend’s name listed. The list was much longer then than at my twenty-fifth reunion. I have experienced survivor’s guilt when it comes to cancer though. The “ why them and not me “ an empty question with no answers.

      8 months ago
    • Jayne's Avatar

      I do feel guilt too when someone young passes or is diagnosed- it just seems so unfair the randomness of it all. I recently met a young mother of two who has Stage IV brain cancer and my heart just broke listening to her. She had sought me out since she knew I was a survivor but I struggled with propping her up with the hope of remission or the reality of what might happen. I decided that hope is the only thing we really have when dealing with this beast, so hope is what I tried to give to her. What a brave young lady.

      8 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I don't feel guilty when I hear someone else has been taken. I feel angry. Why can some cases be successfully treated but others not? Why do some people have repeated recurrences and others not? Nothing about this "beast", as you put it, makes sense. Frankly, it sucks.

      8 months ago

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