By Debra Parry
On January 19th I met with a friend who has also been through womb cancer. Who knew two cups of tea each could turn into four hours of chat! One of the subjects we touched on was survivor guilt.
Cancer patients can feel guilty for surviving and for a time I was no exception. It made no sense that I had come through but not others, especially those much younger than I was at diagnosis, whatever their cancer. Viewing surviving as a second chance and an opportunity to make a difference helped to quell any doubts about whether I deserved to still be here, but being asked directly, "Do you feel guilty about surviving?" was quite an unsettling experience.
It seems the emotions connected with cancer are more under the radar than completely off it. Face-to-face with another cancer patient there can be a searing honesty that pulls you right out of your comfort zone. It leaves no place to hide but, more importantly, there's no need to hide when you both understand the thoughts and feelings.
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