Sadness and gratitude

It is almost a year since a friend of mine, a fellow member of the local triathlon club, died from a brain tumour which she had battled for several years with remarkable good spirit.  I found I couldn’t write about this at the time as it was not long since I had started chemotherapy myself and the emotions were very raw.  I have been reminded of Trish constantly in the last couple of weeks since the news emerged of Seve Ballasteros’ illness.   I have now just heard that another friend and colleague, someone I have known for many years – in fact she was once a girlfriend of my husband – is in the final stages of breast cancer.   This news, although it was expected, has filled me with a huge sadness.  Mixed with the sadness is a large element of guilt, which I know I shouldn’t feel but I do.  It has made talking to Dale about cancer very hard over the past year, since she has been growing iller as I have improved.  It is guilt that I seem to be alright, I seem to have got away with it while these friends have not.  It is guilt that it has been hard to talk to her at a time when she has probably needed it most.  Why me?  Or why them?  There is nothing fair or just about the way cancer strikes a family.

Of course, it will be several years before I know for sure that my cancer is not coming back but at the moment all the indications are good.  I have been trying to write a post for sometime, for my own benefit, to encompass my experiences of the past year, but it has been proving difficult.  Today, though, I’m remembering Trish and thinking of Dale, sending as many positive thoughts in her direction as I can muster.  And I shall try not to feel guilty but to feel hopeful and grateful that it seems as though I am going to be a cancer survivor.

8 thoughts on “Sadness and gratitude

  1. We’ve just lost someone here who has lived bravely through a long illness and his passing leaves a numbness and gap. I feel good in a way that I can’t somehow fill the gap he leaves – it’s his space – for now anyway.

    Stay strong and know that no one would begrudge you any good fortune that may be yours.

    Good luck and keep up your wonderful blog.

  2. The guilt understanable as you have been through so much this year but completely unfounded. I’m sure your friends would not begrudge you the good fortune they themselves have wished for. I for one am very glad to see the recovery you have made and know that i am by far not the only one.

  3. Alan, I’m sure we should never try to fill someone else’s space – just hang on to those good memories and hear their voice in your head. Thank you for your kind comments.

  4. Not an easy post to write, I know. And I also know all about survivor’s guilt. I guess it’s not guilt so much as a ‘why me…why am I so lucky?’ Anyway, every month you move further away from ovarian cancer, the stronger the chances are that you have beaten this sneaky disease.

    It is hard for me to imagine, but it is now seven and 1/2 years clear for me…post ovarian cancer diagnosis and seven years post chemo. And I always knock on wood when I write or say that.

    Stay strong and stay healthy. xoxo

  5. Why are we so lucky? Or why are others so unlucky? Yes, I feel sure that I’ve beaten it but then, every 3 months when I go for a blood test and check up it reminds me that I’m not necessarily out of the woods yet. You’re right, it’s not really guilt.

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