When I was diagnosed with breast cancer it worried my sister so she had a mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 months after me. I feel sympathy for her about what she will have to go through but more than that I feel resentful that she has taken some of my specialness away. That is a terrible thing to say and I feel very bad about it. Obviously I do not like having cancer but I don't know how to write this without making it sound confusingly as if I do. I liked that no-one in my family could judge me because I was the only one who had cancer and they didn't know what it was like. I liked having an experience that was mine alone. I liked that they all thought I was brave. Her having cancer too makes me feel less proud of myself for managing my cancer so well. Gosh, I sound like a horrible person. Also, I have finished chemo and my hair is growing back. She is just starting hers so instead of moving onwards and leaving chemo behind we have to go through it all over again. When can we go back to having lives that don't revolve around cancer?
11 Comments
Deceased
Allicat You are not a horrible person, but a person who is going through all the normal emotions of cancer and cancer treatment. Yes there are times when cancer makes us the centre of attention and sometimes in this rotten journey that is a small compensation. So don't go getting the guilts over those feelings. Be thankful that your experience prompted another person to go and get checked out before it was too late. You are brave, you have managed your cancer well and you can be proud of that. Sail well! Sailor All boats seem crowded when there are more than two people aboard. Anon
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Frequent Contributor
Allicat, I have been visiting this site for more than two years and this is one of the most extraordinarily honest posts I have read in that time. I congratulate you for having the courage to write it and then post it. Your insight into the impact of cancer is wonderful. It helps me think about my own situation in a new way. Thanks for that. Maybe for you there is value in having somewhere private where your feelings and observations can be special, because they are. A journal? Here? New friends? Keep in mind that cancer may well have changed all those family relationships anyway. It's a new game either way, isn't it? And can you really 'go back'? What is clearly special about you might grow more in the future, separate from family dynamics. These are just my first responses to your wonderful post. H
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Contributor
Wow.....thank you for being brave. Yes i understand the attention dropping off. I have also felt guilt over this, especially now when pathology came back as contained and had not spread everyone dissappeared? Its hard to face that the world keeps turning and how short peoples memories are, until it happens to them. God willing it doesnt. Jules_68.
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Regular Contributor
Hi Allicat, i think you may be surprised just how many "survivors" feel similarly to you in a variety of ways. i agree with the otheres, that the being "special' allows us to deal with the crap a little better. My brother and sister-in-law are world class athletes and often the family conversation revolves around their successes. I will openly admit that wehn I was sick, the focus shifted to me for a bit and this helped me to cope with the chemo and the fear and everything that goes with cancer. I often experinecd survivor guilt as well, but fortunately many of the sage contributors here, helped to deal with that as well. Yake care and perhaps the help that you can offer your sister will help you both to recover. Take care, Samex
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Contributor
Thank you for the responses. Reading them made me cry. Writing my post made me cry as well. It is easier to type difficult thoughts rather than say them out loud. And telling my thoughts helps to stop them from going round and round in my head.
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Frequent Contributor
Good on you, Allicat. H
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Super Contributor
When I told my family about my cancer 2 months after diagnosis ,some contacted only by e-mail,my mum told me one of my brothers-in-law got a scare and went to get a possible skin cancer checked out. I never heard the outcome nor did he or my sister ever ask me how I was or even have a proper conversation .They did at least attend my 60th birthday party and give me a nice present.I think that I do hold a tiny bit of resentment about things like that. I have my next mri in about 3 weeks and have secretly decided not to tell anyone that I'm even having it unless they ask how I'm going .It's 10 months since my treatment finished.To me it will be a kind of test to see who cares . I have mentioned some of this before .I have 9 sisters and 2 brothers . Some have been very caring and supportive ,others a bit less and some not at all interested. I do not dwell on these thoughts but they pop into my head every now and again.I realise they have lives and families and problems of their own and they work and I stopped over a year ago so have too much time too think even though managing to keep busy. It has occurred to me that at the time just before my surgery my husband told some of the family that we would keep them up -to-date via e-mail so that we didn't get too many phone calls . Some calls with my sisters were very long and often.That is not the case so much now . I spend time in Facebook since late last year,this site and 3 other sites where other people have cancer.Then I play computer games. Sometimes I stay up really late and so my husband,who is my best friend, goes to bed probably feeling lonely. I know this is selfish of me but I have become a bit selfish since CANCER entered my life. I think I resent CANCER because it changed my life, my looks and me. Wow,I hadn't meant to say all this but I'll leave it there and play my mind-numbing computer games. I wouldn't say most of this in my off-line life .
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Deceased
G'day silly Isn't it great about this site, we can dump here an awful lot of what we can't dump elsewhere. Cancer changes everything. Who you are, your relationships, your friends your family. Sometimes the mind numbing computer games are the only thing that keep us sane. The rest of the family just can't understand why I use them for that, but they are mind numbing and maybe that's the point. So go for it - go easy on your best friend. I need to do the same. cheers Sailor Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar. Don Bamford
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Super Contributor
I like what you had to say,Sailor.
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Regular Contributor
In our self absorption at times(I know I am guilty of this) we do forget about others or at least wonder why they don't ask about the test results or the visits to the oncologist. I have learned to realise that the lives of others have merely continud on their merry path and while they have been a part of the journey, for them the bumps have stopped and life is continuing as normal.For us, the road keeps twisting and turning and sometimes we just love it if someone asked how we were going. I go crosswords - badly! Samex
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Super Contributor
You are so right,Samex.
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