I never thought it would hit like it has.
But hit it has, and hit with hard punches that have taken my breath away.
When sleep does come, so do the nightmares.
Feeling numb and detached.
No pleasure in previously enjoyable activities.
Feeling helpless & at times out of control.
Physical symptoms - headaches (more intense & more often), stomach ails, heart palpitations, dizziness.
I have been shamed for surviving when others did not.
I have been told that I really did not have cancer, but rather using it as a way of attention.
Because I didn't have to have treatments, due to the aggressive cancer having been caught early enough.
At the very least, scoffed at or made light of the cancer diagnoses & all that I went thru.
"Not that bad because you didn't have treatments, and you are still here. So what do you have to complain about?"
I let it all make me quiet about my experiences, my thoughts, my feelings.
During some of those dark & long nights when I couldn't sleep.
Or after one of the flashback nightmares had woken me from sleep.
Many thoughts, and rivers of tears, have led me to this - -
Shouldn't I rejoice that I survived?
Shouldn't I share my experience with those who are battling cancer, or other life challenges - that sometimes, we do survive?
And sometimes we simply WIN the final battle?
I make this promise to Rick who was so proud of me, to my children and my grandchildren, and to ME. I will never again be ashamed at having had cancer & SURVIVED.
These are 3 quality articles that need to be read & shared.
Invaluable information if you, or someone you know, is going thru Survival Guilt - from any traumatic event.
Survivors Guilt in People with Cancer
Do You Suffer From Survivor’s Guilt?
Understanding Survivor Guilt