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Coping With Cancer

Fear or Survivor’s Guilt?

By Juanita Segura for
In the last 7 ½ years I’ve met so many wonderful lung cancer survivors and lost many along the way. Many of them I’ve became close with and bonded regardless of how far we are from each other. We manage to keep in touch and like and comment on each other’s Facebook posts. But many I had to say rest in peace on Facebook. It’s not easy when we become close and form a special bond with our lung cancer brothers and sisters for a short period of time. We get to know each other and their spouses, families, pets and friends. We become an instant family and we all support each other and send them our love, prayers, and hope. But when we lose them to lung cancer I still don’t understand why! Although I’m thankful that I’m still here, at the same time I feel bad that they are not.

Survivor’s guilt or fear
When I hear the news that I lost a lung cancer sister or brother I’m not sure if I have survivor’s guilt or fear. Maybe a little of both! I start to think “am I next,” “am I going to run out of options for treatment.” My husband and friends tell me “this is not your story; you still have a purpose to fulfill and it’s not your time yet.” But I can’t help but to think that way and I know many of us do. I want to do so much; I want to meet more grandchildren and see more milestones and travel to place that’s on my bucket list. But it’s always in the back of my mind “am I next?” “how much time do I really have?” I try not to think that way and continue to stay positive, but this is my reality and many others as well.

I try my best to remain positive
Then I feel bad because they left their little one or their young children behind and here I am meeting grandchildren. They will never get to see their children grow up, attend their graduation, be there when they get married, meet their grandchildren and I have. They won’t get to go to amazing place I’ve been to, help their daughter pick a prom dress or take their son to get a tuxedo for prom, calm them down when their hearts get broken or comfort them when they are having a bad day. I can do all that and have done so. It just makes me feel sad for those that won’t. I often think about it and honestly it drives me crazy, but I remind myself that’s not story and my story hasn’t end. Read more.