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Survivors guilt?


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After I was diagnosed, I did a lot of research. I'd belonged to cycling forums for years, so I also checked out cancer forums. The first lung cancer forum I found that had a good activity level wasn't this one. It seemed to have zero activity from early stage survivors, and pretty much no activity from long term survivors of any kind.

I reasoned that even though they weren't posting, there were bound to be early stage patients checking it out, and that sharing some of my experiences might be helpful to them, so, even though I didn't have a question to ask, I joined and posted my story. I didn't even get a single reply from the regulars. That will make you feel guilty! It didn't take me long to decide that I had no reason to feel guilty, but I still felt like I had a duty to share information.

I'm glad I eventually found this forum. It encourages early stage and long term survivors. I know there are newly diagnosed lung cancer patients, filled with terror and starving for information just like I was, and I still want to share information, even if I haven't suffered many of the horrors, or lost someone close, like many here have.

The low activity level in this section, though, is a steady reminder that there are still far too few people diagnosed early.

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  • 1 month later...

I was diagnosed early in September and have had surgery and am half way thru chemo, with radiation to follow. I joined a Wellness Group for two weeks - but dropped out. The other members concentrated on who was sick, dying, or dead. I felt some guilt for backing out on the commitment to attend this group until I spoke to my oncologist and her nurse and both said, "Leave now!" There is a different mindset for prognosis with a "cure" versus chronic disease. I know we all die sometime, but for now, I need to concentrate on living.

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Absolutely ... I felt guilty big time! I felt guilty for expressing my worries, concerns, etc. when there were so many friends fighting for their lives on a more immediate level.

Thanks to another early stage member I realized that it was in this forum "Early Stage" that I was free to put my thoughts and feelings out there as it really was for us. We were "lucky" "blessed" ... whatever terminology one wishes to use, but it still scares the pants off you to hear you have lung cancer! So, once again, I want to thank Katie & Rick for giving us a place to come to when we need it.

I let go of the guilt and am appreciative each and every day for the chance to continue to be a wife, mom and friend. I wish it could be so for everyone.


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I have survivor's guilt big time. I feel really bad that not everyone could have been diagnosed early. But I also know that even an early diagnosis does not guarantee survival.

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