Dealing with survivor guilt
Survivor guilt is when you’re healthy but you feel remorseful when someone you know loses their battle.
Curetoday.com has Rick Davilla’s story. He is a survivor who went through a really tough time when a friend he met in treatment, Kelly Linderman, died. The pair supported each other through chemo and volunteered for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. When Davilla recovered and moved on to marriage and parenthood, he felt guilty about sharing the good news with Linderman who had relapsed.
It was only when Davilla spoke to someone and realized that was her story and he had to live his own did he start moving forward.
There is also a lot of guilt surrounding going above and beyond an expected amount of gratitude for care givers. Children dedicate their lives to parents who took care of them while they were undergoing treatment. People fall into depression when their partners have to participate in draining fertility treatments because cancer treatment made them impotent.
“Experts agree that the solution to survivor guilt lies in recognition of the issue and open communication. They also advise working with mental health professionals who have training and experience dealing with the issues of cancer patients and their families.”