Survivor guilt – Survivor, survivor’s, or survivor’s guilt or syndrome is a mental condition that occurs when a person perceives themselves to have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not.
This is how I feel some days, especially after I hear of a friend/loved one whose family member has died of cancer. Especially brain cancer. I shouldn’t feel guilty, I should feel happy that my father is doing so well, but I can’t help feeling guilt that others are going through such an emotional experience and I am not. Granted I do know my time will come. Glioblastoma doesn’t go away. I know how it will end. But I can’t help feeling a little guilty when someone asks me how my dad is doing when I know their loved one is not doing well.
My dad is doing well. Amazingly well. Like miracle well. Now that I am typed that I am afraid I might have jinxed him. His blood work is always within the limits. He has had to up his potassium and his anti-seizure medication. I don’t know the reasoning behind that because he has never had a seizure. He is still doing chemo every 28 days for 5 days. It makes him tired but no other side effects. He has mentioned to me that his left foot is a little numb, (or maybe it is his right one), but it hasn’t affected his balance or ability to walk. His next MRI is now not until December instead of the end of October. He does still forget things, and has to ask my mom the answers to simple questions like what are we doing tomorrow. But he still has is sense of humor and he is still my dad. Which makes me very happy and very sad at the same time. Every time I call him and he answers the phone “Heather Berry” (that is one of his nicknames for me) it makes me want to cry. Someday he won’t answer the phone like that. One day he won’t even be here to answer the phone.
Why can’t I just get past all of the inevitable and enjoy the now??? It is so hard.
My wedding is in 9 days. My parents have been such a big help in all of it. My dad is so excited about it all and that makes me happy. He is the main reason we are doing it. I have decided to have him walk me down the aisle. I have been practicing listening to the song we are going to walk down to and trying not to cry. Haven’t made it all the way through the song yet, but am getting better. I want it to be a happy day, not a sad “my dad is going to die soon” day. Gah I hate this….
On a side note, my thoughts and prayers are with my friend Desi and my new friend KS. Desi’s dad passed away this past Sunday from cancer (not GBM, but from multiple myeloma, bone cancer), and KS’s mom passed away a few weeks ago from GBM. My heart aches for both of you. Wishing you peace and comfort right now and much love.