I was raised Catholic, I am reformed now but the guilt doesn't go away. You know that Catholic guilt or maybe you know the Jewish guilt let's call it religious guilt as to not offend. The type where you feel guilty before you even do something wrong. Damn sins! You have to explain yourself because you feel so bad about whatever the issue is. You are basically guilted into doing something because you have to not because you want to. Most of this guilt is in your head but majority was infected on you by Sister Mary Theresa Josephina while you clapped erasers outside the rectory. I am also full blooded Italian which adds a layer of guilt as well. I know there is Irish guilt but I am not even an ounce of Irish so don't start. Italian guilt is feeling bad that you only made baked ziti, roasted vegetables, meatballs, minestrone soup, chicken cutlets and salad for Sunday dinner and never did get the cookies made you said you would plus you used rigatonis instead of ziti in the baked ziti! What is screwed up here is your family adds to your guilt by their little comments. Guilt sucks!
Then there is survivor's guilt. I have lived through all the above and I can laugh that off but this is no joke. I want so desperately to be happy that am approaching with caution my 2 year mark. I want to smile and whisper "I kicked cancer's stupid dumb ass" (I don't want to yell it I may jinx it). But I am so scared. How did I dodge that bullet??? Why do I deserve to live?? I sure have had my share of "karma's coming for me" moments. So I would get it if I was faced with some of the serious treatments my cancer family is. I am not any better than anyone else who has taken wings. My very good friend is embarking on a reoccurrence while I just have to go to Target today, I feel so guilty sitting there across from her. The fact that my breastie was told that with everything else she has to deal with Stage IV being top of the list now she has lymphedema to deal with when, I feel guilty that I dodged the bullet when she got the cannon. Even when my very bestest friend who I grew up with got breast cancer a few months ago I felt guilty. I didn't want her to go through this at all I wanted to take it from her and I would have if I could. Maybe part if the guilt is because we have seen so much we know what is going to happen. I am so mad that my friend went through chemo that wrecked her body only to be told it didn't work and the cancer is back, I feel guilty that I am here doing ok. How is it her, them and not me?? I feel bad, which seems dumb to say but I think you get it, right? It is more than just those three words.
Then the whammy of survivor guilt the one that makes me cry so hard, guilt that makes my head hurt and wakes me up at night. It happens when I think of my sweet Jenny, when Jen died, my beautiful Kim, Cindy, Olga, Lola and Talia, and Nancy and oh how I miss you my Marian. So many others so many. Why I am I here typing away while you are all flying high? How is that fair?? It isn't! I do not want the "everything happens for a reason bullshit". Shit happens, good and bad, sometimes for no reason I believe that. FUCK CANCER!
I want to be happy to be alive yet I feel so sad that my friends are in real pain. Pain that I not only understand but that can literally be me-I get them. At the next appointment, that could be me. I am guilty to be grateful for now it is not me but I know that could change in a blink. I am happy that I am at this point but guilty that I am happy. Then I am sad that I am losing so many friends and I feel guilty that I am still here. I mad that my friends are living with cancer and they will never be cancer free then the guilt sets in that as if now I am. I am exhausted from this today.
Let me tell you this. Being this guilty is very, very difficult when you want to keep your tiara on!!