Monday, January 18, 2016

Feeling Guilty

When I visited the oncology centre for my breast cancer treatment I talked to Rachael, one of the ladies in the information and support centre. We chatted, well I chatted Rachael calmly listened. And listened, to my tearful traumas as they spilled from my trembling lips. I also told her about my blog. On my next visit, when I was sifting through the racks of information leaflets, Rachael caught up with me to tell me how much she was enjoying reading my blog posts...

I love your honesty she told me, do you mind if I tell other patients about it

Thats what it's there for I told her. On a subsequent she asked me if I would be interested in writing an article for their patients magazine Voice. 

Since then I have written three articles for the magazine, sharing my thoughts on Cancer from a patients perspective.

The latest article to be published about Guilt has been bubbling in my heart and head for quite some time and I wanted to share it with you too...

Stomach churning guilt crept silently up on me after a Meningioma brain tumour shredded my life.  Guilt stopped me asking for help when depression clouded my world. Guilt forced a smile onto my face when inside I was weeping.

Why am I feeling like this I eventually asked a counsellor, two years later? I’m alive. One of the lucky ones. My brain tumour is low grade. I sobbed.

I feel guilty when I wish for more information. More support. Guilty for asking for it,

I should be coping I said.

I have even silently wished my tumour was malignant so that I could get the support I desperately want. How terrible is that  I ask her with tears dripping off my cheeks.

You are experiencing a deep sense of guilt often felt by people who have survived a traumatic event when others did not – or may not, she gently said.  Yes you are alive but the tumour has changed everything about your life. Everything.

After that conversation I joined a support group led by Brain Tumour Support and was made welcome regardless of my tumour type. And counselling carried me back to a healthy mind. I just wish I had been offered support at the beginning…

Last year as the radiology consultant said Dawn you have breast cancer, support and information were wrapped around me, woven into my care!  So no need to feel guilty this time.

But I do.

Guilt has been following me around. It peeps over my shoulder whenever I think I have shaken it off.

Why I ask it?

You should be organising a fundraising event for brain tumour and cancer research, writing more articles, doing all the interviews people ask you to do Guilt whispers.

But what you don’t realise Guilt I grin, is that I have learnt that negative thoughts are just that …thoughts

So this time Guilt, I shall acknowledge you then turn my back and walk away…

I am writing…doing the things that feel right...