Three years since cancer surgery, and feeling ‘survivor’s guilt’…

Over the weekend..well, last Friday to be more precise, I hit the 3rd anniversary of my cancer surgery. 

Everything seems to be going well. Of course there are the usual bits and pieces that keep cropping up; some trouble swallowing, an unruly tongue, the slight bulge in my neck where the saliva glands were re-positioned to, the white ‘flash’ on the other side of my neck that reminds me of the vascular rebuild (and possibly the cause of recent exertion headaches), the constant tightness in the right side shoulder muscles and the damned scars, too faint to be demonstrably outrageous, but not faint enough not to be slightly self conscious about. On balance, I’m quite happy bordering on ecstatic with the results, and really have little to complain about.  So many who have gone through similar treatments I read of, or who I communicate with have not had the same success with the surgical option. Some lost more tissue, more bone. Some even lost their voice, the cancer silencing them.

Me? Hell, I’m in fabulous shape.
I was subtly disappointed that I needed to remind my family of the date, but I didn’t push it because I find that I am a bit reluctant to celebrate the anniversary this time around. I suspect that I am suffering from ‘survivor’s guilt’. Perhaps it is about the survivors that I stay in touch with who aren’t doing quite so well. Perhaps it is because Larry Yachimec died from lung cancer just months ago. Michael Becker’s cancer has been deemed ‘terminal’, and no one really knows how long he will be with us. I am so fortunate to have walked away from the impact of this stage 4 carcinoma collision, but can’t bring myself to celebrate…

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