With Help, You Can Overcome Survivor's Guilt
Survivor’s guilt is very real, so those who experience it should be reassured that they’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to vocalize those feelings.
BY Mike Hennessy, Sr.
PUBLISHED November 06, 2019
The number of cancer survivors in the United States has grown to nearly 17 million, a number anticipated to increase by another 5 million in the next decade.
Cutting-edge research and innovative therapies are the reason for the welcome rise. But surviving a traumatic event, such as a cancer diagnosis, can stir up an emotion that many survivors experience but don’t often discuss: guilt — specifically, survivor’s guilt. Because it affects people differently, it can be challenging to determine if this is what someone is feeling.
In our cover story, we delve into the specifics of survivor’s guilt and talk with two survivors who have been affected by the “secret side effect of cancer.” We share ways survivors can overcome the guilt and seek support. There’s also advice on how to discuss the feeling with loved ones. Survivor’s guilt is very real, so those who experience it should be reassured that they’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to vocalize those feelings.
Also inside, we sit down with retired NHL referee Kerry Fraser, who is living with a myeloproliferative neoplasm, a type of incurable blood cancer. Fraser relies on his biggest support system — his family, which includes his wife, seven children and 11 grandchildren. He opens up about his new normal and why he chooses to speak up on myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Finally, as many of you know, life after cancer is different. Perspectives and priorities change, which may mean reevaluating a career. Some people leave the corporate world for a life of advocacy or seek slower-paced jobs; others choose to hang up their work hats for good and opt for early retirement. But how can you start the process? What is the first step toward switching jobs after cancer? A career coach offers tips to help you make your next big move.
Also covered in these pages: advice for fighting post-cancer fatigue; how to cook Kabocha squash, which is packed with cancer-fighting benefits; and the most important lessons that cancer has taught Heal® readers.
We hope you find both practical information and everyday inspiration, and, as always, thank you for reading.