Survivor’s Guilt

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By Penn State Health. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
There are many complex emotions involved with the experience of having cancer. While people often want to view cancer as a victorious journey with positivity and hope, the reality of the fact is it can involve many emotionally taxing and negative feelings. On this episode of Life on Pause, our host Casey speaks with guest Kayla about the cancer experience and all of the negative emotions it can invoke that people often choose not to discuss.

Life on Pause is a podcast created by and for young adults living with cancer. Within this episode, listeners can hear cancer survivors speak on their first-hand experiences on the disease's emotional challenges, such as survivor's guilt, loneliness, and depression.

Listen to Casey and Kayla discuss the emotional challenges of having cancer:

Guest Introduction (1:00)

Host Casey introduces his guest Kayla, who provides a background of her experiences with having and surviving cancer from a young age.

Things Left Unsaid (2:44)

The emotional health challenges involved are often overlooked when discussing the cancer journey, both during and after treatment. The focus placed on the patient's physical health can often overshadow their emotional health needs. Kayla speaks on the emotional challenges she faced throughout her cancer journey, like loneliness, survivor's guilt, worry, and the lingering effects of a traumatic experience.

Survivor's Guilt and Questioning (7:21)

Cancer survivors can often question their reason for survival and their worthiness of living through the experience when so many others haven't. However, comparing cancer experiences and levels of suffering can lead to more emotional difficulties. Casey and Kayla discuss their methods and experiences of coping with the complex feelings that result as a side effect of cancer and linger long after.

Fixing the System (14:15)

Cancer patients often do not receive the emotional health support they need throughout their cancer journeys. Kayla provides her ideas for ways the system can be reformed to help patients with these negative sensations like depression, anxiety, and survivor's guilt. Additionally, Casey and Kayla speak on the positive impact of having open communication about these sensitive topics.

Family and Relationships (17:16)

For young people especially, having cancer can require loved ones and family members to make sacrifices. This can lead them to have negative emotions and feelings of burdening the people around them. Kayla describes her experiences with this during her treatment and her feelings of guilt, jealousy, and shame.

Advice About Emotions (23:01)

Emotional health can be especially challenging for people who are newly experiencing the negative feelings involved with cancer. Casey and Kayla discuss the advice they would give others for handling these negative emotions, as well as the communication surrounding cancer and its effect on those experiencing the disease.

38 episodes