The Blame Game for Cancer Patients

In Breast Cancer, Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

No person ever wants to receive a diagnosis of cancer. Your life is changed forever. You are shocked and then start to wonder how and why you got cancer. And then it starts. It is hard enough that you have to endure what you are going to do in order to treat the cancer but all of a sudden, you are faced with the thought that you did something to cause the cancer and this belief is being reinforced at every turn.

I truly don’t believe that any of us should ever feel guilty that we may/might have caused our own cancer unless and until someone can definitively provide us with that information.Barbara Jacoby

Let’s look at the breast cancer patient’s world. You are told that being overweight, not exercising enough, not eating the right foods, allowing stress in your life, having too many sweets and just about everything else that you can imagine are the reasons that a person gets that cancer. Of course, if you look a little further, these same factors are also shown as the cause for a whole host of other diseases. And you might also want to stop and think about those who you know that seem to eat the perfect diet and exercise regularly and live what most people believe to a really healthy life and still get cancer.

There are those who get lung cancer and the assumption is that they are/were smokers. If such is not the case, then they must have been exposed to second-hand smoke or other carcinogens. But, there are plenty of people who get lung cancer who don’t have any of these factors in their lives and there are plenty of smokers who never get lung cancer despite the fact that they have smoked most of their lives and are still living cancer-free at eighty and ninety years of age and beyond.

I don’t know about you but I am tired of those with cancer being made to feel guilty about having cancer. If we truly knew how and why a person gets any kind of cancer, we could almost immediately have a cure. Obviously that is not the case. All we have to do is just look at the group of women who have metastatic breast cancer. If it was a one solution fits all situation, then everyone would need only one type of chemo or combination of drugs. But, we know that some drugs work for some while not for others. Some things work for a short period of time for one while the same treatment works for others for years. And, sadly, for some, there are no drugs or combination of drugs that make a difference in their lives. If only the solution was as simple as changing the foods we eat or doing a few more minutes of exercise every day!

Therefore, I truly wish everyone would stop telling others how to live their lives. I have already seen more than enough articles telling cancer patients/survivors about how they should eat and how they should legislate their lives to not overdue it but to make sure they get enough exercise and sleep enough, etc. What they are essentially saying is that you already screwed up once by not doing the right thing so don’t do it again or you will get more cancer. They are also telling every other person who does not have cancer that if they don’t change their ways, cancer could very well be their fate, too. How sad it is when anyone would think that it is acceptable to treat anyone else this way let alone someone who has/is dealing with cancer.

I don’t know about anyone else but I have no intention of not enjoying today and every other day to its fullest. I don’t know what caused my cancer nor does anyone else for that matter. I want to live, free of fear that what I do or don’t do will cause cancer to return. That is the gift that I gave to myself a long time ago and what I want for every other person whose life has been touched by cancer in any way. I truly don’t believe that any of us should ever feel guilty that we may/might have caused our own cancer unless and until someone can definitively provide us with that information.