After diagnosis, there is a time when everything you touch or the rooms you inhabit feel like poison. The fear is that you have brought this upon yourself somehow. You are guilty of hurting yourself. If you had only paid better attention to the evils that exist all around instead of ignoring them or saying flippantly, “we all die of something.”
I spent many hours wondering if the air at work was bad, or the water I drank was carcinogenic or if sitting in a hot tub did something weird to my breast tissue, or did I emotionally cause my cancer to grow. I even have a beautiful picture hanging in my house that was painted for our community’s “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” fundraiser for breast cancer. As I looked at it, I wondered if just having it in the house brought cancer to me. It’s a terrible time of beating yourself up wondering what you did to cause cancer.
Fortunately that passes with time. Not to say it doesn’t rear up now and again but as you search for answers and truths these early fears become less powerful. What happens instead is you look at these issues now for how to help yourself rather than a platform for blame and guilt. It’s a good lesson but a rather harsh one.