Tag Archives: Charities

Feeling Guilty

All cancer survivors! Walking together, surviving together!
All cancer survivors! Walking together, surviving together!

Have you ever felt guilty about something? Maybe you stepped on a bug on the sidewalk? Elbowed your kid in the head by mistake? Ran over a squirrel in your car? I think we have all done these things, felt guilty about it for a moment and moved on. I once was shopping in Zellars (The Canadian version of Kmart) with my Mom, and I was young enough not to be able to see over the counter, so I was five maybe? I was REALLY excited over this new Barbie my Mum let me pick out. I clutched her in my arms throughout the entire store, I looked into her eyes and day dreamed of the dressing changes we would be doing and plastic car rides we would be going on. My Mum bustled me along, as she grabbed her bags to leave. Out in the parking lot she realized I was still clutching the dang Barbie and had not paid for it. I remember her DRAGGING me back into the store like some common criminal. I was embarrassed, but more than anything, I felt GUILTY. Like a deep ache of guilt, like would be Mum ever forgive me? Could I ever forgive myself? Will I still get into College?

Fast forward 20 years and here I sit, snuggling with my beautiful healthy five year old boy that happens to be a cancer survivor. Yes, we have a few side effects and setbacks due to Cancer, but in the grand scheme of things, we had a very lucky journey. As I sit here, running my hands through his hair that grew back a much darker colour, I cannot help but to think of the friends of ours that are still battling the disease. Why is my child ok but theirs has relapsed? Why did they go through 12 ports and ours was perfectly fine? Why is my child alive while theirs is dead? The guilt swallows me up some days. Do I deserve to have a healthy child when some great Mums out there are missing theirs? I can’t wrap my head around it. Logically, I know it’s silly, I should be shouting from the roof tops and dancing a jig at our luck. But how can I be celebrating when other kids are dying? When other kids are still fighting? Apparently it’s called Survivors guilt which is a part of my PTSD. That’s great that there is a nice little name for it…but how do I fix it?

The long and the short of it? I DID make it in to college, LOL the Barbie trauma is long behind me. But the Survivors Guilt? I find myself inserting myself into my Cancer Community, doing things like running a Parent’s Support group, organizing a Super Hero sewing bee so every sick kid gets a Courage Cape and lots of fundraising events through the year. Events like Relay for Life is a great day where Cancer Families and their supporters plus great members of the community get together to walk together and raise money. Its a way of connecting. Look up your local Cancer Society or Ronald McDonald House as they always never volunteers I feel like instead of filling my heart with guilt and dread, I actively fill my heart with love from these other Cancer families. Yes, by putting myself out there, I could get hurt again as our friends may relapse but the love far outweighs any of the bad.

The guilt? I will never be able to fix it but I CAN put it in a figurative little box, with a pretty little bow. I know it’s always there, tugging at my heartstrings but I don’t have to open it all the time. I keep it close to my heart, I think about those kids all the time but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to take over my whole day, I don’t let the guilt consume me anymore. I’m allowed to laugh and enjoy my cancer-free child. We all know life is just too precious and too short to be worried about something I cannot change.

Hug your babies tight tonight…and remember, you are not alone.


Helpful Cancer Links

I HAD CANCER.com-is an amazing site for fighters, survivors and Care Givers to get together, ask questions and get support from others that “get it” from all around the world. Its an amazing resource for knowledge but also kinship. They also feature some of my blogs now and then! 🙂

OPACC-Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer

Canadian Cancer Society-Info, support services, Wheels of hope, screening and prevention, ways to volunteer

Camp Trillium-As we are a camp for children with cancer, our programs are tailored for all abilities whenever possible. We also have medical staff on the premises whenever camp is in session.

Ronald McDonald House-Hamilton-A home away from home for families with a child in the hospital.

Childhood Cancer Canada -Is an amazing resource! Check out their “Empower Packs” and scholarships and everything in-between!

My Fav Charities



Alivia’s Rainbows does amazing work! They donate money directly to families battling childhood cancer in our community. This important service is a life saver to most cancer families and their hard work and dedication to the cause is unmatched. Chantal and Craig honour their daughter who we lost to Cancer. As well as helping families directly, they also give much needed toys and electronics to McMaster Children’s Hospital and The Ronald McDonald House Hamilton and Camp Trillium.



Team Kelsey is a whirlwind force of Lime Green that fights cancer at every turn! They are heavily involved in the community, raising money and donating to both  The Ronald McDonald House Hamilton and McMaster Children’s Hospital‘s Stem Cell Research. They honour their daughter Kelsey who we lost from a brain tumor.



Jace Wars throws amazing “nerd” events that raise money in honour of their heroic little guy Jace who fought off a very serious brain tumor. All monies goes toward The Ronald McDonald House Hamilton.


The Box Run is run by an amazing man named Mike Strange. He is a man larger than life, an Olympic Boxer, a City Counselor, a business owner and most importantly, a man intent of killing cancer! He ran across Canada, raising money and spreading awareness of Childhood Cancer. He now hosts an annual Box Run that helps out local Children with terminal illnesses!


ForeverWe.org is an amazing organization that sells dolls. You can get one for yourself, send one to a friend or sponsor one to a hospital or sick child! Their philosophy is to teach through dolls that encourage purposeful play. “Jewel” is the first in their line of special dolls. She has removable hair, a port and even a superhero cape if you want! These special dolls are given to cancer kids across the US and even here in Canada! There is also a cute book that explains the dolls. As a family, we found this doll was a great ice breaker to bring up Griffin’s Cancer diagnosis and how it has/is effecting him.

ForeverWe dolly
ForeverWe dolly