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Many of us have deeply-held suspicions that the cancer was our own fault – we drank too much, smoked too much, ate meat once a week, or sanded paint off walls without wearing a face-mask. I have a dark secret that I wished cancer on myself: I was fed up with teaching and I craved a break just a little too much.

I feel intensely guilty.

But the guilt doesn’t end there. You feel guilty you survived too. You wonder: why me? Why am I alive? Why have I been given a second chance when others didn’t get one? And with that comes the guilt that you aren’t making the most of your life. You’re not making the ‘right’ choices. You aren’t grabbing life by the balls and singing Tarzan-like whoops from the rooftops. You feel dissatisfied with your life and yourself, which freezes you even more.

So maybe this is your chance to make a change. Maybe you don’t want to find your way back to your old life. Maybe there are aspects of yourself you want to re-write. Maybe this decision vertigo gives you the opportunity to imagine the new you. 

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