10 years | The paradoxical emotions felt when a loved one fights cancer.

Today marks 10 years since one of my best friends in the world was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

The tricky part comes when you witness and feel yourself the paradoxical emotions. And now reflecting, I think the feeling behind the driver’s seat of those conflicting sentiments was always guilt.

And then, after guilt not only knitted me this cape of weak strength, it made me feel guilty for feeling good about wearing it.

I also remember guilt taunting me for liking the feeling of being needed.

Guilt is largely a nonconstructive emotion, but it felt nearly impossible not to feel it when your best friend was going through chemo and radiation.

You see the endlessly paradoxical nature of this, yeah?

And reflecting today on this milestone, this is what I’ve learned since then:

Guilt is pervasive and not constructive.

Be helpful, but also, get out of the way.

The more you allow your feelings to matter, the larger capacity you will have for empathy.

It’s for cancer patients, cancer survivors, anyone affected by cancer, disease, crisis, or anyone that has ever felt like hope and belief is a curse.

It will seek to be an anthem for the struggling and a financial raiser for the Rutledge Foundation.

Stream WINGS on Spotify (also on Apple and Amazon Music)

Here were Carley’s words about her 10-years-since-diagnosis milestone:

We are still this insane.

Monica Moser is an Austin-based singer/songwriter, podcaster, & freelance journalist working in digital marketing in the music industry. TW/IG: @monicamoser

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