Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Why Me? The Most Obvious and Dangerous Question with Cancer

I always felt, from day one of being diagnosed with cancer, that asking "Why Me?" was a dangerous road to go down. Although it is obvious, and for most people the most immediate question, I tried my best not to ask that of myself. It is a question that can control your life as a cancer patient/caregiver/survivor.

The main reason I avoid it was is there is no "good" or "correct" answer. Some people have situations that cause their chances to increase of getting cancer, I think we all know that by now. If life were fair, and all things were equal, I probably would never had gotten sick. I am not perfect, I didn't always eat the best, didn't work out as much as I should have, an did (do) drink from time to time, I wasn't super unhealthy, and I was in decent shape (better shape than many people who don't get cancer) and wasn't really exposed to any known carcinogens.

I am also not a religious man, and  I don't believe it was any greater plan or anything like that. I am not criticizing anyone who does believe that, it is just not my personal belief, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

The fact of the matter is, I don't know why I got cancer, and I will never know. I can't let myself wonder why. On days where I felt strong, I would block it out as best I could. I felt this question would lead to a slippery slope to worse depression (something that effects cancer patients daily in a lot of cases, myself included) and I didn't want to allow that. Some people just have bad luck, they have a gene, or something like that, and it is really out of their control. They get cancer, and they enter a fight for their life.

Sometimes it is impossible to block it out. Don't get me wrong, it creeps into my mind. Cancer is the only thing that has made me scream in pain and cry in from being emotionally drained. When you are at your weakest it can be hard, if not impossible to completely block it out. It is hard to solve questions with no obvious answers.

I never discussed "why me" with my oncologist either. We had an understanding that we wouldn't wonder why I was here, but rather focus our efforts on getting out of here.

Looking back, I find "why me" to not matter anymore. The fact is, it was me. All I could do was deal with my situation as best I could, as imperfect and sometimes undignified as my physical battle was (and my mental health struggles continue to be).
This was me during chemo (first pic I ever put up of me during "that time")
Cancer sucks (as do all diseases) that  hurt people, or take people too soon. I try not think about why cancer hurts so many people, but rather, how I can fight back and help others going through cancer treatment.
Me now, looking much better,  Cancer free!

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