I remember reading an article a few months back on-line which was very aptly titled, “The Struggle to Move Beyond ‘Why Me’“? The author had been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and was trying to find the answer as to that eternal, infernal question: why me? If I had a dime for everytime I asked myself that, I would be able to pay for my entire IVF out of my own pocket. I asked the question because I wanted a real, solid, understandable answer like, you breathed wrong in 1992 or you did too well in college or you drank too much. In the end, I came to understand that there is no answer. And man, does that suck.
But, realizing this is also freeing. It’s freeing because I don’t have to keep asking the same question and not getting an answer. I also don’t have to be concerned with why other people seem to have no problems. Maybe I thought by asking these questions over and over, that somehow something would finally hit and I would understand.
The author of the article determined that her answer was that bad things happen to good people. I don’t really like that answer because it implies that there is still some reason. The truth is there is no reason for why some people are hit with bad things and others aren’t. Concluding this, believing this means that there is no actor involved in determining what happens to people. It’s just life.
One thing I did like in the story, though, was when she met a woman with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. The worst of the worst. It is probably a death sentence. And yet, she said something amazing when asked “How do you do it? How do you live each day with cancer hanging over your head?”:
“I treat every day as an adventure, and I refuse to let anything make me sad, angry or worried,” she replied. “I live for the day, which is something I never did before. Believe it or not, I’m happier now than I was before I was diagnosed.” She wasn’t spending her time tracking down studies and agonizing over statistics. She wasn’t sitting with her head in her hands, asking why, why, why. No, she didn’t know why she got cancer, but she realized that nothing would be different even if she did.
Amen, sister. You are my new hero.