After you heard those terrible words, you have cancer, did you ever stop and ask yourself, or ask anyone for that matter, why me? I’ve heard, rather I’ve read, some say they never thought or asked why me? In fact, some even take it the other direction and ask, why not me?
So I’m curious, did you ever wonder about, or come right out and ask your doctor, why did I get cancer?
I have wondered and I have asked — more than once. Even though I knew/know there were/are no answers, I still wondered. I still asked. Sometimes I still wonder, though I’ve kind of stopped asking…
What about you?
Most cases of breast cancer do not have a genetic link, rather most cases are sporadic. I imagine the shock of hearing those words when there is no history of cancer in your family, is perhaps even greater than for someone like me whose family gene pool is “tainted”.
You might think that since my cancer does have a genetic link, I’d just go with that. It makes for a good “getting cancer reason,” right?
At least I’ve got something to blame it on.
It’s not enough.
Everyone who comes from a family with hereditary cancer risk (brca+ or not), does not get cancer. Even my mother, who was also brca2+, wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her seventies, so why the heck was I diagnosed decades younger? I know, I know, it’s not like getting cancer is better at an older age, but…
So still, the next “logical” question is, why me? Or at least in my case, why me so soon?
Shortly after I found out I am brca2+, I came out and asked my oncologist, “So, do you think me being brca+ is what caused my cancer?”
His exact response was, “Yes, probably.”
I remember that conversation clearly. I had entered intensive-information-gathering mode.
Maybe he was right. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was guessing. Maybe he was just being kind and telling me what I wanted to hear because he knew I was trying to figure out my cancer mess.
Regardless, I did and have continued to wonder more than a few times, why did I get cancer?
I have three siblings. All are fine so far, thank God, so why me?
Was it because I got my period early? Was it because I stopped having them early? Was it because I didn’t exercise hard enough or often enough? Was it because I ate the wrong stuff? Was it because I had my children later? Was it because I’m the tallest? Was it because I’m the youngest daughter? Was it because I was on the pill for years? Was it because I didn’t breast feed long enough? Was it because of stress? Was it because I didn’t lose that ten pounds I was always trying to lose? Was it because I didn’t have that last mammogram? Was it because I had too many mammograms? Was it because I moved to Wisconsin? Was it because I’m jinxed? Was it because I deserved it? (just trying to make a point here)
And that point is, a person’s mind can come up with some doozies.
And the longer your list of “was it because of this?” ends up being, the more bizarre the questions/reasons often become.
Sometimes, we want a simple explanation for the bad crap that happens to us and cancer is some bad-ass crap. It’s human nature to want to know, why me? Why did this happen?
The trouble is, of course, many times there are no answers, much less simple ones.
There’s danger in turning this quest for answers into a blame game of sorts. And the blame game is a slippery slope and probably a topic for another day.
Why did I get cancer?
Why does anyone get cancer?
Sometimes, we just want answers.
But sometimes there just aren’t any — not good ones anyway.
Have you ever wondered why you (or your loved one) got cancer?