Skip to Content

Cancer, Chemotherapy, An Ebook & Why Me?

Why me? How many times have you asked this question in your life? Have you asked it a lot, just a few times or maybe never?

Generally speaking, it seems we ask this question when bad things happen to us. When good things happen, we tend not to think in quite the same way. Perhaps we think we’ve worked really hard and deserve to have good things happen for us.

This may or may not be true.

More than this though, it’s just human nature. It’s the way we are wired. We tend to complain when things are not going our way.

Just ask any parent. Or teacher. Or spouse. Or frustrated sibling.

After my 2010 breast cancer diagnosis, I didn’t ask why me?

In an odd sort of way, I wasn’t completely surprised about my diagnosis.

That was because my mother had breast cancer, as did two of her sisters. Two aunts on my dad’s side did as well. Breast cancer was thriving in my family it seemed so again, I wasn’t completely surprised about my diagnosis, but what did surprise me was the timing of it.

My diagnosis came some twenty years earlier for me than my mother’s did for her.

I wrongly assumed I at least had more time.

Cancer didn’t allow me the luxury of time.

Cancer was/is more demanding than that.

Cancer forces to you to deal with the here and now whether you want to or not.

Still, as I said, my diagnosis day wasn’t when I asked why me?

I didn’t ask on the day I learned I am BRCA2 positive either. After learning my mother was BRCA2 positive, I knew my chances were 50/50. I pretty much expected to learn my genes were “tainted.” They were.

So when did I ask why me?

It was the day my oncologist said the words, “Based on the facts we now know, I must recommend chemotherapy for you. It’s your best option.”

That was a bad day. That was an ugly day.

That was the day I asked, why me?

And that was the day I demanded wanted answers.

Of course, no answers came, at least not the ones I wanted to hear.

That was the day I felt swallowed up by fear.

Since that day was such a pivotal and fearful one for me, I decided to write an Ebook to help other chemo newbies get past the fear. I’m hoping to help others navigate around that fear just a bit because sometimes even a little bit helps.

No one knows why bad things happen. We don’t know why good things happen either for that matter.

It’s just the way life is, a mix of good and bad.

Sometimes the balance between the two gets way out of whack.

We enjoy the good times when they come and muddle through the bad times when they come.

When bad things happen, we stomp around for a while figuratively and maybe even literally.

We fall down.

Then we get up, dust ourselves off, devise a plan and get busy.

If we’re lucky, we make our way back to more good times.

The good times feel even better.

And once again we forget about asking, why me?

When have you asked why me?

Have you ever felt swallowed up by fear?




Cancer, Depression & the Fear Factor
Reconstruction of a Different Kind

Elizabeth J.

Friday 30th of August 2013

Nancy, like you I had a strong family history of breast cancer. My question wasn't "why me?" It was "why now?" The family pattern was mid to late 60s, not in your 50s. I always assumed if/when I got breast cancer, I would catch it quickly, have a lumpectomy, and get on with my life. (Happened that way for my cousin, although she also had a short course of radiation.) But, I had to not only get breast cancer 10 years too early, but get this crummy IBC (inflammatory breast cancer). That's me, never seem to be able to do anything the easy way!


Sunday 1st of September 2013

Elizabeth, I always thought I'd have more time too... And yes, IBC presents another whole set of challenges that's for sure. I appreciate how you keep sharing about them so candidly. Thank you.

Beth L. Gainer

Friday 25th of May 2012

Congratulations on your e-book, Nancy!! I'm thrilled for you, and I know this book will help many people facing chemo. It's a great thing that you have done.

Swallowed up by fear? Yes, for me, it's been often, but I've learned how to cope. When I was diagnosed, I was definitely swallowed up by fear.

I didn't ask "why me?" either. I figured, "why not me?" I had a healthy genetic family line and, yet, I knew that I wasn't immune to illness and no more special than anyone being diagnosed with cancer. I was fit and had a history of good health, too.

The diagnosis was not so surprising for me, but it was shocking.

Thank you for putting that e-book into the world. It is certainly needed.


Tuesday 29th of May 2012

Beth, Thanks so much for your supportive words. Yes, shocking is a better word choice than surprising. Somehow when a diagnosis is yours to own, it's shocking even if your family does have a history. I was shocked by the timing of mine. Many of us have been "swallowed up" by fear, even if only temporarily. Of course many things in life can make us feel like this, not just cancer. Glad you like the idea of my ebook. I hope a few find it to be helpful.


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Nancy, there just cannot be enough resources for women to enlighten & support them while we are considering our treatment options. I never asked 'why me?' at diagnosis either. Perhaps because I work in healthcare, I know that illness & catastrophe can befall anyone at any time. But I did start asking a version of 'why me?' when I began to discover just how problematic it was to get thorough information from my doctors about the treatments they proposed & to get help with the aftermath. Good for you. And for us. xoxo


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Kathi, Working in healthcare you must see so much I'm sure nothing surprises you anymore. There is a lot of information to try to decipher isn't there? It's no wonder you started asking the question why me when running into problems getting accurate/thorough information. You aren't alone there I'm sure. And you're right, there can never be too many resources. Thanks for commenting.


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Nancy Your writing has been such a source of inspiration and reassurance for me over the past seven months. There are so many times when so many of us in this community seem to be living parallel lives, asking why, trying to keep the fear at bay etc It is perfect, just perfect, that you have written a book.


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Yvonne, It does seem as if many of us are living parallel lives doesn't it? At least in some aspects. That's what is so great about each of us sharing own story. We see that we are all connected in so many ways, and that's pretty comforting. Thanks for your kind words.

Ginny Marie

Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

Congratulations on your ebook, Nancy! I'll spread the word. :D I'm sure you will help a lot of people get through a difficult time in their life.


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Ginny, Thank you very much for your support.

%d bloggers like this: