Many people have asked me if I have ever contemplated the question “Why me?”. Truth is, I asked myself this question just once. It was back when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, April 28, 2015. I was told that I had a very aggressive type of breast cancer and was pondering the “why me?” question intensely. It wasn’t until the next day that I asked the head of the breast oncology unit at Women and Infants Hospital, Dr. Legare, if there was hope of overcoming this diagnosis. His response was what I hold onto today. He said, “Absolutely! It won’t be easy but they were going to do everything they could to help me get through this.” Though it has been a bumpy road since that day back in 2015, and it certainly hasn’t been easy, I have never once asked myself again “Why me?”
“Why me?” seems like a negative question to me, like something people ask themselves when they feel pity about their circumstances. I’ve started to turn the question around and ask “Why not me?” Why can’t I take the circumstance I have been handed and make it into a positive situation? Why shouldn’t I continue to smile through the obstacles in my way? Why not do triathlons, walk marathons, and continue to do hobbies? I’ve asked myself all of these questions, and until I find an answer that I can truly say I would be happy with, then I will continue to do what I am doing…which honestly is just living my life.
This is not to downplay what I am going through or other thoughts about this diagnosis. After all, I’m only human. Of course I do stop and think about the future and what it holds for me. I have fears and worries, most often of not completing goals and dreams that I have set for myself. I’ve contemplated what death means, and wondered if there really is an afterlife, or if spirits really do come back in another life. These are all things I no longer fear, because there is nothing to fear but fear itself. I figure these things are inevitable for all of us, and worrying about them will only waste the time I have left. I’ve read the statistics, and I choose not to perseverate on them anymore. Besides if I believe every statistic that I have read in the past three years, then I wouldn’t be here today.
“Why NOT me?” Why NOT take what I have been given and turn it into something positive? I CHOOSE to smile in the face of fear, which in turn is providing others with inspiration in their own lives. I CHOOSE to raise awareness for breast cancer early detection. I CHOOSE to put forth what I can to find a cure for this awful disease that does leave so many asking “Why me?” “Why my child?” “Why my friend, mother, sister, aunt, etc.?” Cancer is an ugly disease that can take so much from all involved, but choosing to make a difference so that others don’t have to hurt so much is what I choose to do. I want people to know there is life during cancer treatments and after. Most importantly, I want people to know that each and every person can make a difference in the world of cancer by contributing to foundations such as the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, where every dollar goes directly to breast cancer research. The sooner we find a cure the sooner patients, families, and friends can stop asking “Why me?” or in my case “Why NOT me?”