Why Me?

1 Dec

 

I think that’s the first question that runs across most people’s mind when they first learn of their cancer diagnosis.  “Why me?”

It never occurred to me to ask the question, though.  The first thought that crossed my mind when the CT scan indicated that I had a 10 cm mass on my kidney was, “Are you sure?”  I had been completely and totally asymptomatic until the day I moved across town and did a lot of heavy lifting by myself, so I was convinced I had a hernia.  I didn’t believe the doctors until the doctors briefed me after my kidney surgery.

Even if I had wanted to ask myself the question, nobody would have been able to answer it.  I don’t have any of the typical risk factors for kidney cancer: I was young, female, a non-smoker, not diabetic, and I very rarely drank alcohol.

So we have a mystery on our hands.  Did I get cancer because my family always drank our iced tea with artificial sweetener?  Because we put plastic containers in the dishwasher?  Because I used to stand next to my grandmother while she smoked out on her back porch in the middle of the Piney Woods of Texas because I liked the smell of the smoke?  Because I spent an hour an evening on my cell phone talking to my mom in college?

It’s useless to ask these questions over and over, since as of yet we have no scientific way of determining the answer.  There is no point in torturing yourself.  The fact is, I’m here, and “Why me?” isn’t going to help.  The question now is, “What am I going to do about it?”

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