Why Ask Why?

March 2020

Someone close to me who was dealing with her own health issues and pain asked me, “Why me?” My oh-so-sympathetic response was, “Oh geez, that’s a pointless question. Why not you? Why any of us?”

We have a very close friend who suffered an unimaginable health crisis that he’ll never recover from. This guy is the best. Truly. He’s like a father to me. Wise. Funny. And healthy as a horse. And his life is forever changed.

There is no “why.” There just is.

I’ve never even thought “Why me?” with this disease, except in the clinical sense, as in, “What caused it? Did I do something to cause it?” Before I got the diagnosis, I wracked my brain trying to think if I had done something in the past that I was now paying the price for. But I never once though “Why me” in terms of being singled out to experience this.

I’m not religious, I don’t think I can even say I’m spiritual. I’m a very here and now person. I’m not trying to paint myself as being “above” the fear that comes with this diagnosis. There’s really no “zen” in my genetic makeup. I think a lot about the impact it’s going to have on my life if the treatment isn’t successful. Will I be able to work? Will I have to go on disability? Can I still travel? I’m grateful for having a good job and making a good income and having good health insurance. Will that all go away? But I try not to dwell on it. What good does that do?

I’m going to try to be as prepared as I can, mostly financially, if the worst should happen. That’s really all I can do. I know a lot of times I look at something like this and try to find the purpose it’s supposed to serve. I probably do it too much but it helps me cope. I had to have that ruptured eardrum so my thyroid cancer could be discovered. When my dog fell off a cliff and had to have major surgery–I “justified” it by saying some dog was going to fall off a cliff that day, and it was mine because I could afford to pay for his recovery. (I know it’s a stretch. Trust me.) My friend who had the severe health problem—this one’s another stretch—but the lesson I try to learn from that is to appreciate the moment I’m in. I may not remember it 5 minutes from now so I’d better appreciate it while I’m there.

I’m not yet sure what the purpose or lesson from this experience is yet. I have some ideas but maybe I’ll know more about that down the road.

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