When the doctor told me I had a sizable tumor in my pancreas, I asked him the few questions that came to mind. As I was walking out of the door of the exam room, I asked him, "Do you think this is going to kill me?" He calmly answered, "No, I don't think so. You might need chemo or radiation, but I think you are going to be okay." To date, so far, so good. No chemo, no radiation, not dead. But before I thought to even ask that question, I asked him "Why?" He informed me that in the absence of a strong family history, there is no good answer to that question. There is nothing I did to cause the tumor and there is nothing I could have done to prevent the tumor.
Over the next several days and months, I would occasionally find myself going down the rabbit hole of the "Why me?" question. Heck, my brain still goes there on occasion, even though it knows better. In life, things happen. Accidents happen, tragedies occur, genes mutate, and tumors grow. Perhaps a better question is "Why not me?" The answer: no reason. There is both some comfort and some terror in the notion that anything can happen to anyone for no particular reason. "Why me?" sounds a bit whiny and implies that other people might deserve your fate more than you did. "Why not me?" acknowledges the random and awful as random and awful.
The question "Why not me?"can also address the good things. It is a question to ask yourself when you are trying something new, different, or unfamiliar. It's a question I asked myself when I decided to share my story via self publication on the Internet. I wasn't sure people would want to read what I had to say, but people do sometimes want to read what others have to say, so why not me?
I can't stress enough that I am not writing to compare my awful to your awful. I am not writing to minimize the experiences of others. I am not writing to get sympathy. I am acutely aware that my random awful could have been so much worse. A large portion of people who undergo the same surgery I did are fighting "real" pancreatic cancer (not my "sort of" cancer). I do know how lucky I am. Since I am just a lowly blogger and not a pop star, I am going to pull out a Pitbull quote to (w)rap this up: "everyday above ground is a great day, remember that."