There is an organization called Y-Me who supports women and their families who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was diagnosed at age 31 with breast cancer in September of 2000 I simply could not identify with a group that called itself Why Me. I swear I never once thought Why Me...why NOT me? Yes, I suppose I was a little young to have been given the diagnosis of breast cancer but I always had the feeling Why Not Me? One in 8 of us women will supposedly deal with this diagnosis in our life times. When you lined me up with 7 other women I guess I just never thought I would stand out as being any different on the inside and therefore Why NOT me?
For the first time in the 7 1/2 years since my diagnosis and subsequent remission after surgery, chemo, and radiation I have thought Why Me? Why have I been given the gift of life...or as it is...more life? How did I win this cancer lottery of sorts and then go on to have the two most amazing children in my life? I have my husband who loves me for who I am, I have my immediate family who supports everything I do. I have everything. Why Me?
These Why-Me thoughts have been brought on by a re-lapse of a friend I met along my cancer journey. She is a woman my age who happened to be a friend of a friend. She was about a year behind me in diagnosis and we were able to meet and become friends as we both finished our treatments. We attended cancer fundraisers together periodically, we walked a race or two together. After her treatments ended and she was pronounced in remission she married a wonderful man. The Muffin Man and I went to the wedding. She wanted children. Where I decided to never try for a pregnancy again for fear of tipping the hormonal balance I pursued the adoption route with avengence, she made the decision to have biological children. She had her first baby 2 years ago. His name is Henry. Then she had a second son, Cooper in September 2007. After the birth of her Henry she appeared radiant to me, swelling with pride and love for that little boy as I sat on her couch while visiting. She should be living life, loving her husband, kissing her kids and working at her career.
But she is not. A few weeks ago she was told her cancer had spread to her lung, liver and possibly her brain. She has been immediately transported to another world...one that is filled with treatments, surgeries, chemo, radiation and fear of leaving a young family too soon.
Her name is Tiffany. She is not yet 40 years old. She is real and wears label of cancer on her lovely creamy white skin and in her strawberry blond hair. I guess I could certainly understand if she was now asking Why Me.
If you are one to say a prayer, or send a positive message into the universe would you please think for a moment of Tiffany and her family?