Why Me?


While I have asked this question about other things in life, I have not asked it with regard to getting cancer. It will happen to over two million Americans in 2008; why should I expect immunity from this lethal lottery? Here are the estimates according to the American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2008.

 

Cancer Type

Estimated New Cases

Estimated Deaths

Bladder

68,810

14,100

Breast (Female – Male)

182,460 – 1,990

40,480 – 450

Colon and Rectal

148,810

49,960

Endometrial

40,100

7,470

Kidney (Renal Cell)

46,232

11,059

Leukemia (All)

44,270

21,710

Lung

215,020

161,840

Melanoma

62,480

8,420

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

66,120

19,160

Pancreatic

37,680

34,290

Prostate

186,320

28,660

Skin (Nonmelanoma)

>1,000,000

<1,000

Thyroid

37,340

1,590

Total

2,137,632

398,739

 

“Why” questions can be exercises in futility. While some things are more statistically probable—smokers getting lung cancer, drunk drivers having accidents—others are complete mysteries. Tour de France winners get cancer, too, and non-drinkers get killed by drunk drivers. Bad things happen to good people. Christian and non-Christian alike.

 

When it comes to individual events, life can be more akin to quantum mechanics than classical physics. Uncertainty sometimes trumps cause-and-effect. “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all” (Eccl 9:11).

 

The more important question is, “How am I going to play the hand I’ve been dealt?”

 

“Because in life, there comes a time,

When one must fight, and one must climb,

When one must rise and take a stand,

Or leave their butt prints in the sand.” – Anon

 

  

 

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4 thoughts on “Why Me?

  1. Wow! Those statistics are staggering. The statistic that boggles my mind is that one in two men and one in three women will get cancer. Indeed, the question is not “Why me?” but “Why not me?”

  2. Hi
    I saw your interesting piece on the LLS website and will now be following your blog. I recently wrote a post on my blog about the “why me” question. The headline is “They used to say it’s my birthday.” I’ve been writing about my battle with leukemia and my three transplants; my blog is called “Running for My Life: Fighting Cancer One Step at a Time.”
    Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Ronni

  3. When I see how you put words together and have wonderfully constructed thoughts, I am so proud of you. I think you are the best writer I have read, and I do a lot of reading. You are much loved in the “north office”.

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