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Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Me?

It's not what you think. Yes, of course I've said "Why Me?" to myself a million, trillion times since my diagnosis. But this is different...this "Why Me?" is why was I so lucky to live? Sometimes I feel like the unluckiest person in the world...I was diagnosed with cancer, initial treatment didn't work, and 2 years later, I'm still fighting this disease. Yet on the other hand I'm the luckiest person in the world...I was lucky to survive an awful, awful, scary blood clot and heart surgery...many other people do not. So I think, "Why Me?", why was I chosen to live and go on when other people do not. I think of other people that have passed away from cancer...a college classmate, a little girl that performed on Broadway in the Lion King, a friend's grandmother...and I think, "Why Them?". It would be crazy to think that my life is more important than theirs, so why did I survive and they did not? It's all so hard to comprehend--the great mystery of life and death--who survives and who does not.

And it goes further than cancer...as the 10th anniversary of Sept 11th comes around, we're surrounded by stories of those "unlucky" people who happened to be in the twin towers that day, who happened to be on the plane that day. And it just doesn't seem fair...they didn't do anything wrong or deserve to die in such a horrible tragedy but they did. A few weeks ago I found out that a guy I went to college with died in a plane crash. I didn't know him well...I actually remember having a slight crush on him freshman year and he later dated a friend of mine, but we never kept in touch when school ended. He was married with a baby on the way and he was in the unlucky position to be on a plane that crashed. In the days afterward a Facebook page was created in his memory and hundreds of friends shared their favorite memory of him or how he touched their life or talked about what a great person he was. It was beautiful, yet so heartbreaking. I thought about his wife, his parents, his unborn child and wondered how they would go on. And then I thought about how close I came to dying. People talking about my life in the past tense and creating memorials in my name. The emotions are overwhelming, because I don't understand it. I don't understand why I'm still here, why I get to hug and kiss the ones I love, why I get to laugh and cry with my friends and family. Why I get to be annoyed by a line at a cash register or a crowd in the street, the silly things we all take for granted. It hits me at the most random moments...typing an email, making dinner, looking at the big blue sky, I realize how lucky I am.

Yet, it's not always easy to keep that in perspective and that's why I wrote this post. To remind myself. I am lucky...despite my daily fight against cancer. I've never been the type of person to take life for granted, I was always worried about dying even when I was a little girl. So now I'm even more aware of how quick life can change, in an instant, in a moment. I make sure to tell my loved ones that I love them every time we speak to have that peace of mind. I think the important thing to remember is that no one is promised tomorrow, so I'm so grateful to have had today.

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