Sunday, April 4, 2010

There Are No Stupid Questions--Not Even "Why Me?"

I'm experiencing typical nervousness in advance of my first follow up medical tests in Houston this week. I wonder what is going on inside of me. Goo?

Should I wonder why? (In a metaphysical sense, not in a biological cause/effect sense.) That question--why me--finally made it to the front of my brain during my first appointment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in November, 2009. I once typed up some thoughts on that day, pondering the "why me" question. However, I deleted it after I was finished. It didn't really provide any answers, anyway. "Delete" is one of the most powerful but underused buttons on the computer keyboard. 

And yes, I know the standard responses to the "why me" question: "It's a wake up call," "You'll learn to appreciate each day," "You are meant for something different," etc. Those are all fine and good, but still somewhat unsatisfying answers. They just beg the question. Why did I get the wake up call, why was I to learn to appreciate each day, and why am I meant for something different?

Back to my point, and I think I have one somewhere, and I hope it is a better one now that I deleted my first draft response. Why me? Well, why NOT me? I'm just not going to obsess about with looking back at why I got stuck with a poisonous, toxic tumor, it'll drive a person nuts. What's more important right now is, well, right now. I like to read about the physics of time and space. I don't understand it all, but we all know this: From our limited ability to perceive time, that damn clock keeps moving in one direction only and at the same rate (let's not talk about relativity right now, thanks). It doesn't matter what you wonder about or fear or replay in your mind or what you do. 

(Comic from: it.)

You can lose all that time if you aren't careful--and once it's gone, too bad. Here's a link to the blog of another PMPer, Kevin, who made this point just the other day, but with motorcycles:

It's weird to think it was there long before I knew about it, and I guess I should feel lucky that this poisonous growth finally revealed itself, and is now gone. Well, I hope it's gone, I'm pretty sure it's gone, we'll see on Thursday, and three months after that, etc., etc. What if it had been another few years before I figured it out? As long as this happened, I need to remember the positive things too--that I'm relatively lucky, and I'll be better. I'm getting stronger every week. 

So, while I think "why me" is not a question you can actually answer, that does not make it a stupid or useless exercise, I've decided. I hope you can see why. It's just a natural question in trying circumstances, and it's as good a starting point as anything else. If you don't get stuck on it, it might lead you to a really cool kayak ride.... That's what I'm going for....

(P.S. I believe what I just wrote most of the time, which is good.)