“Why Did I Have To Get Cancer!?”

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“Dear Pam

I am a recently diagnosed breast cancer survivor. I want to be positive about going through this, but how can I feel like this is something to embrace or that God loves me when he allowed something like this to happen to me?

I’m a good person. I help others. I didn’t do anything to deserve cancer. Why couldn’t a bad person, someone who robs or kills get this disease? I’m angry all the time; especially at God. How can I get pass this anger?”

Just Plain Angry 

Dear “Just plain angry,”

First, I want to give you a cyber-hug. Your letter touched me to my core, because I get it. I get the anger. You wonder, “why me?” “There are plenty of bad people in the world that deserve this so why am I being punished?” I get it.

While I never questioned my cancer diagnosis, I was angry about other things. I saw bad people get away with all kinds of things and not be punished.

I wished death on many a people. I wished my son’s father would get hit by a Mack truck when he abandoned his duties as a dad and left me to raise my son by myself. I wished death on my step-father when he mentally, verbally and almost physically abused my mom.

black-woman-sadI couldn’t understand how God could allow people who had done such bad things in the world to remain unscathed while the good people always suffered.

It hurt my heart to watch good people die early and bad people live forever and a day. I didn’t understand the reason behind any of it.

What I realized is that I was being watched on this journey, people on my job, my family, and my friends.

Everyone was watching to see how I would handle this. Sure I could have spazzed out, rolled in the floor and kicked and screamed, but would that have cured the cancer? I couldn’t let my son see me acting out in anger about a hand that was dealt to me. What message would I be sending him?

JoyI chose to respond to everything with hope and joy in my heart.

It was hard to get through those chemotherapy sessions, but I was glad to be alive another day; every day. Also I had people who were rooting for me. I chose not to blame God for what I was going through, but embrace that someone would see me and know they could go on another day.

Anger can be a toxic thing if it is left fester.

It will turn into something else that can wreak havoc in your body. You don’t want that. You have enough drugs going through your system that are literally toxic, why add to it.  It is okay to be angry, but don’t let it consume you. Process it and find joy.



Sensible Homework:

  • It takes too much energy to be negative. Use that energy to live.
  • Find laughter. My son and family kept me laughing. There were many times that I laughed until I cried. Find that.
  • Embrace the child in you. I chose to watch cartoons. I love cartoons, so I decided to cut the news out for a while and recapture the innocence of my childhood. If you have the energy, go to an amusement park and get on the Merry-Go-Round.
  • Say positive affirmations that will confirm your positive place in this world. Say them every day, three times a day.

If you would like to encourage this survivor, please leave a comment below.

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