Skin Cancer: Why Me?
I am on a skin cancer journey, and my first run-in with skin cancer was in June 2018. I had squamous cell carcinoma on my bottom lip, and it was removed by a plastic surgeon in a shave excision surgery. I had three recurrences and three additional surgeries. And today, more than four years later, the skin cancer journey continues...
Skin cancer - my ongoing issue
At this time point in time, I have accepted the fact that I have an ongoing skin cancer issue. Skin cancer has not been a one-shot deal for me, and I fear this will be my life going forward. I wonder what lies ahead, and I have a lot of fear about what my skin cancer journey will look like in the future. I attempt to live in the moment and not focus on the future of my skin cancer journey, but it is not always easy to do.
On a regular basis, I find myself asking, no one in particular, “Why me? Why is this happening to me?”
Looking for a purpose
I feel like I am a relatively good person, and I have always tried to lead a good life. Therefore, it seems logical, reasonable, and understandable for me to wonder why this is the road I am now on. I am working to see the purpose in my life for my skin cancer journey, but it is not easy. Looking for purpose in such a bad situation seems like an impossible task. However, I choose to take an optimistic view of the situation. Surely there is something positive that is meant to come from what I have gone through and continue to go through with skin cancer. I choose to believe there is. Honestly, I feel in my heart that there must be some meaning behind it all.
I was talking with a coworker recently, and we ended up talking my skin cancer writing. He is light-complected, and he disclosed to me that he has a family history of skin cancer. He also admitted that as an adult, he just recently started wearing sunscreen. I was really surprised. My coworker is approximately thirty years old, he is a very bright professional, and he really excelled academically in law school. My coworker explained that he just never knew that he was at risk from the harmful effects of the sun.
I could certainly identify with his position, and it struck me that perhaps my purpose in my skin cancer journey is one of education and awareness. Considering what I have been through with skin cancer since June 2018, my first diagnosis, I have chosen to speak out, when the opportunity presents, on skin cancer awareness and skin protection. I want to give others the knowledge and awareness that I did not have the benefit of having. In my mind, knowledge and awareness are the keys to winning the ongoing fight against skin cancer, and it is very important for me to take an active place in that fight.
My skin cancer journey is ongoing and at times, very difficult, so most days I ask, “Why me?”
But, in my mind, I have decided that my journey, difficult as it is, is intended to shine a light on skin cancer and provide much-needed education and awareness to others. Do not misunderstand, the fact that I feel like my skin cancer journey has a purpose does not make my pain any less. Rather, finding a purpose for my skin cancer journey merely helps me find some much-needed meaning in the madness we call skin cancer.
Do you ever ask, “Why me?” Have you tried to find a meaning and/or some purpose for your skin cancer journey? If so, have you been successful?
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