Tamera Anderson-Hanna is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Addiction Professional, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and became a Registered Yoga Teacher while coping with breast cancer in 2015. She owns Wellness, Therapy, & Yoga in Florida where she provides personal wellness services and coaching and she is a public speaker on wellness-related topics. You can connect with her at www.wellnesstherapyyoga.com.
Have you ever wondered "why me" when diagnosed with cancer?
Why me? Have you ever wondered this after being diagnosed with cancer? On my darker days and early on in my diagnosis with breast cancer, I really had to work on ways to overcome such thinking. While my concern was not only to be healthy and to be around for my children, the "why me" was an expression of shock and anger.
What helped with the "why me" stage of diagnosis was realizing that I was in the common range of women who get breast cancer, and the rate of diagnosis is 1 of 8 women who will be diagnosed during their lifetime, according to breastcancer.org. A family history can increase those chances, and unfortunately there has been a strong history of female cancers in my family.
I started to examine the "why me" and looked at the flip side — my cancer had been caught early and I had great doctors and choices. While I was initially told what to do after my diagnosis, I took some time to gather information and make a choice which I felt was good for my body, family history and lifestyle – especially since I may be at risk for other cancers.
I decided I could stay in the "why me" stage or I could empower myself to learn more about my treatment options and embrace choices. The journey to recovery was not an easy one, and it took a full year to complete all stages of my recovery, but no choice was going to be easy or without sacrifice. I realized that I can live a long life managing my health and I could also turn the "why me" into the flip side of looking at all the things that would go well considering I was diagnosed early. My prognosis could have been worse. Hopefully there are many of us who can find some level of gratitude for the opportunity to not have been given a terminal diagnosis.
I now choose to continue to monitor and manage a healthy diet, weight and stress level. I’m working with a registered dietician to make healthier food choices, which could also decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Maybe "why me" is at least helping me to live a little longer and with better quality years because I was put in a situation that allowed me to examine my life and lifestyle.