When Lightning Strikes
I received the news last week – two more friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I cried. This is the fourth friend in less than two years that has been diagnosed with cancer – a diagnosis that is frightening, life-altering and potentially life-ending.
This isn’t fair. Why is this happening?
These are all women in their 30’s and 40’s. None of them scores high on the list of risk factors. My friend Nadine eats very well – almost no refined sugar, lots of vegetables and healthy complex carbs, proteins. She breastfed her children for years. She exercises every day. She even rode her bicycle to and from chemotherapy appointments – a huge inspiration to everyone! Elaine, who has just received her diagnosis, is the mother of a still-nursing infant. Her whole family eats organic meats and produce, locally grown as much as possible. She is not obese. They exercise and try to minimize the toxins in their environment.
With so many of the risk factors removed, why are they still getting cancer?
It makes me so very angry that the only answer is “we don’t know.” Sometimes lightning just strikes and we don’t know why.
To each of my friends, I have reached out to offer what help I can. I have given them a copy of Patient Navigator’s “Cancer Diagnosis – 10 Things You Need to Know.” I have offered to help with their family responsibilities, research treatments and go to appointments with them. I offer food and support.
It doesn’t feel like it is enough. Especially when they look at me and ask ‘Why?”
Guest editor: Debora Harvey, Patient Navigator LLC