Blogs > Ann DeMatteo's Why Us?

Since my breast cancer diagnosis on June 9, 2008, I have spent a fairly decent amount of time wondering "why me?" I would like to hear from you about your cancer stories. Let's create a dialogue of learning, sharing and hope.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October

Hi Folks,
We're almost done with another Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just got home from a great fundraiser, "Cocktails for a Cure," to benefit Dr. Andrea Silber's Sister to Sister Program at the Hospital of St. Raphael.
Tons of people showed up at Dunn's Pub for the event, organized by my support group, the Pink Ladies.
Still trying to figure out what to do with my left breast.
Still concerned about why so many people are struck with breast cancer, and cancer in general.
My cat, Patches, is laying on my desk at home as I write this and I'm trying to figure out if the thing on her tummy is a flea or just a black mark. She won't let me touch her stomach though without scratching or biting, and if she got my left hand, then I risk infection due to the lymphedema.
Sorry I haven't written lately. Can't get used to blogging.
Ann

41 Comments:

Blogger Monielove said...

Hello Ann your header "Why me" caught my eye, thought I might respond. I have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer twice. The first time, a social worker contacted me and asked if I wanted to participate in a support group. When she told me the title of the group was "Why Me" I told her I would have been more interested if the title of the group had been, "Why Not Me". We all read the statistics, someone has to actually get diagnosed, so, I ask you, why not me, why not you? In my opinion, the biggest challenge for our country is to accept the fact that breast cancer is a common occurrence, not to make it less significant, rather, to bring it into the mainstream so that health care providers, insurance companies, employers, etc, all can get to the point that they will rally behind the person diagnosed, so the person does not feel alone and disconnected with society. When the media "glamorizes" a public figure's diagnosis of cancer, I believe they are doing the average person a huge disservice because they act like it is shocking that a famous person has to deal with all that comes with that diagnosis, when the rest of us have to just truck along and keep on with our lives with little recognition and lots of challenges. So, why not you?

October 21, 2009 at 9:11 AM 
Blogger Andrea said...

Hi Ann and all -

I am an 8 year survivor and I do not really wonder Why Me? Although I certainly did at the start.

Now I wonder why so few health organizations (including BC support groups, American Cancer Association,etc) look at PREVENTION and CAUSES. There are at least three companies that I know of which 1)make breast cancer treatment drugs; 2)run breast cancer treatment research trials and; 3) make agricultural chemicals or pesticides which have probably links to BC incidence.

Hmmm. Could this be part of the reason that no one is paying for research into causes and prevention? Cancer is a very very big economic interest indeed and many people benefit from it - even though we and our sisters and moms etc - do not. BC is a national epidemic - not a personal tragedy.

Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener

October 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM 
Blogger Ann DeMatteo said...

Hi Ladies,
Thanks for your posts. I am still angry that this happened to me but why not is right. I have every risk factor: dense breast tissue; alcohol consumption; obesity; family history and I never had children. I never realized just how many people had breast cancer until this happened to me. It is an amazing number, and a common occurrence, as you said. There's nothing wrong with putting the epidemic in the forefront and teaching people about its presumed causes and giving them strength to get through their cancer battles, as I believe I have. In terms of the "why not me," I believe that I am just a messenger whose role is to provide public education.

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