Breast Cancer – why me?

by Rosanna Bianchini, Practitioner of Universal Medicine Therapies, Evesham, UK

Just recently a girlfriend came to me to let me know she had breast cancer. She has not been the first, nor will she be the last to do so.

The diagnosis of breast cancer would hit any woman hard, and raise in them all kinds of possible questions to try to find the answer to: ‘Why me?’ The response to the news from my friend was no different; she confided that she didn’t know why this was happening to her, that she was not a bad person and, as breast cancer didn’t actually run in her family, she could not understand the seemingly ‘out of the blue’ development of this disease.

These are all very understandable and natural questions to be asking, and one that world statistics beg us also to ask is: ‘Why? What is going on?’

Records show us that we do indeed have every reason to be asking questions. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012, and it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. It now represents one in four of all cancers in women.1 And 9 out of 10 women who get breast cancer do NOT have a family history of the disease.2

It is evidently a fact that it is not becoming less common for a friend, mother, daughter, sister, auntie or grandmother coming to tell us that they have developed cancer; quite the contrary, the figures show us that the incidence rate of breast cancer for women in the UK has increased over the last 40 years by a staggering 89%.3

However, it is not just the UK that has such an alarming incidence of breast cancer; it is in fact a disease that has become the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world.4

These are phenomenal statistics. But breast cancer alone represents only a fraction of life threatening disease. It is an inconceivable statistic if we are to include other cancers that affect women specifically – cervical cancer for example is the most common cancer in women under 35 in the UK 5 ­– let alone and before we even start to add in the lives lost or affected by other cancers not specific to women like colorectal cancer, which is currently the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among women and men in the US.

When we start to group just these three cancers together, we begin to feel the devastating number of lives per year that are significantly affected by the disease. Cancer is an emotive disease and has attracted a lot of attention in the media, support campaigns and charities, yet women are almost three times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer – it is in fact the number one killer of women in Australia.6

So to step back and add the many other devastating conditions to the picture, like cardiovascular disease (of which 8.6 million women die from worldwide each year) we can feel how chronic illness in the world today is not just prevalent, but is increasing… and affecting us at ever younger ages.7

If this number of women affected were not enough to knock us into asking deeper questions, then add into the equation the ripple of people whose worlds are rocked by the news that their mother, wife, sister, daughter, dear friend or work colleague has been touched by this disease and we can start to feel the true effect of the decline in health of women (as well as men).

So back to the question: “Why me?”

What we are really asking is: “Why did I get this disease?”

As it is such a prevalent question, it is a question we could in fact pose in response to any disease; from flu to thyroid conditions to stroke, diabetes, HIV… all these ailments can provide us with a way of understanding ourselves and bring an understanding of the relationship we have between the choices we make on a day to day basis and their effect – instantly or cumulatively over time – on our health and wellbeing.

I know this to be true from my own experience, and recognise the downward spiral that in this instance pulled me towards illness…. Do too much…. get tired…. too tired to bother eating well… no energy to look after self…. push on through to get it all done… body totally exhausted… running on stress and nervous energy… and finally an uncontrollable, overactive thyroid condition. That brought me to a STOP. And to a point where I started to search for answers to what really goes on with illness and disease, and how can we support our bodies back to a healthy life.

While in this exhausted but heightened state, my delicate system had no tolerance, and so I could acutely feel that the choices I made had a direct impact on how I felt and how my body was reacting to those choices. The food I chose, the way I lived my day and the rest and recuperation I allowed myself all made an impact. However it wasn’t until I came across Universal Medicine and the presentations by Serge Benhayon that things started to really fall into place and that I could get a far wider understanding.

He introduced that we feel everything and that there is always a cause and an effect relationship to any one activity, whether that’s a thought, something that is said or indeed the things we do. So the link between how I feel… and the choices I make… and how well I feel, was one that I was inspired to experiment with and still continue to explore.

I now know from experience that my body can tell me loud and clear if something feels supportive, nourishing or loving for it – and, when it does not. I don’t always choose what my body is advising, but I then have to live with the consequences while my body’s reaction to that choice plays out. Yet I’ve come to feel how it is not just food or drink that causes a reaction in my body and takes it away from a balanced state, it could just as easily be pushing myself too hard in exercise, or a cross word, or the thoughts of ‘too much to do’ or even seeing or hearing something which we can sometimes take on – and then still feel it with us well after the event.

Our body is continually noting everything, and when we don’t pay attention it easily gets loaded, setting off on its way from harmony to dis-ease to illness. We will all have our own disposition towards certain illnesses (my vulnerable system was my hormonal system, hence the breakdown into a thyroid condition), but what I can say is that becoming aware of my choices and how they affect my body and consequently my health and wellbeing, has brought me to feeling and being the healthiest I have been since I can remember really, and certainly feeling more vital and light than I was even in my twenties. For example a blocked nose, a backache, a cold or feeling down, are all ways my body could start to tell me something. I can then track it back to certain things I’ve eaten or done that day (or maybe over the last few days), which have left my body trying to cope with those things that haven’t actually been supporting it to stay well and healthy. It was the long-term way I ignored my body’s little signals that lead to such a huge breakdown; but large or small, I’ve found that by noting them and making the changes the body is asking for, we can be shown another way to live.

So the ‘Why me?’ is a welcomed inroad into exploring what choices in life we can make to instigate our own positive changes and bring back an awareness to our day to day choices. Along with the huge advances in medicine, we are able to support ourselves back towards health and wellbeing and show there is a way to start bucking the trends of those staggering statistics.

R E F E R E N C E S

1) World Cancer Research Fund. www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/breast-cancer-statistics

2) Queensland Government, Breast Health, 14th Feb 2014. www.health.qld.gov.au/breastscreen/breast-health.asp

3) Office for National Statistics UK. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations–england–series-mb1-/no–42–2011/sty-breast-cancer-survival.html

4) WHO – World Health Organization – Breast cancer prevention and control. http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/index1.html

5) Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerinfo/cancerstats/keyfacts/cervical-cancer/

6) Heart Foundation, Australia, Women and Heart Disease. www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/

7) Heart Foundation USA, Heart Disease Scope and Impact. www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/women-heart-disease/Pages/default.aspx

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:

Lifestyle Choices and Breast Cancer Prevention by Jane Keep

Responsibility for my Body and Health: The Lesson I Learned from my Mother’s Breast Cancer by Penny Scheenhouwer

Rediscovering Tenderness Post Breast Cancer: Inspired by the Esoteric Breast Massage by Judith McIntyre

The Invitation Breast Cancer Brings: A Deeper Self-Examination by Adrienne Ryan

535 thoughts on “Breast Cancer – why me?

  1. This is such a great article, it is so supportive to encourage a connection to and respect for the body. I’m starting to see more clearly the correlations between what goes on in my day and how I either respond or react (like take it on, feel emotional, etc), and how this affects my health, energy levels, sleep, sense of feeling clear, and so on. The body is such a finely tuned instrument, it shows disturbances immediately, whether these are from the way I move, exercise, sleep or eat, or more subtle things like thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It also shows really clearly what is supportive for the body. Our relationship with our body is truly powerful in establishing and maintaining good health and overall wellbeing.

  2. Whenever we have an illness or disease it is time to stop, and a great opportunity to take stock and ask ourselves if we have been supporting ourselves through our choices or if we have been exhausting ourselves by the choices we have been making, if we are honest with ourselves we know the answers and also what choices we need to change to help support ourselves better.

  3. It makes sense that illness is a way for our body to clear what is not true in order to restore harmony and balance. What feels important as you have highlighted Rosanna is how essential it is to develop a relationship with our body, listen to what our body is communicating and how we are feeling within. That way we can keep refining our choices to make more loving ones that feel far more supportive and nurturing.

  4. The statistics here are truly frightening and to consider that we’re now in a position where we’re managing this (just about), and without the wonders of modern medicine we would be in dire straits. But we need to look beyond this and as suggested there get underneath our choices and how they impact on us and affect us, and see that we have a very active part to play in our own healing and in taking that active part to our medical practitioners we can really support ourselves and our bodies in addressing our illnesses.

    1. Monica your words “without the wonders of modern medicine we would be in dire straits” are a real wake up call, without modern medicine we would be dying as a species. We don’t realise just how much our own daily choices are contributing to our health issues.

  5. Rosanna, thank you for sharing this, the statistics are quite frankly horrifying, however our disregarding way of living has become our normal, there are few role models to be inspired by that show how living with deep self care and self nurturing can be our normal. Thank you for this line:

    “Yet I’ve come to feel how it is not just food or drink that causes a reaction in my body and takes it away from a balanced state, it could just as easily be pushing myself too hard in exercise, or a cross word, or the thoughts of ‘too much to do’ or even seeing or hearing something which we can sometimes take on – and then still feel it with us well after the event.”

    That was key for me to read today and to ponder on the awareness of what a balanced state feels like, because we can run the body under stress for so long we may even lose touch with it’s true, rested, settled and balanced state.

  6. As we deepen the relationship with the body we have a choice to notice its communication, or not. Where I had once brushed off a runny nose for no apparent reason or a tension in my muscles – again for no apparent reason, I am now considering what I have done just before these two communications. What I have done and what is happening around me. There is the seen and the unseen but felt and both clearly have an impact on the physical body.

  7. How often is the question “why me?” which lends itself to the way of thinking that illness happens as a punishment. Yet logically it makes sense that illness is the body’s way of communicating with us, of clearing something out, of letting us know it is struggling or breaking down in some way. Like any well oiled machine, it is worth considering user error before we blame the machine itself and consider how empowered we then are to be the change we want to see in our health outcomes.

  8. Certain illnesses can be unexplained for us just because we are not aware of the vast array of things that can cause illness and disease. Currently accepted are genetics, food, contagious diseases and maybe infections but also our choices, our way of living and how we see ourselves, our ideals and believes we live by can be causing illnesses and diseases. When that is understood the ‘why me?’ will be more clear.

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