Asking the Big Question After Cancer Treatment – “Why Not?”


I keep going because I believe that even if we can’t erase the difficult parts of our story, and we can’t control how or when it’s going to end, each of us has the ability, right here, right now, to dream audaciously and ask ourselves the question, “Why not?” Terri Wingham

I’ve written before about Terri Wingham. In a nutshell, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and chemotherapy, quit her job, volunteered in Africa, gave up her apartment, spent six months volunteering around the globe, and created a foundation to support other survivors starting their own “fresh chapter.”

Terri freely admits that none of this came easily and she has experienced fear every day for the last two years. Yet, she keeps going because she asked “Why not?” and that “spark of possibility saved my life.”

Terri’s recent talk, the video of which you can watch below, got me thinking about the power of “Why not?” This seemingly simple question goes hand-in-hand with another question, Are you “going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” Joseph Campbell

The power of saying “Yes” comes from listening to our inner voice, letting it lead us out of our comfort zone and into our adventure. Those of us who live with cancer actually have an advantage here. We’ve been catapulted out of our comfort zones and have the clearest of reasons to say “Yes” to our adventure:

If not now, when? From How to Build an Amazing Life After Treatment

Or, in other words, “Why not?”

There is formidable power in those two little words. They can make crazy, audacious dreams, such as foundations, books, websites and rehabilitative exercise programs, reality. But, and this is important, they can also birth “little things” with amazing significance. After cancer treatment, I started doing yoga, donating blood, writing, and practicing mindfulness. The more I started asking myself “Why not?” the easier it was to get to “Yes” in every area of my life.

If saying “Yes” still feels unnatural to you, try it the other way around: “Why can’t I say “Yes” to myself?” If you can’t come up with any solid, good reasons, then go for it! From How to Build an Amazing Life After Treatment

Terri dreamed an audacious dream and asked herself, “Why not?” Whatever it is you want to do after cancer treatment, ask yourself “Why not?” and start saying “Yes” to your adventure now.

Survival > Existence,


Related Posts:

Cancer Warriors Wednesday – Tell Me Your Story

The Survivor’s Nest – A Very Special Courageous Woman with Cancer

Do You Want to Find Support? Communicate!


Facing Cancer Together's picture

Why Not

I’m such a fan of Terri’s drive – she’s a great example in asking the question Why not? It’s great to see her story shared. It’s also great that you emphasize not only the big adventures, but the little ones day. Daily ‘why nots’ can lead to some very good things. 🙂 Great post, Debbie!


Debbie's picture

Living Our Adventure

Hi Catherine:

I think it’s the little “why nots” that make the real difference. We can’t all do what Terri’s doing, but we can live our own adventure every day.


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