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Admittedly, when my diagnosis came initially, I had no voice. I was shy, reserved, intimidated by the doctors. Challenging the experts can be scary. It wasn’t until my situation became dire, cancer spreading to your lungs will change you, that I received the best piece of advice from my critical care nurse. He said “You are in charge of your own care.” It didn’t make sense immediately, but over the course of my chemo treatments it became clear.

Armed with information and the determination to survive, I wasn’t going to remain quiet any longer. I asked questions, I spoke up when my intuition screamed that something was wrong, I began to call the shots.

Being educated about my disease provided the ability to make informed decisions, communicate effectively with my medical team and gave me the confidence to find my voice to self-advocate. I know myself better than anyone else.

Don’t be shy about asking for what you need. Whether it is clarification about your medical issues, or needing support from family and friends. You are in charge of your own care. You know yourself better than anyone. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

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