Updated: Jun 9, 2021
The best advice I received at the beginning of my journey were these words “You are in charge of your own care. Don’t feel bad or embarrassed about it, don’t second guess yourself, listen to your intuition and let it guide you. It won’t make any sense to you now, but it will as you progress through this process.”
Each step of treatment brought new challenges, forcing me to question aspects of my care, which can be an uncomfortable position for a patient to be questioning medical experts. These words gave me the confidence to self advocate for the care I knew I required. Multiple times, voicing my intuition led to a beneficial outcome that would have otherwise resulted in a negative outcome.
Self advocacy is a key factor in effectively navigating a life altering diagnosis. Many layers make up a disease such as cancer, with it affecting not only the physical body, but also the mind, it’s emotions and psychological well being. Managing all of these layers in a healthy way required information, listening to my intuition, and asserting myself to ensure I received care that was right for me.
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 afraid to speak up or ask for things that you believe to be important factors in your treatment and care. Ultimately, take charge and own your decisions for your health care.