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Showing posts from June, 2022

3 Steps to Better Advocate for Yourself as a Cancer Patient

Hi, I'm Dr. Kavita Jackson- ER doctor, 2020 breast cancer survivor, and Your Cancer Life Coach. From having spent time on both sides of the curtain, as a medical provider turned breast cancer patient, I have gained useful insight into the practice of patient advocacy. As a provider, I understand what it's like to best understand your patient's concerns and desires. As a patient, I also have experienced the challenges of trying to express myself effectively to my medical team. The ability to advocate for yourself, especially as a cancer patient, can be incredibly powerful in shaping your cancer experience. Often people don't realize that as a patient, you have an active and significant role in your medical care. Yet, we are never taught how to navigate the world of medicine from the patient's seat and, as a result, can feel overwhelmed and develop frustration and confusion regarding our diagnosis and treatments-- which is the last thing you need on top of dealing wit

There’s Always a First

  There’s Always a First First date.  First love. First job. First promotion. First baby. First day of school. First new car. First day in the new home. Firsts. We can probably make a list of all the beautiful firsts in our lives longer than our arms.  But, not all firsts are exhilarating. Some firsts are scary and dreadful, like hearing the words you have cancer for the first time. Those words will bring you to your knees, and the feeling is crippling. I know. I remember that moment when I heard for the first time that I had breast cancer. It was 5:15, my feet were soaking in warm water at the nail salon, and we were leaving for Las Vegas the next morning.  No doctor ever calls after 5 pm. I was safe, or so I thought. It had been a week since I had the biopsy. No news was good news, right?  Not this time. Not for me. My phone rang, and Dr. Diehl was on the other end. “So, the results didn’t go our way.” Those words changed my life forever. “Your result returned positive for a type of

Storm Chaser

Violent. Disruptive. Tumultuous. These are words used to describe storms. Both actual and metaphorical. When you hear the word STORM, what do you think? By definition, it ensues chaos. I bet you've never thought of JOY, though. Having the clarity of mind to choose joy during a storm brings freedom. Perhaps even purpose. Most will tell you to push through to the other side of the storm. What happens when you have to sit in it? Recently I walked out to my car to run errands. As I looked up, dark clouds were moving in. I thought to myself, oh wow, a storm is coming. I got in the car, and I saw a raindrop, and soon I was consumed. The rain poured droplets that reminded me of the size of rain in the movie "A Bug's Life." I sat in my car as it rocked and felt like it would be swept away. I watched garbage cans fall over and spill trash in the streets. The rain was heavy, and the wind was strong. There I sat in the car, watching the storm move and change the scenery. The rai

What if we saw each other's pain?

  When my son was two, he bit another child in his daycare room. He went on to do it six more times in a few weeks, and I was horrified.   I sought the counsel of our pediatrician. He was old and wise and usually knew how to make me feel better. I told him I was scared there was something wrong with my child. What would make him do this?   I couldn't sleep, and no amount of reassurance from his daycare teacher that this was "normal" helped. I hoped my pediatrician could offer something of use. He confirmed everything the daycare teacher had already shared: why my son might be biting and why he would likely soon stop. But none of those made me feel any less alone.   I talked about how much I worried about the other mother--The one that has to pick up her kid and find out he was bitten AGAIN. Then he said the one thing that made me feel a teeny tiny bit better: "Mrs. Lennon. I've been doing this for a very long time. Biting happens, and it will stop. That has never