At the rehab center, I am shocked by the stranger in my father’s room. It is my father. *** My dad’s dementia has progressed so rapidly, so markedly that he is now a stranger to my family. He still knows who we are, but it’s like his very essence – that spark that makes him who he really has been throughout his life – is gone. Oh, … Continue reading the story "So Far Away"
Post Archives from the ‘Advocacy’ Category
When it comes to cause marketing, I thought I’d seen it all -- until I walked into the grocery store the other day. As soon as I walked in, I saw seedless watermelons sporting large pink-ribbon stickers. And to add insult to pink injury, right next to the ribbon the sticker said, “A Sweet Way to Stay Healthy.” This cutesy message strongly implies that watermelon somehow … Continue reading the story "Watermelon for a Cure"
It’s not New Years, but I’m making a resolution, and that is to honor the word “Boundary.” Boundary. It’s my word for today, the rest of the year, and forever. Before cancer hit, I didn’t know how to set boundaries with people. Or maybe I knew how, but was too afraid of being assertive enough to stop people from draining me. I allowed others to … Continue reading the story "5 Ways to Set Boundaries"
Many people diagnosed with [fill in the blank] have understanding bosses, co-workers, and a workplace that tries to accommodate them. Many others, however, do not. I fell into the latter category with my breast cancer diagnosis and treatments. Fighting cancer is devastating enough, but fighting for … Continue reading the story "Illness and the Workplace"
Just a few weeks ago, I used my medical group's walk-in service because of a nasty bout of bronchitis. Little did I know the appointment would feel like a rollercoaster derailing, thanks to medical staff's unwillingness inability to communicate to their patients effectively. As I was checking in, a receptionist said coldly and matter-of-factly, "Oh, and here's … Continue reading the story "Medical Bait and Switch"
Weary of calling a doctor who doesn’t return your phone calls regarding medication? Or how about those doctors who give you little to no information on a medication's side effects? Well, here’s perhaps the best-kept secret. An arsenal of … Continue reading the story "Power in Pharmacists"
My blog has shared strategies for self-advocacy and navigating through the medical system. Part of my advice has included how to stay calm in the waiting room by thinking of 10 positive, empowering words to describe yourself, as well as bringing an arsenal of tools to help people cope with waiting in the examination room. Well, this week, I … Continue reading the story "Retooling"
Facing the medical world is usually difficult, especially if you have or are currently suffering from an affliction. It helps to have at least 10 inspiring words that describe you or that you want to describe you, each on its own index card. After reading each word, reflect on what that word means to you. You can even write on the cards and hang … Continue reading the story "10 Key Words to Help You Cope"
There's a public misconception going around. It's about me. And I need to clear up this misconception in order to better help you. During my public speaking engagements and through written comments about my blog column, people are often awe-struck at how assertive I am to those in the medical field. I've been admired for my fearlessness and boldness, as well as … Continue reading the story "From Passivity to Action"