Choosing to Advocate for Myself
Last updated: December 2022
I am in awe for reaching this far living with lung cancer. Throughout my diagnosis and treatment, I choose to self-advocate for my health and well-being. There is a constant expression of my needs and an echoing of my voice to be heard.
Cooperating with my cancer care center
With COVID lingering on, my oncologist appointments remain mainly over the phone. I miss the in-person meetings together with my hubby. The center is limited to patients only, if possible. I have a good relationship with my cancer care team, which is my priority. I've put my respect and trust in each of their roles with regard to my survival. However, I must stay open to voicing my views and asking questions at each appointment.
Asking for help from loved ones
I've learned to accept my limitations. In addition to this acceptance, I have no shame in asking my family, close friends, church family, and close relatives to rally behind me throughout my journey as a person living with stage four lung cancer. With a grateful heart, my husband has been the top person who gives me the most support throughout my journey. It is really a blessing to have the care and love of other people.
Learning and understanding body changes
Undergoing cancer treatment has taken a big toll on my body. Not to mention, as age increases, the body declines. There are significant symptoms that I should watch out for, such as shortness of breath, lack of appetite, pain, weight loss, lumps, etc. On top of that, COVID symptoms get into the picture. I am always aware and looking out for body changes caused by my treatment and condition.
Being timely and assertive
Thanks to my treatment, I can complete all my necessary CT scans, blood work, and brain MRIs at every required time. Accessibility to services has been satisfactory. At my medical appointments, I make sure my list of questions is answered. Sometimes the medical terms used on the results are confusing, so it is crucial my understanding is clear. In terms of my prescriptions, I follow up with the cancer care pharmacy for prompt supply. I navigate hand-in-hand with my oncologists for cancer care and work with my general physician for other medical services.
Continuing to be educated
There are never-ending resources to educate myself about lung cancer. One of the ways for me to understand my condition is to know about prevention, detection, genetic alterations, and treatment. Exposure through webinars is another way I gain perspective on my illness. The desire to know brings more positive results for survival.
Flocking with people of similar conditions is an additional avenue for support for lung cancer patients. Being in a support group brings greater connection and awareness. On top of this, I've found there is an overall deep appreciation of how far treatment options have come to prolong more lives.
Is there a lung cancer metaphor that bothers you the most?
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