Thursday, November 27, 2014

just a little note of thanksgiving....

gratitude. thankfulness. mindfulness. strength. these are words that were not necessarily in my vocabulary before i had cancer. as the saying goes, " i am not thankful for cancer, but i am thankful for the changes in my life after cancer", to paraphrase.  i feel that i have been given a second chance of sorts, and i do not want to waste it. i do my best to appreciate all of  the little things, the good things in my life. now, i have to constantly remind myself of this. it is too easy to get caught up in work related drama or other such nonsense, and forget what is really important. i suppose this varies somewhat from person to person, but for me anyway, what matters most is to love and help people. i especially like to encourage people to be their own health advocate.

there was an article on the thyca website recently , and i have also mentioned this before in previous blogs, but everyone must be their own best patient advocate. it is important to be conscious of what is going on in your health care, especially if you have cancer or another chronic health condition . every patient should keep records of tests, doctor visits, etc. and be able to make decisions on the treatment and tests that are best for them. it takes a bit of work, sure, but what better investment can you make than to take an active part in your health care? you may have wonderful doctors, but if you are not aware of what is going on and are not involved in the treatment, then there is a serious piece of the puzzle that is missing.

no one knows better than you on  how you are feeling. if something feels wrong, then it probably is. get a second opinion, or third, or heck, even a fourth. ask questions- of everyone. being in health care, i like to answer people's questions about their health care. there are no stupid questions- o.k. maybe i have heard a FEW over the years, but it helps to gather all the information that you can and then make a decision that is right for you.

i am so thankful that i finally got myself together and sought out a doctor who would do the necessary tests and therefore could give me a correct diagnosis and treatment. this is such an important issue for me! my doctor said that i gave her quite the scare- it was a close call. i hope that i can encourage people to stand up for themselves and get the care and treatment that they need.

in his season of thanksgiving, i am thankful for my family and friends. i am grateful for having more time to be with them. i try to express gratitude for  all of  the good things that come  my way. i try to be mindful of what i am doing and how it affects others. and last, but not least, i am appreciative of the strength that i did not know that i had. i have been through quite a lot, but i am tougher than i ever could have imaged- before i got sick. people like to say that cancer does not define them. well, it may not define me, but it might be said that it changed the definition of "me".

happy thanksgiving to all of my family and friends. may this time be one of joy and peace for you and your family.  

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