CANCER, INTUITION, AND A DOG WITH A BONE: Having a Patient Advocate is a Non-negotiable when facing a new diagnosis.
In September of 2018 Antra Boyd [a veteran nurse and experienced professional RN Patient Advocate] RN, BSN, MSN was told she had a 8cm mass on her left ovary. In a matter of minutes she went from advocating for patients with complex medical diagnoses to being a patient herself.
Things got FREAL very quick (if you are not yet schooled in the RNegade glossary of terms, FREAL = [email protected] + real). When the gynecologist/oncologist told her that her best option was to have a total robotic hysterectomy and that the surgery was scheduled to be in 3 weeks, Antra hopped on the ‘urgency train.’ She was a hot, blithering mess. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, that big ol’ C-word sends people into complete fear mode, and not even this whiley veteran nurse was spared. Luckily, Antra had the where-with-all to gather her support team and ‘phone a friend.’ Karen DiMarco reminded her that the urgency train was a ride she DEFO did not want to be on for peace and clarity of mind, and that the three weeks until the proposed surgery was plenty of time to research the particulars regarding the recommended ‘STEP 1’ course of action (surgery). ‘STEP 2,’the possibility of chemotherapy and/or radiation, need-not yet bugger her brain until after STEP 1 was completed. During those 3 weeks, Antra was like the ‘dog with a bone’ she is for her own clients, and tracked down all the information she could find to make an informed decision. Along the way she made curiosity her superpower, and learned how to be engaged in her care simply by asking questions (lots of questions). THIS IS ESSENTIAL: in spite of the fact that we are conditioned to NOT doctors – but if we don’t engage and don’t question, we cannot be fully informed of ALL of our options. We can’t know what we don’t know unless we look… and ask.
Cancer treatment in the US is big business so there is no incentive for allopathic doctors to suggest possible treatments outside of the conventional care toolbox: cut it out (surgery), poison it (chemotherapy, burn it (radiation.) Finally, even when Antra was armed with all the information she needed to make an informed decision, her decision about what to do came from the place of her own inner knowing. The medical team is there to guide you, but not decide for you, and this clarity enabled Antra to take control of her own course of action, and ultimately make the right decisions for her own health and healing.
RNs get a CE for this course on RNegade.pro.