Learning to Advocate For Yourself with Your Physician

Fear and worry about any unknown medical situation makes it hard to have boundaries. Boundaries are necassary in every relationship.


10/2/20202 min read

I believe that knowledge is power. When we can understand, even a small bit, of what the doctor is wanting us to do or a medication he wants us to take, it gives us the confidence to dredge through and take the medication even if we know it can cause side effects We have choices at every step of the way in our cancer journey. I am a Type A person. I want to understand the process, have a plan in place (even if it changes) and have qualifiable results to look at. Much like an accountant likes the book to balance, if it's off a penny they will rework it until it balances.

When we don't say what we need to say, or ask the questions we need answers for we aren't speaking up for ourselves. You think the doctor is the one with all the answer and who am I to ask these questions. But the thing is when we don't ask the questions, our thoughts keep spinning around the what ifs to the point of being destructive to our psyche. Then we begin to feel guilty for having cancer. We resent that we have to take this medication, or do this chemo or radiation. This negativity feeds our soul and this kills us quicker than the cancer.

SelfAdovate.net says "when you have good self-advocacy skills you can have more control and make the life decision that are best for you". While self advocacy was prominent during the civil rights movement and disability rights movement (wikipedia.com), as it implies it is about standing up for oneself.

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Learning to advocate for yourself is a process and it's not an easy one, at best it's a bumpy, rocky road. Life satisfaction is the goal. Learning how to ask the right questions to get information that will help you make decisions that will move you forward. This is so very important when you are on a cancer journey. Advocating for yourself is less about the actual outcome and more about giving yourself the space to ask for what you need (eympathy.com)