I have a horrible confession. The first time I ever voted was the 2008 Presidential campaign. Even when people used to say, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” I just wouldn’t complain. At the time, I belonged to the group that felt as if my vote didn’t make a difference.
I’m so disconnected from politics that I don’t even know my local congressman.
When originally diagnosed with cancer I didn’t feel empowered. I had no experience with the craziness of cancer so I decided to go with the flow of what my doctors said to me. I would not recommend this as one of my smarter ideas even though at the time it seemed to be very logical.
This line of thinking took me through a path of hardships that I might not necessarily have had to go through. I was too shy to disagree with a doctor if they said something that didn’t make sense or I didn’t agree with. I never questioned any portions of my treatment plan. I felt trapped, as if the only way I had a chance of survival was by listening blindly to any person who had a title in front of their name.
But once I was diagnosed the second time, I thought, if I did it your way and it didn’t work, I need to try things differently. That is when I decided to elect myself as my own advocate. I am the primary person who should be aware of the treatment plan and be able to argue what does or doesn’t work.
Throughout my 7 years of battling with cancer, I have to constantly make the decision to become and stay empowered with my treatment options almost to the same level as my oncologist. It is a matter of researching and understanding cancer. Most importantly it is asking questions. I don’t understand everything nor do I agree to try everything. But at least being aware of my options makes a big difference.
You don’t need to have cancer to take charge of your health. You just have to decide that you want to stay invested in your future.
It is a well established fact that no one will take better care of yourself than you. So, for those who like to leave the politics to someone else, please think again when it comes to your own personal well being.
Learn more about Pink for Pam on YouTube.
Pink for Pam is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides cancer fighters the tools to live full lives during treatment with the goal of helping them to develop and maintain a positive attitude.