Hello lovely you!
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was not only terrified but overwhelmed by the work ahead of me. I was only 26 years old, but it became apparent as I interacted with the initial doctors, who didn’t seem to want to really listen to a young woman’s thoughts and feelings, that I was going to have to get my act together and become CEO of my life and choose my own treatment plan wisely.
For years I have been telling my clients that part of getting well means finding the strength within yourself to become the CEO of your whole health. While you must rely on others’ expertise, you are the one that needs to be in charge of putting your cancer team together and ensuring they are doing what needs to be done on your behalf. Your cancer team is the first and perhaps most critical step on your journey toward renewed health.
Here are some things I learned:
Who Will Make Up Your Team?
Throughout your healing journey, you will work with many different medical and healing specialists. Find a doctor/Oncologist you can relate to and who understands you and will work with other complementary practitioners. It’s an excellent idea to work with a nutritionist who has had success with cancer, and who understand what the best food choices for you are. You need a tailor-made nutritional healing program that you love, and you can stick with. Someone who can help you plan meals, so you get the nutrition you need during your cancer journey.
WARNING: Many oncologists take the attitude of, “Hey, eat what you want it really doesn’t matter.”
For some horrific reason, doctors have not been taught that food is medicine and medicine is food, and so they allow their cancer patients to eat all sorts of garbage during treatment. Well, much of that garbage played a hand in developing cancer. Work with someone who actually knows about functional medicine, natural medicine or alternative doctors who understand the power of anti-inflammatory foods, and knows that food, in fact, DOES play an enormous role in our health and healing.
Depending on the type of cancer you are being treated for, you may find it physically challenging to tackle all of the day-to-day tasks you are used to. An occupational therapist can help you discover easier ways to address these activities. So how do you go about choosing the right doctor for you?
Will you go the traditional route and seek out an Oncologist? Will you go to an alternative clinic or center that covers traditional medicine and natural medicines? The doctor you choose is vitally important to your well-being. I’ve had clients call me scared out of their minds to go and see their doctor. They can’t stand their Oncologist. If this is the case, it is time to fire your doctor and find someone else who believes in you. You don’t need the doom and gloom and negativity that some Oncologists give out.
Make sure you trust your doctor. You know your body better than any doctor, so choose wisely and listen to the whispers within. If you like and trust your primary care physician, I would ask for a couple of referrals or do your own research. Ask a long-term cancer survivor what they did and where they went for treatment. Ask friends and family whom you trust. Sadly, most of us know someone who has or is struggling with cancer, so ask around to get a few recommendations. When you have three or so names of doctors or clinics that sound good to you, do research on each of them before scheduling a consult. You’ll want to find out what their specialty is (do they treat lots of people with your type of cancer?), how many years they’ve been practicing. You are becoming the CEO of your own health and healing.
Do You Like Your Team?
While training and expertise are incredibly important, it is almost equally important that you have a good report with your healing team members. How do these people treat and interact with you? Do they listen? Do they make you feel comfortable or uneasy? Are you more comfortable with a male or female doctor? Do you prefer a kind and compassionate type of personality or someone more business-like? Will your doctor and other team members support alternative treatment or natural methodologies you will want to incorporate into your plan? Understand that you will be spending a lot of time with your cancer care team, so it’s essential that you not only trust their competency but also like them as people. Being the CEO of your own cancer journey is challenging, I know it well, and I know it is vital that you take charge of your whole health and know what feels right for you.
Love & blessings,
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