Stink Eye

Today’s story is about the worst case of stink eye I ever received from my wife. (Stink eye is when you say or do something that isn’t approved of by someone or somebody in the room or who is with you at the time.) So I had finished my chemo rounds and we were in with my chemo doctor and it was time to ship me off to my radiation doc. He was listing off the names of all the doctors he could refer to me to and of course I didn’t know any of them, I had no idea who any of them were, so he rattles off a list of doctors and he’s like well do you have any preference and I’m like yeah which one is the smartest doctor? That was the line that got the response from my wife. 

It was really an interesting moment because I meant it and my doctor was a little bit taken aback by it, and my wife was mortified that I would even ask that. She was like of course they’re all smart doctors and I said I’m sure they are. I didn’t say anything after that and it was a little bit of an awkward pause. My doctor thought about it for a minute and then said okay we are going to refer you to doctor so and so and I can tell you that she is fabulous and she was also really bright and smart and effective in the way that she was able to handle a bunch of complications that I had when I was going through my radiation treatment. 

So what’s the point of telling you this story? When you’re going through treatment you need to advocate for yourself. You don’t need to be mean or nasty or anything like that but you need to have a clear opinion of what you want and you have to ask for it. I wasn’t mean or forceful or anything at all in terms of asking for what I thought was going to be my best option to bring somebody on to my team to make me healthy. So as you traverse your treatment and as you traverse all the hand-offs in different places you will have to go to get healthy again, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself in a very specific way. I didn’t ask for the best doctor; I asked for the smartest doctor. Always be respectful and always be kind, but ask for the best of everything. It’s something that will not only help you in your treatment, but will also reduce your stress level. Advocacy for yourself is one of our key principles. 




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