Thursday, September 27, 2012

#30: Speak Up

In stark contrast to Resolution #59: STFU (but somehow complementary) this resolution is to my mother's credit. The ying to my father's yang, my mother role modeled the exact opposite. Getting diagnosed would have been a lengthier process if it wasn't for her outspokenness.

Navigating the health care system is close to impossible. Health professionals have seen it all before and you're flattering yourself if you think you're special. After my initial CT scan, I was referred to a thoracic surgeon, and the diagnosis process slowed. It took days to get a call back. A week passed before I had an appointment. The first biopsy didn't get enough tissue, and the near-traumatizing second needed ten days of analysis. Four weeks isn't that long, but if 'you have cancer' is at the end of it, it feels like a lifetime.

Me and me ma in Amsterdam,
the Netherlands, August 2011.
My mother rose to the challenge. She had no shame in tirelessly calling the doctor's office to keep me on the top of his to-do list. I hummed and hawed while she called everyone she knew to get the process moving faster. She didn't even stop to ask for permission. All the while, I sat in the background embarrassed, indecisive and slow to act.

Truth be told, I was afraid the doctor wouldn't like me. Thankfully, my mom was not. She focused on what was really at stake - getting her daughter better. Two years later, I am, thanks to my mother's fearlessness and fighting spirit.

This resolution is still in progress, but I strive to be more like my mom everyday. More and more, it's a compliment when I'm told I am.


  1. Aw Thanks Steph. A mother couldn't get a nicer compliment. truth be told, in a situation like yours - a mother has no other choice. I did out of love for you.

  2. This is a good one. It can be so challening to say anything opposite to the doctor's opinion (at least for me). It's weird - I find it much easier to fight for someone else than for myself. Speaking up is on my 'must do' list as well!


  3. I'm slowly learning it is much easier to be the advocate for your child than it is to be the patient! So glad you have such a great Mom in your corner. :)