Being an Advocate for your health, bills, and well-being.

A few weeks ago I did my Second round of chemo, and my beautiful friend Elizabeth came to support me. Luckily she has an amazing boss who said she could come with me if she worked remotely from her laptop. So awesome!

Love this lady!!

Of course we had to make it fun, so I decided to sport the hilarious unicorn headphones that my sweet, crazy, fun, friend Michelle sent to me! She is always sending me fun stuff to make me laugh! Which makes me very lucky.πŸ¦„ Love you woman!

Of course I couldn’t actually use them during chemo because of the huge apparatus on my head! And please note the feminine pad on my forehead to protect my scalp from the cold cap! HOW HOT is that? LOL

But it made for a very good photo op!🀣 (of course)

So since this has all been happening, of course the bills and paperwork come in almost every single day, which can be very overwhelming for anyone going through this. So today I wanted to share how I keep everything organized so I don’t go crazy. I’m hoping this will help anyone else who is going through this same journey. So if anyone knows me, they know that I’ve always been good at organizing. Which is hilarious because as a kid my room was a total pig pen.😜

What I’ve been doing is creating a folder and sub folders to keep everything in order by date. So if you need to look up anything for your bills etc. it’s easy to find.

**Just note that HF stands for Healthfirst, my insurance company. Here are just some examples of what I’ve done:

As we all know getting healthy can be very expensive, but just remember most hospitals have a 0% interest payment plan with no fees, that you can set up with them to make this ride a little bit easier. So since not everything is done at the hospital, you can still work out payment plans with other offices that send bills.

But you definitely have to be your own Advocate!

If you don’t ask questions and make phone calls, nothing will get done!

My cousin Nancy had really good advice for me in the very beginning when I was speaking to her about my situation. And I’ve been living by this quote ever since, she said “TREAT THIS LIKE A BUSINESS!” So that is what I’ve been doing!

And speaking of being your own advocate, just remember when working during chemo things can get difficult because of all the chemicals being pumped into our bodies. A real thing that happens to us is called “chemo brain”. Sometimes your coworkers don’t really understand what you’re going through and they expect you to be your same old self. And even if you’re at work being very positive and covering up how you really feel, sometimes you will have breaks in your memory and just doing ordinary tasks can be a little more difficult than they used to be.

But just remember it’s all temporary. And you can’t blame your coworkers for wanting you to be the same as before your treatment. By educating yourself and others about your situation, this can be the best way to communicate to others what is happening.

So here’s an article link you can send to your coworkers and managers so that they understand what you’re really going through called “Working with Chemo Brain”

http://bit.ly/2usy1lN

Another way to be your own advocate is to ask your doctor how you can help maintain your side effects. I was having major pain after the first round of chemo that I’ve never felt before, so before my next treatment we spoke about things I could do proactively to manage my pain before the second round.

So my doctor said that my potassium was running low because of my chemo, which is common. So I should eat more potassium enriched foods. Also she offered opioids that I could keep as a back up, just in case my over-the-counter Aleve did not work for the excruciating pain.

So I also asked if it was possible to get medical marijuana instead of opioids, since it’s non addictive and more natural. Me personally, I am not a pot smoker, because it irritates my lungs. But I am not against taking edibles or pills to maintain the pain. So I applied for my medicinal marijuana card and now I have the option to not take opioids if needed. Just a thought.

Because my potassium was low I decided to start making potassium filled smoothies. I found this recipe online that has been working really well for me. So I thought I would share video and written recipe!

1 banana,1 avocado, spinach, mango, coconut water,

raw honey, chia seeds, splash of OJ (yummy)

Fruit and Coconut water
chia seeds
MMM, Honey
OJ
Spinach
Shake it up, Insert CARS song!

My friend Russell has helped other people facing cancer in his lifetime and he shared with me some juicing secrets to help prevent cancer and also help others that are going through chemo. He shared his recipe with me and it’s been a good experience so far. Thanks Russell! XOXO

This recipe yields about 3 servings. Of course there are many recipes online you can find on your own. But this might be a good one to start with.

1 apple, 4 to 5 stalks of celery, 4 to 5 carrots, ginger to taste, 1 cucumber, kale, one large beet or 2 to 3 small ones, half cup of lemon juice. You can add garlic, helps to keep the juice fresh in the refrigerator. But I opted not to use garlic because I eat it often and have not had an issue.

I juice almost every day I do the smoothie every other day because it can make you gain weight. But I do feel way more energetic! And since you can’t take vitamins during chemo this is definitely a good substitute and a more natural way to get the vitamins your body needs.

Another way to be your own advocate is to surround yourself with things that make you happy and friends that lift you up! I like to place things that people have sent me around my apartment so I can read them and see them every single day to make me feel happy and positive.

Don’t forget to be social, I have amazing friends and when they invite me to do something, I make sure I go! Being around the people you love is so important!

Gary and his sister-in-law Debbie and her wife Angela treated me to see the musical “Come from Away!” What an amazing show and time out with friends.

And every now and then you have to treat yourself to something you enjoy. So this past Sunday I went to Brooklyn Tabernacle to feel the love and inspiration, and then I took myself to a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, where I could have a nice lunch while watching an incredible movie! 1917 was a visual masterpiece in my eyes. Finding the beauty in the ugly, and shot in such a creative way. Not to ruin the movie but the scene of the burning city and the soldier running through it was incredible.

Also I just wanted to share that my blog was published on another website called Rightarminc. This was a very exciting moment for me! Thanks Claudia!

This company helps many women save their hair with Cold Cap Therapy.(including myself) This site also has many articles and information about cold caps and can answer any questions you may have. https://www.rightarminc.com/

I also spoke with Lily Wang (Hema/Oncology Nurse Practioner) at Maimonides Cancer Center and she was very excited about my blog and wants to share it with as many people going through cancer. She told me she has never seen anyone do what I’m doing, and that I am inspiring people and educating them. She even asked if I could speak at one of their meetings sometime.

I was very humbled by her remarks, and I hope inspiring others is exactly what I’m doing. So I want to ask everyone if they can please share my blog with as many people as possible through social media, email, text,etc., So hopefully they can share it with other people that may be going to the same thing that need some inspiration. I’m hoping I can be the voice for other cancer patients who can’t express themselves openly.

Hear is an easy link to use: https://robinsbcjourney.blog/

Positive vibes only!πŸ’“πŸŽ—πŸ˜πŸ™πŸ»

One more thought about being your own advocate!

One thought on “Being an Advocate for your health, bills, and well-being.

  1. You’re amazing and I love you so much!!! Keep it up!! Love reading your words of wisdom and advice to others who may be going through same thing! You ROCK! πŸ’œπŸ₯°

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