Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 6

Self-Advocate
THE MEDICAL TEAM
Finding My Medical Team
BY JENNIFER ANAND
I
remember relapsing with stage 4b
Hodgkin's lymphoma. My first semester
of college was incredible, and now I
was confined to the four drab walls of a
hospital . . . again. The thought of having
to face more chemotherapy, drop out of
college, fight for my life, be away from my siblings, and
more, weighed heavily on me. Cancer sucked. My life had
been so rudely interrupted with the first diagnosis, but it
seemed beyond unfair to get a second within the span of the
same calendar year. Top that with getting a diagnosis of a
super rare virus in my spleen, and I was about the happiest
camper ever.
I have a long family history of Type 2
diabetes, so it was inevitable that I would
get it as well. The high dose prednisone I
was on did me no favors, and my sugars
skyrocketed. Enter a short middle-aged
endocrinologist. She came into my hospital
room, showed me the numbers, and
declared me in need of mult iple dai ly
insulin injections. I was overwhelmed by
everything and started crying. Her reply
was to tell me to pull it together, and that I
would be a diabetic for the rest of my life.
Thankfully she yelled those words before
storming out of the room, so I could sob
alone. It was hard enough facing cancer,
but her rude demeanor and comments
made diabetes all but an impossibi l ity
to focus on.
I went home, and my parents encouraged
me to think about my medical team. Obviously,
controlling my sugars alongside
chemo and a transplant was necessary. But
I realized that of the many players on my
team, she could not be included if I want6
ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
HODGKIN
LYMPHOMA ISSUE 2021
DON'T BE AFRAID TO KICK
SOMEONE OFF THE TEAM.
Case in point, the endocrinologist mentioned
above. As well as several other specialists as I
continue to manage my team. The endocrinologist
who made me cry in the oncology outpatient
(different from the previous endo) was
also kicked off. My gastroenterology doctor
who kept me waiting for more than 2 hours
and offered no real help to me; kicked off.
ed to win. I drafted an email and sent it
to my team. She was forbidden from being
a part my case and from seeing me. I was
terrified she would find a way to make my
life hell somehow. But instead, it gave me
a freedom from her. I was paired with a
different endocrinologist who ended up
being one of the best people to ever come
into my life. Now, almost eight years later,
I consider her a good friend.
Your medical team has a host of players
on it. We may think it's just an oncologist,
but they are only the quarterback. I had a
radiation oncologist in conjunction with
the normal one. Add in specialists such as
endocrine, neuro, vision, psychologists,
child life therapists, physician's assistants,
residents, and soon there is an entire crew
crowding into my room each morning for
rounds. I can't tell you how to pick your
care center, or your treatment regimen. But
I can tell you that you are the team owner.
So, put on your Dan Gilbert hat and pick
your starting lineup.
IT'S OK TO BENCH SOMEONE.
During transplant, I was weighed morning
and night for water retention weight. Typically,
my dinner was accompanied by a shot
of Lasix to make sure I urinated out the extra
water. I was a non-stop potty trotter for
about 2-3 hours before bedtime. One fateful
night, my dad shook me awake long after I
had gone to sleep. The resident had forgotten
my Lasix, and my body was at a dangerous
point. I begged and cried and screamed at
my dad not to make me take it. I was tired,
and I didn't have the strength or will to be up
peeing for the next three hours. He cried and
reasoned that I could become very seriously
sick if they didn't give me the shot. Finally, I
relented, and the offending resident brought
the medication. If looks could kill, she would
be long dead. I made sure to give her my best
death glare whenever I saw her for weeks
after. She knew she screwed up. She owned
her mistake, and she did what was needed to
rectify the situation. My parents didn't write
her off though. They accepted that she was an
overworked resident who was tired, homesick,
and trying her best. She came back on
their team (not mine, I was still sending " die,
fiend " expressions). She kept them informed
and updated and worked with them on many
medical discussions. She tried to make sure
they had pillows and extra blankets, and
anything to help my family be more comfortable.
It's OK to bring a team member back.
http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021

Contents
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover1
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover2
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 1
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Contents
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 3
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 4
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 5
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 6
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 7
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 8
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 9
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 10
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 11
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 12
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 13
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 14
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 15
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 16
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 17
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 18
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 19
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 20
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 21
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 22
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 23
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 24
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 25
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 26
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 27
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 28
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 29
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 30
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 31
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 32
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover3
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com