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Using Education To Empower Your Cancer Journey

Written by: Jon Kessler, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Jon Kessler

There was a station here that produced public service announcements to help educate the public regarding different things. The tagline was “The more you know!”.Based on the above quote from Nelson Mandela, the more we know the more powerful we are to change our own worlds when it comes to cancer. Knowledge is power, right?

Educate Yourself written on blackboard
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

When I was diagnosed back in 2017, a friend of mine gave me the best piece of advice before I went to my first oncologist appointment. They told me to ask questions to make sure I knew everything about my staging, my treatment plan, and my prognosis. When we meet with our medical team for the first time, there is a lot of terminology that they share. Most of it goes over our heads. So what we need to do is to ask our doctors to explain it either over again or in a way that we will understand. Also, another piece of advice my friend gave me was to bring a notebook and write down everything that is shared during your appointment(s). There probably are a million things going around your mind and you may not be able to remember what is told to you. By you or a loved one taking notes, you can go back to them at a later date when necessary. In fact, this friend came with me to my 1st appointment to show me how to do all of the above. How do we educate ourselves? There are lots of ways to do that. One is to ask questions of your oncologist and any other medical professionals handling your treatments. With my clients, I give them a list of specific issues that they may be concerned about. We then work on overcoming blocks to address these issues to gain more knowledge. As part of my resource guide, which I share with clients, there are lists of questions to ask of your oncologist and surgeon. Again, it’s about the more you know! Another way to learn more about your specific type of cancer and to find the best treatment is via the Internet. Most types of cancers have national/international organizations that share all types of resources regarding the latest advancements. Usually, they will be more than happy to assist you in finding exactly what you need. There is a great one-stop website that has a lot of these organizations’ weblinks right there!

Why do we educate ourselves? As Nelson said it is the most powerful tool we have to make changes. Yes, when we know what is going to happen during our treatments, we can be prepared to react and respond accordingly to the changes all around us. Cancer can take our sense of being in control of our lives away from us. But with education comes control! We may know what the recovery period for surgery may be, what the side effects of treatment might be, and what help we may need to live as normal as possible.

Lastly, when we have knowledge of what our cancer journeys may bring, we can share that information with our medical teams. If one is experiencing things that are not “ordinary”, we can share that with those who will help us adjust accordingly. We become an active part of our medical team and thus, we feel more powerful. With that power, we begin to feel more “normal” and the paradigms shift! We go from just being a passenger to steering the ship during our journeys. This mindset goes forward with us when we move into survivorship!

I encourage all of you to find out as much as you can about your individual journeys. Do not be afraid to ask the questions you want answered! You can always reach out to me for suggestions and hints!

Change your world with your knowledge!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Jon Kessler Brainz Magazine

Jon Kessler, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jon Kessler is a Cancer Coach, a former patient himself who works with recently diagnosed patients. He works with them one-to-one, using his proprietary program to take them from fear of the unknown to life after cancer and writing the next chapter of their stories. His motto is "taking you from surviving to thriving". Jon also presents workshops to cancer organizations and support groups around the world. He also also been featured on a radio program on the island of Dominica. He is the founder and owner of Cancer Care Coaching, LLC.



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