23. Question the expert

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Emily talked about the importance of listening to your body and not being afraid to question your doctor when his or her guidance is contrary to what you believe is the right answer for you. She also shared what it was like to deal with an unexpected disability after surgery.

You probably heard me talk more during this episode than most others because I was feeling pretty frustrated by the experiences Emily had to go through with her doctor. I know she was being very diplomatic about not discounting his professional abilities completely, but to not have changed his ways given what happened the first time tells me that he did not take ownership of the situation. This honestly is a sign that he is not very focused on improving patient care and it’s so dangerous for patients who are medical outliers like Emily is.

I also want to thank Emily for highlighting the experience of living with a disability after cancer. In addition to feeling isolated from her peers (because cancer can be rather foreign to people in that age range), she had to navigate an extra layer of complexity when it came to school, sexual intimacy, and work. Just thinking about how nerve-racking interviews still are for me today, I can only imagine how hard it was for Emily to have had to not only manage her own insecurities but also quickly learn to direct conversations with strangers in a way that didn’t reduce her to just cancer and the disability.

I hope Emily is super proud of what she has accomplished given all the barriers she has had to overcome and continues to share her experiences through her creative writing because there is so much strength in her words and it will be an inspiration to others who are dealing with similar challenges.

You can find Emily @wonkyarm on Instagram and at her blog. 

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