Turning Adversity into Proactive Survivorship

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Turning Adversity into Proactive Survivorship

It’s been a tough week. From the initial blow, I’ve been a poster child for Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief. At this point I’m probably mid-way between depression and acceptance. If you are a subscriber to my patient empowerment newsletter (not our APHA Monday Mail, rather, my Every Patient’s Advocate one) – then you have already heard my news – I sent out a heads up last Thursday just before my About.com newsletter went out. (If you aren’t a subscriber, why not? Here’s a link. ) The news is that after almost 7 years and 2000+ articles, out of the blue, with no warning, I was terminated from About.com. The only reason given was that it was a “business decision.” I’ve had my say on that at my personal blog.  You can find details here if you’re curious. To say I was stunned is a major understatement. Shocked, upset, angry, frustrated – that’s a start. It’s a blow to my ego, a hit to my income, and a blindside to those people for whom I have written, and provided advice and resources for all these years. The feelings have been very similar to those I felt when I was diagnosed with cancer. Ironically, it happened on June 30 which was 10 years to the day my cancer misdiagnosis journey began – the journey that set me on the path to patient empowerment, later advocacy, working and interfacing with all of you. That journey has made me a proactive survivor. What? You’ve never heard of a proactive survivor? I’ve defined proactive survivorship as the sixth stage of grief. It’s the idea that dealing with adversity takes one through the grief process, but getting PAST that tragedy requires one more step. It’s a step beyond acceptance. It’s a choice, and an opportunity to change one’s story from victimhood to hero. Victims let adversity define them. Proactive survivors redefine their adversity. So why am I sharing this with you today?  What does this have to do with the business of health and patient advocacy? Plenty. First, many of you who are advocates,…

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