Trusting Your Instincts

Look, for many of us, where would we be if we didn’t trust that in the gut, “I told you so” instinct. When blood cancer or any word of cancer becomes part of your vocabulary, we have to think hard and think fast. Many are fortunate to have family and friends to help with our decision towards the right steps, whereas others don’t have the luxury of support, unfortunately. However, with that said, the thoughts of think hard and fast, usually lead to depending on your instincts.

Instinct - A natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity. Behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.1

On our shoulders... kinda

The ultimate decision for most lies on our individual shoulders, despite our support system in place, which either course can be very stressful. As we figure what is right for us at this moment, we also may struggle with what happens for those that depend on us to get this right. If you have a family that depends on you, usually that gut feeling tells you how to approach this for the sake of the family and for the sake of you.

There’s no rulebook available, but there definitely is that nudge we all get when something is not right, or otherwise. A few of my instincts have gotten me out of some binds. I know that my instincts for what and how I choose my doctors fall heavily on me. I also know that I can’t stay complacent if I know a situation with my care just doesn’t seem right and communication seems to be off, that’s my instinct telling me it’s time to bounce up out of here.

Quick action

It was almost 12 years ago when my first doctor, a hematologist specialist, suggested a route that I was uncomfortable with. It was more the way he went about doing and showing me an odd and uncomfortable video of what the suggested drug we discussed would do if I became pregnant while being treated with multiple myeloma. It was that act along with some other red flags that I knew this may not be the specialist I needed to treat my situation; though it did lead to my treatment, it took me about 5 years to get to that space of worry.

At times I wonder what would have happened if I jumped the gun and not follow that gut feeling that this was not the doctor for me. I replace that image with where I’m at now and I remember the long road, and proud of myself for staying the course of asking questions, doing my own research, prayer, and all self-care. In this case, my trusting my instincts may have saved my life.

Instincts or something else?

Do you ever hear of the phrase “stay out of your head” or "stay out of your own way”? Let’s just say there’s a difference between gut instinct and over rationalizing situations in your mind. The drop in your stomach and jolt that danger is approaching is a forceful intuitive feeling - it’s quite distinctive from thinking too much about the predicament. May your gut be with you.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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