Robin Roberts and Self-Advocacy

Robin Roberts, Good Morning America’s host, now in treatment for breast cancer, practices what I preach. Wise woman.

No — I take no credit for her progress. In fact, I very much doubt she has ever heard of me or my work. But in so many ways we are of a single mind, and I hope that you can learn from her experience, too.

Robin recently discovered a lump in her breast, and sought a mammogram, which turned up nothing. But she just “knew” — her intuition kicked in — and she and her doctor then sought an ultrasound, then a biopsy — and yes — they diagnosed her cancer. Surgery followed, and no doubt there will be courses of treatment beyond. But they caught it, and early, and she’s on the road, God willing, to recovery.

Intuition — trust it, act on it, follow it to its conclusions.

And the “God willing” part is important. Her faith and spirituality are in part responsible for her success so far. Not that one needs to be religious to find one’s best medical outcomes; rather, that one needs to understand the bigger picture. When we have these kinds of frightening experiences, how can we turn them into inspiration for others? Robin is doing that — with her return to the GMA set this morning, she has become that inspiration. She is taking some of her strength from the outreach of others, too. Yes, she’s practicing what I have tried to do for three years now.

Spirituality — use it for your own strength, use it to help you accept the strength of others, translate it to inspiration for others.

Chutzpah is that wonderful Yiddish term for having nerve and audacity — which is what is required in today’s healthcare environment. Sticking up for oneself, not accepting information on face value, making sure we get the very best care possible because we actively seek it, and not because we expect it will happen. Robin isn’t afraid to go that extra mile — if she hadn’t had chutzpah, then she might not have kept after her doctor for additional tests.

Chutzpah — stick up for yourself! Command the respect you deserve.

Robin Roberts is a perfect example of a woman who took her circumstance, her intuition, her spirituality and her chutzpah — and used it to save her own life.

Like I did. Welcome to our very exclusive club, Robin!

And welcome back to your on-air life. I’m pleased to see you looking so healthy and beautiful, just like you always do.


Follow Up Post:  11/16/07:  Cancer, Chemo and Emotions:  It’s OK not to be SO OK

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4 Responses to “Robin Roberts and Self-Advocacy”

  1. 1 Lynn November 15, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Today I watched GMA when Robin had her head shaved. I was diagnosed one week before Robin and have found it very difficult to watch anything about her experience. I find myself upset when I cannot “get up and go” like her. I believe we sometimes forget that we each have our own support systems and needs. Mine happened to be How do I pay the bills as a single person. So even on the days I don’t feel like getting up and going, I have no choice. I praise Robin for her strength and her journey. But I believe her journey is different than the average persons.

  2. 2 jon elliot January 20, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Robin
    I love GMA and am looking forward to the Obama inteview.
    PLEASE let Clinton respond.
    Obama supportrs are running a huge smear campaign
    against Clinton in the blogs. The smears are non-stop.
    First they claimed Hillary didn’t really win the NH primary,
    insisted she cheated and demanded a recount.
    The recount got CLINTON even more votes!
    Now they’re screaming she chated the NV election.
    In fact, the union thugs were intimidating their members to vote for Obama.
    This stuff is beneath him, and is really making people

  1. 1 Cancer and Bravery: Those Strong TV Women « Every Patient’s Advocate Trackback on October 19, 2007 at 7:03 am
  2. 2 Cancer, Chemo, Emotions: It’s OK Not to be SO OK « Every Patient’s Advocate Trackback on November 16, 2007 at 8:27 am
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