Patient Family & Community Engagement

The journey from provider to patient: Lessons learned

The lens through which one experiences a health crisis is influenced by their personal beliefs and experiences as well as by their professional training and circumstances. Parotid (salivary) gland tumors are rare. Having more than one parotid tumor is rarer still. My experience as a clinician and researcher who was diagnosed with two parotid gland tumors was influenced by my life experiences and my professional background. This affected my reaction to the situation and the questions I asked. It also affected my expectations of my providers. This is a reflection on my six-plus-year journey and the lessons learned, both personally and professionally. The journey will be a lifelong one, hopefully full of promise and health.