Why Do I Wear Red?

(photo: 2014 Nike Air Max)

During a recent Q&A session during one of my recent healthcare talks I was asked by a participant why I wear red? (I was wearing a red sport coat, red shoes, and walked in with a red backpack)

I paused, smiled, and told them why I have an affinity for all things red.

In the fall of 2013 my father was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer. One of the last items he bought for me was a pair of red Nike Air Max running shoes. He purchased them as part of my birthday present.

A few weeks later my father turned 69. A week after that my father passed. His funeral was adorned with red roses and red carnations. Both of which where his favorite flowers and color.

As my father passed I made the decision that I was not going to wear the shoes. Ever.

I was going to keep them unworn, unused, and in the box.

The shoes have become this reminder to me, of my father, his love, and my quest to make an impact in this world.

Since that time I have unconsciously (or maybe consciously) had an affinity to the color red.

My winter coat is red. My favorite sport coat is red. My backpack is red. My phone case is red. I have red chuck taylors. I have red Adidas Superstars. I have red bow ties. I have red trousers. I have red lapel pins. I even purcahsed a red fountain pen to go with my red notebook. I am addicted to Diet Coke because I prefer the red on the can. (well my father like Coke but I dont need the calories)

The simple answer is: I wear red because it reminds me of my father. It reminds me of our relationship. It reminds me of his struggles, his experiences, his sacrifices. It reminds me of his advice. It reminds me of one mans unconditional love that transcends time and space and envelops me each day.

I wear red to be close to my dad.

Care happens at the N of 1.

As always you can feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek

~Cancergeek

I Believe In You….International Women’s Day

I Believe In You…..

That was that greatest gift that my father gave to me.

No matter if I succeeded, failed, won, loss, triumphed, defeated, landed or fell…he always believed in me.

I have had the privilege of having several mentors along my journey that continue to believe in me, in my voice, and in my vision of an alternative reality. I need to acknowledge them especially on today, International Women’s Day.

Sister Jude (1st grade), to Judy Kandler (6-8th grade English) and Kristine Saeger (Program Director for undergrad). All educators that saw my love for thinking, writing, and people. My first boss Barb that took a chance on a recent grad to join an established team. To Becky Flink that allowed me to push the envelope with technology and processed, to do things a new way, versus the way it has always been done.

I have to thank Casey Quinlan (@mightycasey), Stacey Tinianov (@coffeemommy), Dr. Sison (@giasison), Marie Ennis-O’Connor (@JBBC), Andrea Borondy-Kitts (@findlungcancer), and Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily). All of you have been wonderfully understanding, endearing, and an inspiration to me. You have all been a pleasure to know, friend, collaborate and learn from and with. You are the fire that keeps me light lit.

To the amazing women of Radiology that have taken a chance on me, allowed me to become a part of your world, and to include me on helping to shed light on the important work done by Radiologists. I can never thank you enough. From Dr. Geraldine McGinty (@DrGMcGinty), Dr. Ruth Carlos (@ruthcarlosmd), Dr.  Amy Kotsenas (@AmyKotsenas), Dr Amy Patel (@amykpatel), Dr. Lucy Spalluto (@LBSrad), and Dr. Monica Saini (@overprocessed).

To my wonderful friend, mentor, and inspiration who has been a Northstar to me in the past few months, Dr. Kristina Hoque (@KristinaHoque). I appreciate all you do, and for always taking the time to listen to my ideas and help me formulate them into actionable work. You remind me that anything is possible.

Lastly, we have to acknowledge the harsh reality that men have had hundreds of years to make health and care work the right way. No matter the time, money, technology, or scientific advances accomplished, we, as men, have continued to royally fuck it up.

We managed to move a world that was built on relationships and communities to a world that is sterile, monetized, and inconvenient for those that need it the most. We took all of the humanity out of it. We took something extraordinary only to scale to the masses, share best practices, mediocritize it all, and become extra ordinary at best.

My vision of the future is a world of healthcare broken into health and care. Where we focus on knowing people, making recommendations within the context of their life, and meet them where they reside. Moving from we care, to me care.

A world led by women. Not because they are women, but because they are the leaders we need in this pivotal moment in our humanity.

I believe women can and will lead us to this new world.

Let’s be real men, admit our fuck up, and step aside and allow the real leaders to make health and care great again.

I believe health and care is performed at the N of 1.

As always you can feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek

~Cancergeek