show episodes
 
Talk About Cancer is a podcast of stories from cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and family members. The host, Serena Hu, talks to her guests about their emotional journeys with cancer and what happens to the relationships in their lives after a cancer diagnosis. They will often explore how culture and faith shape each person's experience of cancer and grief. You will find diverse perspectives, honesty, and wisdom in these stories to help you deal with cancer and its aftermath. http:// ...
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Reema shared how her cancer experience might have been similar to and different from someone who is not an oncologist, and how this experience has influenced the way she practices medicine today. Please follow the podcast if these stories are resonating with you. I would also be grateful if you can leave an honest rating and review so I know if I a…
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Charles shared how having lost so many family members to cancer shapes how he approaches caregiving for his wife today, and how leaning into art and dark humor has helped him process and cope with it all. Check out some of Charles' recent work: Short film: A History of Worry Short story collection: Slippery When Metastasized Coloring book: Pug Mons…
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Nefa-Tari shared the devastating experience of being diagnosed with uterine cancer and ending her marriage soon after, and how she eventually found her way out of that incredibly tough period by advocating for her own needs and leaning on her faith. Check out the services SHARE offers and connect with Nefa-Tari! Please follow the podcast if these s…
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Sagar took us through some in-depth reflections about health, purpose, and the importance of having a creative outlet, which he discovered when his wife started to paint on his head after chemo. Check Sagar and Sheena's collaborations on Instagram @myheadisacanvas! Please follow the podcast if these stories are resonating with you. I would also be …
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Kandis shared how she picked herself back up one step at a time after a tough caregiving experience and how she eventually found positive ways to channel her grief. Some resources Kandis mentioned: Gilda's Club Chicago Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance Therapy for Black Girls Also check out Kandis' article about compound caregiving on Caregiving.com…
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Melody shared what it was like to deal with cancer during her childhood, the ways that experience has influenced different stages of her life, and the things she continues to uncover as an adult. You can follow Melody on Instagram @lunapeakfoundation, on Facebook @lunapeakfouncation, or on Twitter @lunapeakfamily. You can also find more information…
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Akili reflected on the disruptions he faced when his son Kaine was diagnosed with leukemia more than two years ago and the growth he had to go through to survive this “good” bad diagnosis. Please follow the podcast if these stories are resonating with you. I would also be grateful if you can leave an honest rating and review so I know if I am servi…
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Anna explained how cancer treatment “broke” her vagina and the challenges with dating when she took sexual intercourse off the table. Her experiences inspired her to create the Entwine dating app to help others like her find companionship with confidence. You can follow the app on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Please follow the podcast if these…
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Lauren shared what it was like to follow her daughter Melissa's lead in having open conversations about end-of-life wishes, which gave Lauren a path forward during grief and led to the founding of 13 Thirty Cancer Connect to support thousands of AYA cancer patients in her community. Find out more about 13 Thirty Cancer Connect's programs that are n…
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Fabian took us back to the time when his existential crisis collided with his cancer diagnosis and how he was able to pull through 900 days of chemo with a vision to support other cancer people struggling with mental health. You can download the War On Cancer app on your phone and check out the amazing Clinical Trial Finder feature. You can also co…
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Brianna talked about how isolating the caregiving and the grieving experiences can be, and how creating art in a nonverbal way can be incredibly cathartic and healing. Check out Brianna's artwork on her website and let me know what it brings up for you! Also, follow her on Instagram @briannalhb so you will get updates about her upcoming workshops a…
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Laura explained how being diagnosed with cancer gave new meaning to her work as a health care advocate and that staying engaged with advocacy actually helped her push through her cancer treatment. Laura mentioned Imerman Angels, which has also been referenced by a few other guests on this podcast about the wonderful one-on-one peer support they off…
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Michelle and Phil shared some of the most challenging moments, thoughts, and feelings they’ve had in their caregiving and grief process over the last three decades, and how they were able to eventually move forward from the devastating loss of their son Gabe. You can read more about their story in an article Phil had written for the San Diego Reade…
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Gaz shared how he’s dealing with a terminal diagnosis as a young adult and why for a practical person like him, living from scan to scan takes on a different meaning. You can connect with Gaz on Instagram @Gaz_Emmerson where you will see that he’s still biking to his chemo appointments and enjoy concerts with his friends. You will also find the lin…
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Julieta talked openly about grappling with not being cancer-free after her chemo treatment and the complex layers of love, fear, and hope she’s balancing with her intergenerational family. Please follow the podcast if you are enjoying the show. Would also be awesome if you can leave an honest rating and review so I know if I am serving the interest…
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Rachel shared some of the most intimate moments from her and her late husband’s cancer experience, including how she knew when it was time to let go. You can find Rachel’s book Wife, Widow, Now What? on Amazon and follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Also, check out CaringBridge as a resource for anyone who wants to blog about your health experien…
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Babz walked us through how he reacted when he first got his diagnosis and how he quickly realized that dealing with cancer was mostly a mental game. You can check out Babz's Community Interest Company Freshrb, which uses video production to highlight marginalized health issues. Please follow the podcast if you are enjoying the show. Would also be a…
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Sue gave us a glimpse into the struggles of caring for a loved one who is fully dependent on her and how in an extreme situation like this, self-care may just mean grabbing a few Oreos. Please follow the podcast if you are enjoying the show. Would also be awesome if you can leave an honest rating and review so I know if I am serving the interests a…
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Tara talked about the multiple transformations she has had to go through: from being a caretaker to survivor to thriver, and from natural ways of healing to eventually facing her fears of chemotherapy. You can find Tara's bestseller book Grace, Grit, and Gratitude on Amazon and connect with her on Instagram @taracoyote. Please follow the podcast if…
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Shoni gets vulnerable and candid about her mom’s and her own experience with cancer and why her voice as a Black woman, matters. You can connect with Shoni on Instagram @brsuga and learn more about For the Breast of Us on their website. Please follow the podcast if you are enjoying the show. Would also be awesome if you can leave an honest rating a…
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Jared shared what it was like to get a blood stem cell transplant in the middle of the pandemic and how he is adjusting to the identity and life of a survivor, including edible gummies, makeup experiments, and being a Be The Match ambassador. You can find Jared on Instagram at @jaredlips and listen to his fun podcast Back on Air. Learn more about B…
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Emily talked about the importance of listening to your body and not being afraid to question your doctor when his or her guidance is contrary to what you believe is the right answer for you. She also shared what it was like to deal with an unexpected disability after surgery. You can find Emily @wonkyarm on Instagram and at her blog. Please follow …
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Kunal shared his experience taking on the caregiver role as his wife dealt with breast cancer and how setting clear boundaries for everyone involved - including himself - ultimately helped him to walk away from the experience with no regrets. The books that Kunal found helpful for working through his grief after his wife passed away are: The Secret…
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Rod shared his experience as a male breast cancer patient and how that experience led him to become an advocate and create a resource site to serve the needs of the male breast cancer community. You can find Rod on Twitter or at his website http://malebc.org/. Please follow the podcast if you are enjoying the show. Would also be awesome if you can …
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Dorothy explained what it was like to be diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26 and how being at high risk for developing ovarian cancer within the decade made major life decisions incredibly complicated for her. You can find Dorothy on Instagram or at the Atrium Foundation website. Check out her book 26 & Fu¢ked where you can get her full s…
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Angel shared how being a nurse has affected her experience with her mom’s cancer care and why it’s crucial for caregivers to honor their own needs during and after the caregiving journey. Want to hear other stories from cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, or family members like this one? Want to share your story? Get in contact with me at: http…
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Marlene told the story of how she first heard about her cancer diagnosis not from the doctor, but in a message from her grandfather who she’s never met, and why her cancer journey has ultimately transformed her life in a positive way. You can listen to more of Marlene’s and others’ stories about surviving trauma on her podcast called Surviving Trau…
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Alicia described the ways in which faith has shaped her dad’s outlook and experience with end-of-life and why the last six weeks of his life were both the best and the hardest. Want to share your story about your cancer journey as a survivor, caregiver, or family member? Get in touch with me! Have topic suggestions or feedback about the show? Conta…
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Ilene shared her journey as a 7-year metastatic breast cancer endurer and how picking up the pen and paper to write again has, in more ways than one, helped her continue to live beyond the statistics. Ilene's blog is called Cancerbus You can find her on Twitter @ilenealizah You can find out more about the wonderful retreat she went to at the Common…
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Dori helps us understand why open communication is so important when a family member is living with an incurable diagnosis and how she’s been working hard to be fully transparent and honoring the needs of her husband and children on their journey with cancer. I’m super appreciative of the personal reflections Dori shared in this conversation. At th…
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Andy talked about the hard decisions he has had to make in taking a holistic approach to his cancer treatment and how having been grounded with the right mindset got him through one of the greatest challenges he’s faced. If you are looking for someone who practices what he preaches, Andy is your guy. As a seasoned talent development coach, he walke…
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Jason reflected on his experience of losing his dad as a child and how the cultural norms of the Vietnamese culture shaped his experience of grief and mourning. We also explore what he is doing differently as an adult now that he has had some time to reflect on his earlier experience. It was so interesting to listen to Jason reflect on his experien…
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We have our first sister duo on the show to share their story with us. You will hear about how they managed stress family members and friends had unintentionally caused and how they were always a team in getting through every situation. I had fun chatting with the sister duo Bella and Tonia. As someone who didn’t grow up with a sibling under the sa…
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Victoria talked about turning to alcohol to numb the anxiety and pain she experienced in the aftermath of cancer treatment and reminded us to let go of the expectations we put on ourselves and get support to develop healthier ways to cope with trauma. I so appreciated Victoria for coming on the show to share her story about the trauma she experienc…
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Jason spoke lovingly about his memories of his mom - who battled three types of cancer for over a decade - and the ways in which he continues to remember and honor her legacy since she died in 2019. He also shared some interesting stories about kilts and prostate cancer awareness. What a storyteller Jason was. There was literally a story to illustr…
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Stephanie took us through some of the toughest parts of her cancer journey, including how she had to postpone her wedding, how she got lost in the dark space, and what helped her to get through and eventually reconnect with life again. A big shout out to Stephanie for doing such a deep dive during our recording. She was so transparent in sharing so…
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Michelle shared a lovely story about how her whole family came together to share the caregiving responsibilities when her dad’s health started to decline. And how they worked as an incredible team to support their dad and stepmom in the most difficult times, as well as each other through their grieving process. Listening to Michelle’s story really …
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Rudy shared his experience as a brain cancer endurer, about how he learned to embrace new ways to live his life, and identifying a greater purpose that has kept him going beyond two “expiration” dates. He also helped me understand why the term cancer “survivor” is not a universally welcomed label. I had a lot of fun talking to Rudy. His mind goes a…
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Carrie shared her experiences of first being a caregiver to her brother and then becoming a cancer survivor herself. She talks about the anger she still feels about losing her brother but how she has been able to channel that anger towards serving others. As a survivor who’s been in the shoes of a caregiver, she’s taken on the added responsibility …
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Stacey shared her experience being a three-time cancer survivor and how the recurring adversity makes her strong and propels her to take the learnings from her own experience to help others recover. She also talks about how the phrase “cancer prevention” just doesn’t sit right with her and why her cancer experience does not conform to the typical L…
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Carina and Mila, who are friends and colleagues, have supported each other on different parts of their journeys with breast cancer. We heard some common themes in their stories: One of the big ones was the importance of putting yourself first, which they both had to learn over time when they started to feel the negative impact on their mental healt…
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I shared my experience with my dad’s death and dying process in this interview. A good friend who is an experienced medical social worker played guest host as she knew a bit about the journey I was on with my dad. Big thanks to her for listening and helping me get the story recorded. As two social workers, we did digress into some intellectualizing…
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I spoke with Jamie about her journey with breast cancer. She is truly blessed to be able to look in the rearview mirror and call the whole experience a “bump in the road.” Her story highlights how important it is to listen to your body and trust your instincts, as medical doctors can get things wrong too, and you always have to be your best advocat…
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Hey everybody. This is Serena Hu, I'm your host for the Talk About Cancer podcast. Cancer has had quite an impact on my life, meaning, three of my close family members have had to deal with five different types of cancer in the last decade. While I have been lucky enough to have not developed cancer myself yet, the experiences I have had as a careg…
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