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WE Have Cancer

WE Have Cancer

Author: Lee Silverstein

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Each year more than 12 million people will hear the devastating words "you have cancer."

In each episode of WE Have Cancer we share the stories of patients, survivors, caregivers and medical professionals as a way to provide information, inspiration and hope to those touched by cancer.

The host, Lee Silverstein, is a survivor of a rare form of pediatric kidney cancer and has been battling stage 4 colon cancer since 2011.
182 Episodes
Joining Lee this week on the WE Have Cancer Podcast is Jordan Griffith of The Griffith Family Foundation. Jordan talks about his father’s pancreatic cancer and how that helped create the (Griffith Family Foundation), (Sideline Cancer), and a massive basketball tournament. Jordan discusses the foundation and its impact, both on his family as well as what it’s doing to fight against pancreatic cancer. He also dives into some of the best moments of (The Basketball Tournament) and what that’s meant for the foundation and its ability to raise awareness and funds. Guest biography:Jordan Griffith’s father, Greg Griffith, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. With the help of friends and the local community, The (Griffith Family Foundation) was formed, as well as creating (Sideline Cancer). As an ambassador and board member, Jordan has helped see the foundation put in the spotlight on ESPN as a part of (The Basketball Tournament). Table of contents:Introduction to Jordan Griffith Jordan’s father and the start of the story Instead of worrying about his prognosis after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jordan shares how his father instead wanted to know how he could help the doctor. Jordan also talks about how his father would feel seeing the changes in the community. The (Griffith Family Foundation) and (Sideline Cancer) Jordan shares the story about how the foundation was created, how it evolved over time, and why it’s centered around basketball. TBT: (The Basketball Tournament) With the foundation based on basketball, it only made sense to create a basketball tournament. Jordan talks about how the tournament was created and quickly expanded to being on ESPN. The foundation’s impact Lee and Jordan talk about where the funds raised are going and the hopeful impact of the foundation in awareness of pancreatic cancer. How has the family changed? After Jordan’s father passed away, he says the family was able to bond over their shared experiences with the foundation and from working on it. The long-term goals of the foundation Jordan opens up about the changing dynamics of the foundation and some of the things he wants to see happen. Links mentioned in the show: (The Griffith Family Foundation) (Sideline Cancer) (Sideline Cancer - Instagram) (The Basketball Tournament) (Marcus Keene’s shot in the tournament) (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network) Subscribe to the “ (WE Have Cancer” Podcast) -  Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media: Like our (Facebook) page Join our (private Facebook group) Follow us on (Twitter) Follow us on (Instagram) Follow us on (LinkedIn) Check out (Luxe Bidets) Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee
Lee sits down with Caroline Rose in this week’s episode of the (WE Have Cancer podcast) to discuss non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and how a rescue dog helped the healing process. Through taking care of her dog Riley, Caroline was able to find hope, forgiveness, love, and so much more during her journey with stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Caroline turned a letter to her dog into so much more and now uses her story with Riley to help others find hope during diagnosis and treatment, as well as guide her through the aftermath of remission. Guest biography:Caroline Rose had battled stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 27 years old. Instead of letting fear grip hold of her life, Caroline turned to hope and a rescue dog named Riley. Helping rehabilitate Riley after neglect and abuse allowed Caroline to heal in her own way and it formed a bond and drive that has continued on. She’s since turned her story into a (website), public speaking events, and soon, a book: Dear Riley Rose. Table of contents:Introduction to Caroline Rose Lee introduces Caroline, how he came to know her and what he found interesting with her personal story. Why has a dog played such an important role With everything seemingly going against it, Caroline found her future dog Riley and some unconditional love. Turning that love into a story With the pair intertwined, Caroline wrote a letter to Riley, forming the basis of (her website) and an upcoming book. Finding hope At a time when things can seem hopeless, the right story can change everything. That’s what Caroline kept hearing from people at public speaking events so she made it a core part of her message. Caroline’s diagnosis At 27 years old, Caroline was in the best shape of her life. She had run several marathons and was in training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. But when she went to get vaccinated for the trip, routine blood work showed a problem. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma side effects Caroline shares some of the side effects treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has had on her life. The aftermath of remission Now in remission for 10 years, Caroline opens up about how treatment can feel like a finish line with little guidance in how to handle life afterward. Having cancer with children Caroline also talks about how she’s managed her diagnosis and treatment all with her children. From using a child psychologist to creating a picture book of the experience to share with her daughter, Caroline opens up about what she told her children and how they went through it as a family. Finding joy and laughter Caroline says she hopes her children would remember her laughter when they think about their combined journey. Whether it be the dogs, family, and friends, Caroline talks about where she’s found joy and laughter throughout it all. Forgiveness and love Caroline discusses how she was hard on herself during diagnosis and treatment and how she was able to forgive herself and heal. Links mentioned in the show:Subscribe to the “ (WE Have Cancer” Podcast) - Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media: Like our (Facebook) page Join our (private Facebook group) Follow us on (Twitter) Follow us on (Instagram) Follow us on (LinkedIn) Check out (Luxe Bidets) (Dear Riley Rose) (Dear Riley Rose - Instagram) (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee
Jason Greenspan joins Lee on this week’s episode of the (WE Have Cancer podcast) to talk about his personal story battling testicular cancer at a young age, and how he’s become an advocate.  Jason shares how he first found a lump and received a testicular cancer diagnosis at the age of 18. From there, Jason’s story goes into how testicular cancer impacted and ultimately shaped the relationship he has with his mother, to a world record-setting event and his efforts to bring awareness of the disease to the world. This episode is all about breaking the stigma to help improve the testicular cancer survival rate through self-exams and open discussions without fear or embarrassment. Guest biography:Jason Greenspan is the founder of National Ball Check Day and a testicular cancer survivor. Diagnosed at 18 years old after he found a lump, Jason has been through testicular cancer treatment and come out on the other side. He’s now looking to make the conversation easier and help save lives as he brings awareness of testicular cancer to the masses. Table of contents:Introduction of Jason Greenspan and the start of his story Jason talks about what went through his mind when at 18 years old, he found a lump on his testicle and got a diagnosis of testicular cancer. The difficult conversation In what’s already a difficult and perhaps embarrassing topic of conversation for a young man, Jason’s discovery was made even tougher on his mother due to his grandmother being rediagnosed with cancer of his own. How Jason’s mother coped and helped Though certainly difficult for Jason himself, he shares what his mother did to help support him through his journey -- from staying strong to taking off work for three months to take him to chemo treatments.  How testicular cancer has changed their parent-son relationship Through a shared journey has come more understanding. Jason discusses how the relationship with his mother has been positively impacted and how it’s stronger now because of what they went through together.  Going from fighter to advocate Now cancer-free for nearly eight years, Jason has turned his story into one of advocacy and awareness. Jason now tries to educate others, especially young men, about the process of going to the doctors and what to look for themselves to help diagnose early. If caught early, the testicular cancer survival rate is high. Battling the perception As a part of his advocacy, one of the biggest things Jason looks to do now is counter the notion testicular cancer is embarrassing or taboo to address. Jason talks about the reactions he personally faced from both students and faculty when trying to put together an event at his school to raise awareness of testicular cancer. (National Ball Check Day) Jason helped found National Ball Check Day, which takes place on the second Tuesday of April. Designed to bring awareness to testicular cancer and show men how to self-administer a testicular cancer test, the goal is to open up the discussion. Bringing his activism elsewhere Now out of school and with his own experiences at hand, Jason has transitioned into doing events for a non-profit organization. World record Wanting to continue his legacy at school and beyond, Jason created an event that set the Guinness world record for most guys doing a testicular cancer test together. From organizing the event and keeping in contact with the former record holder to the logistics of setting a world record, Jason talks about how the idea came about and how it all happened. Testicular cancer test Why doing regular tests and talking about testicular cancer is important for everyone to think about more often. Links mentioned in the show: (National Ball Check Day) (Testicular Cancer Society) (Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer...
Kat Arney joins the “ (WE Have Cancer)” podcast to talk about her new book “ (Rebel Cell).” As a self-identified developmental geneticist, Kat discusses what is cancer, why do people get cancer, and how it differs from the perception most have of the disease. From viewing cancer as a one-off personal event to how a more evolutionary outlook on treatment might just be the answer to curing cancer, Kat Arney uses her Ph.D. and experience to flip your idea of the disease on its head. Guest biography:Kat Arney is the host of the “ (Genetics Unzipped)" podcast and author of such books as, “ (Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life’s Oldest Betrayal.)” Kat earned a Ph.D. in developmental genetics from Cambridge University. She’s a co-founding member of the Cancer Research UK's award-winning science blog and was a principal media spokesperson from 2004-2016.   Table of contents:Introduction of guest Kat ArneyKat shares her story, learning about genetics and cancer research during her Ph.D. study at Cambridge. Why do people get cancer?Kat breaks down what is cancer and why people get it in a more easily understood way, comparing the body to a well-functioning society. She views cancer as a bunch of cheating cells similarly to someone in a society breaking the law. The perception of cancer as a uniquely human and modern diseaseKat discusses how cancer is in nearly all life forms, including the very smallest and largest animals. She also talks about how cancer was found in a 77-million-year-old dinosaur, altering the opinion that it’s a new issue only humans face. Cancer as an internal force and not an external oneKat and Lee talk about the perceptions of cancer as being a part of an unhealthy lifestyle compared to just being mutated cells beyond our control at times. How childhood cancer differs from adult cancerKat explains the tie of particular tissues and times of life to childhood cancer and how adult cancers deviate from that as almost a different biological process. Treatment whack-a-mole and the evolution of cancerLee shares a story about an upcoming guest and her recurrent cancer. They talk about the belief that treatment is a way of buying time until another treatment can come out. Treatments based on the evolution of cancerWhere current cancer treatments attack that form at that particular time, Kat shares a story about work being done at the Moffitt Cancer Center that looks at the evolutionary principles of cancer as a means of selecting treatment. Viewing cancer as an evolutionary eventDue to an individual’s genetics, their body, and their lifestyle, every instance of cancer is a one-off event, according to Kat. While cancer is often viewed as a universal, it’s truly a personal disease. Bucking the idea of “the cure” for cancerThough there’s been a lot of talk about a lone cure for all cancers, Kat talks about how we should revise that notion. As a personal disease that has so many forms, treatment won’t look the same for each person and each type of cancer. There are some studies currently embracing that idea and finding some success with treatments already on the market. Links mentioned in the show:Subscribe to the “ (WE Have Cancer” Podcast) Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media: Like our (Facebook) page Join our (private Facebook group) Follow us on (Twitter) Follow us on (Instagram) Follow us on (LinkedIn) Check out (Luxe Bidets) Kat Arney’s book, (“Rebel Cell”) comes out
We have Heather Von St. James joining us today on the WE Have Cancer Podcast to explain what is Mesothelioma and her unique path through the disease to the advocacy she does now as a survivor. Heather shares her story about how she first realized something was wrong after giving birth to her daughter through to her Mesothelioma prognosis, to finding the right Mesothelioma doctors and treatment.  Table of contents: WE Have Cancer podcast intro (0:00)  Passing of former guest Pat Beauregard (0:36)  Introduction of guest Heather Von St. James (1:46)  Raising a newborn as a family through Mesothelioma treatment (3:03)  What is Mesothelioma? (6:43)  The realization of something being wrong (8:08)  The diagnosis (10:15)  Finding the cause (10:49)  Mesothelioma prognosis (12:09)  Tattoos as a momento (13:17)  Mesothelioma treatment options and choosing the right Mesothelioma doctors (14:35)  Fighting back against Mesothelioma with surgery and chemotherapy (16:36)  Heather’s current health and residual effects (18:01)  The day-to-day impact of living after Mesothelioma treatment (18:49)  Advocacy after cancer (19:42)  How others react to Heather’s story (21:33)  How the right attitude helped carry Heather through (22:36)  Mesothelioma Awareness Day and how to support (26:01)  WE Have Cancer Podcast outro (30:06)  About MesotheliomaWhat is Mesothelioma?  Mesothelioma is a type of cancer commonly caused by asbestos. It often affects the tissues around the lungs, heart, abdomen, and testicles.   What’s a typical Mesothelioma prognosis?  Only your doctor can give you a mesothelioma diagnosis and prognosis. Some versions are treatable while others aren’t. As Heather shares in this episode, not every Mesothelioma prognosis is going to be the same or even the end of the story.  What are the most common Mesothelioma symptoms?  While signs and symptoms can be different for everyone, chest pain, painful coughing, shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss are possible signs.  Mesothelioma treatment?  Not all forms of Mesothelioma are treatable. Those that are depend on several other factors, like the patient’s health, the cancer’s stage, and its location. However, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are the most common forms of treatment for Mesothelioma.  Links mentioned in the show: ( ( (  WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ('s story and video - ( Follow Heather on: Instagram - ( Twitter - ( Facebook - Follow WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee...
In this episode of the ("WE Have Cancer" podcast), Lee talks with Joe Bullock about his personal experiences with colon cancer and the creation of groups to help men share during their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and after-effects of survival. From getting his diagnosis and how cancer impacted his relationship with his wife to creating the Howling Place group, Joe talks about the sense of isolation and the loss of personal identity many men go through when dealing with cancer. This is a must-listen episode for men struggling to find their place, their feelings, and others they can talk to about their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and even the aftermath of survival. Guest biography:Joe Bullock is one of the founders of the Howling Place, along with Trevor Maxwell. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018, Joe was not only able to make it through his journey but become a counselor for men dealing with their own cancer diagnosis and the trauma the disease leaves with those it touches. Table of contents:Chadwick Boseman's death from colorectal cancer Lee talks a bit about Chadwick’s untimely passing and how it relates to his own personal life and battle. Introduction of guest Joe Bullock Lee introduces Joe and some of the work they’ve done together, as well as their shared experience with colon cancer. Joe’s colon cancer diagnosis and his support network Joe opens up about originally getting diagnosed and how his wife, an RN, was on top of things from a clinical perspective while he struggled with the emotional side of his colon cancer diagnosis. How Joe and Trevor Maxwell came together to form the Facebook group Joe talks about getting the all-clear from his doctors and the delayed emotions that came with it. He also discusses meeting Trevor and the foundation of the (Howling Place Facebook group) in an effort to help other men to not isolate and feel alone in their cancer diagnosis. You had an identity before cancer and the wolfpack mentality One of the most important but less-often talked about points is people losing their identity when they’ve had a cancer diagnosis. Joe and Lee talk about how the feeling that a cancer diagnosis encompasses all of life and instead, taking the time to remember the activities, and hobbies you enjoyed before in an effort to restore your identity. Men opening up emotionally Lee shares an experience of noticing men typically weren’t at conferences or meetings because they felt awkward about sharing their feelings and vulnerabilities. Joe and Lee talk about how the Facebook group tries to combat this problem by creating a more male-focused space where guys can open up and be vulnerable together. Emotional fatigue as a moderator and counselor Lee pointed out Joe often takes the time to be a counselor for others and how the emotional drain many go through, both as active participants and for those that struggle to find their place in groups. Joe’s impact on a pediatric cancer patient Through a connection at Colon Town, Joe was able to help a pediatric cancer patient and his family who was in town. That included an encouragement-card drive that brought at least 1,000 cards of support through his treatment. The death of Joe’s father and others, and how they provided grow and guidance Through the hardship of helping his father pass from cancer despite their strained relationship and the passing of others in the community, Joe was able to come out on the other side with a more meaningful understanding of how being a pillar of support could help him and others while becoming his purpose and passion. Links mentioned in the show:Subscribe to the “ (WE Have Cancer” Podcast) - Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media: Like our (Facebook) page Join our (private Facebook group) Follow...
The (WE Have Cancer podcast) turns to a topic we’ve never discussed before: Hospice and palliation. With Jeff Shufelt as our guest, Lee dives into hospice’s meaning and the misconceptions about hospice care. While it’s a frightening topic that’s hard to discuss, Lee talks to Jeff about his decision to go from treatment to home hospice and how that’s improved his quality of life. From what is hospice care compared to palliative care, to how the decision has impacted his family, this episode is all about how hospice could be the right decision even earlier than you might think. Guest biography:Jeff Shufelt has Stage 4 colorectal cancer. After trying different treatment options, Jeff came to the realization hospice care was the right and smart move for him. Looking to improve his quality of life rather than getting more time but being unable to enjoy that time due to treatment, the decision to move into palliation and home hospice has been the right one for Jeff. Table of contents:Introduction to Jeff Shufelt Lee introduces Jeff, his story with colorectal cancer and the decision to seek out home hospice. The bucket list Jeff got a chance to take his son out on the water for a fishing trip, leading to a discussion about bucket lists and how he got the diagnosis. The diagnosis Jeff shares his story about first getting diagnosed with cancer, being given two years. Jeff talks about his path to additional opinions, surgery, and several NEDs (no evidence of disease). What is hospice care? Jeff and Lee talk about what is hospice care in order to debunk the misconceptions about palliative care. What does hospice mean for you? Hospice doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to pass immediately. Jeff talks about how long he’s been on hospice care and what palliation looks like for him personally, including painkillers and increasing his quality of life. Making the decision to do home hospice Jeff talks about why he decided to do hospice care as a way to improve his quality of life. With few options available to improve the amount of time he has left and a desire to make memories rather than be in treatment, Jeff decided palliation was the right fit for him and his family. The impact of the hospice decision on a family With his mind made up, Jeff opens up about his family’s reaction to his decision to move into palliation and home hospice care. Getting support Building a support network through this fight is an important part of the process. Jeff and Lee talk about how the Colorectal Cancer Alliance helped make connections and gave him more insight into treatment options. Hospice care vs. Palliation Jeff and Lee talk about the differences between hospice and palliative care. From managing pain, management of your care, and support to help you get through each day; both hospice and palliative care help you in different ways. The emotional rollercoaster of care Jeff shares a story of being brought in to potentially join a new drug trial only to waste his time. Jeff talks about the highs of hope to the dread of wasting time he doesn’t have. When to go into hospice care Despite still having hope, Jeff opens up about the decision to go into hospice earlier than most in an effort to build memories with his family instead of spending that valuable time trying to chase a cure. Links mentioned in the show:Subscribe to the “ (WE Have Cancer” Podcast) -  Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media: Like our (Facebook) page Join our (private Facebook group) Follow us on (Twitter) Follow us on (Instagram) Follow us on (LinkedIn) Check out (Luxe Bidets) (Prostate Health Podcast)...
Dr. Dana Cardinas joins us on the WE Have Cancer podcast this week. She shares her personal experience with peripheral neuropathy and Stage 3c colon cancer, and how that’s given her a new mission in life. Dana went from having a successful podiatry practice to being forced to retire due to neuropathy that eventually led to her colon cancer diagnosis. With her medical knowledge and personal experiences, Dana has turned to help others better manage their peripheral neuropathy with some not-so-well-known tips and treatment options. Guest biography: (Dr. Dana Cardinas) started her journey as a well-respected and successful podiatrist before being diagnosed with neuropathy, paraneoplastic syndrome, and stage-3c colon cancer. Now healthy, Dana is looking to bring her experience, both personally and as a doctor, to others dealing with peripheral neuropathy from cancer treatments.  Table of contents:Passing of Sarah Debord Lee shares about the passing of Sarah and talks about her importance to the show and himself. Introduction of Dr. Dana Cardinas Lee introduces Dana and a bit about her story, including having Lynch Syndrome during her battle with Stage-3c colon cancer. Dana’s neuropathy diagnosis Dana had gone from a thriving podiatry practice to being forced to retire after being diagnosed with Ulnar neuropathy. Cancer symptoms, tests, and colon cancer diagnosis Dana recalls the first symptoms she noticed. From some simple bloating to pain, Dana brushed aside some early concerns before eventually being tested and diagnosed with colon cancer.  Post-surgery: FOLFOX and peripheral neuropathy Following successful surgery, Dana and her oncologist talked about FOLFOX and it’s side effects, which include peripheral neuropathy. That led Dana down the path of another diagnosis, Paraneoplastic syndrome; which impacted her treatment. Paraneoplastic syndrome and its impact on treatment With the diagnosis of paraneoplastic syndrome, Dana’s treatment options changed due to fears of how the FOLFOX was furthering her already-present peripheral neuropathy condition at a rapid rate. Dana’s current health status Though Dana feels great now, she still has the lingering peripheral neuropathy side effect. She talks about managing and improving her peripheral neuropathy and how that’s turned into her new mission. The impact of it all and how spirituality gave her the energy to continue Dana’s journey is one of extremes. She went from being a successful doctor to being retired, battling cancer, and dealing with peripheral neuropathy all at the same time. She talks about how her spirituality helped carry her through it all. Why podiatry? Dana talks about why she went into podiatry as a profession. Helping others dealing with peripheral neuropathy Dana shares some of the most recent ways doctors are learning to battle peripheral neuropathy from FOLFOX injections, including using ice and the cold to limit the side effects. Why does neuropathy happen from treatment? Dana breaks down how FOLFOX and other drugs cause peripheral neuropathy in the body from a scientific standpoint. She also explains how neuropathy can feel worse at the end of treatment. Finding neuropathy relief through more traditional treatments Those that are battling neuropathy have a few different tricks up their sleeves to help them feel better. Dana talks about a few of the tips and tricks she’s learned over the years, including how to combine different things to find the right treatment options. What’s next? Through the ColonTown community LiveWire, Dana has now turned her attention to helping others get in front of and better manage their neuropathy from cancer treatment. What cancers include treatment options that cause peripheral neuropathy? Dana talks about the different types of cancer that have chemotherapy protocols that can cause neuropathy so people know what to look out for ahead of time. Links mentioned in the
Joana Breckner, an oral-cancer survivor and motivational speaker, joins Lee this week on the WE Have Cancer podcast. The pair talk about Joana’s battle with oral cancer and how the difficulties of her journey helped her discover her power. After her dentist found some oral cancer symptoms during a routine checkup, Joana’s story truly began. Dealing with several major surgeries that included the loss of part of her tongue and some of her teeth, Joana had to learn how to eat and speak again. In the unlikeliness of scenarios, Joana found a love for motivational speaking and has since turned her story into a drive to help others find ways to better cope with the difficulties of their lives. Guest biography:Joana Breckner is an oral cancer survivor who has turned her journey of difficulties into one of uplifting others. After being diagnosed with oral cancer and having several major surgeries that impacted how she could eat and talk, Joana is now using her story and outlook to help others discover their power. Table of contents:Introduction and shoutout to the Colon Cancer Coalition Lee opens this week’s episode talking about the Colon Cancer Coalition’s events becoming virtual due to COVID-19. Introduction to Joana Breckner Lee introduces Joana and talks a bit about her story as an oral cancer survivor. Becoming an “accidental” motivational speaker With a speech impediment and a host of side effects from her battle with oral cancer, Joana is an unlikely motivational speaker. Yet, with resolve, that’s exactly what Joana is doing now. The very first time Joana got her first speaking engagement at a charity event, being able to put a voice to her experience. With a rush of adrenaline and not a dry eye in the building, Joana began getting asked to talk at more and more events moving forward. Oral cancer symptoms and diagnosis Joana talks about her oral cancer diagnosis. A routine checkup at the dentist found some benign white spots on her tongue that were the first oral cancer symptoms noticed. A few years later and she noticed something in her mouth which turned out to be a tumor. Another tumor and reconstructive surgery Nearly all the way into remission, Joana’s cancer returned and was aggressive. Her doctor informed her that she needed to have a part of her tongue removed and major reconstructive surgery, including skin graphs. Another tumor and more surgery A year after her first major surgery, Joana found a lump on the side of her neck. A biopsy later and Joana was back on the operating table to remove a tumor on her jugular vein. Finally in remission After several surgeries and bouts with cancer, Joana is officially cancer-free for nearly seven years. Oral cancer treatment and speech therapy After major reconstructive surgery on her mouth, Joana had to learn how to eat and talk again. She talks about her treatment, including going to a nutritionist and learning how to eat solids again. Joana also discusses her difficulties with speech, including needing to get a new phone number she could actually say. Discovering your power Joana talks about what power means to her and some of the things she harnesses to help put her in the right mindset to keep moving forward. Finding motivation, inspiration, hope, and power Joana found motivation to create her website and her idea of “ (discover your power)” initially in a depressed woman in her support group. With that woman’s mental state in her mind, Joana wanted to spread hope instead of despair. Helping others Lee and Joana discuss how her website and message have helped others. Using a friend who was feeling off during COVID-19 quarantine as an example, Joana talks about how she found her power through simple tasks like making the bed in the morning, cooking for her family, and watching her son play the piano. How she’s changed over her journey After going through such an ordeal and now being cancer-free, Joana talks about how...
We revisit this episode which was originally published in July, 2019. As a teenager growing up in Kansas, Becca Pendarvis spent her summers doing everything she could to get as tan as possible. Now a mother of a seventeen year-old daughter, she has spent the last eight years dealing with Stage 4 Melanoma skin cancer. During our conversation we discussed: Why she loves living in New York City and how living there helped her cope with her cancer. The common misconceptions about Skin Cancer. How to use A-B-C-D-E to identify possible skin cancers. The fact that she's now N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) after initially being told she had 9 - 18 months to live. The impact her illness had on her daughter. (Camp Kesem) - a nationwide community that supports the children of parents affected by cancer - and how it helped her daughter. Her thoughts on tanning and tanning beds. Links Mentioned In the ShowCamp Kesem - ( Know the ABCDEs of Skin Cancer - ( Follow Becca on Instagram - ( Follow Becca on Twitter - ( WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the show - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email (Dr. Garrett Pohlman) is a board-certified Urologist still actively practicing in a Midwest Urology group. Every day he is helping men in diagnosing and managing their prostate issues – including but not limited to robotic prostatectomy for men with prostate cancer. He is also the founder and host of the newly launched Prostate Health Podcast. With the podcast – he is helping men and those who care for them better educate themselves regarding prostate health, the conditions that affect the prostate, and the latest technology in managing these conditions. On a weekly basis he is chatting with experts, innovators, and leaders in the field of Urology – sharing useful information with the general public to improve their lives and increase their overall health.  Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastThe Prostate Health Podcast - ( Free guide: What to Expect From your Urologist appointment - ( WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee - 
Alexa was diagnosed with (Hodgkin's Lymphoma) in 2017 at the age of 19. Since overcoming the disease she has completed her Bachelor's degree, written a book;,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams.&text=Power%20to%20Persevere%20is%20a%20collection%20of%20inspiring%20stories%20from,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams. (Power to Persevere) and become a public speaker. From Alexa's website ( - "Alexa has found a deep passion in influencing others to live their best life despite their own misfortunes. She believes in the beauty of balance and the magic of taking control of your health. She uses her platform to encourage and motivate others to live their life to the fullest despite their unforeseen circumstances and helps others work through their own obstacles. Alexa knows she survived to help others and shine her positive light throughout the world. That’s what she aims to do every day. She uses her life experiences to show others who may feel alone in their struggles that they aren’t defined by their current predicaments." Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastPower to Persevere on Amazon -,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams.&text=Power%20to%20Persevere%20is%20a%20collection%20of%20inspiring%20stories%20from,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams. (,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams.&text=Power%20to%20Persevere%20is%20a%20collection%20of%20inspiring%20stories%20from,achieve%20and%20exceed%20their%20dreams.) Visit Alexa's website - ( Follow Alexa on Instagram - ( Follow Alexa on Twitter - ( Contact Alexa - WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee -
In this episode we revisit my 2017 conversation with Dr. Sage Bolte. Dr. Bolte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an expert on sexual health in oncology. She currently serves as the Chief Philanthropy Officer and President at the ( Inova Schar Cancer Institute). During our conversation she talked about sex and intimacy and the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have, not only the patient, but the caregiver as well. We discussed the different challenges that men and women face along with the patient/caregiver dynamic. This was a frank and informative discussion. WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast – ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page – ( Join our private Facebook group – ( Follow us on Twitter – ( Follow us on Instagram – ( Follow us on LinkedIn – ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – ( Email ( Howard Brown) first appeared on this podcast in (May of 2019) where he shared his story of being a two-time cancer survivor. Howard has recently had several "clean" scans and is now N.E.D. - No Evidence of Disease. During our conversation we discussed the challenges of transitioning from cancer patient to cancer survivor as well as his book, Shining Brightly, due to be released later this year. WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email
Cort Davies has been battling stage 4 (Paraganglioma). He has funneled his energy into creating the (1 Habit to Beat Cancer) online summit. The summit runs from May 25th through June 3rd and is free. You can register (here). Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer Podcast1 Habit to Beat Cancer summit- ( Imerman Angels - ( Jake Bailey speech - ( Burkitt lymphoma - ( WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email
Stacy was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer on her 44th birthday, September 17th, 2014 after experiencing symptoms of abdominal pain and bleeding. Stacy put off a visit to her doctor since she was a health-conscious, athletic, non-smoker who maintained a normal weight. The symptoms were merely “an annoying inconvenience.” At the time, she was balancing a full-time job with raising her 2 sons, Griffin (now 13) and Emmett (now 11). Emmett suffers with a rare chromosome disorder (one of three in the world) which renders him without the ability to walk, talk, or function for himself in any way. He has multiple special needs and demands constant supervision. He has the mental and physical capacity of a 6 month old baby. Caring for Emmett requires the attention of not only Stacy and her husband Drew, but also a nurse.  To say Stacy had her hands full would be an understatement. So, busy with her day to day role as supermom, Stacy self-diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or internal hemorrhoids until the pain was too much to bear. A colonoscopy revealed the most shocking and most unexpected horror imaginable: a tumor in her rectum so large that a scope could not get around it. A subsequent scan revealed cancer in her liver, 5 spots on her lungs, and 19 lymph nodes. She was given a 10% chance to survive 5 years and a treatment plan which included chemotherapy, radiation and ultimately surgery ONLY IF she responded, which was a 50/50 shot in itself. The doctors could not believe it, especially considering Stacy’s lack of risk factors, lack of family history, and age (colon cancer is typically diagnosed in people over 50). With her usual vigor, determination, and sense of humor, Stacy took to the task of beating colorectal cancer. She was fortunate enough to have a response to chemotherapy (a protocol called FOLFOX coupled with a drug called Avastin) which qualified her as a candidate for a 5 hour colon and liver resection surgery in April, 2015. Unfortunately, a medical mistake during surgery caused Stacy severe internal bleeding where she lost half of her blood volume. She was immediately rushed back into a second, 5 hour emergency surgery and spent a week in the ICU fighting for her life. As her oncologist later remarked, “anyone else would have died.” But not Stacy. She was declared as NED (no evidence of disease) in March, 2016. Stacy continues maintenance chemotherapy for life (43 rounds and counting…) every 3 weeks. She feels and looks great. You would never suspect what all she is dealing with. She credits her faith, family, friends, exercise, positive attitude, and integrative oncology modalities for her remarkable recovery. “If it were just Stage IV colorectal cancer or just raising a profoundly disabled child, I could probably handle it. But managing both is completely overwhelming. I am enormously blessed to have a support system who helps me, when thee last thing I want to do is ask for help. It’s really not my style.” Stacy offers a unique perspective. Professionally, she has spent 20 years in healthcare management on the provider and delivery sides, including roles in operations, strategy, sales and training. Personally, her battles as a patient and an advocate for not only herself but also her disabled son have fueled her recent work as a public speaker, fundraiser, and consultant.  Stacy’s mission is to raise awareness of inclusion for all persons with disabilities and exemplify a “keep it real” approach to fighting and beating cancer. Learn more about Stacy and connect with her at:Her website: ( Her Facebook page: ( On Twitter: (@Stacy_Hurt) On Instagram:
Michael Willoughby founded (Molecular Photos) in May of 2019. In this interview we discussed: How the idea for Molecular Photos was conceived. Why having a "give back" component with the sale of the photos was important to him. The process of converting slides of tumor cells to works of art. His long term goal for Molecular Photos. Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastMolecular Photos - ( WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email
Trevor Maxwell was initially diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in March of 2018. During his journey he discovered a need for online support for men touched by cancer. In our conversation we discussed: How Trevor's diagnosis resulted in his clinical depression and how he's been working through it. The support he received from (The Colon Club). The void in online support for men touched by cancer and how he created Man Up to Cancer. Why he chose the Wolf as the symbol of Man Up to Cancer. Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastMan Up To Cancer - ( Man Up To Cancer Facebook Group - ( The Colon Club - (   WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email
Meg Hirshberg was first diagnosed with cancer - stage 3 breast cancer - in 2001. She had recurrences in 2008 and 2018. During our conversation she shared how the book, ( Anticancer; A New Way of Life) by (Dr. David Servan-Schreiber) inspired her to create the (Anticancer Lifestyle Program) and how the program can greatly benefit those affected by cancer. Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastThe Anticancer Lifestyle program - ( Anticancer; A New Way of Life by (Dr. David Servan-Schreiber) - (   WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email (Dan Nicewonger) was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in May of 2016 while serving as Pastor of the First Baptist Church Kennet Square, Pennsylvania. We discussed his book, (The Journey Continues,) the challenge of serving and caring for a community while battling colon cancer, the power of language when working with your medical team and more. Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer PodcastDan's Blog - ( Dan's Book, The Journey Continues - ( Connect with Dan on Facebook - ( Follow Dan on Twitter - ( WE Have Cancer LinksSubscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast - ( WE Have Cancer on Social MediaLike our Facebook page - ( Join our private Facebook group - ( Follow us on Twitter - ( Follow us on Instagram - ( Follow us on LinkedIn - ( Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast - ( Email
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