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Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast

Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast

By CancerCare
Everyone’s experience of cancer is different—but that doesn’t mean we have to experience it alone. Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast features conversations with people living with cancer, caregivers, survivors, loved ones and the bereaved. Wherever you are in your experience, CancerCare is here to provide help and hope. Cancer Out Loud is a program of CancerCare, the leading national nonprofit organization providing free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. Visit cancercare.org/canceroutloud to learn more.
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A Year in Review
In the final (and bonus) episode of Cancer Out Loud, we asked current and future guests to share their most significant takeaways from the past year. This collaboration of voices paints a powerful picture of the lasting impact of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer Out Loud will return in early 2022 for Season 5. 
14:27
December 27, 2021
I Decided That I Was Going to Tell My Story, Part II
In part II of Se’Nita and Samantha’s conversation, Se’Nita shares the importance of putting your health first, no matter what the barriers to care may be. She talks about the love involved in finding her voice, sharing her story and advocating for those who have yet to be heard. Se’Nita’s story is not just one of advocacy in the face of healthcare disparities, but one of hope and inspiration for those seeking the courage to find their voice.
27:39
December 27, 2021
Finding Beauty in the Work
This week we want to tell a different story: one from not only the perspective of a cancer survivor, but also a long-time oncology social worker at CancerCare. Rick Dickens began his oncology social work career over 25 years ago; his experience as a patient provided him with unique insight and the passion to positively impact those affected by cancer. Listen in as he discusses the trajectory of his career and how he has been able to navigate inherent challenges faced by providers and patients alike. We thank Rick for sharing his knowledge, curiosity and compassion with CancerCare staff and clients over the last 25 years!
56:50
December 20, 2021
Passion on Steroids
Jason was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2019, a rare and aggressive type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Listen in as Jason discusses the importance of self-advocacy and how it led to his diagnosis. He shares his path to treatment, his experience participating in a clinical trial and learning the best way to be your own advocate despite challenges in the healthcare system. 
39:12
December 06, 2021
Yes, I Do Want to Live
This week we are joined by Darlene, a woman who embodies the term “advocate” and encourages others to take the road less traveled (as long as it is right for you!). Listen in as Darlene openly discusses barriers that she faced after her colon cancer diagnosis. In this story of courage, Darlene shares the journey of finding her voice and a treatment plan that felt just right. This episode discusses complementary and alternative medicine; speak with your treating health care team to determine what treatment approach is most appropriate for you.
35:01
November 22, 2021
Can You Make Hair for Me?
Eileen was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2018. She shares her story through the lens of an artist, approaching each new challenge with curiosity. Eileen experienced the loss of identity and sense of self. It was these series of losses that were the catalyst for her project, “Can you make hair for me?” Eileen shares how this project allowed her to explore multiple identities while creating important connections within her community. Listen in as we take a deep dive into how the act of creating can provide a necessary outlet for processing and understanding the cancer experience. To learn more about Eileen’s project, visit her Instagram @canyoumakehair.
45:14
November 08, 2021
I Decided That I Was Going to Tell My Story
In this episode, Se’Nita speaks with CancerCare social worker Samantha Fortune, LMSW, about being diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before her 38th birthday. She talks about feeling “like a number” and about being shocked by the bias and insensitivity of certain medical professionals. Se’Nita pursued a second opinion from a doctor who was a woman of color, like herself, who reaffirmed the importance of being seen and heard in a medical setting. In Se’Nita’s experience, older generations in the Black community rarely talk about cancer and other health concerns, sharing, “We won’t even know that they had gone through anything, because no one talks about it. I want to change that for this generation. The more we talk about it, the more we speak about it, people can get diagnosed at earlier stages and save lives.” Join us later in the season for the second part of Se’Nita and Samantha’s conversation.
33:15
October 25, 2021
Enfrentando el cambio y el miedo / Coping With Change and Fear
Gracias a nuestros trabajadores sociales y miembros del personal bilingües, CáncerCare se enorgullece de ofrecer muchos servicios tanto en inglés como en español. El episodio de esta semana presenta una conversación entre Lucia Fanjul, LMSW, una de las trabajadoras sociales bilingües de CancerCare, y Rossana, una persona que vivió con cáncer del cerebro. Rossana describe los cambios internos que sucedieron cuando ella fue diagnosticada de cancer en el cerebro. Rossana comparte el trayecto de su experiencia emocional. Ella habla de como enfrento sus sentimientos de asolamiento y miedo durante su tratamiento de cancer. Rossana tambien comparte como adaptarse al cambio, y como el miedo que ella sintió, lo pudo usar para convertirlo en un empujo para pedir ayuda emocional. Thanks to our bilingual social workers and staff members, CancerCare is proud to offer many services in both English and Spanish. This week's episode features a conversation between Lucia Fanjul, LMSW, one of CancerCare's bilingual social workers and Rossana, a person diagnosed with brain cancer. Rossana describes the internal changes that happened when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Rossana shares the journey of her emotional experience. She talks about how she coped with her feelings of devastation and fear during her cancer treatment. Rossana also shares how to adapt to change and how she used her fear as a push to ask for emotional help.
24:55
October 11, 2021
Walking Along the Water
On this week’s episode, Richard details his wife Marcia’s experience with metastatic pancreatic cancer and their conversations about illness, death and dying, which Richard compares to jumping into water: “You go under water for a while, and then you surface.” The aesthetics and flow of water, which Marcia loved, proved a vital resource in their life, love and journey together. The imagery of a “smooth river” became symbolic of their approach to Marcia’s cancer and end of life. It brought calmness, openness and a sense of direction to their dialogues and their insistence on living in the present. A guiding force, the smooth river also serves as the namesake of Richard’s forthcoming book, The Smooth River: Finding Inspiration and Exquisite Beauty during Terminal Illness. Learn more at www.smoothriver.org.
46:28
September 27, 2021
Always Take Naps!
In the opening episode of season four and in recognition of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Alice talks with her CancerCare social worker Marlee about her road to diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma. As a young adult in the throes of medical school, Alice shares how she has navigated her diagnosis and her unique perspective of being both a medical student and a patient. Listen in as Alice and Marlee discuss all things YA cancer and why it’s important to always take naps!
30:11
September 13, 2021
Ten Words, Ten Lived Experiences
All cancer experiences are complex: they are nuanced, ever-evolving and even sometimes contradictory. In the final season 3 episode of Cancer Out Loud, we asked current and future guests to describe their cancer experience in one word, and we’re excited to share what they had to say. Cancer Out Loud will be back with new episodes in fall 2021!
15:04
June 28, 2021
The Cancer World and a Global Pandemic
The last year has changed all of our lives: in big ways, small ways, and ways we never could have expected. In the first of two special bonus episodes, current and future Cancer Out Loud guests share how the pandemic has impacted their cancer experiences.
21:42
June 21, 2021
I Want You to Share How Amazing She Was
When Allie was in middle school, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Following an extended period of remission, her mother’s cancer returned when Allie was in graduate school. Allie joins the podcast to explore how she navigated caregiving and grief in different contexts and stages of her life, all while following her mom’s insistence that she not miss out on the opportunities of young adulthood. She talks about how she found a balance between living her life and supporting her mother, even as she experienced the anxiety of living “scan to scan.” Speaking of her grief, she shares, “It’s not sadness, because it’s deeper than that; you can be happy and still be feeling grief.” Through it all, Allie turned to her support network: “A lot of my friendships got stronger and deeper after going through a loss like that. My sister and my dad and I all stayed close… we all go through the same emotions at the same time every day.” This is the last full episode of Cancer Out Loud, Season 3. Stay tuned for bonus episodes through the end of June!
40:20
June 14, 2021
Resilience Is My Superpower
On this week’s episode, Kimberly details her experience with metastatic breast cancer. She poses essential questions about the cancer experience: What does this mean? How will my life change? How can I deal with that while understanding my need for self-care? As the CEO of Infinite Being, Kimberly leads outreach programs, works as a health coach and makes videos to help others "find their best life" amidst chronic illnesses. Kimberly acknowledges the importance of integrating mindful tools and practices like meditation and deep breathing into daily life, calling attention to the connection between healing the physical and emotional realities of cancer. She explains, "If you're in your present, then there is no 'what happened last time'… there's no past, there's no future, there's just present."
40:34
May 31, 2021
El apoyo incondicional / Unconditional Support
Gracias a nuestros trabajadores sociales y miembros del personal bilingües, CancerCare se enorgullece de ofrecer muchos servicios tanto en inglés como en español. El episodio de esta semana presenta una conversación entre Cecilia Acosta, LMSW, una de las trabajadoras sociales bilingües de CancerCare, y Gloria, una persona que vive con cáncer de ovario y carcinoma peritoneal. Gloria describe su experiencia al sortear las barreras del idioma mientras se enfrenta a la incertidumbre de su cáncer y sus variados impactos físicos y emocionales. Gloria comparte la importancia de encontrar esa "lucecita" que brinde alivio, tanto si surge de conversaciones de consejería, del apoyo incondicional de los miembros de la familia, o de la conexión con su fe. Thanks to our bilingual social workers and staff members, CancerCare proudly offers many services in both English and Spanish. This week’s episode features a conversation between Cecilia Acosta, LMSW, one of CancerCare’s bilingual social workers, and Gloria, a person living with ovarian cancer and peritoneal carcinoma. Gloria outlines her experience navigating language barriers while coping with the uncertainty of her cancer and its varied physical and emotional impacts. Gloria shares the importance of finding ‘the little light’ that brings relief, whether it emerges from counseling conversations, the unconditional support of family members, or her connection to her faith.
38:49
May 17, 2021
It's Okay To Reach Out
Kandis joins the podcast to talk about her experience as a caregiver for her mother, who had stage IV ovarian cancer. She explores caregiving as being simultaneously stressful and rewarding, enabling emotional memories and moments that would not have been otherwise possible. Kandis talks about caregiving in black and brown communities and explains how she became a national advocate for ovarian cancer. Highlighting the importance of social and professional support, Kandis reminds caregivers of the airplane safety guidance to "put on your mask before you help someone else," using it as a metaphor for truly investing in personal care and well-being while caring for a loved one.
31:54
May 03, 2021
Teach Me An Ocean
In recognition of World AML Awareness Day, CancerCare social worker Paige discusses her own path toward specializing in working with people with AML and other blood cancers. The episode then explores the lived experience of Valerie, a minister, endurance paddler, mother of six, AML survivor and so much more. Valerie's personal narrative is one of growth, strength, perseverance and self-exploration, and she contextualizes her changing medical and emotional reality in the vast enormity of the ocean. As she takes hold of her AML experience and gains the courage to share it with others, Valerie explains, "I have been acknowledged, I have been heard, my life is recognized in this global landscape." To invite ourselves to “Know AML,” she adds, is to "open our awareness, our hearts and our understanding." To learn more and join in World AML Awareness Day on April 21, visit know-aml.com.
29:04
April 19, 2021
I'm Too Young for This
In recognition of Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, CancerCare’s Director of Clinical Programs, Sarah Paul, LCSW, is joined by CancerCare’s Young Adult Program Manager, Marlee Kiel, LMSW, and two young adults, Carly and Matt. Both our guests work to help others with cancer through advocacy, public speaking, volunteerism and fundraising. Marlee opens the conversation by addressing common challenges faced by young adults living with cancer. Matt and Carly then share their experiences and speak to the importance of sharing narratives of support, resilience and hope in their daily lives and in the work that they do. To join Carly in her AYA cancer conversations, follow @carlyflumer on Twitter. To learn more about Matt and his motivational speaking, visit mattodespeaks.com.
41:48
April 05, 2021
Back to the Drawing Board
John was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors in March of 2010. An independent illustrator, writer and graphic novelist, they put creative expression in conversation with cancer, drawing and writing about cancer’s impact on all aspects of life. John talks about artistically rendering tumors as monstrous embodiments of self, negotiating and battling with them through various chemotherapy protocols, surgeries and clinical trials. John approaches illness with openness and honesty, crediting personal experience as a queer teenager growing up amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis, and explores pathways toward coping with cancer’s physical, emotional and artistic challenges.
29:53
March 22, 2021
Moving Forward, Not Moving On
In the opening episode of season three, Louisa talks with her former CancerCare social worker, A.J., about her relationship with her husband, Johnny. She details their life and love together, the experience of his unexpected third brain cancer diagnosis soon after their engagement, and his death eighteen days after their wedding. Louisa opens up about how Johnny always found joy, how she found support and how she remains an involved member of the cancer community. As Louisa shares, “I’ll always be carrying him with me as I’m moving forward… because he'll always be a part of me. I'm carrying him with me, and he's also carrying me.”
37:57
March 08, 2021
Putting in the Work
On this week’s episode, we welcome Jessica, a young adult living with metastatic cancer, and our Young Adult Program Coordinator, Marlee. Jessica shares what it’s like to navigate metastatic cancer and all the unique challenges that come along with it, lending tremendous insight into the importance of living despite a terminal prognosis. Join us in a conversation about grief, having hard conversations, building a legacy and “putting in the work” to learn how to live life on one's own terms. This is the final episode of our second season. Cancer Out Loud will return in Spring 2021!
39:17
December 21, 2020
You Matter, Speak Up
Deatrice didn't ask for cancer, and she never knew how strong she was until she had no other choice but to be strong. She joins the podcast to detail her experience with breast cancer and discuss the barriers she faced when pursuing quality care. The obstacles and systemic disparities she encountered forced her to find her voice and become her own strongest advocate. Her message to other women of color who have been diagnosed with cancer is a simple affirmation: “You matter, speak up. Don’t allow them to dismiss you.”
28:37
December 07, 2020
Sailing Through Life and Cancer
Lorie, a two-time melanoma survivor and CancerCare online support group member, joins the podcast to talk about her diagnosis and treatment experience. She explains that cancer pushed her to re-prioritize and re-evaluate her life, drawing parallels between life with cancer and her love for sailing. The open sea is unpredictable and necessitates constant adaptation and perseverance, but it can also be beautiful, bright, warm, and life-affirming, Lorie shares. Through her podcast, Sailing Through Life, Lorie hopes she can use her voice and cancer experience to connect to others and feels that if she is able to help just one person feel less isolated, her endeavors will be worthwhile.
18:03
November 23, 2020
On Grief, On Love, On Power
On this week's episode, Rahsaan describes his mother's experience with pancreatic cancer and how he’s woven her death, his grief and his love for her into his daily consciousness. As he works to understand his own life in the context of his mother’s, Rahsaan explores his drive to stand up for himself, advocate for others and challenge imbalanced power structures. He implores listeners to advocate alongside him to “make sure that everybody has a fair shake” in the context of existing health care disparities, unequal access to care and the Movement for Black Lives. Rahsaan cites his mother as a guiding force as he walks through 2020, and explains, “We can thank Juanita for that.”
50:27
November 09, 2020
Bursting the Cancer Bubble
Today’s episode features a conversation with Jennifer Garam, a stage IIIC ovarian cancer survivor, and her former social worker, CancerCare’s Rachel Barnhart. As Jen shares her approach to post-treatment life, her story shines a light on the challenges of transitioning out of treatment. Leaving behind the structure and safety of your medical team after treatment can be daunting; Jen shares tips and tricks for creating a support system, the importance of mental health and the positive impacts of making lasting connections during the cancer experience. To read more of Jennifer's work, visit www.jennifergaram.com or follow her on Instagram.
47:47
October 26, 2020
Seize the Day
This week we welcome Kurt Fitzpatrick--an actor, writer and performer--who is in remission from B-cell follicular lymphoma. As he walks us through his cancer treatment starting from the day of diagnosis, Kurt reflects on how he tries to make the most out of every day, despite having cancer. You can also check out Kurt’s podcast, A Lifetime of Hallmark, dedicated to taking deep and hilarious dives into Hallmark and Lifetime movies.
20:38
October 12, 2020
An Extra Piece of Cake
Seyna never expected she would be diagnosed with breast cancer, especially as a young adult. In this episode, she shares the importance of a strong support network—made up not just of family and friends, but of health care teams, support group peers and work colleagues too. We also navigate her experience of multiple treatment protocols, the possibilities for her future and why she says you should always have that extra piece of cake.
40:06
September 28, 2020
The Worst Club in the World
For our season 2 premiere, we welcome Kevin, a young adult navigating the loss of his mother, who shares his experience of transitioning from being a primary caregiver to someone who is newly bereaved. Kevin also touches on what it means to be a caregiver, the need for common ground when discussing grief and the importance of group support.
40:13
September 14, 2020
Mark 2.0
Jessica came to CancerCare after experiencing the loss of her father to stage IV liver cancer. Grief looks different for every individual; experiencing the death of a parent as a young adult can be especially isolating. Listen in as Jessica shares her grief experience while honoring her father’s memory and his desire to live to the fullest despite his cancer diagnosis. This is the final episode of our first season. Cancer Out Loud will be back this fall!
33:44
June 08, 2020
Cancer, A New Full-Time Job
This week, we welcome Sheryl, a mother, grandmother, friend, advocate, retired teacher and mentor. Sheryl shares her experience with stage IV melanoma from diagnosis through various types of treatment while emphasizing the importance of advocating for oneself throughout the treatment process. Listen in as Sheryl reflects on her experience with tremendous insight; she reminds us all to accept the things we cannot change as a way to live a more meaningful and present life.
33:02
May 25, 2020
Try, Try Again
On today’s episode, we welcome Michelle, a young adult cancer survivor currently in remission for Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Listen in as Michelle opens up about her cancer experience, her relapse and her successful autologous stem cell transplant. She also covers navigating difficult decisions, returning to work, communicating with her medical team and seeking  a second opinion. 
33:02
May 11, 2020
Caregiving During a Pandemic
Caring for a loved one poses many unique challenges even without stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines. Oncology social workers Charlotte and Mary discuss how the coronavirus has impacted caregiving and why taking time for yourself is key in the final episode of our coronavirus and cancer miniseries. View all of CancerCare's resources on the coronavirus at www.cancercare.org/coronavirus.
11:24
April 29, 2020
Coping with Social Distancing and the Uncertain Future
Being apart from friends and family for an extended period is no easy task. In the fourth episode of our coronavirus and cancer miniseries, oncology social workers Mary and Marlee offer advice for staying connected and share three breathing exercises to help calm your mind. View all of CancerCare's resources on the coronavirus at cancercare.org/coronavirus.
09:54
April 27, 2020
Talking with Children About the Coronavirus
It can be intimidating to talk with children about the ways COVID-19 has changed the world. To help guide you, oncology social workers Sarah P. and Lauren C. provide suggestions for addressing children’s fears, helping them adapt to the new normal and more. This is the third episode of a five-part miniseries on the coronavirus and cancer. View all of CancerCare's resources on the coronavirus at cancercare.org/coronavirus.
10:22
April 24, 2020
Managing Stress and Anxiety Through Mindfulness
The second episode of our five-part miniseries on the coronavirus and cancer examines stress and anxiety. Oncology social workers Alyson and Rachel review what stress is, how to recognize stress responses and ways that mindfulness can help, including a full guided meditation. View all of CancerCare's resources on the coronavirus at cancercare.org/coronavirus.
10:55
April 22, 2020
Cancer and the Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented change: around the world, across industries and in our daily lives. In the first episode of a five-part miniseries, oncology social workers Danielle and Paige discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the cancer community and common concerns from clients. View all of CancerCare's resources on the coronavirus at cancercare.org/coronavirus.
12:57
April 20, 2020
There's No Guidebook for This
Meet Jessica: caregiver, wife and entrepreneur. Jessica comes to us as a young adult caregiver for her husband, now 29 years old. Since her husband was diagnosed shortly after returning from their honeymoon in 2017, Jessica has had to learn to wear many hats. Listen to how Jessica navigated this experience that definitely does not come with a guidebook. Out of dark times often comes light; Jessica used her experience to establish Better and Company, which is dedicated to helping those affected by cancer stay organized and empowered throughout their journey. Check her out at betterandcompany.com!
33:02
April 13, 2020
The Real Superheroes
Meet Bianca: actress, director and, most recently, superhero! Originally from Bulgaria, Bianca tells the story of her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Bianca joins us to not only share her experience as a cancer patient, but to inspire and connect others who may feel isolated by their diagnosis. 
27:16
March 09, 2020
They Can Treat It, You Can Beat It
On today’s show, Stephen talks about his personal philosophy throughout his cancer treatment, “They can treat it, you can beat it,” and how it fostered resilience on the path to survivorship. Stephen discusses the power of community, the role of advocacy and the importance of optimism in everyday life.
32:07
March 09, 2020
Introducing Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast
Starting March 9, Cancer Out Loud: The CancerCare Podcast will feature conversations with people affected by cancer who share what it's really like to be part of a support group, maintain a career during treatment, cope with grief and much more.
02:42
February 18, 2020