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My Cancer Story

My Cancer Story

By Jess Thomas Nelson
Everyone has a cancer story. Whether its affected us directly or to a family member, a friend, or anyone that we love. Each story is different but equally so important. Some stories include pee your pants funny situations, and some of these stories are pull your heart out sobbing on the floor. But I will tell you one thing, all of the stories that you find on this podcast are individually authentic and 100% true. My name is Jessica Nelson, I'm not famous you wouldn't know me from anywhere but I too have been affected by cancer. Join me in this brand new podcast where I speak with people from all walks of life as they share their Cancer Story.
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S2 E12 Lauren Tarpley - Breast Cancer
Listening to this episode, you will feel like you are hanging out with your best 2 girl friends!  This episode is longer than my usual episodes, but it is soooooo worth the listen!  You will meet Lauren, she is a Wife and Mother and also a breast cancer survivor.  She talks about her diagnosis, being her own advocate as well as dealing with future fertility.   Follow Lauren and her Podcast at: IG @typeaguidetocancer Lauren's Podcast:2 @blended_kidz  April is National Minority Cancer Awareness Month & 4/5 is National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week
April 12, 2021
S2 E11 - Brodi Nicholas - Campaign One At a Time
This episode you will meet Brodi Nicholas.  He is the CEO and founder of a non profit called Campaign One At a Time where their mission is to ensure that no child battling a severe illness ever feels alone.  Brodi talks about his inspiration behind this non profit, how it has grown and the several programs and campaigns they consistently have going on.  Brodi is a true inspiration with the purest of intentions, you WILL NOT regret listening to this episode! To learn more about Brodi and Campaign One At a TIme: To get involved/make a contribution: If there are any families that currently have a child battling a life threatening illness, they can apply to become an OAAT kid by visiting Campaign OAAT also have an online web series called The Spread Good Squad people can watch by visiting Corporate sponsors are:Hounds Town USA, Hamilton & Associates, MyBooks.Pro, & Spread Good Productions If you are interested in making a donation and/or joining our community of SoCal #ChangeMakers, you can do so by visiting By becoming a monthly #ChangeMaker, you’d get access to our online community & exclusive volunteer opportunities! Please let me know if you have any other questions or if there’s anything I can do to help.
March 29, 2021
S2 E10 - Isabelle Bart - Breast Cancer
Isabelle is sharing her breast cancer story with us this week.  Her journey began not long ago (1 year from when we recorded this episode).  She shares her story of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment during a pandemic.  Her mindset and outlook on her experience is truly inspiring.  What she has done since her diagnosis with her life and life's purpose is truly impressive and she gives wonderful advice including :  "Don't wait until you get cancer to make a difference." and "Just start somewhere" Find Isabelle at: IG: @isaquamaid Clubhouse: @coachisa
March 15, 2021
S2 E9 - Staci Bellinger - Ovarian Cancer
This episode you meet Staci.  She is a Ovarian Cancer - Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary Hypercalcemic Type (SCCOHT) Survivor.  Staci was diagnosed at the age of 38, yet the average age of diagnosis is typically early to mid 20's.  Staci shares her journey through diagnosis, treatment and after cancer.  She shares how she navigated through this experience as a mother of 2 small children and the loving support of her husband and family and how they got through it together.   To learn more about Staci and to check out what she referenced in our talk: Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Foundation: Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA): National Ovarian Cancer Coalition The Clearity Foundation Better Together by Jessice Walker book, that I contributed my experiences and advice: Better Together: Navigating the Cancer Experience: Walker, Jessica: 9798696855110: Books
March 8, 2021
S2 E8 - Allie Morgan - Osteosarcoma - Confidence Coach
Meet Allie.  She is an osteosarcoma cancer survivor as a teen and took her experience into adulthood and became a one on one coach and confidence coach.   She was diagnosed as a teen but not until she was in her early 20s did she realize the importance of confidence.  Both in herself and in her skills, but the importance of others to have confidence in themselves.  She is your biggest cheerleader and helps you find the confidence to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s showcasing your art skills in an exhibition, asking that person you like on a date or returning to work after cancer treatment, I’m here to help you get back out there and live your life to the full. Because life really is too short to keep playing it safe. You need to believe in yourself enough to go for the things you really want. And Allie will be by your side, every step of the way. IG: @allmorgancoaching Allie has also contributed in books: Eat Better With Cookbook Live Life Now Project -@livelifenowproject
March 1, 2021
S2 E7 - Brandi Benson - Ewing Sarcoma
Today's episode you meet Brandi Benson.  She is a Ewing Sarcoma Survivor, Veteran, Author, Speaker, Brand Ambassador and Entrepreneur.  You will hear her talk about her journey to Iraq, finding her tumor, being diagnosed and surviving cancer.  Brandi is now 12 years cancer free and has been thriving post cancer.  Listen to the whole podcast, she shares so much of herself and gives incredible advice. Cites from this episode: Website: Social media: @brandil.benson Brandi's Book : The Enemy Inside Me Brand Ambassador for The Sarcoma Alliance Speaker for TLC Lions Business owner of Resume Advantage Thank you to our sponsors of this episode: Farmacy - Get 15% off your first purcase! &  ShareASale
February 22, 2021
S2 E6 - Lauren Nelson - Wilms Tumor
Today's episode you will hear Lauren tell her cancer story.  She has a unique story about both herself and her sisters' surviving a fairly rare tumor most seen in children called a Wilms tumor.   Lauren talks about celebrating her 20 year Cancerversary, her involvement in Make A Wish Foundation, and her new foundation called Roar Philanthropy.  She touches on full circle moments, small actionable things, and we talk about other topics other than just being cancer survivors. Find Lauren on IG: @lorquelnelson @roarphilantropy Lauren's Organization: Other Organizations mentioned in the podcast:,philanthropic%20members%20of%20their%20community.
February 15, 2021
S2 E5 - Beca Maynor - Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
This weeks story comes from Beca.  She tells her cancer story with her Papillary Thyroid Cancer diagnosis, the process she had to go through to get the diagnosis and dealing with cancer during a pandemic.  She also talks about her fathers cancer story and ultimately how his journey helped her be her own advocate. It was so great getting to connect with Beca and for her to share her story and help celebrate mine! 2/5/2021 was my 1 year Cancerversary.  To celebrate, I wanted to post 2 episodes about the kind of cancer that I have survived.  Thank you to everyone who was there for me this past year.  Friends, family, and fellow cancer all are so special to me and your support will always be cherished.  Thank you to all that have helped me with this podcast and have helped support it in one way or another....without you I don't know how I could have made it to what it is today.  I love you all!
February 8, 2021
S2 E4 - Karin Hart - Papillary Thyroid Cancer
This episode, you will meet Karin Hart.  She is a papillary thyroid cancer survivor, avid golfer, athlete, social media influencer and amazing human being.  She is the first thyroid cancer survivor that we've had on My Cancer Story Podcast (other than myself).  Listen to us talk about our experiences going through diagnosis, treatment, and post cancer.  She is a wealth of knowledge, gives great advice and tells you what worked for her throughout her journey.  I am so excited to have interviewed Karin, she is an absolutely beautiful person inside and out! Follow Karin on IG & twitter @karinhart or her linktree
February 1, 2021
S2 E3 - Kandis Draw - Caretaker Story
This episode you are meeting Kandi Draw.  She is sharing her mother's cancer story and how Kandis became her caretaker.  During our conversation, we talk about her journey from being her mothers caretaker in addition to taking care of her siblings and the evolution her life took after her mom passed away. Learn more about Kandis and the programs that she is a part of below Associate Board Member: National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Illinois Chapter: Blogs/Articles Thank you to our sponsors: Anti Nausea Chews & Drinks (message for discount) Farmacy Beauty - 15% off
January 25, 2021
S2 E2 - Sara & Anne - Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
In this episode, you will meet 2 cancer survivors!  Anne & Sara met in Germany in high school, were both military brats and became instant best friends.  Fast forward a few years later when they're both back in The States and in college and that is where their cancer story begins.  Listen along to hear the journey these two vibrant women went through to survive cancer and the valuable knowledge they share on the other side. They talk about the power of choice, share tips and tricks, engage in cheeky banter, tell funny stories, and drive home that "everything happens FOR you"  Thank you to our sponsors: Farmacy Beauty 15% off your first order when you sign-up for emails &
January 18, 2021
S2 E1 - Traci Stolte - Stage IV Breast Cancer
This episode you will meet Luna.  She is telling her mother Traci's cancer story.  Luna shares many memories of her mother, the journey that they went through together, and the legacy that she left behind.   Traci’s infectious smile and positive outlook will be cherished and remembered by her friends, family and anyone who knew her.  “She lived with intention,” a close friend said, “She took the time to let the people she loved know they were loved every single day.”   Luna speaks about her mom living her life on purpose and with passion, she had the most infectious laugh and talks about The Dash Poem perfectly summing up Traci's Legacy. ( A special thank you to Crime Junkie for making this connection and podcast happen! To learn more about Luna and her busniess that honors her mother visit her on Instagram 
January 11, 2021
Season 2 Intro
I'm taking a break this week but be on the lookout 1/11/2021 for season 2 of My Cancer Story Podcast!   I am so excited to share this season with you, I have so many amazing interviews to share with you!  Make sure to listen and subscribe to wherever you listen to your episodes every Monday. 
January 4, 2021
S1 E19 - Jeanette Carbajal - Healing Mindset
Our last episode of the year! This week you meet Jeanette.  She is the founder of Healing Mindset.  She supports wellness professionals who work with cancer patients as well as entrepreneurs with a recent diagnosis.   She is a resilient mindset mentor and shares her journey into how she got here today! You can find Jeanette on IG: @healing_mindset_ Stay tuned in January for Season 2!
December 28, 2020
S1 E18 - Matthew Pullan - Unknown Cancerous Brain Tumor
This week you will meet Matthew.  He has be surviving cancer almost his whole life and he is only 18 years old. You will instantly be drawn to his positive mindset and how he doesn't take his life for granted.  This episode is short and sweet but you will take away so  much from it! "If there is belief and hope, there's always a chance" ~MP "Life is terminal, it's our job to live it" ~MP You can find Matthew on IG @runningthroughcancer
December 21, 2020
S1 E17 - Michèle Farah - Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage 2B
This week you will meet Michèle.  She is a beautiful 23 year old nurse from Lebanon and also a Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor.   You will hear her story of her initial diagnosis at the young age of 19 and her relapse just a couple of years later. As well as...
December 14, 2020
S1 E16 - Erena Shimoda - Underwater Photography
Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Erena Shimoda received her Divemaster certificate in Venezuela in 2005, and began shooting underwater photographs in Thailand, Bonaire, Bahama, Corsica, Cozumel, Cancun, and Hawaii. She specializes in underwater portrait...
December 7, 2020
S1 E15 - Mandi Chambless - Stage IIIc Ovarian Cancer & Caregiver Appreciation
November is Caregiver Appreciation Month and this episode with will meet Mandi.  She comes on this week to tell her cancer story as well as talk about her mother, Susan who became Mandi's care giver as she was trying to survive Ovarian Cancer.  Mandi...
November 30, 2020
S1 E14 - Eileen Powers - Lymphoma - Can You Make Hair For Me
Meet Eileen Powers she is a survivor of an aggressive form of Lymphoma.  She is an artist, a photographer that turned her cancer diagnosis and survival into a beautiful way to express herself.  She talks about the inspiration and the evolution of Can...
November 23, 2020
S1 E13 - Linds Pursley - Osteosarcoma & Breast Cancer
This weeks episode you meet Lindsey.  She is a 3 time cancer survivor (osteosarcoma, breast sarcoma and Ductile Sarcoma Stage II).  You will hear her story begin as a teenager all the way to adulthood and how she found out how she had a rare genetic...
November 16, 2020
S1 E12 - Marie Bathelt - Sinus Cancer
Today you will hear Marie's Cancer Story as told by her step daughter, Laurel.   Marie was diagnosed with a rare form of sinus cancer.  She survived and fought for several years until ultimately the cancer came back rapidly and aggressively and Marie...
November 9, 2020
S1 E11 - Bethany Hart - Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma
This episode we meet Bethany Hart.  She is a cancer survivor of a very rare cervical cancer.  You will hear the emotional story of how she found out she had a very aggressive cancer and the loss associated with it.  With loss comes legacy, and you will learn Bethany's journey leading to Hallie Strong Foundation.  Their mission is to outfit the feet of cancer patients with the fun socks they need (and deserve!) for treatment. Learn more about Bethany and the Hallie Strong Foundation
November 2, 2020
S1 E10 - Whitney - Cancer Advocate/A Wellness Space
We are rounding out Breast Cancer Awareness Month tomorrow with our 4th breast cancer story on My Cancer Story Podcast.Meet Whitney, although Whitney herself has not been diagnosed with cancer, ultimately cancer helped save her life.  As a young adult,...
October 26, 2020
S1 E9 - Nicole Sammann - Breast Cancer DCIS - II
This episode we chat with Nicole.  She is a breast cancer survivor stage 1 and stage 0.  Listen to her talk about her diagnosis in the middle of traveling the world as a corporate flight attendant.  We chat about her amazing support system and how...
October 19, 2020
S1 E8 - Dr. Anitha - Breast Cancer
This week we meet Dr. Anitha from New Zealand by way of Malaysia and India.  She is an accomplish physician and shares her very recent cancer story.  She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer February of this year.  She talks about Cancer and COVID and the importance of health from the inside out.
October 12, 2020
S1 E7 - Kristy Gossel Meyers - Breast Cancer & Thyroid Cancer
This week, we meet and chat with Kristy.  She has a multi-tiered cancer story.  She is both a 2a Breast Cancer AND Thyroid Cancer survivor.  While recovering she found out that her mother too was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.Listen as Kristy gives...
October 5, 2020
E1 E6 - Caroline Rose - Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
This episode I speak with Caroline Rose and she is badass survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She tells her cancer story and how her dog Riley helped save her life and how he taught her amazing life lessons along the way.  After Riley's passing 3 years...
September 21, 2020
S1 E5 - Jackie Shore, RN - Cancer Coach
A unique multi-layered episode with Registered Nurse and Cancer Coach Jackie Shore.  She shares her mothers cancer story with us as well as her journey as an Oncology Certified Nurse, Patient Advocate, and Cancer Coach.Jackie has a wealth of knowledge...
August 24, 2020
S1 E4 - Jess Nelson - Thyroid Cancer Update
Due to my last interview file being corrupted, my next interview is on hold.  In the mean time, I provide my cancer story update 6 months post op for papillary thyroid cancer.
July 20, 2020
S1 E3 - Joan Elizabeth Warner - Breast Cancer
This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Joan Warner and hearing battle with breast cancer.  She is such a beautiful person inside and out and I feel so honored for her to share her Cancer Story with us.  Below are some resources that she shared... Tit time:: breast cancer isn't contagious. Bald heads won't give you cooties. Scars won't cut you open. My lack of boobs won't cause you to be flat chested. It is scary knowing that your body has decided to fight against you and is trying to kill you. It is scarier when you start to look different. It is scariest when people start treating you like you're trying to infect the world with the next wave of the Black Plague. There is something murderous happening inside her body and you want to avoid it. But the thing is, don't. Don't be afraid of people battling cancer. Don't look at us different. Don't approach us differently. Being concerned for our feelings is one thing and how you talk to us might change, but your physical interactions shouldn't. In a new world where tomorrow is uncertain, don't be that jack wagon who won't hug or cuddle or hold hands. Breast cancer awareness is really how-be-a-human awareness. When you know someone who is diagnosed, their world just got flipped upside down and the one thing they need is affection. And love. Hug the crap out of them. Hold their hand. Be their big spoon.   Tit Time:: Breast cancer awareness is not about saving the boobies. It's about saving the whole person, mind, body, and soul. It's about the entire package because while what happens in our breasts can kill us, we are more than a nice rack. We are strong women, family women, adventurous women. We are sisters and wives and daughters and moms. We are CEOs and stay at home moms and business owners. Boobs are sexy though and it caused this disease to be more glamorous than say, oh I don't know, rectal cancer. Don't be fooled though. Breast cancer is a killer the same as every other cancer. It will break you in half. It is painful, humbling, and scary. While we can campaign to save second base, don't forget the amazing woman standing there who needs your love and presence today. Thank you!
May 20, 2020
S1 E2 - Marissa Gonzales - Bilateral Retinoblastoma
I spend my very first interviewing episode while also being in quarantine chatting with my good friend Marissa Gonzalez.  She is a Bilateral Retinoblastoma survivor.  Learn more about this specific and terrifying type of eye cancer, the charity she...
April 23, 2020
S1 E1 - Jess Nelson - Papillary Thyroid Cancer
COVID-19 is really cramping my style!  I had to postpone my first interview due to social distancing.  So until then, I'm sharing my inspiration and My Cancer Story. Enjoy!This one is alllll about me and my short cancer story with Thyroid Cancer....more...
March 17, 2020
My Cancer Story Pod Trailer
March 8, 2020