There are times when things get REAL: stories of adversity, resilience, creativity, and transformation.
Mother’s Day Special Episode 2018
I’m Diane McDaniel, and on today’s show we are talking about Mother’s Day, a celebration to honor one’s mother, motherhood, and the influence of mothers and maternal figures in society.
This crowdsourced episode includes ten different voices–Cynthia Boxrud, Louis Browning, Philippe Browning, Anna Chi, Catherine Davidson, Rory Green, Jessica McCrea, Diane McDaniel, Debi Pomerantz, and Abigail Wald–reflecting on what they are thinking about on this Mother’s Day.
Cynthia Lim: A Sorrow That’s Always There
Cynthia Lim is author of the forthcoming memoir, Wherever You Are, which chronicles her journey after her husband suffered a cardiac arrest, resulting in brain injury. Cynthia talks about the challenges she faced to help her husband achieve a good quality of life, her determination to maintain normalcy for their sons, and what she misses from her relationship with her husband prior to his disability. She also talks about how writing has helped her to understand her experience and also how painful it was to re-read her journals as she wrote her memoir.
Carole Yu: Caring for Yourself and Others
Entrepreneur and independent business owner Carole Yu talks about coping with her husband’s death from cancer while raising two young daughters. With support from Camp Kesem and other organizations, Carole helped her daughters survive and thrive despite the devastating loss of their father. Carole also talks about how she found the strength to follow through on her own life dreams one step at a time.
Camp Kesem is a nationwide community that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer: campkesem.org.
Richard Hoff and Schuyler Ha: Expanding the Definition of Family
Richard Hoff and Schuyler Ha share the story of their family, including the many logistics they worked out in order to bring their now 10-year-old daughter into being, the consideration they put into the structure and dynamics of their family, and the environment in which their daughter is being raised. They also talk about the gender dynamics at play in their roles as two male parents and how their personal experiences of otherness has helped them to coach their daughter in understanding the social challenges of her hearing loss and wearing hearing aids.
Tanya Ward Goodman: An Enthusiastic Embrace of the World
On today’s show I’m speaking with writer Tanya Ward Goodman, author of Leaving Tinkertown. Our conversation examines how she uses her writing practice, which she likens to the process of composting, to learn her mind and understand experience. We discuss how the experience of taking care of her father during his decline from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which she chronicles in Leaving Tinkertown, allowed her to develop her own identity and question deeply held beliefs. Tanya also talks about what the experience of caring for her father during his illness and death taught her about what it means to live well.
Happy New Year! Looking Forward and Back
At the start of the New Year, many people make a practice of reflecting on the year that is past and anticipating the year that is to come. These reflections are a story of what has happened to make us who we are, and our anticipations are a story of who we want to become in the New Year.
In keeping with the tradition of the season, in this episode host Diane McDaniel takes a quick look backward at 2017 and forward to 2018.
Jonathan Cohen makes a lukewarm argument in favor of paying MDs out of pocket to be one's advocate. What he is really talking about is the need for every patient to have a trusted primary care physician by their side to navigate the course of any chronic illness. Perhaps an episode exploring the data that supports developing a relationship with a primary care physician in advance of illness as well throughout the course of a cancer diagnosis and beyond could be helpful. For example, it has been shown that people with cancer who visit their primary care doc within 6 weeks of their initial diagnosis have an improved outcome. This is a really good example of how the mindset of always wanting to go to "the best specialist" first can get you into trouble long-term. All of that said, I appreciate the provocative nature of this episode and the idea that there are advocacy alternatives for cancer patients in our broken system.
A valuable road map
Real Cancer is a wonderful new podcast which provides a valuable and relatable roadmap for peeople living with cancer and others in their lives. Diane McDaniel is thoughtful and compassionate and talks to a variety of people, gathering together a multitude of perspectives on a common jounrey which is in fact unique to each person. Each podcast focuses on a real narrative and a personal perspective with threads to connect to and learn from. Cancer can be such a lonely jounrney and listening to this podcast is like sitting with an empathic friend each week.