199 episodes

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.

WE Have Cancer Lee Silverstein

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8 • 61 Ratings

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.

    How to Turn a Cancer Diagnosis into a Life of Purpose and Impact with Matt Ode

    How to Turn a Cancer Diagnosis into a Life of Purpose and Impact with Matt Ode

    On this episode of WE Have Cancer, motivational speaker and testicular cancer survivor Matthew Ode shares his inspiring advice for seeking purpose and joy during your cancer journey. From the power of finding a supportive community to practicing vulnerability to dealing with body image struggles, Matt delivers his top tips with optimism and grace. Matt’s advice for finding peace and purpose is to focus on what you can control, and allow yourself to be supported and encouraged by your inner circle of loved ones.
    Guest Biography: Matt Ode was 24 when doctors discovered an 11cm tumor in his small intestine, and soon diagnosed him with stage 3 testicular cancer. He even fell into a non-induced coma for two weeks. Cancer free since March 2017, Matt has since founded Mustaches for Matt, started a supportive survivorship Facebook group with over 4000 members, and shares his story as a motivational speaker about overcoming adversity.
    Table of Contents:How Matt Inspires Others While Staying True to Himself
    Matt says he always tries to find some joy in everything, and he doesn't change himself to make other people happy. He says, "Authenticity is the absolute key to attracting the right people in your life.” Matt believes the more vulnerable and authentic you are, the more comfortable others will feel when opening up to someone in their life.
    Encouraging Men to Open Up
    Matt believes a lot of men’s mental health issues, in general as well as within the cancer community, come from holding in their emotions. When men can open up and share and be vulnerable, anxiety begins to dwindle and men can happily, freely express who they really are.
    Dealing with Body Image during Cancer Treatment
    Matt speaks to the physical and mental effects of being a cancer survivor in your 20’s. He was a personal trainer before his testicular cancer diagnosis; a weightlifter at 8% body fat. In 8 months of intense treatment, Matt dropped from 185 to 110 pounds. To battle the body image issues, Matt says he would ask himself, "What's one thing I can do each day to progress a tiny bit?"
    Matt's Secret Weapons: Faith and Support
    Exactly one year after Matt met his girlfriend, he was being released from the hospital and told he was finally cancer free. He and Lauren had just started dating when he received his diagnosis. Matt's faith is his north star, and he deeply believes that faith and loving support from his girlfriend and family are the two things that got him through treatment.
    Losing Friends After Treatment
    Matt says he had amazing support while he was actively battling testicular cancer, but afterwards when he didn’t want to go back to his old life, that’s when he says he lost some old friends. Matt shares his friends expected him to go back to his old self: going out on the weekends, reliving the high school glory days, etc. Instead, Matt founded his business, Mustaches for Matt, and surrounded himself with other encouraging entrepreneurs and survivors to begin to cultivate an uplifting community.
    Testicular Cancer at Age 24
    As a young, healthy, active personal trainer, Matt thought his sudden chronic back pains were related to weightlifting. Then one night he started vomiting blood at his girlfriend’s house. At the hospital, the doctors found a tumor in my small intestine. From an ultrasound, they discovered it was stage 3 testicular cancer, even though there were no symptoms in his testicles. Matt had RPLND surgery and later, lymph node dissection, to make sure the invasive, aggressive cancer was gone for good.
    Matt's Mission to Inspire and Empower Survivors
    Matt began sharing his story in 2019 as a public speaker and frequent podcast interview guest. He now seeks to provide the cancer community value and support with an uplifting survivorship, after his dad encouraged him to start a community group on Facebook. Since January 2021, the li

    • 44 min
    Mastering a Healing Mindset with Wellness Coach Jeanette Carbajal

    Mastering a Healing Mindset with Wellness Coach Jeanette Carbajal

    On this episode of WE Have Cancer, Healing Mindset Coach Jeanette Carbajal shares her tips for embracing a healing mindset on the journey to cancer recovery. Jeanette has worked with countless medical practitioners, oncologists, and cancer patients all over the U.S. She shares the importance of gratitude, boundaries, laughter, and joy; and that sometimes healing is simply a matter of forgiveness.
    Guest Biography: Jeanette Carbajal became a Healing Mindset Coach shortly after caring for three family members dealing with diagnoses and surgeries all at the same time. She learned she loved bringing laughter, joy, and gratitude into patients’ lives. She is a Certified Holistic Cancer Coach, Certified Health Coach, and Master Transformational Life Coach. This year, she was named 1 of 8 Women Shaking It Up In Health and Wellness by Yahoo Finance. Jeanette teaches her clients to manage their emotions, protect their energy, and foster a positive healing mindset.
    Table of Contents:What's the Difference Between Healing and Recovery?
    Jeanette believes healing is the process of coming home to yourself. The words “healing” and “recovery” are often interchanged, but they aren’t the same. Healing can happen in a moment; healing can happen when you forgive someone or come to terms with your past.
    Bringing a Healing Mindset to Medical Professionals
    While involved with a few different clinics, Jeanette was asked by medical staff to share her tips for burnout, boundaries, and mindset with team members. Gradually, word began to spread as her clients told other oncology professionals about the powerful mindset work she was leading.
    Eat, Hydrate, Sleep
    Jeanette shares the three biggest check-ins to have with yourself to begin cultivating a healing mindset: Am I eating well? Am I drinking enough water? Am I sleeping well?
    Make Your Bedroom into a Healing Oasis
    Wifi, blue light, "dirty" electricity, and surging signals are all micro irritants on a cellular level. Jeanette suggests using a Christmas tree timer to turn off your wifi before bed every night, and to remove everything out of your bedroom that does not "spark joy."
    Dealing with "Scanxiety" and Making Peace with Time Management
    Jeanette helps her clients adopt a "360 approach to living." From teaching them tips to collapse time, to cleaning out their pantry, to singing "One Way or Another" during cancer scans, Jeanette believes that bringing more lightness and playfulness into a cancer patient's mindset will allow for more healing between doctor's visits.
    How to Find the Right Oncologist
    "Date" your oncologist! And if you don't like them, or they don't listen to you, or you just get a gut feeling, divorce your oncologist. It's okay to want to seek out your perfect practitioner. There's nothing more sacred to a patient than the person trying to save their life; there should always be love involved. Getting emotional is a good thing.
    Three Loved Ones, Three Surgeries, Two Weeks
    Jeanette shares her personal experience becoming a caretaker for her grandmother, mother, and father after each of them received different cancer diagnoses all at the same time. As a family, they went through three surgeries in the span of two weeks. It was then Jeanette learned how much she loved helping patients with their mindset and healing in their own homes.
    Links mentioned in the show:
    https://www.instagram.com/healingmindset_/ (Follow Jeanette) on Instagram
    Support Lee and Linda's Get Your Rear In Gear walk - https://wehavecancershow.com/Lee (https://wehavecancershow.com/Lee)
    Support the Child of the Month; Jocelyn - https://wehavecancershow.com/jocelyn (https://wehavecancershow.com/jocelyn)
    Subscribe to the “https://pod.link/wehavecancer (WE Have Cancer” Podcast)
    Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media:
    Like our https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/ (Facebook) page
    Join our https://www.face

    • 39 min
    The Power of the Cancer Community with Jess Thomas Nelson, Host of My Cancer Story

    The Power of the Cancer Community with Jess Thomas Nelson, Host of My Cancer Story

    On this episode of WE Have Cancer, fellow cancer podcast host Jess Thomas Nelson shares how her life has changed since being diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in January 2020. Since then, she’s learned that practically everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way, and has become passionate about sharing her guest’s cancer stories with the world.
    Guest Biography:
    Jess Thomas Nelson is the host of the My Cancer Story Podcast, which she started shortly after her thyroidectomy in February 2020. In her own words, “I’m not famous and you wouldn’t know me from anywhere, but I too have been affected by cancer.” She has always loved the practice of acupuncture and utilized both eastern and western medicine while recovering from her surgery last year.
    Table of Contents:
    The Power of the Cancer Community and Sharing Cancer Stories
    After starting My Cancer Story, Jess was blown away by people reaching out eager to share their own stories with the world. She’s learned that everyone in a person’s life is affected by cancer, and nearly everyone knows someone who’s had cancer.
    How it Feels to Hear “You Have Cancer”
    On Christmas Eve, Jess’s endocrinologist told her the nodes they’d found were most likely thyroid cancer. She kept the news from her family until after the holidays, not wanting to burden them with the weight of her diagnosis. But after she did share the news with her close family and friends, she was moved to see how many people in her life stepped up as proud caretakers and supporters.
    Sharing My Cancer Story with the World
    While lying on the acupuncture table, I got the idea to start a podcast. Jess felt that her story was fairly quick and painless in comparison to the experiences of many others, and she knew she wanted to create a space for folks to share those experiences. She says COVID-19 and quarantine pushed her to start since it was already harder to connect with members of the community in person.
    What’s Next for My Cancer Story?
    Jess’s podcast began with one episode per month and quickly grew to one episode a week. Even though sometimes the episodes can get heavy, Jess knows she wants to keep sharing these powerful cancer stories with the community.
    Recovery with Integrative Cancer Care
    Jess became interested in integrative medicine and integrative nutrition a few years before her diagnosis. When she was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer she went to her acupuncturist for help with her meridians and endocrine system.
    My Life Without a Thyroid
    After Jess’s thyroidectomy, she shares it took a while for her endocrinologist to find the right synthroid dose, and that she had to wait at least 30 minutes before having coffee or eating meals, had to become more mindful of her alcohol consumption, and tried to remember to take all her vitamins. While the adjustment may have been difficult at first, now all the timing considerations and medications are simply a way of life.
    Links mentioned in the show:https://www.mycancerstorypodcast.com/ (My Cancer Story Podcast) with Jess Thomas Nelson
    https://theblindblogger.net/ (The Blind Blogger) with Maxwell Ivey
    Support Lee and Linda's Get Your Rear In Gear walk - https://wehavecancershow.com/Lee (https://wehavecancershow.com/Lee)
    Support the Child of the Month; Jocelyn - https://wehavecancershow.com/jocelyn (https://wehavecancershow.com/jocelyn)
    Subscribe to the “https://pod.link/wehavecancer (WE Have Cancer” Podcast)
    Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media:
    Like our https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/ (Facebook) page
    Join our https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/ (private Facebook group)
    Follow us on https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod (Twitter)
    Follow us on https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod (Instagram)
    Follow us on https://linkedin.com/company/wehavecancer (LinkedIn)
    Check out https://wehavecancershow.com/lu

    • 36 min
    Conquering Breast Cancer While Balancing A Fitness Lifestyle With Fitz Koehler

    Conquering Breast Cancer While Balancing A Fitness Lifestyle With Fitz Koehler

    On this episode of WE Have Cancer, fitness guru Fitz Koehler joins Lee to discuss her journey with breast cancer. When it comes to cancer, it can happen to anyone - even those with a perfectly healthy lifestyle. That was the case for Fitz, who through early detection and a no-holds-barred attitude, has managed to make it through stronger than ever.
    Guest biography:Fitz Koehler is a fitness innovator with a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences from the University of Florida who has been teaching fitness, announcing marathons, and been participating in fitness for decades. With her unique cancer journey, she took her experience and authored a book explaining the gory, nitty-gritty details of breast cancer and everything that comes with it.
    Table of contents:From A Clean Mammogram To A Breast Cancer Diagnosis
    Fitz had always been adamant about getting cancer examinations and checkups because if there was a chance that she could have cancer, she’d want to know as soon as possible. In late December of 2018, she walked out of her mammogram with no signs indicating anything was going on. Less than 7 weeks later, she felt an itch under her breast during a self-breast examination. Within 30 seconds, she called and made an appointment. Days after that, she was told she not only had a tumor but also several hard swollen lymph nodes.
    Chemotherapy Within 3 Weeks After Discovering Breast Cancer
    After a biopsy and a diagnosis, specialists went back to look at Fitz’s scan from the previous December. The doctors took Fitz’s concern seriously as they realized that it was fast-moving breast cancer that was developing quickly and rapidly. Less than three weeks after finding the lump, Fitz had started treatment. Her official diagnosis was ductal carcinoma, stage 2 breast cancer.
    Two Years Breast Cancer Free
    Fitz considers the type of breast cancer that she had to be a fairly curable type of breast cancer in the scope of things. First diagnosed in 2019, she finished chemotherapy Mid-May of 2020 after 15 months, 33 rounds of radiation, and several surgeries. Currently, Fitz is in cancer-free remission.
    Friends And Family Reaction To Diagnosis
    When Fitz found herself diagnosed with breast cancer, not only was she surprised, but her family and friends were floored. She was dedicated to fitness, so it didn’t make sense. Her kids were resilient, despite worrying about their mother, and Fitz felt the need to remain strong as a parent for her kids as she fought. As for her fans, they were more surprised than anything. Fitz got up and hosted some of the largest running events in the US and was heavily involved in marathons and running. She was always perceived as loud and strong in front of thousands of people on stage.
    Chemotherapy Hair Loss And Publicly Announcing Breast Cancer
    Fitz was worried about chemotherapy hair loss, not because it was her identity, but because it was something that she enjoyed. As she was going through chemotherapy, she was traveling and announcing marathons. With her hair loss starting to show as she stood up in front of thousands of people, she found that she could no longer hide it. Fitz posted a video to her social media, explaining that she had cancer and that she was going to look different, but that she was fine. Eventually, she shaved her head with her family.
    Parenting With Breast Cancer
    As Fitz was going through her cancer treatment, she had the mindset of never letting her kids see her cry. She tried to be as happy as possible - but this meant she cried in private. It got harder as her treatment ramped up and became more intense, and she had friends and neighbors drive her kids to school and take them to places. She decided to not let her kids come with her to her treatment appointments so that they didn’t have to see the other sick patients. During this time she relied heavily on her husband t

    • 36 min
    The Importance Of Male Breast Cancer Awareness

    The Importance Of Male Breast Cancer Awareness

    Episode summary:On this episode of the WE Have Cancer Podcast, John Falk joins Lee to discuss his journey with male breast cancer. John shares his experience from first being diagnosed through his journey to beat cancer twice. John is open and transparent about his experience as a way to educate, advocate, and change the perception of male breast cancer. Learn all about John’s incredible journey and how he's looking to improve male breast cancer awareness among the population.
    Guest biographyJohn Falk was diagnosed with breast cancer not once, but twice. After finding a lump in his chest, he decided to get checked out. He was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and then again in 2016. He advocates and brings awareness to men with breast cancer.
    Table of contents:Introduction
    In 2013, John noticed that his left breast had swelled up. After going to his primary care doctor, he was sent to a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. Getting more tests, like a mammogram and biopsy, the results came back negative. However, in 2014, they came back positive.
    Being a man with a female-dominated illness
    John talks about his experience in getting tested and going through the medical processes of being diagnosed with breast cancer and how it’s heavily focused on women. However, he didn’t care and found that the doctors were very empathetic to his situation.
    A quick recovery
    When John got the news that he had cancer, he wasn’t afraid. At the time, it was stage 0. Doctors were able to go in and remove it all. He never got any other treatment. After the surgery, he resumed working like normal.
    Being transparent about his illness
    Being very transparent and open, John didn’t want people to worry about him. This allowed him to share his story openly and help get through his situation with humor and friends. At work, when he was back from his treatment, a lot of humor helped him stay positive in the workplace.
    Diagnosed with male breast cancer . . . Again
    Two years later, in 2016, the lump came back in his breast. John noticed it right away, and they went back in to do surgery to remove it. However, this time around it was invasive. They caught it early enough that other parts of his body weren’t attacked, but he did end up getting 30 radiation treatments.
    State of John’s health today
    Today, John continues to take Tamoxifen and monitor his health carefully. His medication causes him few side effects, but other than that he remains in good health. John knows that his battle with cancer wasn’t nearly as difficult or hard as others. It wasn’t until the second time around with his battle that he decided to take action.
    Male breast cancer awareness
    John realized how lucky he was to not only face and beat breast cancer once but twice. He noticed that there wasn’t a lot of talk or attention towards the men that struggle with it. John wanted to tell others his story, share his experience, and educate the public. He wanted to be an agent of change. From there, he does interviews, goes on TV, and does other things to bring awareness towards breast cancer in men.
    Finding support
    John found most of his support through his family and friends, but that wasn’t the only place. He discovered Facebook groups that shared experiences like his and the Male Breast Cancer Coalition. This inspired him to use his Facebook page to advocate his story, but also gain support through his second diagnosis.
    The change John wishes he saw
    John wants to see more recognition towards men that have breast cancer. Although a small percentage in comparison, male breast cancer absolutely exists. He wishes that some women's organizations were more inclusive to men and didn’t just feature women all the time.
    Being aware of your own body
    When John first felt the lump on his chest, he knew that it wasn’t normal. He trusted his instinct and his body and made su

    • 35 min
    Bringing Awareness to New Audiences Through Social Media

    Bringing Awareness to New Audiences Through Social Media

    Episode summary:In this episode of WE Have Cancer, Allison Rosen joins to talk and discuss the changes that she’s seen in awareness, support, and research of colorectal cancer. Allison also discusses how social media has created a new way to reach younger people, and in turn, there is more research, treatment options, and support resources.
    Guest biographyAllison Rosen is a public health care worker in colorectal cancer, outreach, and education prevention. She is project director at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houstin, which was just funded by the CDC for a project that is focused on colorectal cancer prevention.
    Table of contents:IntroductionAllison Rosen is back on the podcast after a few years to talk about how much things have changed, within her career and within the focus on young onset, colorectal cancer. Younger people were getting diagnosed and passing away at an alarming rate. There weren't a lot of treatment options, or focus on early screening. Now, with advocates and others amplifying their voices, more research is being done. There is more of a direct advocacy for early onset cancer.
    Understanding the Psychosocial EffectsRecalling the time that she was diagnosed with cancer, Allison asked for a psychologist or someone to talk to that was around her own age going through the same thing. She knew that there were going to be hard challenges ahead, but didn’t exactly know what they were. Allison had a lot of personal struggles with body image, and knew that there were people that struggled financially with the disease and treatment.
    Support Options and Help Allison talks about how much has changed from when she first got diagnosed to now. At treatment centers, they provide support for the aspects that might be hindered by treatment. From non-profits, to fertility specialists at hospitals, and support for the lasting effects of the treatment.
    Different Resources to Bring AwarenessPeople can learn and become aware about colorectal cancer through programs like the Gastrointestinal American Society of Clinical Oncology. They hold virtual meetings for those that want to become an advocate. The power of social media is huge because experts can break things down for people to access whenever, wherever. It’s reaching a new sort of audience.
    Changes in DiagnosisThe younger population are getting rectal cancer at a higher rate, which means they need more treatment options and research. With less of a stigma, and more people willing to speak up and talk about it, it’s allowing for more support and awareness. Everyone is now listening - and slowly breaking down the stigma of this type of cancer. The more light that is shed on the topic, the more research.
    Importance of Prevention and Early DetectionThe conversation now is based on prevention by leading a healthy lifestyle and trying to detect it early on. There are studies that are trying to find out why it happens, and it’s moved towards a focus on the gut microbiome. There is a science behind it, but it still doesn’t exactly explain why younger people are experiencing it.
    Passion For Public Health Field Allison aims to give patients and survivors the opportunity to get involved in treatment, research, and creating support groups. She gets direct feedback from the population that is experiencing it, and tries to represent the collective voice by asking questions in the public health field.
    Barriers That Patients FaceA lot of patients and providers are learning more about the disease because people are speaking out and speaking up about their experiences, especially the barriers that they face. Allison’s project that she’s working on is to identify barriers and help patients and survivors solve them.
    Links mentioned in the show:https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/about/our-team/research-advocate/allison-rosen/ (Allison Rosen - Fight Colo

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
61 Ratings

61 Ratings


A healing voice

There are people who bring healing that goes beyond medicine, and Lee is one of them. His insider's view of cancer, combined with his compassionate and reassuring voice is a gift to anyone going through this journey. The insights and experiences of the guests he interviews are inspiring and real - just what the doctor ordered to help you stay strong of mind, heart and spirit while your body is regaining its health.

Funshoppere ,

Can’t wait for next episode!!!

As a stage IV lung cancer survivor this podcast gives me hope and makes me feel part of a family. Hearing other survivors’ stories, treatments, ups and downs and strategies for moving forward gives me optimism that I can beat cancer too. Thank you to everyone who shares on this podcast and our wonderful host.

SageAnnieRocks54 ,


Inspiring stories. Real emotions. Practical guidance. As a cancer patient, this show has everything I’m looking for. Thanks Lee!

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