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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,…
 
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 r…
 
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 foll…
 
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 p…
 
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…
 
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…
 
REAL is now on hiatus. We’ll be back on January 2, 2018, with more stories adversity, resilience, creativity, and transformation. This episode is a sneak peek of some of the stories on which we are currently working: As 2018 approaches, we’re thinking about for the New Year, and so we’ll start the year with an episode on that. Let me know if you’d …
 
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in United States and a number of other countries. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It’s a day for gathering with family and family friends and for engaging in family traditions and rituals. To mark the day this is a special episode of the …
 
Writer and visual artist Chris Rice talks about growing up on the road, traveling between the Bible Belt and Southern California as the oldest of nine children and caretaker of her younger siblings. Witness to the legacy of epigenetic trauma and suffering, Chris became an outsider and observer of the imagined lives she might inhabit in the future. …
 
Mindfulness meditation practitioner and Dharma teacher, Celeste Young, talks about her search to lessen her suffering and develop a new relationship to experience, as well as the joy she now feels in sharing what she loves with students who are dealing with anxiety and stress. Celeste also talks about developing a balanced relationship with the tec…
 
Abigail Wald is founder of YES Bar and Real Time Parenting. Abigail talks about the serious health challenges faced by her two young sons, and how these experiences of adversity spurred her entrepreneurial spirit and led her to start two new businesses. Abigail also talks about how the parenting tools she learned helped her to achieve … Continue re…
 
Elizabeth Aquino is writer, disability advocate, and pastry chef. Elizabeth talks about the struggle to understand her own identity as separate from that of her now 22-year-old daughter, Sophie, who is profoundly disabled, as well as how the style in which she writes reflects this fragmentation of identity. Elizabeth also talks about the importance…
 
Cassandra Austin is an Australian writer and author of two novels who lives in Los Angeles. Our conversation explores how the profound sense of alienation that Cassandra experienced upon moving from the land with which she closely identifies has shaped her writing and helped her to develop her craft even while she struggled personally. Cassandra … …
 
Rhoda Makoff received her PhD in Biochemistry in 1961 when she was 23 years old. Our conversation explores how Rhoda developed an interest in science and how she built a successful career in academic research, teaching, and business despite the continual roadblocks that she encountered as a woman who envisioned a major career. Rhoda reflects … Cont…
 
Roger Freeman and Alexandra Decas are members of The Dinner Party, a national community of mostly 20- and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced significant loss. Our conversation explores how connecting intimately with strangers who have similarly experienced loss has allowed each of them to address their feelings of isolation and learn how to live…
 
Catherine Temma Davidson is a novelist, essayist, poet, and teacher of writing who grew up in Los Angeles and settled in London. Our conversation delves into Catherine’s creative process as well as her exploration of how culture shapes one’s worldview and what happens when we cross cultures. Catherine talks about the multicultural environment in wh…
 
Syrie James is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, as well as a screenwriter. Our conversation explores Syrie’s creative process, which involves a deep immersion in the lives of the real women writers who are the heroines of some of her most successful novels. Steeped in research about the lives and times of her … Continue reading Syrie…
 
Today’s episode marks an ending of sorts and a new beginning. It is a lacuna, an interval, a gap. One door is closing and another opens. Today’s episode is the space between the Real Cancer podcast and the REAL podcast. REAL will continue to feature conversations with individuals who‘ve faced the humbling encounter with reality … Continue reading R…
 
Jonathan Cohen is a gastroenterologist and founder of MD Medical Navigators. Jon discusses his attraction to the intensity of interactions between physicians, patients, and family, as well as the intellectual and emotional aspects of practicing medicine. He also talks about the desire to innovate and follow his curiosity, which is at the center of …
 
Jodi Newson is a registered dietitian in oncology nutrition who works with cancer patients. Jodi talks about the central role that food plays in maintaining our social bonds and how side effects of cancer treatment can disrupt our most cherished ways of showing care. She also talks about being drawn to meaningful work in which … Continue reading Jo…
 
Steven Weiss-Smith was 13 years old when his father died of metastatic melanoma. Now 44 years old, the age at which his father passed away, Steve talks about the ways in which his father’s death—and especially his lack of understanding about his father’s illness at the time—has affected him throughout his life. He reflects on … Continue reading Ste…
 
Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist, cleanse expert, and author of Cancer Hacks. Following her own experience with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1992, and her husband’s death 11 years later from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Elissa turned to the study of holistic nutrition as a conduit to healing for herself and her young daughters. That path led her … Con…
 
Eve Makoff is a palliative care doctor who specializes in working with cancer patients. Eve talks about following her father’s example in choosing medicine as a route to fulfilling life work. Drawn to the intensity of in-patient care, Eve has found professional gratification in learning how to listen to her patients, help them to understand … Conti…
 
Brian Wogensen is a high school English teacher and department chair at a private school for girls in Los Angeles. In 2005, his wife, Liz Ganem, was diagnosed with breast cancer, five weeks after learning that she was pregnant. Seven years after the successful completion of treatment—and the healthy birth of their son—Liz was diagnosed … Continue r…
 
Patrick Norris is a television director who in 2003 was diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In today’s episode, Patrick recounts the central role his wife, Jody, played in helping him find the right treatment and how he wore the same comforting shirt during each of his chemotherapy treatments. Patrick talks about losing his sobriety … Co…
 
Cecily Young’s husband, John Ruble, underwent a bone marrow transplant as treatment for leukemia in 2005. Cecily talks about providing for her husband’s wellbeing, as well as that of their young son, during his treatment and recovery. Using the metaphor of herself as a ship’s captain, she envisioned herself as charged with maintaining morale and … …
 
Shannon Murphy, psychotherapist and mindfulness practitioner, was diagnosed in 2007 with breast cancer. She has been cancer free for ten years. Shannon talks about her decision to attend to the emotional aspects of cancer throughout her journey. She recounts speaking with cancer survivors to understand how they coped with the trauma of a cancer dia…
 
Today I’m speaking with Lisa Gainsley, certified massage and lymphedema therapist, who works primarily with cancer patients. Lisa talks about how her journey of exploration—beginning with the academic study of cultural anthropology and religion, her training as a healer in various modalities, and her eventual specialization in the lymphatic system—…
 
How does one maintain routine and regularity when a cancer diagnosis and its treatment threatens to upend life as one knows it? Today I’m speaking with Charlie Tercek, who in 2010 was diagnosed with and treated for bladder cancer. Charlie talks about the critically important role his family played in taking the lead to find … Continue reading Charl…
 
Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. To mark the day we’re doing a special extra episode of the Real Cancer podcast. Unlike other episodes, this one doesn’t focus specifically on cancer and it doesn’t feature a conversation with a single individual. Rathe…
 
People undergoing cancer treatments often seek healing and support beyond the confines of oncology and traditional medical practice. Many seek to participate in their own therapeutic journey via a variety of other healing modalities. Today I’m speaking with Sharon Holly, yoga therapist, who in 2010 began a journey toward finding a new professional …
 
How does one live with a diagnosis of incurable, metastatic cancer? How does one move forward with life goals and plans when the likelihood of a future has been deemed uncertain and tenuous. Today I’m speaking with Jenny Pagliaro, singer and songwriter from the band Roses and Cigarettes, who—after initial treatment for Stage II Breast … Continue re…
 
The fear that patients and their loved ones experience is one of the most difficult aspects of a cancer diagnosis. In addition to managing the fear of death, how do cancer patients with kids cope with the fear that their children will lose a parent? Today I’m speaking with Marissa Weiss, mother, teacher, and dancer, … Continue reading Marissa Weiss…
 
Receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment can quickly put one’s life out of balance. How can one endeavor to find equilibrium while facing extreme fear and trauma, as well as undergoing harsh but potentially life-extending therapies and treatments? Today I’m speaking with Cindy Fraser, artist, writer, and teacher, who leads a yoga class…
 
Mother’s Day is a celebration to honor one’s mother, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. To mark the day we’re doing something different for the Real Cancer podcast. Unlike other episodes, this one doesn’t focus specifically on cancer and it doesn’t feature a conversation with a single individual. Rather, this crowd…
 
A cancer diagnosis and its aftermath reverberate throughout a family. Relationships between members change as the entire family system is affected. How does a family cope when one of its members does not survive the illness? Today, I speak with Carmen Osornio, whose sister, Ivonne, died in 2016 of metastatic cervical cancer. Carmen talks about … Co…
 
Today, I speak with Evan Handler, actor, author, and advocate for cancer patient care. Best known for his roles in Sex and the City and Californification, Evan was diagnosed with and underwent treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 1985, when he was 24 years old. After a two-year remission, Evan had a cancer recurrence. He … Continue reading…
 
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is a shock, even to medical professionals who are well aware that cancer can happen to anyone. How does one cope with and respond to the changes in self-perception that occur when cancer intervenes? Today, I speak with Catherine McDonough, yoga teacher and nurse practitioner, who in 2017 was diagnosed … Continue read…
 
Finding wellness during and after cancer treatment can be challenging. Given the physical and emotional rigors of treatment and its aftermath, how can one develop and nurture a state of wellness that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit? In this episode I talk with Kris Ellenberg, who in 2011 was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer. … Continue …
 
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can make you feel like you’ve been plucked out of your familiar existence and dropped onto an unfamiliar planet. How does one cope with this altered life circumstance when faced with a terrain that is not only unfamiliar but also deeply frightening and threatening to one’s very existence? In today’s episode … Continue r…
 
A cancer diagnosis can be a terrifying experience, as it brings the person receiving the diagnosis, as well as his or her family and friends, face to face with the possibility of death. For many, a cancer diagnosis is the first close up experience in thinking seriously about the end of life. While cancer treatment can … Continue reading Diane McDan…
 
Family and friends can be your most vital supporters when you’re diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment, but your relationships with loved ones can also be strained by this stressful experience. Just when you most need their unstinting support, your loved ones are also dealing with the extreme uncertainty created by a cancer diagnoses, ……
 
When people hear the word “chemotherapy,” hair loss is one of the first concerns that comes to mind. For many, hair loss is an integral and dreaded component of the treatment to fight cancer. The hair on our heads is important beyond its basic functions of protecting the scalp and regulating body temperature. Hair symbolizes … Continue reading All …
 
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