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A Car Accident Saved My Life; An Interview With Lung Cancer Survivor Yovana Portillo


A Car Accident Saved My Life; An Interview With Lung Cancer Survivor Yovana Portillo

Yovana Maria Portillo is a young lung cancer survivor who was diagnosed with stage 1b lung cancer purely by accident.

During our conversation we discussed:

  • The story behind the accident that saved her life.
  • The details of her surgery and subsequent follow-ups.
  • The impact her disease had on her life.
  • The stigma associated with lung cancer and the burden of blame that many lung cancer patients and survivors face.
  • Where Yovana turned to when she needed support.
  • How she dealt with friends and family who were afraid to utter the word “cancer” in her presence.
  • The important roles exercise and spirituality play in her life

Connect with Yovana

Read her story herehttps://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/blog/2018/10/advocate-spotlight-yovana-portillo-phoenix-arizona

Follow her on Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/azhikeryogirunner/

Connect with her on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/yovanamariaportillo

Follow her on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/asuxfin

 

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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

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Interview With 15 yr. Cancer Survivor and Passionate Advocate Candace Henley


Candace first appeared on the podcast back in 2015. You can listen to that interview here.

Much has changed in Candace’s life since then. During our conversation we discussed:

  • How her life has changed 15 years since her original diagnosis.
  • The alarming number of questions she is asked during her advocacy work that reflect many people’s lack of knowledge about their own bodies.
  • The advocacy work she is doing, along with Dr. Andrew Albert, in the Chicago area.
  • The growth of her non-profit, The Blue Hat Foundation.
  • The reason why many people of color are distrustful of the medical community.

Links mentioned in this episode

The Blue Hat Foundation – https://www.thebluehatfoundation.org/

Call On Congress – https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/events/save-the-date-call-on-congress-2019/

Candace on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/penelopepit_stop/

Candace on Twitter – https://twitter.com/colon_survivor

The Blue Hat Foundation on Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlueHats4colons

WE Have Cancer Links

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Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

Lacuna Loft Provides Young Adult Cancer Resources No Matter Where You Are


Mallory Casperson - Founder and CEO

Lacuna Loft provides young adult cancer resources no matter where you are

Mallory Casperson is the CEO and founder of Lacuna Loft. A former aerospace engineer, Mallory was thrust into the cancer world after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

During our interview we discussed:

  • How her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and subsequently her own diagnosis, caused her to leave the aerospace industry and start a non-profit.
  • How Lacuna Loft began as Mallory’s blog about her experience as a young adult cancer survivor.
  • The three main challenges young adult cancer patients and survivors face; the lack of connections to people like them, the feeling of isolation and the need for validation.
  • The range of online support resources available for young adult cancer patients and survivors.

Connect With Lacuna Loft

On their website – https://lacunaloft.org/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu8vPgF5kkUv4–AeqsYQgg/featured

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lacunaloft/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lacunaloft

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LacunaLoft/

 

WE Have Cancer Links

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Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/
Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
Follow us on Instagram – https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod

Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

Interview With 5-yr. Breast Cancer Survivor and Cancer Scientist Noel Peters


Noel Roma Peters

Interview With 5-yr. Breast Cancer Survivor and Cancer Scientist Noel Peters

I had the pleasure of meeting Noel Peters in July of 2018 when I was invited to speak at the company where she works, Foundation Medicine. We quickly bonded after learning we were both Stage IV cancer patients.

During our conversation we discussed:

  • What it’s like living with cancer
  • Her experience of learning about her diagnosis and how she shared her cancer diagnosis with her children
  • The uncertainty around her being staged with Advanced Breast Cancer
  • What it’s like being a cancer scientist and a cancer patient at the same time and how this experience has impacted her approach to her job
  • The definition and importance of palliative care and how it shouldn’t in any way be confused with hospice care
  • The impact her diagnosis had on her marriage and her family
  • Her thoughts on the annual “pink-washing” of America every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To learn more about Foundation Medicine and the work they do listen to my interview with interview with Dr. Prasanth Reddy, Vice President of Medical Affairs: https://wehavecancershow.com/095

WE Have Cancer Links

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Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/
Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

A Routine Colonoscopy Saved His Life, With John Cavanaugh


Dr. John Cavanaugh

A Routine Colonoscopy Saved His Life, With John Cavanaugh

in May of 2014 John Cavanaugh was diagnosed with colon cancer after a routine colonoscopy.

John’s story was profiled in this Colon Cancer Coalition’s Faces of Blue article.

On my 50th birthday, I promised my wife I would make an appointment for a full physical. On May 5, 2014, my primary physician, Dr. Troy Fate, MD scheduled a routine colonoscopy. I had two polyps removed and one turned out to be cancerous with positive margins. After a consultation with Dr. Scott Brill, a Colon and Rectal Surgeon at Ohio Health in Columbus, we elected for surgery on June 6th (Lilly’s birthday). Dr. Brill found no evidence of cancer in the section removed, but one lymph node out of 13 tested positive for cancer cells. One of the risks of my operation was the possibility of a leak. Unfortunately, that occurred and I fell ill with sepsis which required a second emergency surgery. Luckily Dr. Brill is an Army Veteran with trauma experience so he was able to save my life. I needed two additional procedures to install drains for fluid build up near my lungs. My wife never left my side for a month and slept next to me on a recliner (Much like the scene where Robin Williams describes the meaning of love to Matt Damon on the park bench in Good Will Hunting).

After a several rounds of antibiotics, I recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital with a temporary ileostomy. After three weeks of intensive physical and occupational therapy at home, I was able to participate in our daughter’s wedding ceremony. Then I endured several months of chemotherapy that made me look like the main character from “Unbroken”. In December, right before my birthday and the Christmas holidays, Dr. Brill reversed the diversion and I spent much of 2015 recuperating. On May 5, 2015, Dr. Brill performed a colonoscopy which resulted in a normal finding. Later in December, I had a CT scan and received a clean bill of health. I continued to be followed closely by my oncologist with regular blood screening, but am now back to work full-time.

Want your holiday greeting shared on an upcoming podcast episode? Call (813) 434-3215 and leave a short holiday greeting to a friend or loved one.

Links Mention In This Episode:

The Colon Cancer Coalition:  https://coloncancercoalition.org

Cancer + Careers: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en

WE Have Cancer Links

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Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/
Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
Follow us on Instagram – https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod

Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

Jack’s Caregiver Coalition – Cancer Support For Men In the Twin Cities


Kyle Woody is the founder of Jack’s Caregiver Coalition, a non-profit organization striving to provide world-class hospitality to men who care cancer caregivers in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The mission of Jack’s is to improve the way men think, feel and act in their role as cancer caregivers.

During our conversation we discussed:

  • The unique needs that men have when serving as caregivers.
  • How Jack’s is an event-based group, providing an alternative to the traditional “sit in a circle” support group. These events have included ax throwing, fishing and hunting outings and golf games.
  • The bonding and deep conversations that naturally happen at these events.
  • The long-term goal to grow to a national organization supporting men who serve as caregivers for those affected by more than cancer, including Alzheimers, A.L.S. and Post-Traumatic Stress.

Links mentioned on the show

Contact Jack’s Caregiver Coalition via email – contactus@jackscaregiverco.org

Call Jack’s Caregiver Coalition – (612) 547-6929

Follow Jack’s on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jackscaregiverco

Follow Jack’s on Twitter – https://twitter.com/jackscaregiver

Follow Jack’s on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jackscaregiverco/

Follow Jack’s on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8JT0S_wxclzLA7ElMW_WVA

WE Have Cancer Links

Subscribe to the show:

Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media

Like our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/

Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/

Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod

Follow us on Instagram – https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod

Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

How One Person Can Influence Favorable Cancer Legislation, With Michael Holtz


How One Person Can Influence Favorable Cancer Legislation, With Michael Holtz

Michael Holtz is a 6 1/2 year survivor of Stage IIIB rectal cancer and is the author of the book It’s Not Harder Than Cancer. Michael first appeared on this podcast in 2015. You can listen to that interview here.

Michael and I discussed the cancer advocacy work he’s been doing with the American Cancer Society and as the Tennessee state representative for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network – ACS CAN.

In April 2018 the Provision CARES Foundation recognized Michael Holtz as the Patient Advocate of the Year.

 

Links Mentioned In The Show

Michael Holtz’ website – http://www.michaelholtzonline.com/

Michael on Facebook – https://facebook.com/michaelandrewholtz/

Michael on Twitter – https://twitter.com/michaelholtz

It’s Not Harder Than Cancer – Available on Amazon

 

The Lung Cancer Alliance; Supporting Lung Cancer Patients for over 20 Years


Lung Cancer Alliance

The Lung Cancer Alliance; Supporting Lung Cancer Patients for over 25 Years

Andrew Ciupek is the Manager of Clinical Research at the Lung Cancer Alliance. For over 25 years the Lung Cancer Alliance has provided information, education and support to patients, survivors, caregivers and family members of those affected by the #1 cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

Andrew discusses the various types of support offered by the Lung Cancer Alliance and provides updates on clinical research and immunotherapy.

To learn more about the Lung Cancer Alliance

Visit their website: https://lungcanceralliance.org/

Call the toll-free patient support line: 1-800-298-2436

 

Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin Jr.

Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin, Jr. was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 32. Shortly after, he discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group COLONTOWN. It opened his eyes to the wonderful community of support for those impacted by this disease! Read his story below. 

In my 34 years of life, I’ve earned a reputation for being a do-it-all kind of guy. I’m a husband to my college sweetheart Britni, a father to our four young daughters, a former college football star, an avid golfer, a motivational speaker, a YouTube entertainer and a novice screenwriter.  My name is Charles Griffin Jr. and I never thought I would be a stage IV colon cancer patient. I’m reaching out to you today to ask you to join me in supporting the Colon Cancer Alliance. Two years ago, I suffered excruciating abdominal pain while playing golf. With no family history and no additional symptoms, I had to beg my doctor for a colonoscopy which revealed a golf ball-size tumor in my colon. Further testing showed the cancer had metastasized with multiple tumors to my lungs and liver. I was in the prime of my life with a beautiful family and a budding career when I got the worst news imaginable. I had stage IV colon cancer. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group Colontown. It opened my eyes to the wonderful community of support for those of us impacted by this disease. But now that I’m two years into my treatment, I’m eager for a cure, or at least treatment options that aren’t as taxing on my body. That’s why I support the Colon Cancer Alliance and their deep commitment to colon cancer-specific research. The Colon Cancer Alliance has taken an even bolder stance on research going forward, committing publicly to grow its investment in colorectal cancer-specific research to $10 million by 2021. Research that could ultimately save my life. I’m proud that the Colon Cancer Alliance is on the cutting-edge, exploring immunotherapy, biomarkers and personalized medicine. In 2016 alone, the Colon Cancer Alliance, in partnership with the Never Too Young Coalition, funded two grants to help researchers explore young-onset colorectal cancer in an attempt to better understand why people under the age of 50, like myself, are being diagnosed with this devastating disease. This is where you come in. Through your generous donation, the Colon Cancer Alliance will be able to expand its funding for life-saving and innovative research, putting us closer to realizing our vision of eliminating colon cancer in our lifetime. With your support, there will be a future for me and the thousands of other colon cancer patients waiting for a cure. Please give today. I am the reason Tomorrow Can’t Wait. Click here to listen to me tell my story.

Fred and Heather Schiller Are Coping With Cancer Through Love


What an honor it is to share episode #100 with you. Never did I realize when I launched the podcast 3 1/2 years ago that I would someday be talking about such a milestone.

I could not think of a better way to celebrate this important episode than by sharing Heather and Fred’s story.

I met them at Fight CRC’s annual Call-on Congress earlier this year. Heather serves as an ambassador for Fight CRC. Their story touched me in so many ways. During this interview we discussed Heather’s wonderful progress in her clinical trial. When I saw Heather during our Skype interview – which was conducted in May, 2018 – I almost didn’t recognize her; she looked that good!

The three of us also discussed the impact has on a marriage and how they’ve relied on their love for each other, and their faith, to cope with Heather’s disease.

Links Mentioned in This Episode of WE Have Cancer

Heather’s One Million Strong story: https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/blog/meet-one-million-strong-heather-schiller-georgia/

FightCRC: https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/

Follow Heather on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tisHeather

Follow Heather on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tisHeather

Follow Fred on Instagram: https://instagram.com/fs_7phoenix

Follow WE Have Cancer:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod

Instagram: https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod

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