UA-118272889-1 1739406299646766 The Power of the Cancer Community with Jess Thomas Nelson, Host of My Cancer Story - WE Have Cancer

Episode 176

Published on:

4th May 2021

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:

My Cancer Story Podcast with Jess Thomas Nelson

The Blind Blogger with Maxwell Ivey

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About the Podcast

WE Have Cancer
Providing information, inspiration and hope to those touched by cancer.
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.

About your host

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Lee & Linda Silverstein

In 2011, just four months after they began dating, Lee was diagnosed with Stage 2 colon cancer. A year and a half later, 17 days after their honeymoon, they learned that Lee’s cancer had spread to his liver; he was now Stage 4. Through numerous surgeries, chemotherapy infusions and assorted other treatments, Linda has been by his side. Despite cancer, Lee and Linda say unequivocally these have been the best years of their lives.

In 2015 Lee launched this podcast as a way to provide information, inspiration and hope to those affected by cancer.

Lee and Linda live in Florida with their Westie Terrier, Fergie.

The WE Have Cancer podcast is supported by The Colon Cancer Coalition -