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 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 his personal approach to his profession. Jon discusses how his desire to explore from different perspectives, coupled with a keen sense of the need for humility, has led him to a new endeavor as an advocate for patients and families as they navigate their health care.
Today’s story is a personal one for the host of Real Cancer, as her friendship with this guest and his engagement with the search for a diagnosis led to treatment that saved her life.
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 extend life, it is often rigorous, painful, alienating, demoralizing, tedious, and frustrating. Enduring treatment can be an exercise in finding dark comedy. Even when treatment works, the experience can have lasting complicated effects. The phase after treatment can also be the beginning of unexpected and unwelcome periods of heightened vulnerability.
A cancer diagnosis and its treatment is often a transformative experience in the physical, emotional, social, and psychological aspects of the lives of everyone it touches.
In today’s episode, we turn the tables on interviewer and interviewee. Real Cancer host Diane McDaniel is interviewed by Rory Green, with whom she sat through weekly chemotherapy sessions, regarding her experience with ovarian cancer, its treatment, and the period of regular checkups after treatment concluded. We also talk about the impetus for the Real Cancer podcast and Diane’s hope that it will provide community and insight for people who are living with cancer, in one way or another.