In our monthly column, senior writer and editor Adriana Ermter shares her personal experiences with breast cancer.
By Adriana Ermter
I came to the Podcast game way late, like decades late. So when most people were tuning in on their morning commute to work, I was still listening to the mumbo jumbo in my head instead. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, I’ve always enjoyed my own company and I’m also a bit of a late bloomer which can translate into sometimes being a latecomer, so there’s that. But if I knew then how much I love a good podcast now, I’m fairly confident the time I spent waiting in Princess Margaret Hospital’s air-conditioned rooms would have passed by a lot quicker.
In all fairness, physically turning the pages to a handful of awesome books (especially Periel Aschenbrand’s two hilarious memoirs), was a fantastic way to temporarily escape, and I’m grateful that I used my love of reading to support me throughout my breast cancer experience. Still, there were many days when my eyes couldn’t focus on the words on the pages, so I closed them and sat back in my chair, listening to the every-day whispers of those around me. This is when a podcast would have been brilliant. Never mind what I could have learned from others if only I’d tapped into a breast cancer-based podcast. Now I’m big fan, so I’ve done a bit of research in case you’d like to be one too. Here are three educational, introspective, and emotive breast cancer pods to get you started. You can listen to them for free on your iPhone on Apple Podcasts or by getting a subscription to Spotify, Google Podcasts, RSS or anywhere else podcasts are available.
To emote with others listen to:
Survive + Thrive by Elisa DiMeo and Bess Gossage
The reason I enjoy listening to Survive + Thrive is because within each 30-minute to one-hour episode, DiMeo and Gossage’s breast cancer guests share a personal story. And in them, I often feel and find a part of myself. Lots of the women sharing are younger than I am, some are my age, and all are very real. Because I’m a breast cancer survivor, its easy for me to feel a bit jaded when a non-breastie tells me I have to hear someone’s story because it will inspire me. Here though, I am inspired, and I think it’s because the hosts have chosen their guests thoughtfully. Plus, there are multiple banked episodes to pick and choose from if you don’t want to listen chronologically.
To learn more about breast cancer listen to:
Breast Cancer Connection by Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN)
Yes, there are currently just five episodes, but each one is jam-packed full of exceptional and excellent information. I’ve dubbed it the Cancer 101 podcast because it’s kind of like a university class, full of doctors and experts, but presented in layman’s terms so it’s super easy to understand. The five 16- to 31-minute episodes cover everything from understanding the different stages of breast cancer and all of the weird terminology doctors punt around to recurrence risks, prevention, and healthcare tips. As a monthly columnist for the CBCN I know I’m biased, but I hope they produce more episodes, because so far everything has been easy to understand and absorb. Heck, if you need help CBCN, just let me know and I’ll love to lend a hand… or a voice.
To dissect cancer and life listen to:
Not Today Cancer by Jennifer Delavaux
This podcast features Jennifer Delavaux, who goes by Jenny and is a breastie, and her husband Darren who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009. Freaky right? Just proves how prevalent and non-discriminatory cancer really is. These two are definitely a support duo for each other and boy can listeners benefit from their shared experiences. Everything from overcoming fear, vulnerability, and radiation treatment to depression, cancer lingo, and a kid’s perspective when their mom and/or dad have been diagnosed is on the table for discussion. It’s insightful and frequently funny too, as the couple has strong banter. They post regularly, with some episodes a mere 8 minutes and others close to an hour so there’s lots to tune into.
Adriana Ermter is a multi award-winning writer and editor. Her work can be read in Living Luxe, Figure Skater Fitness and IN Magazine, as well as online at 29Secrets.com, RethinkBreastCancer.ca, Popsugar.com and AmongMen.com. The former Beauty Director for FASHION and Editor-in-Chief for Salon and Childview magazines lives in Toronto with her two very spoiled rescue kittens, Murphy and Olive. You can follow Adriana on Instagram @AdrianaErmter