Life (After Cancer)

It’s like your old life–but completely different.

Episode 6: A Testis Conversation

On this episode, Jenna of the Boob Cancer talks to John Taylor of the Ball Cancer (it's like a post-cancer Game of Thrones episode) about the one thing you really don't want your doctor to say when she's looking at your nuts, mental health issues, going back to school when you still have chemo brain, online support groups, marriage, children, scanxiety, and much more. Oh, and talking to your mom about your nuts. Yeah, things get real really fast when you're diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 29.  


Oh, first, a warm fuzzy moment: this episode's guest makes one thing very clear--no matter how the world is making you feel, there are a lot of good people out there. Johnny T is one of the most open and generous with his story people I've come across. He's also generous with his time, offering other cancer survivors and patients, and people grappling with mental health issues a word or 2,000 of support when they reach out on Twitter. In 25 years as a writer, I have interviewed a lot of people. I am frequently very grateful that regular people are willing to trust their words and stories with me. This interview with Johnny T just grabbed a spot high on that list of "damn, I am very lucky I got to talk to that one." 


Show notes: 


Enjoy your time with Johnny T? Go hang out with him on Twitter. Or on his blog, This is Johnny T.


For more information about testicular cancer, visit the Testicular Cancer Foundation website. And parents! Talk to your boys about their nuts. Testicular cancer most often rears its ugly little cells between the ages of 15 and 34. Encourage boys to know their nuts. Seriously. Stop blushing. Have the talk.


Want more time with me? I know! Who wouldn't? Chat me up on Twitter at @AfterCancerPod. Or join the Life (After Cancer) Facebook group.


Want to suggest--or volunteer--to be a guest on a future episode? Or just send questions or comments or ideas for future shows? Send me an email at


Episode music: Retrosoul by Bensound and Pat Dog by Blue Dot Sessions.


Episode 5: Love! Marriage! Babies! Cancer?

An interview with Carey Carpenter, who had a three-year-old and a 15-month-old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Jenna talks to Carey, the founder of the Anchorage Young Cancer Coalition (aka Cancer Club), about parenting during and after cancer, the how-tos (and why) of setting up your own cancer club, doing good things for other people, changing priorities, and much more. Fun fact about Carey's cancer: her baby found the lump (the little life saver)!


Episode music: Retrosoul by Bensound and Pat Dog by Blue Dot Sessions.



Episode 4: It’s About the Kid

Jenna talks to writer Nicole Stellon O'Donnell, whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer at 8 years old, about parenting during and after cancer. The conversation wanders across plenty of territory, from being the anti-helicopter parent, the fetishization of cancer in society, being your child's "chemo butler," and, of course, dogs (in this case, a corgi). And the episode isn't just for cancer kid's caregivers, there's plenty to think about whether you're a parent or other kid-adjacent or cancer-adjacent person, a cancer patient, survivor, cancer civilan, caregiver, or friend. Or if you just want to listen in as two women talk about some of the big stuff--and tumble around (and laugh about) some of the odd and hard things people go through. 



Episode 3: The Long View

Jenna talks to writer Ruth Pennebaker, who was diagnosed with cancer 22 years ago. The two met a decade or so ago in NYC. At the time, of course, Jenna had no idea that they would, one day, have cancer in common. Ruth talks about the ways survivorship changes over time, whether cancer changes you forever, the good and incredibly bad of counting other survivors as some of your closest friends, and badass survivor behavior.


But, first, a mild warning: there's a clicking noise on the tape. It's not super loud but it's there. I'm still working on getting rid of it and will upload a new version of the recording if I figure out the how-tos of de-clicking. Sorry about that. A mild slide down the learning curve of podcasting. Sigh. (Technology!)


Episode music: Please Listen Carefully by Jahzzar


Episode 2: Moving Right Along?

Jenna brings Annie, her first cancer friend, back to talk about the somewhat (ok, very) fluid dividing line between cancer and after cancer. What does it take to move past feeling like a patient? Mountain climbing? Or quieter pursuits? Also: Annie tells her one and only joke. 




Episode 1: A Hair-Raising Chat

In the first episode, Jenna hangs out with her first cancer friend and talks about hair issues and other random stuff. Where else can you get hairless cats, testicles, knitting, and the occasional bit of salty language all in one place? (The episode is also Jenna's first go at editing audio so ... be gentle people. She had cancer, you know. Too much cancer card? OK, rescinded.)



Life (After Cancer) — Trailer

Did you have cancer? Then this is the podcast for you. Seriously. Because post-cancer life can be hard. Damn hard. At times. Right? And nobody wants to hear about it from you anymore, right? OK, maybe a few people do. But do they get what you're going through? We do. You've met your people. And we're ready to talk. This is Life (After Cancer).