In a hard-hitting new podcast series, young Australians facing cancer are sharing their experiences of dealing with a diagnosis – as well as answering the “uncomfortable” questions.
In Cancer Unscripted: A place where young people talk about all things cancer the joint hosts discuss “the good, the bad, and the unknown” of facing cancer.
The first four-part series, supported by Canteen Australia, features insightful, at times humorous, interviews among these young people, who are living with their own cancer diagnosis or a close family member’s (in the case of Matt, two parents and a stepparent).
Nothing is off-limits in the discussions, with the young hosts asking each other questions such as, Do you have any regrets? (“Not going swimming with my sister the last time she went swimming.”) Or, What is the most insensitive thing someone has ever said to you?” (“You shouldn’t be so upset all the time.”)
In the no-holds-barred series, which Canteen plans to launch at its Youth Leadership Festival at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel from 27–29 January, the participants articulately share on everything from the day their world suddenly changed because of cancer, to grappling with grief after losing a loved one, dealing with survivor’s guilt, and how they became involved with Canteen.
In episode three, co-hosts Emily, Bron and Kai discuss the long-term or permanent impacts cancer has left in their lives. These include the need for egg freezing, dealing with trauma-based mental health issues, a case of hearing impairment and permanent baldness due to treatment-induced alopecia, and why it can be difficult to relate to their peers.
But perhaps the biggest lesson for us all comes from Lilly in episode one, when she talks of her new perspective on life after treatment for sarcoma, a tumour that appears in the bones and soft tissues.
“Before having a sarcoma, I’d spend a lot of time stressing about [school] and all the unnecessary little things. My experience points to the perspective of how important it is to just appreciate life and accept the things you can’t control – it’s not worth wasting my time and energy on things that don’t matter.”
Cancer Unscripted is a must-listen for anyone interested in understanding the far-reaching physical, mental and social impacts cancer has, particularly when you’re young. To listen to the series, visit Cancer Unscripted Podcast Series.
Canteen is Australia’s leading youth cancer charity providing evidence-based support to young people facing cancer. We assist 12-25 year olds dealing with their own diagnosis, a close family member’s cancer or the death of a loved one. Our services also extend to parents because when they cope better with cancer, their children are likely to experience less stress and anxiety. To find out more, visit Canteen Connect.
For more details about Cancer Unscripted, or to arrange interviews, contact Nikki Williams, Brand and Communications Manager at Canteen Australia.