Cancer's Weird

It’s our weirdest episode yet talking about cancer weirdness.

  • Cancer is weird and it makes you weird--you’ll do weird things

  • Cancer pushes you out to the ends of the bell curve--out to the extremes

  • You are liberated to embrace your weird--no shame in the game

  • Cancer treatment is weird--chemo drugs, radiation

  • Find your fringe folk

  • You can weaponize your weird if that’s your thing

  • Other people will work out their weirdness on you because you are a lesson now

  • There’s no hiding it and you have to look at your weird

  • Realize that everyone is fucking weird--cancer just takes away your illusion of normal

  • Lean into the weird and start something new

Getting to know your 2.0 post-cancer

We have so much to cover in getting to know your 2.0: from Leanna's First Descents surfing adventure to a career after cancer with The Time Between is! Also, happy first birthday to Thanks Cancer (ie Mimi and Leanna friendiversary)!!

  • We are a new tribe of survivors (carcinopaths!) that have the luxury of a 2.0 after cancer.
  • The big c: cancer, chaos and change.
  • You are a physically new self AND a psychologically new self.
  • The hard restart is an opportunity… and difficult and confusing and weird and surreal.
  • You need a 2.0 because your 1.0 was stripped bare. You couldn’t exist as your 1.0, and the "before" can feel like a different lifetime.
  • After rebirth, you get to create yourself with everything you know as a grown up.
  • Be open to different ways of rebuilding yourself.
  • You are going to fail inevitably as a part of the process. Fail fearlessly. Fail again.
  • Explore your 2.0 like you are in high school: fashion, ideas, taste, choices, identity.
  • Incorporate water into your life. Drink the water. Be more like water. Swim in the water.
  • You are a teenager. Let yourself be a teenager and understand that other people won’t give you the understanding that they would give a teenager. Cuz you look like a grown ass person.
  • Let yourself be surprised, and maybe carried away a little bit by your 2.0.
  • For a cancer community, check out The Time Between Is for how to approach your career after cancer and finding meaningful work.

Allie has it: ALL!

We talk with Allie about the blood cancer ALL.

  • "ALL" means “ALL the time in the hospital”… or “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.”
  • If you feel weirdly tired all the time, or have bruises that don't go away, or eye bleeds, maybe go to a doctor.
  • Doctors need to make sure you aren’t alone when they are calling with a cancer diagnosis.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital has some great views from inpatient rooms.
  • You used to get sick before, and then you used to get better. And it was (usually) ok.
  • Learn to advocate for yourself, or choose a caregiver from New York.
  • Trust yourself if you know something is wrong, and be pushy.
  • Get your flu shot.

Cancer Semantics: What Do We Call Ourselves

Listen to us talk about all the labels you can have during and after cancer treatment.

  • Cancer words are negative words; your 2.0 was forged in the fire of cancer, but your new identity is not "cancer."
  • You might never feel like a "hero" or a "survivor".
  • Fighter implies all sorts of things, like you are at war with your own cells.
  • Doctors often won’t say: "You are in remission." 
  • Pay attention to how you talk about your cancer and yourself. 

Hair and Losing It

We discuss our hair loss, regrowth and what made it easier.

  • Your scalp is going to be tender.
  • Up your makeup game: brow pencils, eyeliner or false eyelashes. 
  • Glasses and sunglasses can camoflauge.
  • Explore your options: colored wigs, scarves, turbans, etc.
  • Bald is an intense, powerful look.
  • Get a soft sleeping cap and a slippery pillow case.
  • Penguin cold caps probably work.
  • Latisse can help, but will probably stain your skin.
  • Your hair will be different every day.
  • Embrace the seasons, and get comfortable with unintentional hairstyles.
  • Find a great hairdresser for your complicated regrow.
  • Choose how to frame this experience.

Dating After Cancer

We talk about dating and sex after cancer.

  • Dating after cancer problems are dating problems--just magnified.
  • Breakups are super common. 
  • Any sex problems are either short-term or largely fixable.
  • Ask your doctors/nurses/social workers about resources at your hospital.
  • Own your story, think about your story, and practice telling your story with your friends.
  • You don't have to tell a date everything all at once.
  • Your 2.0 is different than before. Get to know your new, rejuvenated, cancer-free self.
  • The first rule of googlestalking is you do not talk about googlestalking.
  • Don't suggest that your date guess which boob was mastectomied, or find someone who thinks that's as funny as you do.

Cancer Branding

What is your cancer brand? Mimi and Leanna discuss how social media can impact your cancer story.

  • The people you invite to the party should bring something to the table.
  • Power outfits for treatments (when else can I dress up like a unicorn?).
  • How you tell your story affects your experience.
  • Sharing your experience with others can help others and can help YOU.

More from Leanna and Mimi.