Hi I'm Helen (she/her), a Kiwi who talks about cancery stuff on a weekly podcast. I live on Ngāti Whātua whenua (land) in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).
The C Word Radio is a podcast and community for anyone impacted by cancer who wants open, honest and hilarious conversations about life with the C Word.
I found the lump while I was in the shower in 2018. It was a Sunday morning, the day before I was starting a new job so didn't give it much thought.
Fast forward two weeks and I was staring at three shadows on an ultrasound screen with a deep sense that they were not just cysts.
In June of 2018, I was diagnosed with Her2 positive breast cancer in my right breast. Hearing the words "I'm sorry you have cancer" is life-changing. It's hard to comprehend when you are diagnosed with cancer how much your life will change.
I went through 18 months of treatment including a mastectomy, sentinel node clearance, fertility treatment, chemotherapy, radiation, Herceptin, and Perjuta.
The end of cancer treatment was a challenging time, I felt lost, lonely and struggled to adjust to 'normal life again.
Then 2020 happened. Or more specifically Covid happened! While other Kiwis were contributing to the flour shortage I had an idea to create a series of videos of people talking about how breast cancer had impacted them. The idea evolved into a podcast and officially launched in July 2020.
My goal in starting The C Word Radio is to provide a space where people can authentically share how cancer has impacted them. I want to change the conversation around cancer and empower people to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Most importantly I want to create a community where cancery people can connect and find a place to belong.
The C Word Radio was a finalist in the New Zealand Radio Awards 2021.