7. Not going out like that

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Rudy shared his experience as a brain cancer endurer, about how he learned to embrace new ways to live his life, and identifying a greater purpose that has kept him going beyond two “expiration” dates. He also helped me understand why the term cancer “survivor” is not a universally welcomed label. 

I had a lot of fun talking to Rudy. His mind goes a mile a minute and we covered so many topics in this episode. I appreciated that he very gently called out the fact that he doesn’t like the label cancer “survivor” and it made me wonder why I was so oblivious to the debate about all the different terminologies. But I quickly realized it was because my dad was not a native English speaker and so he didn’t really think of himself in those terms. I use the term “survivor” because it seems to be the most common term used by well-known cancer organizations, but from now on, I will ask each guest what they would prefer to be called, although I still haven’t figured out what to do with my website?!

You can actually listen to Rudy do a deeper dive on this topic on the latest episode of his podcast, Guys with cancer, which I really enjoy and highly recommend to others. Rudy and his cohost have a very different angle to talking about the cancer experience given they are both “still-alivers” as Rudy would say with a smile, and they have a gift for making some serious topics really quite funny. I often find myself actually laugh out loud when I listen to their show, so go check it out if you are looking for a good laugh. Same can be said for the Brain Cancer Diaries, where you will see Rudy tapping into his video production skills while having fun with music and friends.

The other thing Rudy mentioned that stuck with me was about the normalization of death. As he becomes one of the lucky ones to survive beyond his “expiration” dates – which obviously is a positive thing – he also has to deal with the grief of surviving those who were so important to him on his cancer journey. This again is an example of how complex the emotional experience is for people living with cancer and it’s so important for everyone to find ways to take care of their mental health through all the ups and downs.  

You can find Rudy on: 

Twitter: @fschmnn

Brain Cancer Diaries

Guys with cancer podcast

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