Humans of International Studies
VEERLE (2nd year)
“When I was 12, I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. After I had recovered, I was not really comfortable talking about my past illness. I just wanted to not think about it anymore and move forward. But now, it has been quite a few years and I feel more comfortable opening up about it.
Since I started IS, I have made many new friends who did not know me back when I was sick, and I noticed that they were quite curious about my experiences and that they asked some very interesting questions about what it had been like for me and realized that more people would have similar questions too. This was around the time that I joined Radi8Radio and learned about producing podcasts, which gave me the idea of a podcast being a nice medium for telling my story. And that is what I ended up doing: I made a podcast, titled “When Life Gives You Cancer, You Make a Podcast.”
The podcast is 11 episodes long, including me talking about my experiences as a pre-teen being diagnosed with cancer in the hospital – when I was ill, I experienced many painful things, but I also had some very funny and bizarre experiences.
By talking about my experiences, I wanted to paint a clear and realistic picture of what it is like to have cancer and to get these treatments, and also what the aftermath of having cancer is like - in a way that would also be interesting and light-hearted.
Of course, I also had my doubts about making the podcast, like whether people would find my story interesting or funny enough. But in the end, I decided to just do it and, I am glad I did. This was my opportunity to take control of my story since I was able to decide when and how I wanted to tell it.
Though, I do want to highlight that the podcast is only about my personal experiences and perceptions, so not a generalization of every cancer patient. That being said, I still hope my podcast helps to create a better understanding of the life of a child cancer patient whilst maintaining a light and positive tone.” (Veerle, 2nd year, The Netherlands)