Today is World Cancer Day – a day to raise worldwide attention and inspire action for a cancer-free future. Aoife Read, the creator of The Boob Diaries podcast, shares her journey with an irreverent look at her own personal battle with the disease.
“In 2014, when I was just 30, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I had a year of full chemotherapy, lost all my hair etc. Had radiotherapy, the lot. During my whole experience, I was keeping a journal for myself.
“I have always journaled since I was a little girl so it is something that comes naturally to me. It usually helps me process things. Upon the suggestion of my girlfriend, I turned the journal into a blog. That blog went on to have over 13,000 followers at the time. As soon as I hit my five year remission period last year, I decided to turn the blog into a book. I sent it to a few publishers etc, but then I had the idea to turn it into a podcast.
“Every one, myself included listens to podcasts now, so it felt like the natural place for it. So I speak a little bit at the beginning of each episode, then I read a section of the book I turned the blog into. It seems to be going down quite well. People seem to be enjoying it.”
Did creating the podcast bring back negative memories?
“I find it a very cathartic experience to read it out. It’s like an exhaltation. An exorcism of old wounds and demons. I enjoy reading it and talking about it. It is weird at times to talk to myself into a microphone about the whole thing but it’s just like the journaling I did as a kid, but out loud I suppose.”
What would you hope listeners would take from it?
“I hope it helps them if they need it. Or entertains them. I hope they like it. I hope it demystifies cancer somewhat too. It’s such a scary thing to have happen but it’s important to know that you’re not alone in it. If I can do that for even one person I’d be happy. Especially with young people and cancer, it can be a very solitary frightening experience. I hope this helps people understand it and not feel so freaked out by it.”
Check out The Boob Diaries podcast on Spotify.
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