On September 24th, 2021 the Gynecologic Cancer Initiative hosted an event called Press Play on Patient Perspectives for the launch of season two of the Gynecologic Oncology Sharing Hub (GOSH) Podcast! It featured a panel of with podcast guests Nancy Cleveland and Debra Walker from the first season, along with podcast co-host Nicole Keay.
Reflecting on the Podcast Process
Without having any previous podcast experience, Stephanie and Nicole embarked on a journey to produce the GOSH podcast from scratch. Throughout this time there were many lessons learned, some of which they shared at this event.
Lesson 1: Just press record! – Even through all the tedious preparation for a podcast episode, it always seemed like the recording was the hardest part. Nicole shared that it was important to remember that having the perfect recording shouldn’t be the goal, but rather the importance of creating a safe space for podcast guests.
Lesson 2: Listen to the listeners – This may seem tricky when podcast hosts can’t directly engage with listeners, but it’s not impossible! Stephanie shared that really taking the time to look at podcast statistics helped them inform them who the podcast was reaching and what topics most resonated with listeners. With this in mind, future episodes are always planned with listeners in mind.
Lesson 3: Make space, hold space for patients – It might feel daunting for guests to have their conversation recorded. This is why Stephanie and Nicole emphasized the need to make sure all guests feel safe and comfortable. Whether it be having pre-recording meetings, sending the questions ahead of time, or starting with a quick icebreaker, the podcast co-hosts would always ensure guests felt at ease during recording.
Lesson 4: Centring the patient experience – The whole intention of the podcast is to serve gynecologic cancer patients and survivors. Stephanie and Nicole always kept that in mind when planning and recording podcast episodes by ensuring the patient’s story was of main focus.
Hearing from the Panelists
What excites you most about the podcast?
Nancy, Debra, and Nicole all shared similar sentiments around the GOSH podcast being a bridge of knowledge between researchers and patients. Not all patients have the opportunity to be exposed to or engage with groups like the GCI, especially if they live farther from the city.
“The fact [the GOSH podcast] doesn’t necessarily work within borders, how we’re spreading hope throughout the world […] that excites the heck out of me!” Debra shared. The gynecologic cancer care and research in BC has and continues to be outstanding, so Debra felt that this podcast is important to help share resources and hope with those who are in different of the province and around the world.
What role do you think storytelling has had on your cancer journey?
The power of storytelling was personal to all our panelists. For Nancy, she shared how storytelling began really at the beginning of her cancer journey. Hearing stories of what she was about to go through from her friend helped alleviate the fear of the unknown. “All stories are individual but collectively they are valuable in so many ways,” Nancy shared. It was through sharing a common story that she felt a sense of sisterhood, and of community, throughout her cancer treatments. Likewise, Nicole shared that storytelling helped her connect with others in ways that she couldn’t with other people in her life. It helped her find acceptance in what had happened, while also providing a community for others.
What is the most rewarding experience about being a patient partner?
For all panelists, being a patient partner was really about that sense of connection. As patient partners, they felt a sense of hope in being part of a group where they’d be able to be part of changes in care and advancements in research. In being involved with the GCI, they’ve been able to learn so much and build meaningful relationships with other patients and researchers.
Season 2 of the GOSH Podcast is now streaming on all podcast platforms, with new episodes released bi-weekly on Mondays!