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I Had Cancer Podcast

Welcome to the I Had Cancer Podcast, an Allegheny Health Network and iHeart Production hosted by Bonny Diver of iHeartMedia. The I Had Cancer podcast provides personal and truthful conversations with cancer survivors along their journeys. Each episode will feature a different person with their unique perspective on their own fight against cancer. They are sharing their story to help others who might be facing similar challenges and to say they went from “I Have Cancer” to “I Had Cancer.”

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Episode 47: A tough turn from expectant mom to cancer patient

Jessica’s happiness at being pregnant was dashed when a placenta tumor grew and her baby didn’t. She had gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN), a rare cancer that arises during pregnancy. After a miscarriage, she became the youngest person – just 33 – in her chemo group. With amazing nurses and doctors, and support from generous family and friends, she became a survivor. Hear why she will never be the same again, but might be something more.

Episode 46: He counted the miracles along the way

Bob was 73 when an unexpected blood disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome, led to acute myeloid leukemia, a form of blood cancer. AHN doctors and Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers brought about four separate miracles to return him to health. Now he’s back on the ladder, making repairs around the house. Hear how he’s helping his doctors give hope to other patients.

Episode 45: Her birthday surprise changed her life

Cheryl learned she had invasive ductal carcinoma on her 50th birthday, just four months after her mother got the same breast cancer diagnosis. With chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and great support from AHN doctors and nurses — whom she calls her guardian angels — she was on her way to being a cancer survivor. Hear how family and friends — along with a very special t-shirt – were there when she rang the bell.

Episode 44: A walking miracle

When the doctor called with her test results on a Saturday, Kathy, 62, knew it wasn’t good news. Her diagnosis was locally advanced pancreatic cancer. After chemo and radiation with a great team at AHN, she was referred to the AHN’s partners — world-renowned surgeons at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Today, as a 6-year survivor, Kathy wants people to know there is always hope.

Episode 43: Hockey player ices cancer

When a lump in his neck turned out to be salivary gland cancer, Mike was confident his AHN doctors would pull him through. He didn’t worry. At age 54, he just wanted to keep working and playing hockey — even after surgery and during his radiation treatments. Hear how he survived his cancer and rang in the new year in a special way.

Episode 42: She gathered support, then gave it back

Martha Neevan, 57, got mammograms on time, every time. Then she found a lump, just two months after a breast exam. It was a fast growing form of breast case, already at stage 3. Fortunately, a great team at AHN was by her side through chemo, surgery, and radiology — all the way to “I Had Cancer.” Hear what happened halfway through her treatment and why she enlisted PacMan to join her fight.

Episode 41: A busy mom pays attention to her skin

Kristi Webb was 38 with a five-month old daughter when she noticed a mole on her jaw line. Hear how she connected with care, found the information she needed, and met a whole community of Pittsburgh melanoma survivors.

Episode 40: From patient to advocate

Mike couldn’t wait for doctors to remove every trace of prostate cancer from his body. Listen to his message of hope, and an idea to increase the survival rate from 90 to 100%.

Episode 39: Just 3 miles away

Renee thought she had hemorrhoids, but doctors confirmed she had rectal cancer. Hear how she met her AHN cancer team the very next day and finished out her treatments at a brand new cancer institute just 3 miles from her home in Butler.

Episode 38: College student’s swollen tonsil leads to leukemia diagnosis

Erin said her annual checkup became the biggest deal of her life. Before starting her senior year in college, 21-year-old Erin visited her doctor, who found that Erin’s tonsil was swollen. She had no other symptoms, but the discovery led to doctors diagnosing Erin with acute myeloid leukemia. She talks about how her brother shared his stem cells and her highly specialized AHN team instilled confidence and hope in her for a cure.

Episode 37: Mom’s cancer battle inspires daughter to comfort others

Only 45 and just relocated to Pittsburgh with her family, Wendy found a lump in her breast. She called 412-DOCTORS the next morning, saw a doctor the same day, had a biopsy the next, and underwent a successful mastectomy soon after. Hear how Wendy’s illness motivated her daughter, Shelby, to create a program that provides comfortable pillows to AHN breast cancer patients as they recover from surgery.

Episode 36: Conquering Stage 4 Breast Cancer with Husband, AHN and Faith

Naomi was 52 when she felt a lump in her breast. She went to the Breast Center at Allegheny General Hospital for her gynecologist appointment. In the next few hours, Naomi had a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy and received a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer. She shares how her husband rallied behind Naomi and gave her strength and faith to fight the advanced disease for the last 10 years.

Episode 35: A listen back to remarkable journeys (Part 2)

Over the last year, more than 30 amazing survivors shared their journeys of battling cancer on the I Had Cancer Podcast. Their inspirational stories have instilled hope and strength in others and demonstrated the power of positivity when combined with a team of AHN cancer experts. Hear some highlights from 2019 as we celebrate both survivors and those who are on the path toward remission.

Episode 34: A listen back to remarkable journeys (Part 1)

Over the last year, more than 30 amazing survivors shared their journeys of battling cancer on the I Had Cancer Podcast. Their inspirational stories have instilled hope and strength in others and demonstrated the power of positivity when combined with a team of AHN cancer experts. Hear some highlights from 2019 as we celebrate both survivors and those who are on the path toward remission.

Episode 33: She found expert cancer care right here

Stephanie was diagnosed last June with aggressive breast cancer. She was willing to travel anywhere to get best treatment. But after she met her AHN team of specialists, discovered that more than 20 doctors were involved in her treatment plan, and was enrolled in an immunotherapy clinical trial, Stephanie knew she had the best care in her backyard.

Episode 32: Brain tumor discovered during European Vacation

Dan was vacationing in Austria with his wife when he suffered a seizure and learned he had brain cancer. He recounts how Highmark helped him return to the US via an air ambulance and had Dan, 34, admitted to Allegheny General Hospital. Listen to Dan describe his brain surgery, performed while he was awake in order to preserve parts of the brain that control vision, speech and movement.

Episode 31: AHN and Johns Hopkins Medicine team up to treat Butler man

Tom had his annual prostate exam and was told he had an aggressive form of cancer. He asked his AHN cancer specialist for a second opinion, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital called Tom the same day. Listen how his team of experts treats the prostate cancer while Tom finds support and confidence from his wife, family and church community.

Episode 30: Routine colonoscopy found preacher’s cancer

The Rev. Leslie Boone had no symptoms, but a routine colonoscopy revealed she had colorectal cancer. Listen as Leslie talks about how she never feared the disease, even as she endured procedures, chemotherapy and radiation.

Episode 29: Medical professional becomes the patient

As an occupational therapy assistant, Sonny is used to caring for others. After having a routine mammogram that indicated she had breast cancer, the tables were turned, and she was now the patient. Sonny describes how she quickly received a treatment plan from her AHN team while her family and friends provided endless support through the entire journey.

Episode 28: Pirates pitcher shuts out cancer

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon describes the fear he felt after discovering something wrong in his testicle and later receiving a cancer diagnosis. He talks about his surgery, rehabilitation, and return to the mound just 5 weeks after surgery. Jameson encourages other men to perform self-checks and stay in tune with their bodies.

Episode 27: A story of serendipity

Lung cancer survivor Stephanie, 74, had a new doctor who recommended a baseline chest X-ray. That simple screening led to Stephanie’s robotic-assisted surgery. Hear how sharing her family story with her doctor helped save her life.

Episode 26: Fighting cancer with a laugh and smile

Emily had a 2-year-old daughter when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. Emily has a rare genetic mutation, called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, that puts her at higher risk for developing cancers and tumors. Currently in treatment for a brain tumor, she shares the details of her battle with laughter and humility.

Episode 25: Finding her strength

Corinne found a lump in her breast while on vacation with her family. The first call she made when they got home was to her doctor. Corinne reveals how genetic testing gave her information to make decisions about treatment. And, she’s still singing with the band.

Episode 24: Facing adversity with a smile

About 10 days before her annual mammogram, Clare found a lump. With no family history of breast cancer, she waited until her appointment to mention it. With lots of good humor, Clare shares what happened next.

Episode 23: Investigational drug eliminates breast cancer

Carol discovered a walnut-size lump in her breast and was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, which is rare and aggressive and carries a 20 percent chance of survival. Carol talks about how a clinical trial at AHN helped her beat the odds. She’s now living cancer free and leading a nonprofit organization to raise money for cancer research and connect others with clinical trials.

Episode 22: Doing her life

Jen’s family had a history of breast cancer so she never missed a preventive screening. Hear Jen’s candid account of how having the BRCA-1 gene changed her priorities and treatment decisions.

Episode 21: Voice change helped identify larynx cancer

Tom’s friends noticed his voice sounded different and urged him to see a doctor. A biopsy revealed larynx cancer. Tom talks about his risk factors and how his dedicated AHN team and innovative treatment plan has him back to work, walking two miles a day and living cancer-free.

Episode 20: A Friend she never expected

Beth retired early so she and her husband, Art, could travel more. Then a diagnosis of ovarian cancer derailed their plans. Beth talks about her experiences -- and finding a guardian angel who lived just a mile down the road who helped her find strength and empowerment through Faith & Gratitude.

Episode 19: A walking miracle

Sue was 49 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, also called the silent killer. Now a four-year survivor, she talks about her treatment, recovery, and how she pays it forward to promote awareness and provide support to other women with this disease. Learn more about the Pittsburgh Ovarian Cancer Walk/Run.

Episode 18: Cancer team eased burdens for working mother

At 40, Rachel had a demanding career, two children, and breast cancer. With chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, her year-long treatment took as much mental fortitude as physical stamina. Hear how the AHN oncology team helped care for Rachel while Rachel cared for her family and ultimately created a calmer, more balanced life.

Episode 17: Cancer no match for patient’s courage

MaryJo, 46, found a lump in her breast and her team of AHN cancer experts diagnosed her in a day and kicked off treatment just 18 days later. Hear about her fortitude as she successfully battled the disease and how the exceptional care she received instilled a new sense of purpose in her daughter.

Episode 16: Support from the beginning

The road from diagnosis to survivorship can be fraught with worry, fear, and uncertainty. Nurse navigator Rhea Rodriquez is always ready to support individuals battling cancer. Rhea talks about the joys and challenges of finding the resources and services her patients need before and after treatment.

Episode 15: Grandfather focuses on advocacy after liver cancer

Tony was an eater, not a drinker, but still ended up with cirrhosis and liver cancer. After stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and a liver transplant, he survived and thrived, even starting a foundation to raise awareness about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Learn more about his foundation at

Episode 14: Cancer no match for young mom

With children aged 5, 2 and 4 months, Laura found out she had Stage 3 rectal cancer. Only 32, she said having the perspective of, “I want to be a mom, not a cancer patient” carried her through treatment to a cancer-free life.

Episode 13: Don’t write the obituary yet

For Susan, it all started with a swollen ankle that lasted six months and eventually led to a diagnosis of Stage 3 ovarian cancer. Listen as she recounts her tale of the hurdles she faced during treatment and her mission to became an advocate for future cancer fighters.

Episode 12: Immunotherapy helps fight Representative’s cancer

Jeff Pyle, 54, has Stage IV renal cell cancer. It claimed one kidney in 2005 and re-surfaced years later in his chest. Listen to how the latest treatment option controlled his cancer.

Episode 11: Young woman’s melanoma sparks advocacy

Jessica got her first melanoma diagnosis three days before her 25th birthday and another at age 29. Jessica, now 36, talks about her treatment and how she started a foundation for melanoma research and awareness.

Episode 10: Pregnant. Cancer. Now what?

Cara was 36 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. She talks about what she did to have a healthy baby and begin her life-saving treatment.

Episode 9: A friend’s advice led him to Pittsburgh

In November, Jim started to have a hard time swallowing. When he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, he asked a friend who had a similar diagnosis three years earlier. Jim talks about how this advice sent him to Pittsburgh for treatment.

Episode 8: Falling off her horse saved her life

After she was thrown off her horse and broke her shoulder, she was checking out the bruises and found a lump. Bonny wasn’t expecting to hear she had breast cancer. Listen to her story about surviving cancer and becoming the founder of Hair Peace Charities.

Episode 7: School principal rings in another year

Severe abdominal pain sent Brenda to the emergency room, and she was later diagnosed with stage 3 uterine cancer. Brenda’s oncology team quickly developed an effective treatment plan that has made her cancer-free for two years now. She shares her story of how she found strength in the people around her to beat the disease.

Episode 6: Newlywed battles testicular cancer

At 32 years old, Nathan was in the best shape of his life, eating well and working out at the gym. But after an annual physical, he was shocked to learn he had testicular cancer. Listen how Nathan successfully battled the disease and is now newly married and as strong as ever.

Episode 5: From untreatable to beatable

Roxann felt a lump on the side of her breast, made a doctor appointment, and soon learned she had aggressive breast cancer. Although the cancer was advanced, her AHN Cancer Institute team worked together to develop a multi-layered treatment plan that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Roxann talks about the courage and faith it took to endure her year of treatment, and how her road to remission makes her feel more blessed than ever.

Episode 4: New mom beats rare cancer

As an expectant mother, Gevony was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in her second trimester. Hear how several Allegheny Health Network doctors worked together to develop a plan for a safe delivery of her son and then battle Gevony’s cancer with an aggressive, innovative treatment.

Episode 3: A surprise screening result

Craig was too busy caring for his daughter to worry about his own health. But, his wife’s persistent reminders for a prostate screening saved his life. Craig shares his story – and his message to other men -- in this candid discussion.

Episode 2 : Triumphing over cancer

At 32, Nicole was starting a career in voice acting. But, her promising future was in danger when she learned she had a rare form of tongue cancer. Hear how Nicole overcame cancer to practice her craft.

Episode 1 : Season preview

The I Had Cancer podcast premieres on May 15, 2019. Hosted by Pittsburgh’s Bonny Diver, a cancer survivor and patient advocate for over 16 years, iHeart Radio and the AHN Cancer Institute brings to you patients’ stories about their journeys of going from saying, “I have cancer” to “I had cancer".

Did you have cancer?

If you would like to be a guest on I Had Cancer Podcast, send an email to with your name and phone number.

Hosted by Bonny Diver

Bonny Diver has been in the Pittsburgh radio market over 20 years. Currently heard doing traffic updates on all the iHeart stations in morning drive. Along with the traffic, Bonny is part of the morning team with 3WS's Jonny Hartwell; "Jonny & Bonny" from 5 am til 10 am


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