I haven’t been a very active* listener to Jesse Case’s “Jessie Vs Cancer” podcast but have heard every episode and it has made a real impact. I first heard Jesse as a co-host on the “Probably Science” podcast but he started “Jesse Vs Cancer” to document life after being diagnosed with (in his words) “Stage IV arse cancer of the arse”.
He doesn’t hold back in these podcasts and somehow kept on recording them through the worst of surgery, chemo and radiation therapy (thankfully all successful so far). It’s been an incredible journey and I really admire Jesse for sharing it. For me it was also an interesting insight into someone facing a truly life threatening illness without having a religious faith for comfort.
Not long after my last birthday a strange package arrived in the post from the Waitakere District Health board. I’ve reached the age range to qualify for a free Bowel Cancer screening programme they are running (a trial prior to it becoming a national programme). It just involves collecting a small sample of poo on a probe (seen in their photo right) and posting** it back for analysis.
So that’s why one morning — on the way to work — I thought about Jesse as I popped the special envelope into the mail box. If the result had come back positive I might have done my own podcast. Happily, their reply means I won’t need to do that.***
* I have listened, RT’d or replied to a few of his tweets and donated but never got involved in the forums or email.
** They have a special packaging and permission to do this for the trial!
*** Although the usual mass screening caveats apply, single sample, potential false results etc mean even with a negative outcome you should still watch for symptoms and do follow up tests.
Jesse Vs Cancer.com (from his About page)
Jesse Case is a standup comedian, originally from Nashville, Tennessee.
He spent years touring relentlessly.
After a few TV appearances and building a small following of loyal fans, he landed in Los Angeles.
He became quite the rising star, doing every festival and show that were available to him. The press was terrific, and he was on a bunch of those lists that are always coming out for some reason.
He continued to tour, and started developing a few TV shows. In 2013, he joined the cast of the Probably Science Podcast as a co-host.
That year, he also got sick. Really sick. In the ass area. And it never went away.
2 years later he was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, and at 29, had to move back in with his parents for treatment.
This podcast is sort of about that. It's about a lot of other stuff, too. The outcome is unknown, but either way, he's going to record it. There will be dick jokes.