New Episodes Launch Each Wednesday!

CMBB_LL.DMiller.4A
Search
Close this search box.

Life Lessons From A Cancer Survivor With Edward Miskie

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness seems like a death sentence at first. Nevertheless, here is Edward Miskie, a cancer survivor who proves that with enough perseverance and a strong mindset, nothing can stop you from moving forward. He joins Corinna Bellizzi in looking back on his battle against cancer and the most important life lessons he learned along the way. Edward also talks about his book “Cancer, Musical Theatre, & Other Chronic Illnesses” and his podcast “I Wanna Be A Rich B*tch,” providing inspiration and motivation to anybody who may need it.

 

About Edward Miskie

CMBB Edward Miskie | Cancer SurvivorFrom musical theatre career to cancer conquistador, Edward has performed and traveled all over the country and in some cases the world. Celebrating his now 11 year cancer survivor anniversary with the publishing of his book “Cancer, Musical Theatre, & Other Chronic Illnesses” Edward has been featured on Insider, ABC, FOX, Pix11, The Daily Mail, and more. Edward also is a podcast host on I Wanna Be A Rich B*tch, and a writer, producer, singer, songwriter, and actor.

 

Guest Website: https://edwardmiskie.com

Guest Social:

https://linktr.ee/edwardmiskie

https://tiktok.com/@edwardmiskie

https://youtube.com/edwardmiskie

https://instagram.com/edwardmiskie

https://facebook.com/edwardmiskie

 

Show Notes:

00:00 – Introduction

01:47 – I Want To Be A Rich B*tch

10:36 – Cancer diagnosis and book writing

23:20 – Relationship changes

31:19 – Hospital happenings

35:35 – Cancer Musical Theater And Other Chronic Illnesses

39:22 – Closing Words

 

Join the Care More. Be Better. Community! (Social Links Below)

Website: https://www.caremorebebetter.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveJg5mSfeTf0l4otrxgUfg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CareMore.BeBetter/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CareMoreBeBetter

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/care-more-be-better 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/caremorebebettr

Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/club/care-more-be-better 

 

Support Care More. Be Better: A Social Impact + Sustainability Podcast

Care More. Be Better. is not backed by any company. We answer only to our collective conscience. As a listener, reader, and subscriber you are part of this pod and this community and we are honored to have your support. If you can, please help finance the show (https://www.caremorebebetter.com/donate). Thank you, now and always, for your support as we get this thing started!

Life Lessons From A Cancer Survivor With Edward Miskie

We kicked off 2024 with a theme as we explored the power of art to push for change from fiction to art and even spiritual exploration. I’m thrilled to continue that thread with a few laughs even as we cover those serious topics that sometimes honestly need a little comic relief. I’m thrilled to be joined by no stranger to the stage and a podcaster himself, Edward Miskie.

From a musical theater career to cancer conquistador, Edward has performed and traveled all over the country, and in some cases, all over the world. He’s celebrating his eleven-year cancer survivor anniversary with the publishing of his book Cancer, Musical, Theater, & Other Chronic Illnesses. Edward has been featured on Insider, ABC, FOX, Pix11, the Daily Mail and so much more. He also has a podcast. He’s the host of I Want to Be a Rich B*tch. He’s a writer, producer, singer, songwriter, and actor.

‐‐‐

Edward Miskie, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

I might have to make this episode explicit.

You might, I can reel it in. I’m an adult. I don’t have to think about it.

Who doesn’t want to be a rich bitch? Tell me about that show as we get started.

I co-host that with my friend Sarah Seeds. She’s brilliant. She’s the creator and star of Riding the D with Dr. Seeds, which was on Amazon Prime for a while. It’s also on, I believe, Plex TV. She’s very heavily involved in the SAG-AFTRA Union. She’s on the New York Council. I’m not trying to pitch Sarah but she’s so amazing and I’m in awe of her constantly.

We wanted to start a podcast together to talk about the journey that creatives often take in the confines of the conversation of money. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression of a starving artist or something along those lines. It implies that people who are in the arts are poor and starving. That can be true to a degree. Certainly, depending on the path you choose, it’s a struggle. It’s always hard.

She and I are in positions where we started after a rocky road where money wasn’t the problem. The problem was other things that were external to money. It’s not that either of us is rich and rolling in it. It’s finding a different path for creatives where you can still make the things you want to make. You have significant income to support yourself without running all over the place, working 4 jobs, and pulling 18-hour days. I’ve been there. I’ve done that.

Find a particular path for creatives where you can still make the things you want while having significant income to support yourself. Click To Tweet

I’ve been in New York for eighteen years and that’s a good majority of my time here. It hit me as she and our friendship became stronger. I was like, “There are better ways.” I’m seeing it happen in front of me, not just with her but with other friends of mine. We decided to create a podcast out of that and hopefully shed some light on how to be a rich bitch and make the shit that you want and surround yourself with good people. It is self-ownership and autonomy over where you want to go and what you want to become and not having money be the thing that holds you back.

As to your point so many artists, especially those painters in my life, have often had this perspective that they were almost waiting to die so they could become famous, which is sad. I heard that quote from one of my dad’s best friends when I was growing up. He said, “When I die, I’ll be famous.” Take the Pablo Picassos of the world who are able to have some fame while they’re in their later years. There was a struggle there. Even people used to criticize his cubism. They were like, “I could paint that,” but they didn’t see the skill that was behind all of it and how incredible he was as an artist in so many other different ways. It’s easy to criticize. We often come from that lens when we are perhaps jealous of the commitment to the journey.

It is a commitment to the journey but also seeing people who are doing what you want to be doing. Let’s be real. Most people didn’t grow up thinking, “I want to work at a desk for 40 hours a week and watch my life pass by.” That was never anyone’s aspiration. No child that you ask is going to be like, “I want to work in corporate.”

Most people didn’t grow up looking forward to working at a desk for 40 hours a week and watching their lives pass by. Click To Tweet

When you mentioned those eighteen-hour days, I’ve done that during my professional career as not an actor.

I’ve done it as an actor and not an actor. It is, in a way, a choice but sometimes, you do what you have to do to get things done. To the point about waiting until you’re dead to be famous or have any kind of notoriety in your later years, part of that is the issue that creatives have where they’re not necessarily taught ways to bolster themselves. Especially with social media, this is the number one thing I tell everyone. You don’t need to be Beyonce to have this. I have had one. I’m on the hunt for a second one. Hire a publicist. I cannot stress that enough. Nothing I am doing would be possible had I not hired one. It is, to me, the answer and the key to getting some notoriety before you’re dead and if you feel stuck.

It’s because they’ll get you placed on FOX or Pix11, or get your story told by the Daily Mail. Otherwise, what do you do? You’re out there doing it yourself.

There’s merit to that. Daily Mail contacted me because of my TikTok. That one was all me. I had a couple of those. I interviewed with The Washington Post for something as well that I don’t ever think made it to print because I certainly didn’t see it. That was all from social media but there were other things that I was being pitched for through a publicist, and that, to me, was money well spent.

That is also part of the conversation that Sarah and I have about money, being in your rich bitchness, and all of that because there are appropriate places where it is okay to spend money. You need to let go of that scarcity crap as a creative. If I wouldn’t have spent the money I spent on the publicist, I wouldn’t have had those articles and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. It’s adding pieces to the puzzle. I could go on about this forever because I feel very strongly about it.

To your point, me getting the fire lit under my ass to do this show came because one of my friends and I were talking about it. He was like, “I’m gifting you your intro and outro. You’re doing this. I’m giving you a deadline of February 1st.” I was like, “Now I got to do it.” Hats off to Mikhail Alfon forever for doing that. He has a podcast himself. He did put the creative fire under my butt and said, “Get it done. You have the idea. You want to do it. You should. You have all the things that you need to do it. You need to commit.”

I’m glad that I did that. It was a struggle at first to even think about spending the money on something that I wasn’t planning to make money doing. I have since let it ride in a way and said, “I’m going to look at this as my way of paying it forward and giving back so I might spend a few hundred dollars.” Frankly, it’s more like $800 to $1,000 a month but I cover much of my expenses.

Some of my guests who come on make donations to the show, which is helpful. I keep it rolling. I have interesting conversations with people like you. I am leaning into something uncomfortable for me at first, especially to be on camera. That’s what it takes sometimes to grow. You have to have faith. You have to have someone who lights the fire under your butt and tells you, “You can. You should do it.” You have to make a little bit of investment. Sometimes, that’s time but it often comes with a little cash. I agree.

I used to turn my nose up at pay-to-play situations back in the day when I was an actor. Some of them are scams and terrible. You need to be vigilant about whom you’re giving money to and what they’re able to provide you and offer you because anyone can talk and tell you exactly what you want to hear. Getting the credentials is what I’m saying. It is the way up. There are so many scenarios that I can point to with well-known celebrities that we know who had capital that they were able to spend on mass upfront to buy their way to where they are. I’m not mad about it. If that’s what you need to do to get there, then I’m willing to do that. Take my money.

We can enjoy the entertainment that they put out into the world. Acting, in particular, is one of those things that you learn by doing too. You can’t just suddenly have the skillset. It comes through work.

You can learn the skillset from someone but until you’re doing it and physically doing the things, it’s different than being in a class, with a coach, or something that’s telling you what to do. It’s not a practical application. You can call back to those things that you learned while you’re doing whatever the thing is that you’re doing and be like, “I remember. In this scenario, I have to approach it this way.” Eventually, that becomes second nature but until you’re in the act of doing it, it’s a different thing.

I want to hear about you making the commitment to write about your experience. If you get diagnosed with cancer, it’s the scariest thing that most people ever go through. Most of us have experienced it in some capacity where a family member or a close friend has had a diagnosis and has been staring down a barrel. They’re like, “Fuck,” for the lack of a better word. They’re like, “What do I do?”

That is the word. It’s bad. The commitment to it didn’t come until much later. I turned 25 when I was diagnosed. It was a fast turnaround because it was an aggressive cancer. Within a week, I was in a hospital on chemo, facing mortality in a way that I never anticipated I would be at 25 years old. What came of it was trying to be acutely aware of what was going on around me and a lot of things that raised a lot of eyebrows along the way. It seemed like such a ridiculous experience. I can look back at it, have a good laugh, and be like, “That was insane.”

What made me want to write about it was after the fact feeling very displaced and disoriented in my life and then meeting someone who conveyed to me after they were told they were cancer-free that they felt the same way. At that point, I was three years out. I had been out of the hospital for three years. I was cancer-free and trying to get my life pieces back together.

This person said to me all of the ways that they were feeling. It was along the lines of, “I don’t want to go to work because it feels stupid and meaningless. I don’t want to do it.” Every time my friends talk to me, I’m like, “Shut the fuck up. I don’t care about anything that you’re saying.” My family means well but I want to punch them in the face sometimes. I was like, “You are speaking. Get out of my head and brain space.” It occurred to me, “If this person feels this way and I feel this way, others probably feel this way.”

I reached out to a couple of people I knew who had had cancer earlier in life. I asked them a couple of questions about, “Is this how you feel? Is this what it’s like?” Every single one of them said yes and how it was a process, how no one prepared them for it, and how it was like, “You’re a stranger in your life.” At that moment, in the middle of this conversation, I was like, “I’m writing a book about this.”

At the time, I had a desk job. During my downtime over the course of about a year, I wrote my book. Pretty much 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 1 year, I would be working in some way on my book. It fell out. It started being very long-winded like, “Let me set this up with I was born in the middle of a cornfield in the 1980s.” In the writing world, it’s called Kill Your Babies or Kill Your Darling. Some people like to call it that.

You have to sacrifice those pieces of the book that you thought were so important when you started writing it.

In this instance, I’m writing a book about my experience. No one cares about me because I’m not Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, or a famous person. No one knows who I am so no one cares. It’s about the experience that they’re going to care about. It was having that realization of killing those darlings and then hyper-focusing on the year-long process that it took. It was a little longer than 1 year, maybe 18 months from the time the cancer appeared to the time that I was told I was good to go.

I have a couple of questions. I’ve never had cancer, luckily, that I know of. I say, “I know of,” because we all have happy little cancer cells floating around in our bodies. Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed at some point, they exist and they usually get scrubbed out by your immune system. That’s what prevents you from manifesting and having a real problem.

I’ve heard from people close to me that they get very frustrated with people saying things like, “You got to beat cancer. It’s a war on cancer. It’s a struggle.” Trying to relate to the person who is suffering from it, frankly, in that way is a struggle. They’re like, “I’m battling my body. This is inside me. It’s not like I’m battling some external force with a shield and a sword. It’s different than that.” They feel people are trying to claim they understand without understanding. Is that one of the things that you heard, the frustration points?

For sure. I’ll put it a little bit differently. The thing is that when people say that, they mean well because what are you supposed to say to someone in that situation? It’s like visiting someone on their deathbed knowing full well that they know and you know that they’re dying. You can’t be like, “I’ll see you later,” because you won’t. It’s an awkward situation. I try to give leeway and grace to people who speak to me, and/or who speak to others, or about others who have cancer because there is no way to relate to it. It’s a tricky situation.

One of the things that I always say about the whole, “I’m a cancer survivor. You beat cancer? Congratulations. You did it,” is that I didn’t do anything. I showed up to my appointment. From there, I was a ragdoll. I had doctors, nurses, fellows, and residents kicking me around the hospital to where I needed to go. I was a pin cushion, a lab rat, a drug mule, and all these other things within the hospital. I did nothing but show up. To me, my surviving cancer had very little to do with me. Certainly, I kept fighting to feel normal. I was fighting to have some kind of a life that mattered to me during that time instead of surrendering, lying down, and being like, “Nothing else can go on because I have cancer.”

Woe is me.

I ignored the fact that I was a sick person. I still went out with friends and drank my way through cancer, which was equal parts of coping mechanism and wanting to hang out with my friends and be normal. I started a company while I was in the hospital. I was art-directing photoshoots on FaceTime from my hospital room. I was a crazy person but it was my way of ignoring the fact that something bad was happening and trying to act as I would if I were not locked up in a hospital somewhere.

Frankly, many doctors would agree with me in saying that mindset is probably what helped you to be successful in your struggle, too.

In that way, I survived and beat cancer.

You had a mindset of a tomorrow. Sometimes, people don’t have that.

It was more the fact in my mind of focusing on, “I want to have a future past this. How can I set myself up to have one?” I was not trying to play into the whole, “I’m a patient. This is terrible. I’m going to die.” That narrative was there. There was a little brain cell frittering away in the back of my head with that thought. When my first oncologist told me, “You might not make it,” that was a double down when survival mode kicked in in the sense of, “I’m going to fight for this.”

It wasn’t so much fighting like, “I’m going to be a good boy and be vigilant.” It was like, “I’m getting a second opinion. Get out of my way. Give me my file. I’m walking out of this hospital.” We had a little bit of a fight. I was like, “Nothing you’re telling me makes sense.” The protocol that they wanted me to do included two rounds of full-body radiation. There’s a lot to go into about this. What they were saying to me sounded like because my cancer was so rare, they wanted to do all these performance pieces on me because I had this cancer. It was an opportunity for them to publish a paper about it.

It could be true.

To be honest with you, it was. It was so obvious. I called her on it and she was like, “That’s part of the gig.” I was like, “This isn’t a gig. This is my life. I don’t care about your paper.” That’s one of the pitfalls you have at an education hospital as well. There’s always that looming, “We’re going to publish a paper about this.”

A normal body treatment for rare cancer might help with some of the cells but you might also get sick from that treatment.

It’s not just that. To the reader, you’re not going to get the chance to see this but I had radiation on my left arm and underarm. The hair there, which is very present, has still, many years later, not grown back. If that had been a full-body situation, I would look like a tortoise. That wasn’t the vibe I was going for when I was 25 and gorgeous.

You don’t want to be bald. I get it.

I was like, “I will come out of this.”

Even when you have it localized, the effect can be longer lasting. I have someone I donated breast milk to. She couldn’t produce her own when she had her natural child because she had a rare form of lung cancer and had chest radiation before she ever became pregnant. It impacted her ability to ever produce milk. These are things that come about as a side effect of treatment that can last the rest of your life. To your point, a little hair missing from your chest may sound like no big deal to some of the readers here but as a young person, that matters and counts.

Radiation kills tissue. She’s not able to produce breast milk. Those glands are probably forever damaged and she never will for better or worse, depending on how you look at it. The tissue on my left chest barely grows tissue. I can work out until the day is done and it’s not going to make a whole lot of a difference. Being 26 and having lopsided titties was upsetting. There wasn’t anything I could do about it.

I can empathize. I try to say I’m not too vain or anything. When I get rather lean, I have a dent in one of my buttocks. It’s because I broke my tailbone when I was young. It pulls on the tissue in one direction. It’s only visible when I get lean, which is not a problem. In my early twenties, it was in a bikini. When you get naked, you can see it. It’s something that you always have in the back of your mind, even if it is something that seems vain.

Be vain.

It’s your body.

It’s also your youth. It was either Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, or Judi Dench. One of those three magnificent women said that youth is wasted on the young. It’s so true. I looked back and thought I was so disgusting, fat, and gross. I would commit murder to look like that again. If you point someone out to me and you were like, “You could look like that again,” I’d be like, “What do you want me to use?” I look back and I’m like, “God damn.” At the time, I felt like such a monster.

Beauty is wasted on the young preps, too.

Be vain. Love yourself. What’s that line from Schitt’s Creek where she’s like, “Take as many naked pictures of yourself when you’re young as you can.”

That show almost didn’t get made too so what an incredible show. You’ve talked about on your podcast and at other spaces being dumped during cancer. This is something we alluded to a little bit earlier when you’re talking about how your relationships struggle as you face something like this. People don’t know how to treat you or don’t know how to act around you. Suddenly, things start to fall apart. Let’s talk about this. How did your relationships change? What happened there?

They all changed and that’s not to say for worse. My parents, sisters, close friends, and I all got closer. There was good there. That was one of the takeaways that I have from this experience. That has always been my shining trophy star thing or whatever you want to call it where I’m so proud of the fact that I know who my friends are. I love my friends. They were there for me. They were in the hospital rooms with me. My parents were there all the time. My sisters were constantly calling me. I had a great support system from them during that time.

Your relationship and the love that you feel for your family and friends is different from someone who’s supposed to be your partner or a significant other. You tell them the news and they pretend everything’s fine. You find out later that they started seeing someone shortly after you were diagnosed and that they were performing a relationship for you. Your readers are not going to maybe like to know this but all of that on its face sounds terrible.

Our knee-jerk reaction is like, “Men are terrible. They’re total shitbags.” That is true. They are. Eighty-seven percent of men leave in a situation like that. The statistic of that, which I will look up as the real number, is staggering. It’s very high. Men leave when they’re faced with a situation like that. When it was happening, I was angry and hurt. I couldn’t believe it. I was betrayed. I’m sure that I still have residual fallout from that in how I pursue relationships.

Most men leave in the most depressing situations. Click To Tweet

At the time, it was bad. Looking back, it was still bad. I don’t know what I would do in that situation because it’s an impossible ask. My reasoning would be different from maybe his reasoning but this is someone that I had only met maybe nine months before. It’s not like we had been together for years. That’s a different conversation. It was still relatively, in the grand scheme of things, new. It wasn’t new-new. That’s a lot to ask of someone that you, in a sense, barely know.

Even though he and I may have felt there was a future there, there was a very large ask of that person while I was in the hospital from the diagnosis point. He had been aware that something was going on. I had told him. It was the whole deception and performative act of pretending to be still with me when they were with someone else. I could smell it. I have a pretty good bullshit meter but I didn’t want to believe it because I was in a terrible situation.

During that period, especially in the early part when my oncologist was like, “You might not make it,” I didn’t want to deal with something else falling apart. When it did, I had a dark period during March 2012. I finally was like, “I need to check into therapy today,” and I did. That helped me get through it until it didn’t. It’s something that I look at. I don’t want to say that there’s forgiveness to it but there’s understanding.

To your point, it’s an emotional turmoil. Let’s say you’re newly in love and this person that you might have envisioned this grand future with, you are every day having to look at them wondering if it’s going to be six months or whatever that sentence could be in a way. I can understand how that would be incredibly difficult. I’ve never had to confront it personally but I have seen very close friends who expire from cancer.

I even ran marathons for Team In Training to raise funds for leukemia and lymphoma because, for a while there, it seemed like I was getting hit left and right. Young people had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of one sort or another. Some of them are rare, some less so, and some are onset in teenage years and then coming back later in life and stuff like that.

I ran marathons. I developed a close friendship with one of the guys who was one of the people we ran for, Greg Melendy. He ended up losing his life in 2022 after having leukemia as a kid in his teens, recovering from it, and being an awesome guy. He introduced me to the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I made it my mission to meet the cast when I ended up at Sundance at the same time that they would be. They didn’t show up to the gifting suite I was working at so I was disappointed because they were on the list.

I ended up meeting them. I met them at a restaurant after hours. I walked up to them and was like, “I have to talk to you for five minutes.” I pulled Charlie Day aside and said, “I love your show. I love everything about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia but I also knew nothing about it six months ago. I want to tell you about the person who introduced me to your show.”

I told him about Greg Melendy and everything that I loved about him. This kid was at Stanford Children’s Hospital and likely not going to survive. He took my phone from me. We’re talking about a flip phone. It’s LG. It was the whole cast too except for Danny DeVito. He was not there as well as the older brother Dennis. He wasn’t there but everybody else in the cast was right.

He took my phone and called Greg Melendy. He and all the cast members passed the phone around their whole dinner and talked in their characters to him the whole time. He brought the phone back to me an hour and a half later and said, “I got his number. I’m going to call him again. I want you guys to come to a production. This is when our screening schedule is happening again.” He made it happen but then he passed away before we had that opportunity.

I love hearing stuff like that though because it’s always touch and go with TV and film people. They can be awesome or not so hearing stuff like that always makes me happy.

If it had been me wanting to meet them at that moment, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to go up and say anything. I was thinking about my friend, “How could I brighten his day? Wouldn’t this be awesome?” I like to say to people out there, “You never know until you ask. Sometimes, people will surprise you with how awesome they can be.” In this case, we got to give Greg a great memory before he ended up passing away. It’s a sad story overall but something that made me forever a fan of them and have faith.

This is something that people don’t think about and I have touched on this in the past. There were purposeful times in the hospital when we made it fun. I did that on purpose because I wanted my friends and family to be able to look back at this time if I had not made it and be like, “That day was fun. That was a good day,” and have that to hold. On the flip side of that, if I had made it, which I have, I could then also look back and say, “That time we had a party in my room with the nurses was great. I’m so glad that happened.”

To me, when you’re in a situation like cancer, anytime there’s a hospitalization or some kind of long-term terminal or chronic care involved, it’s so important to create moments and memories for that reason. It is for whomever to look back and be like, “That was a great day. That was fun.” That will be one of the moments that they hold dear and remember at the end of either your life and/or that situation.

It could be to disarm the moment. I’ll give you an example. One of my dear friends got into a horseback riding accident. She got compound syndrome in her leg because she got squished on a solid fence during a horse show. On Halloween, she ends up in the hospital. They have to slice her leg open because the compound syndrome will create so much swelling that the tissue can die. They have to let the muscles expand.

We show up in costumes because it’s Halloween at the hospital. Everybody got a pretty good laugh because we had ridiculous costumes on. I was dressed as the Tapatio guy of the Tapatio who I named Guillermo. I kept introducing myself as Guillermo and saying, “Es una salsa. Muy salsa,”
to people. It was fun. It was
a silly day. Part of the reason that I have been more prone to do those things is because hospitals make me uncomfortable. I find that if I’m able to step outside of that uncomfortability by being a little silly, it makes that visit go better for me.

In the spirit of It’s Always Sunny, when Greg was in the hospital before I had gone to this thing, I showed up in a green suit. It was the whole green face thing like Charlie Day doing the green man thing. It was for fun. It was interesting to see how the staff at the hospital all reacted and said, “You don’t have to wear a mask because you got this thing on but here are the booties and all the things that you have to do to go into the clean room type of environment at a children’s hospital and cancer ward.”

I lived in one of those, not the children’s ward but a clean room.

You probably had some people, hopefully, trying to introduce a little levity into your life, too. The power of humor to get you through those moments was pretty strong. You’re a funny guy. You have funny podcasts.

It’s so necessary. In the clean room, I had two friends of mine who I’m still good friends with who had to do the cap, mask, gloves, gown, and booty things. They came in and did a fashion show. They were runway-walking around my room in their little PPP outfits. It was so stupid.

That gave you a laugh.

It’s so important. Laughter is the best medicine. It’s true. There’s something to it. Maybe it was not inner healing but it’s to be able to look back and retroactively appreciate that moment for what it was.

We have limited time. We both had our forms of technical issues. I would love to ask you one question about the book because I haven’t had a chance to read it myself. What are the other illnesses you’re talking about in the book?

To reference Cancer, Musical Theater & Other Chronic Illnesses, which is the title of the book, Cancer is obvious and Musical Theater is my whole background. It’s what I grew up loving and doing. I did musical theater professionally for a very long time in my life and it’s still one of my true loves. The Other Chronic Illnesses is, first of all, to reference that musical theater is a chronic illness because it is.

CMBB Edward Miskie | Cancer Survivor
Cancer, Musical Theatre & Other Chronic Illnesses: 10-Year Cancer Survivorship Anniversary Edition

What we’ve touched upon a little bit is drinking as a coping mechanism, alcoholism, and body dysmorphia, which is something that happens when you’re in a treatment that is changing the way you look. I went in pretty much 25, hot, and muscle-y and I did not come out that way. There were a lot of mental juxtapositions there that I was fighting with because a lot of the medications make you bloated and fat. Some of them make you skinny and terrible. There’s this huge swing. That’s another one. General mental health is also one of them, the depths of despair that you can fall into because of being in a situation like that.

I don’t know if there’s necessarily a bullet point list about all the ones that I’m talking about but I do touch specifically upon addiction, body dysmorphia, and mental health. Those are all things that you deal with as a patient that people who are not patients don’t realize. They are like, “Body dysmorphia. When you’re in the hospital fighting for your life, why would that matter?” To the patient, it does. That component of it is articulating the patient experience from a more sentimental point of view. It is something that I’ve had medical professionals reach out to me and say that reading this has changed their bedside manner and approach to patients.

We were joking off-camera about how I talked about masturbating in the hospital because I was 25 and a boy. We were talking about how that did not go well and I was caught. It was embarrassing and terrible. Things like that are what people don’t think of when they hear, “I have cancer.” No one’s like, “You’re rubbing one out in your hospital room.” These are all things that need to be talked about because sexual health is part of being human.

You summed up so many things right there. I both want to be respectful of your time and I’d also love to invite you back for a future discussion. You are dynamic and lovely. I love your story. I can’t wait to see how else you go and grow with your career and life in New York. Congratulations on eleven great years.

Thank you.

I hope I get to know you for many more.

I’ll be here.

To find out more about your work, I’m going to encourage people to go to your website, which is simply EdwardMiskie.com. Are there any other places that you’d like to play that you encourage people to reach out to?

I am very active on TikTok and Instagram. You can find me @EdwardMiskie.

That’s perfect. I’m @CorinnaBellizzi personally on TikTok. I am not nearly as active as you but I’ll follow you there for sure. Thank you so much for your time. I’ll circle back soon.

That sounds great.

‐‐‐

Thank you for joining me in this conversation. It’s perhaps a break from the norm and also quite a fun time. It has been such a gas for me. To learn more about Edward Miskie and his work,  go to EdwardMiskie.com. I want to also remind people that on our website at CareMoreBeBetter.com, you find references to past episodes in which we covered difficult topics like cancer.

While you’re there, if you sign up for our newsletter, you will receive a five-step guide to help unleash your inner activism. This can help organize your efforts around any project you’re seeking to manage. It’s something I developed with skills I learned at graduate school for my MBA. Take a page from my book and perhaps 1 resource or 2 to help educate you on what you can do to make a difference in your daily life. If you enjoyed this episode and discussion, please subscribe to whatever platform you’re using, whether that be on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or even on YouTube.

If you do subscribe, please click that bell to Always. That way, you’re sure to be alerted the next time we drop an episode. Future episodes are going to delve back into climate science and other areas of social impact. We’re going to take a bridge away from our focus on arts with a step into FinTech or Financial Technology and ways that we can help to support a cleaner and brighter future for people and the planet, how we can invest in solutions, and take away resources from things that might be more destructive. There are personal ways that you can contribute to these things as well.

I’m excited about what’s coming. I hope that you’ll join me on that journey. Thank you, readers, now and always for being a part of this show and community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more. We can be better. We can even laugh while doing it and create our best lives along the way. Thank you.

Important Links

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Categories
Rate Show
Join our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Rate Show