Carly Fauth has relied on the joyful and inspiring qualities of her closest friends and family for comfort throughout her cancer journey. Now the Milford resident is providing wider insight into their most admirable traits while normalizing cancer for all in her new Spotify podcast, "Chemo Coffee Talk."

Fauth, a fitness instructor and mom of two sons who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2024, said she got the idea after being invited on a similar podcast to discuss her FitFunCarly community embracing 15-minute daily workouts.

“I knew I wanted to have chemo buddies to take my mind off my anxiety. I was petrified not knowing what the treatments would feel like, when my hair would start falling out, how much strength I’d lose, and just the whole process from a physical standpoint,” Fauth said.

“I also wanted to raise awareness that while nobody wants cancer, there are a lot of silver linings,” she added. “We all go through things in life that are extremely unpleasant and hard to take. These times can often break you down to depths you never even knew existed and leave you questioning if you can handle it. It’s in these moments, though, that you can sometimes find your biggest strength.”

Recorded from her infusion chair during bimonthly treatment sessions at the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center at Milford Regional Medical Center, each episode is approximately 20 minutes long – or roughly the time it takes to savor a good cup of coffee. After giving a quick health update, Fauth discusses lessons learned from the quality she most admires in the person who is supporting her during treatment that day.

Fauth has also involved some of her caregivers at Dana-Farber Brigham at Milford, including Associate Medical Director Natalie Sinclair, MD. Featured guests on the June 26 episode will include infusion nurse Lauren McCarthy, RN, who is a former Jimmy Fund Clinic patient.

Born with sacrococcygeal teratoma, McCarthy underwent surgeries at 1 day old and when the tumor grew back 16 months later. This August, she will celebrate being cancer-free for 28 years.

In her two years working at Dana-Farber Brigham at Milford, McCarthy said Fauth is her first patient to ask to do a podcast during treatment – or host one at all.

“I think it’s a great way for Carly to come in feeling excited because treatment can be very anxiety-provoking and daunting,” said McCarthy, whose four grandparents – and more recently, an aunt – were also treated at Dana-Farber. “When I was a kid, I remember all the nurses and staff were so nice, and the atmosphere was so inviting, which made it easier when I had to come in for check-ups. It was always my goal to work at Dana-Farber and give back, and it’s been everything I hoped for – and more, honestly.”

Fauth said she feels “privileged” that McCarthy and other clinicians at Dana-Farber Brigham at Milford have joined her most trusted circle. She wants others diagnosed with cancer to know they, too, can “live with it and through it” – especially when similarly surrounding themselves with “really great people whose support has the power to lift you up and change your experience.”

“Cancer treatment is not fun at all, and I can’t wait until it’s over, but I feel accomplished,” Fauth said. “The response [to the podcast] has been over-the-top, with people enjoying it and even submitting additional questions they want me to answer. I hope it’s helping others as much as it’s helping me.”

This story was published by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on June 17, 2024. It is republished with permission.