#009 – From Caregiver, to Surviving Cancer, to Patient Support Advocate Part 1 – Joe Bullock

In this first of a 2-Part episode, traditional Southern (U.S.) guy Joe Bullock walks us through his unexpected cancer journey where he moved through multiple roles. Our raw and authentic conversation with Joe provides us great insights on how to support caregivers, being an adult-child caregiver for a difficult aging parent, the importance of communication with your life-partner during diagnosis and treatments, how to navigate a personal cancer experience with your immediate family (especially children), and much more.

This Part-1 episode sets the stage for how Joe transformed his life from “Average Guy” into a passionate advocate for men to seek out support during their cancer journey, and a dedicated supporter for pediatric Cancer patients. In Part-2 of our interview with Joe, we will discuss how he and his fellow Colon Cancer Survivor Trevor Maxwell (host of the Man Up To Cancer Podcast) came to found the Facebook Group for Men’s Support, “Man Up To Cancer – The Howling Place,” as well as Joe’s other giving back efforts. 

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Key Discussion Points and Takeaways from this Our Cancer Journey Podcast Episode:

  • How a routine colonoscopy detected a Stage-3 Colon Cancer diagnosis
  • The importance of speaking immediately and candidly with family members, especially parents, about your family health history
  • How “stepping up” and providing care for a loved one with Cancer, even when there have been issues with that person, can provide blessings and benefits
  • How having a previous experience as a caregiver can make you a more compassionate patient toward your future caregivers
  • The importance of shaping individual communications about a cancer diagnosis to children of different ages, and how that communication does not end after the initial conversation
  • How moving into a home across the street from your parents always turns into an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, ……. Always!

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References and Resources mentioned in this Episode:

Episode Guest(s): Joe Bullock:

Joe Bullock worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry while his wife was a registered nurse at a children’s hospital in their North Carolina town. In response to her variable schedule, the couple decided that Joe would become a stay-at-home Dad in order to provide their young children a sense of stability. When dropping off his kids at pre-school, Joe was recruited to teach pre-K classes there, a role he thrived in for 20 years. The lessons Joe learned when he became a caregiver for his Father, a man who Joe had a difficult relationship with for years, helped him to navigate his later personal Colon Cancer diagnosis. After surviving his cancer experience, Joe felt called to encourage other men to connect with others and seek support via the creation of a growing Facebook community. Joe also now is organizing support for pediatric cancer patients and their families. 

Episode Host: Bruce Watkins

A Father, Cancer survivor, podcaster, writer & content creator, traveler, cultural explorer, humanitarian, giving-back & minimalist evangelist, music enthusiast, recovering Corporate employee, and curious soul who transformed into an unapologetically optimistic and unpretentious advocate of Life-Optimization for all. 

After surviving Cancer and other life-changing experiences in 2017, Bruce gave away most of his possessions, left his home behind and began traveling, writing, volunteering and giving-back. Learn more:

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