The Patient from Hell Podcast

Latest episode:

Episode 23: Navigating pediatric brain cancer as a mom and cancer researcher, trusting motherly instinct and how best to support kids with cancer with Dr. Gayatri Gowrishankar

1. The power of imaging for cancer early detection
2. How a personal cancer diagnosis motivates and inspires professional work in the cancer research lab
3. Following motherly instinct to push for a diagnosis for your child
4. Caring for yourself when you’re a cancer patient’s caregiver
5. How to best support kids with cancer

Podcast — Patient from Hell

by Manta Cares

For patients, caregivers, and survivors seeking a confident way to manage complex medical conditions. We know the journey's hard because we've been through it, and we're here to make the process just a little easier.

Get inspired by survivorship stories, gain tips, tricks, and advice from medical experts, and join a global community of support and resources. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Click here for all episodes

About The Patient from Hell Podcast

The Manta Cares podcast was launched as a resource and community for patients, caregivers, and survivors navigating complex medical conditions. Our founder Samira Daswani is a breast cancer survivor raising cancer awareness and bridging the gaps between patient, caregiver, and doctor. 

Each episode of the podcast will cover a different aspect of the cancer journey. In past episodes, we've talked about the diagnosis process, forming a support team, treatment considerations, and building a strong mindset in the face of a daunting journey.

Past and upcoming podcasts feature the NCCN Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, among other national organizations at the forefront of cancer advocacy and research. Podcast guests include patients, survivors, caregivers, cancer advocacy groups, and medical experts. 

Previous episodes

March 5, 2023

Episode 22: Challenges and opportunities to reduce the global cancer burden, healthcare industry vs. system, and the universal power of sharing our cancer stories with Carolyn Taylor of Global Focus on Cancer

1. The intersection of art and global health
2. Universal power of storytelling to fight cancer stigma globally
3. The importance of developing culturally appropriate cancer programs
4. The difference between a healthcare system & a healthcare industry

February 18, 2023

Episode 21: Conversation with a 22-year indolent cancer patient on the power of lifestyle changes and the combination of distraction + mindfulness to surpass median survival stats

1. The unique nature of indolent (slow growing) cancer and living as a patient for +20 years
2. Examining median survival stats and Stephen Gould’s paper “The Median Isn’t the Message”
3. Nutrition modifications and the shift to a plant-based diet
4. Grappling with uncertainty using Distraction + Mindfulness
5. The evolution of treatment and imaging in her cancer over the past 21 years

February 3, 2023

Episode 20: Navigating Uncertainty, Making Decisions in the Absence of Data, Advocating & Caregiving with Jane Gutkovich of the EHE Foundation

1. The power of patient organizing and advocacy
2. Decision making for rare cancers with small amounts of data – relying on some combo of trust, faith and instinct
3. The role of the family care team to support patients
4. The evolution of patient communities from small to larger and the opportunities and challenges that presents

January 20, 2023

Cancer Financial Toxicity & Health Inequities with Rosie Cunningham of Family Reach

1. Financial toxicity is driven by a lack of transparency in the healthcare system as well as the complicated nature of cancer care.
2. Health inequities drive financial toxicity and are deeply rooted in the healthcare system
3. Tips for patients and caregivers on navigating financial challenges during the cancer experience 

January 9, 2023

The future of patient data with cancer survivor and healthcare entrepreneur Jennifer Hinkel

1. What advice would adult Jennifer give to her 17-year-old self about being diagnosed with cancer?
2. The importance and value of patient data
3. How does the recent recognition of Henrietta Lacks’ cell line and its incredible impact on science relate to digital patient data today

December 12, 2022

The art and science of personalized cancer treatment, tumor boards, and the business of healthcare with medical oncologist Dr. Gabriel A. Brooks 

1. The art and science of personalized cancer treatment.
2. What are tumor boards, how do they work, and why are they essential for cancer treatment decision-making?
3. Team-based oncology care delivery, understanding patient preferences, and providing appropriate care.
4. The business of oncology and how reimbursement influences patient care decisions. Intersectional experience as a cancer survivor across sex, sexuality, and dating.

November 28, 2022

Navigating sex, dating, and stigma during the cancer experience with Sanjay Deshpande 

1. Intersectional experience as a cancer survivor across sex, sexuality, and dating.
2. Nuances of cancer stigma in South Asia and how to navigate it. 
3. The need for creating resources specific to the South Asian Young Adult community.

November 14, 2022

Living life with an incurable brain tumor as a young South Asian with Sanjay Deshpande

1. How to live a life with an incurable cancer
2. Using creativity in moments of darkness
3. Creating a cancer support community for South Asians

November 1, 2022

Impact of sexual health, barriers in cancer care for the LGBTQ community and the evolving role of the oncologist-sherpa with Dr. Don Dizon. 

1. The changing role of the Oncologist - Starting as the Sherpa, transitioning to a mentor, and then breaking up!
2. Awareness of barriers the LGBTQ community faces in accessing healthcare.
3. The distinction between addressing reproductive health and sexual health in cancer care.

October 11, 2022

Learning to live in the moment, maximize time, a take a moment to pause. Dr. Maeve Baechler coaches 11 year survivor, Molly Lindquist, to gain clarity & make herself a priority

1. Giving yourself the permission to prioritize oneself while being a mom, wife, friend, supporter and survivor. Using the “mid-day reset,” to quieten the cancer devil on the shoulder.
2. Dr. Maeve’s coaching approach helps Molly identify her goal, drive clarity, and create actionable steps to “pause” and prioritize herself.
3. The juxtaposition of living in the moment, and maximizing time we have as cancer survivors. 

October 3, 2022

Advocating for yourself as an AYA cancer patient and paying it forward with Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS) board member, Yvonne Tou

1. Experiencing breast cancer as an AYA (adolescent and young adult)
2. Self-care, the role of journaling and mental health as a cancer patient
3. The role and impact of community for supporting young cancer survivors and patients

September 19, 2022

Understanding the Science, Symptoms and Community around Ovarian Cancer with Karen Young from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

1. Overview of ovarian cancer
2. Karen’s experience of building a cancer community
3. The science and symptoms of ovarian cancer; building awareness and education resources for women

September 5, 2022

Insights on Using Private Capital to Address Cancer with Investor Mark Mendel

1. Personal experience and reflections from being a caregiver
2. Understanding the survival early-stage oncology investing ecosystem
3. Emerging themes and trends in oncology innovation and patient care

August 25, 2022

Caring for Caregivers with Dr. Nirav Shah, Senior Scholar at Stanford University's Clinical Excellence Research Center

1. Nuances of understanding value-based care and the invisible care-giver economy
2. The importance of caring for caregivers
3. Insights on who the caregivers are and their experience with COVID

August 8, 2022

Understanding Community, Collaboration and Caregiving with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC) Paula Kim - PART II

1. Taking PanCan global and multicultural insights on cancer
2. The art of translating a movement into a sustainable organisation
3. Importance of doing the hard and obvious things

July 25, 2022

Understanding Community, Collaboration and Caregiving with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC) Paula Kim - PART I

1. Paula's learnings and insights from the early days of setting up PanCan
2. The art and science of community building
3. Nuances of interdisciplinary collaboration, personal learning and upskilling in the face of complexity

July 11, 2022

Exploring the importance of guidelines for cancer treatment

1.  Insights on the evolution of medical science, public policy and funding for cancer care in the U.S.
2. The importance supportive care, guidelines and resources, and the role of NCCN and the NCCN Foundation 
3. Framework for understanding life-span and quality of life for patients and caregivers

June 27, 2022

Is fighting cancer like playing chess?

1.  Is a chess analogy really appropriate for cancer? 
2. Pros and cons of thinking of cancer in the form of infinite games 
3. Nurturing ambiguity and making high stake decisions

June 13, 2022

The art and science of making cancer treatment decision(s)

1. Are metaphors like “infinite games” valid for approaching cancer care? 
2. Developing your strategy when everything seems uncertain and unclear 
3. The importance of rethinking assumptions

May 23, 2022

Understanding the cancer caregiver ecosystem

1. What does the caregiver ecosystem really mean
2. Second order effects of being diagnosed with cancer
3. Exploring different strategies to grapple with the crisis

April 26, 2022

Being diagnosed with cancer

1. The emotional, psychological, and financial costs of cancer diagnosis
2. Principles of building a community  of cancer survivors and caregivers 
3. Processing suffering and becoming anti-fragile

Subscribe to our podcast

Apple PodcastsSpotify

Get notified when a new episode comes out and be the first to access educational content, inspirational mindsets, expert interviews, and much more. Share your cancer journey and reflections to get featured!

Partnerships, Sponsorships, & Features

Want to partner with us to bring high-quality content and educational resources to a special community? Does your organization want to sponsor an episode and get featured on our podcast? Have an idea for collaboration? Please reach out to Molly at

Disclaimer: Manta Cares does not provide medical advice. Please consult your medical care provider for your personal health circumstances.

Join the community

Join a global listener audience to access expert insights from NCCN, NOCC, and more.

Connect with us on social media and give your feedback.

Subscribe now

Apple PodcastsSpotify

New episodes every other Monday, on any podcast platform you listen to.

Read our blog

Should you stop drinking alcohol? Using ChatGPT to generate guidance on health-related topics.

Should you stop drinking alcohol? Using ChatGPT to generate guidance on health-related topics.

Mar 12, 2023 

In last week’s podcast episode, we had Carolyn Taylor, the founder of Global Focus on Cancer. She discusses the new direction set at 2022’s World Cancer Congress concerning alcohol consumption. The new direction will drive global public health policy (Source). This matters because widespread access, social acceptance, and community building around alcohol are reminiscent of cigarette smoking from a few decades ago. In this newsletter, we wanted to share additional insights on the link between alcohol consumption and cancer risk.  In preparation for it, we decided to do two activities. (1) Review “articles” written by AI authors, including ChatGPT, DocsGPT, and DocGPT; (2) Conduct our standard secondary research - review papers published, meta-analyses conducted, policies drafted, and action plans created. 

View Details
Eating the rainbow. A quick start guide to enhancing phytonutrients in your diet.

Eating the rainbow. A quick start guide to enhancing phytonutrients in your diet.

Feb 26, 2023 

This trend of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet has surpassed the cancer universe. Numerous professional organizations have been promoting the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. Key to a meal plan that increases whole foods includes enhancing antioxidants and phytonutrients. As a cancer patient, I was first introduced to this in a class taught by Dr. Susan Payrovi. At the time, she served as the integrative oncology clinician at Stanford University. Given the demand for her services, she taught classes. I enrolled to learn more about enhancing my treatment and optimizing survivorship.  While Dr. Payrovi shared a lot of content, the piece that stood out to me was 'eat the rainbow.' The first time I came across this quote, I realized I had not optimized my plate to eat the rainbow. Up to that lesson, my plate had been chiefly "beige." The primary direction is to eat at least 4 colors on your plate at every meal. Now that's not straightforward. 

View Details

Engage with us