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Vancouver nurses who survived breast cancer share their journey with a podcast

The Rotten Melons podcast has unfiltered discussions about all things breast cancer.

VANCOUVER, Wash — Two nurses from Vancouver who survived breast cancer are now sharing their journey through a podcast. 

Meredith Pena and Deanna Berger have shared plenty of laughter in their decade-long friendship, as well as support during the tough times. Berger's breast cancer diagnosis came in 2018 when she was 38 — for Pena, it was last year at age 47. They each had a double mastectomy and went through chemotherapy and radiation. 

"The good news is I’ve been cancer free now for over three years and doing really well,” said Berger. Pena has been cancer free since October 2021. 

Their shared experience left them wanting to educate other women about the physical and emotional impact. When they were facing their initial diagnosis, the women found there was a lot of basic information available but they couldn't find much about how patients were feeling as they went through different stages of treatment. 

Credit: Deanna Berger
Breast cancer survivors Meredith Pina (left) & Deanna Berger started a podcast, Rotten Melons, to share their journey.

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"How does it feel to lose all your hair? How does it feel to get sick from chemo?  Things like that," explained Pena. "How does it feel to have a double mastectomy or lumpectomy? There’s not a whole lot out there about your feelings."

They launched the Rotten Melons podcast about a month ago, tackling topics from anxiety to chemo and hair loss. 

"The podcast is named 'Rotten Melons' because we all had melons that did us wrong, boobs that did us wrong," said Berger. "It was information that was very personal but so helpful as I went through chemo and surgery."

Their goal and mission is help others know they're not alone. The friends now share their laughter and lessons with others. 

Rotten Melons currently has 5 episodes and is available anywhere you get podcasts. It is marked as "explicit" because it goes into very intimate details of a cancer journey — with sometimes strong language.

RELATED: Nurse fighting breast cancer finds support from local nonprofit

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