Don’t Give Up on Testicular Cancer

How and When to Use Humor to Talk about Testicular Cancer

January 17, 2024 The Max Mallory Foundation - Joyce Lofstrom host Season 4 Episode 1
How and When to Use Humor to Talk about Testicular Cancer
Don’t Give Up on Testicular Cancer
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Don’t Give Up on Testicular Cancer
How and When to Use Humor to Talk about Testicular Cancer
Jan 17, 2024 Season 4 Episode 1
The Max Mallory Foundation - Joyce Lofstrom host

Hear from Michael J. Rovito, Ph.D., and his research on the use of humor in discussions about testicular cancer. Dr. Rovito is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Central Florida.  He is a certified health education specialist. His work specializes in testicular self-examination and testicular cancer, male health behavioral change, and formative research, including theory, instrument development, and intervention design.

Dr. Rovito talks with host Joyce Lofstrom about his research paper, Humor-Based Messaging in Testicular Cancer Awareness Campaigns: A Comparative Critical Review, published in the November/December 2023 edition of the American Journal of Men's Health.

This discussion gets to how people discuss men's health, in general, and testicular cancer, specifically. Sometimes, humor works, but basically, it comes down to basic communication.  The context and the audience matter when talking with humor - or not - about testicular cancer...

Hear more from Dr. Rpvito in this episode of Don't Give Up on Testicular Cancer, the first 2024 podcast from the Max Mallory Foundation.  

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Linkedin.

If you can please support our nonprofit through Patreon.

Show Notes Transcript

Hear from Michael J. Rovito, Ph.D., and his research on the use of humor in discussions about testicular cancer. Dr. Rovito is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Central Florida.  He is a certified health education specialist. His work specializes in testicular self-examination and testicular cancer, male health behavioral change, and formative research, including theory, instrument development, and intervention design.

Dr. Rovito talks with host Joyce Lofstrom about his research paper, Humor-Based Messaging in Testicular Cancer Awareness Campaigns: A Comparative Critical Review, published in the November/December 2023 edition of the American Journal of Men's Health.

This discussion gets to how people discuss men's health, in general, and testicular cancer, specifically. Sometimes, humor works, but basically, it comes down to basic communication.  The context and the audience matter when talking with humor - or not - about testicular cancer...

Hear more from Dr. Rpvito in this episode of Don't Give Up on Testicular Cancer, the first 2024 podcast from the Max Mallory Foundation.  

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Linkedin.

If you can please support our nonprofit through Patreon.

How and When to Use Humor to Talk about Testicular Cancer – with Michael Rovito – season 4, episode 1

Announcer: Welcome to Don't Give Up On Testicular Cancer, a podcast where testicular cancer survivors, caregivers, and others who have navigated the cancer journey, share their stories. The podcast comes to you from the Max Mallory Foundation, a nonprofit family foundation focused on educating about testicular cancer in honor and in memory of Max Mallory, who died in 2016 at the young age of 22 from testicular cancer. Had he survived, Max wanted to help young adults with cancer. This podcast helps meet that goal. 

Here now is your host, Joyce Lofstrom, Max's mom, and a young adult cancer survivor.

JOYCE: This is Joyce, and I'm honored today to welcome Michael Rovito, PhD, to the podcast. He is an associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Central Florida, and he's a previous guest here on the podcast. You can actually listen to our earlier discussion about men's wellness and testicular cancer in Episode 20, which aired during our first year of the podcast. Now, Michael's back to talk about new research that he's conducted on testicular cancer in humor in his paper, which is titled, Humor-Based Messaging in Testicular Cancer Awareness Campaigns, Imperative Critical Review. This research appeared in the American Journal of Men's Health under Creative Commons Distribution, which allows anyone to access this copyrighted material so that others can build on it and share it with other readers. Michael holds a Ph.D. in public health and an M.A. in urban studies from Temple University. He also holds a B.A. in geography from Millersville University. He's a certified health education specialist. His work specializes in testicular self-examination and testicular cancer, male health, behavioral change, informative research including theory, instrument development, and intervention design. So he's got a lot going on with his research. So Mike, I'm glad you could come back and talk about your new research with us.


MICHAEL: Thank you so much. Your platform is fantastic. I listen all the time and some of the survivors and the caregivers on here and the clinicians share some of great stories. So I appreciate your time, thank you. And thanks for the intro. It just sounds way more prestigious than what I really do.


JOYCE: Oh, I don't think so.


MICHAEL: But thank you again for your time.


JOYCE: Yeah. So tell us a little bit. How did you come up with this angle on your research. It's a very compelling topic, I think: humor-based messaging in testicular cancer.


MICHAEL: I was born with a sense of humor. I can get along with anybody. So I use humor daily in my life. Just personality, coping mechanism, whatever. It's always just integrated into my life, always has been. So I always had a special affinity for humorous things. I always felt more at ease when somebody was a little, not slapstick, but a little bit jokey, less tied around the collar kind of a thing. And I always just appreciated the art of humor, of comedy, that kind of a thing. I mean, life is so crazy sometimes, all we could do is laugh. So there's that. And then men's health is--I've been doing about 15, more than 15 years now. It's weird to think about it like that. The years just keep going on.


But throughout my studies, men's health, in my opinion--now this is just anecdotal--but in my opinion, the majority of men's health stuff is created with a humorous spin. And I appreciate that again. And it's cool. There's a lot of things out there that are, again, in my humble opinion, that in men's health, are a bit more like on the light side, jokey side. And so as I'm going through all these different interventions and I see different ads on TV, I wonder if it's actually working because men's health is humorous, I think more so than not. Probably the dominant type of messaging is humorous. But the thing is, the outcomes are not any better than what they were before. So I had this question, I'm like, is this actually working? And then that's how I came up with the idea to do this paper.


JOYCE: OK, I think that's a valid angle. I think what you said about the outcomes is really important. So, you know, early in your paper, you talk about what happens after you go through the testicular cancer journey and how men can survive and thrive in the best way. So can you talk about what's called the health-related quality of life and why is that so important after testicular cancer?


MICHAEL: Sure. Again, this is all like my opinion and what I've learned over the years and this is not about anybody. It's just one person's opinion here--from the survivors that I've talked to, and patients that I've talked to, just anybody I've talked to that has been affected by cancer in one way or shape. And of course, it's survivorship, but a lot of cancers and particularly testis cancer, it's like, they think five years [clear] are good. And after that, just all fine. But I mean, you know from your experiences, and what you're selling, and you know there's issues after the treatment, I mean particularly as we get up higher and higher stages I mean it's more and more invasive, and the more and more invasive it wrecks your body. I mean to be honest with you, it's like a living death--I mean it's like that’s a quote from a few survivors that I've interviewed over the years--it's like a living death and after you get through that chemo, you got it.


But I mean, there's been a ton of evidence out there. And it's not even an original thought of mine at all. I'm just, you know, standing on the shoulder of other people. But there's all these other issues. And they go from head, shoulders, knees, and toes kind of a thing. It just affects you for a lifetime. And a lot of it's mental, psychosocial. A lot of it, obviously, is physical. I mean, there's financial, there's all these dimensions of wellness that are being affected by the cancer journey after survivorship. And there is some research on that, some comment on it. But they really don't go in depth about it. They're not talking to guys that are like 65 that had testis cancer back in the 80s or something, where treatment wasn't even as good as it is now by a long shot. It was way more like, this is a terrible term, but butcher-shoppy type thing, you know, and they're incontinent, they have erectile dysfunction issues, it's like their testosterone's all over the place and still this is 40 years after. And they're living with this every day and no one's talking to these guys. And that's so bad because it's just an everyday thing, every minute, and they're just kind of forgotten about.


So, a helpful way to quality life is [ask] how is the quality of your life? You have the quantity, you're alive, but like, what kind of quality is that? If you have trouble urinating on a daily basis, and it hurts, or it's just like you're incontinent and you're, sorry, you're peeing in your pants. I mean, that's a huge issue. You can't even drive the car and you're peeing your pants. That wrecks your quality of life. And so these are the tiny things, like death by a thousand cuts, it just adds up after a while. A lot of my research is trying to get to the humanity I was like, this is some human, and they have human issues, and we're kind of forgetting about them. After the five-year ring-the-bell fanfare thing, I'm like, survivorship is a lifetime struggle. It's not just get to your final scan and you're good. It's a lifetime of issues, and so that's what I focus on. It's a multidimensional kind of thing.


JOYCE: Oh, you know, you're right. And I've heard the same from the men I've talked to as well about the struggles and different things that they have to deal with. That's kind of, that's a good segue, I think, to get into your topic and on the humor messaging, humor-based messaging. And I know from reading your paper, you had three, three or four research questions that kind of guided the analysis that you did. So can you talk about just maybe the research, those questions?


MICHAEL: Sure, yeah. Well, I just wanted to see how extensive the humor was in Tess's cancer research, and so just what the extent was. Then I wanted to see, like, okay, if there was this breadth of information out there, what did it actually say about it? And then the after that, like, what are the limitations with that stuff that was being published? So like, is it even out there? Okay, cool, whatever's out there, what's it saying? And then whatever it's saying, are there any error? Are there any issues with it methodologically? And then the last thing was like, what recommendations that I can provide from what I'm analyzing in the field. So that was like, what was like my North Star, doing this whole thing.


JOYCE: Oh, okay. I'm just listening to you.


MICHAEL: So, all right. Well, but I'm sorry to interrupt it, but like, just to follow up with that, it's what I was thinking about was, and with that whole North star stuff, that was the research question. It was again, it's not just what was in my head--like, are what we saying to guys, I guess this is like what the underlying [issue] is--are what we saying to men and boys [what’s] relevant and appropriate. And so with humor, It's a very complex thing. It's not just like, oh, he's a funny guy. There are different types of humor. There's appropriateness of humor. There's age-related humor. It's if there are any techniques for humor, there's it's really complex. And I don't think we really pay homage to that at all. It's a very effective tool. But like how you apply it, it affects how effective it can be. So I was like the underlying question I had.


JOYCE: So I know you did like a literature review, and the final paper had what, six studies in it?


MICHAEL: Yeah, six that we came across that were actually looking at humor to affect change.


JOYCE: Yeah. Well, another point that you made was on the context of what you're saying, and I'll just read a quote. I'm kind of jumping ahead, but one of the quotes I that kind of touched me was, ‘it's clear that how we present the message is of utmost importance in men's health, which is nearly as important as what we are saying.’ So it's how you say it and what you're saying. Can you talk about that in your research?


MICHAEL: Sure, sure. This even goes beyond the humorous thing, but think about if some guy walks into the little white room in the clinic, you know, from the waiting room to the little white room, and you're waiting in there while you've been there before. And you follow around your phone, look at the weird pictures on the wall, looking at like the cotton balls and trying to pass time away. And you're wondering what this clinic is going to be like if you've never met them before. And a lot of times it's like, they walk in and it's like this power dynamic sometimes, and it's kind of like they didn't say anything, but already the established, the relationship is already established, how they communicate.


And I've been in situations, and we've all had been situations before, where it was great banter. That's the best doctor. We need a good banter. Like, hey, this guy can relate to me. He sounds like my Uncle Bob or whatever. And then you have the other stilted, slightly awkward, like hierarchy thing. And, and so they can be saying the same exact thing, but it's how they say it, that that's the effect of this. Again, I think that doctors that make the health professionals that make the best impact, the greatest impact are those that can communicate well to one another. And when it comes to humor, that's just like an added tool in the belt of how we communicate.


But again, beyond the just general strategy of communication, like, hi, I'm Michael, how are you? When I teach my classes, I make it where I tell them like, yo, look--whole and this happens in academia--I'm over the whole Dr. Rovito thing. I'm over it. I'm like, look, I'm Michael. I'm a husband. I'm a father. I'm trying to make it just like you. It doesn't get really too much easier. You make a few more dollars, but you get a lot more bills. And so I'm trying to make it just like you. All I'm trying to do here with you today is be a coach. I coach you through the semester. And I really do think that kind of diffuses the situation where they feel this hierarchical thing.


So beyond that general communication technique, or like you talk to them like a human, like, hey, what's up? You want to start adding humor. So there's that kind of thing you got to deal with, but there's a humor part. It's like, whatever you use as humor, like that also has context. So it's not just. what you say, it's how you say it. And generally, when you use humor, that's an added element of, it's not just being funny: it's how you're being funny, what you're saying to be funny. Like, are you doing innuendos? Are you doing sarcasm? Are you doing slapstick? Kind of like dad-joke stuff?


Like, what are you doing? Because the person receiving the information, the context of the topic, like the timing of it, that all matters. You can have a great joke but horrible timing, overall terrible, not funny. You have great timing, bad joke, not that bad. I mean, timing is probably more important than what's being said. So again, it's not just what you're saying, it's how you're saying it. And that's something very important that I think in how we communicate and how we promote health and well-being, in the middle.


JOYCE: You know, I think you make a good point, too, about how health professionals, doctors connect with their patients. Because I know with Max, we visited several before we found a surgeon. It's like what you just described. One guy came in and said, well, it's going to take six hours and you're going to be this and this and this. And we're just all sitting there going, oh, God. And then we went to a different physician. And the first thing he said was, Max, now tell me what you know about your condition. What do you know about [this or that], and he was the doctor we went with. And the surgery took an hour, it didn't take six hours.


You know, it's very interesting just to understand that kind of connection, and then to bring in the humor. I understand what you're saying. You just talked about the different kinds of humor, and I think the thing I want to touch on is, you mentioned in the research too, are the outcomes. Is what you're saying, you being there, whoever's communicating with the humor, is it changing things? Is it making it better for men?


MICHAEL: I think just speaking generally, not everyone is--it doesn't make you better or worse, but not everyone really has a great sense of humor. And that's fine. But if we try to like, diffuse a situation with a little bit of dry humor, or a little bit of just friendly banter, [do you] you have to suck up all the oxygen in the room, like, hey, it's gonna take six hours. Just come on, man, breathe with us. Let's just be human to talk in the human skin. Just even having that approach, right? That you know, that can help promote healthy behavior change. Now it comes to like the science part of humor. Again, I'm not a humor expert at all. I'm just [in] men's health. And when I read, write, and talk about men's health, a lot of it is based on humor, either when I'm reading or analyzing, or even how I approach it myself. So it can be effective. It can be very effective.


But what I've seen was usually because we don't really have the richness of relevancy and appropriateness. We really don't take that into consideration when people apply humor in the field. We just pretend that all guys are just one big hegemon. Like, all guys like fast cars and cigars and football and whatever. And we may like parts of those. I don't like cigars at all. But people think that you're a guy, you want that. I'm like, I don't want a huge deal. We're very complex beings, but we always paint men with like this broad brushstroke that we're all the same.


Anyway, when it comes to humor, it can be effective with baseline, entry-level, like, okay, that took some of the weirdness out of the air. Okay, this guy is a little bit down to earth, I can relate. So that's when humor is primarily effective for most people that employ it, because they don't take the time to think about appropriateness and relevancy, using humor to kind of get to long-term behavior change. Now, that's a way in-depth thing. Like, nerdy academics think like this, and I get the fact that I'm going off the rails talking about this as an academic. I get that. But, I mean, you could use humor in the clinic and in everyday life and help make people feel comfortable. And at that level, they'll talk to you, and they'll be more receptive to what you have to say. And that's a great start. That's where it all starts. It's like, if they're listening to you, great. That's where it all starts.


Now, after that, it all depends. It depends on, again, how relevant the information is and how relevant the joke is and the audience, which goes into appropriateness. Like, is it appropriate humor? Is the timing right? You know, is it sustained? Like, are you kind of getting at this humor-based technique over time? And if so, is it getting old, like a tired joke? Are you keeping it fresh? If you have all those stars aligned, all the planets aligned, whatever, and you make it relevant, you make it appropriate, it doesn't get tired, you kind of keep it a little bit cheeky and interesting and on your feet, then yeah, that can lead to long-term behavior change. So it depends on how you use it and who's using it and for what purpose, but it can be effective. We just have to make sure that we're not turning it into some kind of lame joke, because when we get to making the disease or the person, like Michael or Max or Bob or whoever--when that receiver of the information feels like the butt of the joke, [it’s an issue].


When we were having our first child, I used to see--and we have a paper about this, my wife and I published a paper--I was watching all these dad commercials and it's always like this dad's a bumbling idiot, like a homer Simpson. Like there's nobody's doing diaper commercials on guys. I'm going to change diapers. There's like no changing [table] in your room. Things like for babies in men's bathrooms, didn't used to be. So I had to change my kid like on the same, you know, things like that are reinforced. Like you're an idiot. You know what you're doing? You're a bumbling fool. So you're not a good father. So leave it to the Mom. If you keep telling us things, things that keep making us the butt of the joke, we don't want anything to do with it. And so that's how I kind of like started out with this whole thing, too, is if we make the person into the butt of the joke, if we make the disease like a butt of a joke, it's not effective.


JOYCE: Well, that makes sense. And I know you said, too, in the paper, that as is the disease, maybe the humor helps raise awareness. And, you know, I just explained that you understand at least that this is a serious situation, and then as things progress and it becomes more treatments and things like that--the humor may not be appropriate, I guess, in terms of helping someone.


MICHAEL: Yeah. There was one person who I was reading her stuff, and actually [for] this paper, I was getting the most feedback from random strangers. Like a lot of our work in academia is so niche that you barely make a dent sometimes. You get lucky maybe, but for the most part, people think that academia is like a published paper. I want to be like, no, it's hard to get someone to really capture your work and read your work, understand your work. But this paper, I've been getting the most feedback on from random people.


And I've been getting some good feedback. People are like, yes, yes, yes. I'm telling you, we've got to think about how we're talking to guys. Someone reached out to me on LinkedIn. I think she said she was a comedian and her husband or her spouse had testicular cancer as well. And she's like, yeah. I think she was saying the biggest tool we could have is empathy. Humor is fine, and that can come with time, depending on the situation. But if you're like stage 3, and you have like 3 rounds of BEP or something, and you're like a wreck, the last thing you're probably going to want to do, probably, is like, have like these penis and balls jokes everywhere. You know, you want someone to say, I feel your pain, I'm trying to understand what you're going through. That empathy, compassion in, can be way more effective than like making this humorous. And she brought that up, it was a great point. I've been having the most feedback on this, so, yeah.


JOYCE: Wow, that's great, too. I know in the paper, too, and I have another quote, but you talked about that positive masculinity has to be part of how we talk to men, and that's just what you were talking about. So, we can't pathologize them.


MICHAEL: I have girls. I have two little girls. I have a wife. I have a dog who's a female. My in-laws, they're all females except for my father-in-law. So I'm surrounded by estrogen, and I love it. It's what I know. If I had a baby boy son, I wouldn't know what to do. But we walked in and, and, and you go to like Target or somewhere to buy clothes and all you see is like, for the boys, there's always a baseball [toy], there's always a Tonka truck, there's always like some kind of like dinosaur. And that's fine.


But there are limited options on what guys can wear. And we do that at a very early age. Like we, we put them in this role of like, you will like T-Rex, and you will drive a truck,  and you will play baseball, and you will do these things, because that's what you do. And for girls, there's like--my girls, there's like every color of the rainbow, they can wear, they have every color everywhere. And there's no shame, they can wear pants, they can wear dresses, they can wear shorts, they can wear wherever. But not for guys. And like, I'm like, why are you bringing this up? It's because we typecast these guys [at an] early age, like you need to be this way. And if you don't, there's a problem. And the finger point goes. And think about it from like infancy. You know, I'm not one of these conspiracy theory [people], you know, tenfold happy. Like, if you think about it, you break it down, you're like, we automatically put these people in these boxes. We're very complex human beings. We all are.


But guys are not just these simple automatons who dislike the same things. I mean, I love jazz music, and I love opera, and I love football, and I'm a huge coffee nerd, but I also like war games. We're very broad but like what we're being sold is, you like leather and cigars and whiskey and you want a whiskey tumbler for Christmas because you're a guy, and you like you like women that are and this way and that way, you have fast cars and that is so simplistic. But besides that typecasting what guys like, we've talked to them in a negative way. It's, we're looking at the bad side of it, like, hey, boys will be boys, but, like, that's just a risky behavior, don't be doing that. You know, guys are this, guys are that, guys are predatory, guys are--start talking to them in a positive way, like, hey, man, you have strength, and I see that in you.


There's a simple conversational switch. Again, it's going back to how you talk to them, not just what you say, it's how you talk to them. When I go talk to guys, I'm not, like, tell me, hey, how are you? Like shake the hand, like your hands in the pocket, relax. It seems kind of choreographed, but it has to be, you have to make these guys feel at ease. And talk to them, like they're--we're in my time--human beings with the full range of emotion and feelings. You talk to them like they're a human and that they deserve your respect. You got to talk to them like that. You can't just walk up to some 15-year-old, which I've heard said before--you’re just an oppressor. You're just going to be part of the patriarchy and they're like wait, what does that even mean? So they're told these things. I mean, if you cast somebody in a role, don't be surprised when they start playing the part.


JOYCE: Yeah, the one thing when listening to you, Michael, I was thinking back to when my boys Max and his brother were in high school, and their high school is very good in football. And anytime you saw the school paper or the website, it was like, oh, the football team did this. And I wrote to the whoever you write to in those situations, well, what about the chess team? What about the computer club? What about the speech [group], you know, what do they call it, forensics? I mean, what about all those kids? What are they doing? And eventually, I don't think it was just me, but it did change. But it took a few years for that to happen. And that's a stereotype, again, for men, like you're describing.


MICHAEL: Yeah. Well, we talked in a more positive light.


JOYCE: Did you have any surprises in the research, any findings that were not what you expected? And I didn't put that question down, I just thought of it.


MICHAEL: No, it's fine. You're all good. I mean, the thing is, a lot of research is like, yeah, we kind of know that. Research is glacial. People think that research is like lightning fast. It's not. It's glacially paced for a reason. And so I kind of expected some of this stuff to happen. Was I surprised? Not necessarily. I was surprised at the lack of research on it [humor], just considering how widespread the use of it is. I just don't think people see using humor as a way, as an intervention. People think interventions are vaccines and pills. No. Interventions can be how we talk to you. Again, it's how I say stuff. I could tell you the same thing in two different voices and two different personalities, and I guarantee you, you're going to be more effective than this on one of the ways I talk to you. So the way that we speak to people is an intervention. I was just surprised that there was a lack of any kind of research on humor, just considering, again, how widespread humor is.


JOYCE: So tell us a little bit too about the group that you founded, the Men’s Wellness Collective.


MICHAEL: Yeah. In 2010, I came from like some trials and tribulations in my life. I just had some issues growing up, a lot of issues, and I had the typical male kind of messy human behavior [sort of] life. And I was like, I can't be doing this. I need to help other guys out. I need to help myself out. So in 2010, I started this [group]--it used to be called the Men's Health Initiative. But when I met my wife, Kathy, we moved it from Philadelphia down to Orlando here. And we rebranded as the Male Wellness Collective.


Pretty much we're trying to humanize the health and well-being of men and boys, and we do that through reimagining how they're showing up in the world. Again, they're humans. Let's reimagine how you as a man or boy are going out in society representing yourself, right? Let's try to reinvent that, reimagine that, because what people think of you are already--they have you at a detriment. So you're going to come out there as an attribute, as some kind of like positive force. We're going to reimagine that for you.


Because guys are living sicker and dying younger. And I'm so tired of that. Like, why is that? We need to do something better. All these things out there, they're not really helping. So we're trying to do that. The problem with us, like we're small scale because we're just my wife and I, we have a small team. So we're helping people out for sure. It's just smaller scale. We have, we don't have money of Coleman or the money of Movember. We have small money, but we're making an impact because we're literally working with guys. One on one in small groups, inviting them out, [saying] hey, man, I value you. I value you. We value each other and we work like that. So our main goal really is just to make this society better for everybody. We're honing in on just having guys showing up better. I think it starts from there, because again, you have a better man show up, you have a better family, a better society. And it starts small scale. A lot of these people, like a lot of the groups, they start really large scale. They're like, we're going to do all of this. I'm like, dude, you got to get to Bob or Jim or Max, Terry, and talk to them and see where they're at and then work up. So that's what we're doing.


JOYCE: That's great. And I think the one-on-one is so important. You're right. You've got to kind of individualize it. So, what's next for you and your life, career, fun, whatever you want to talk about.


MICHAEL: Oh, well, just real quick, on research. I'm looking at the role of physical activity and cancer survivorship. It's not so much like I'm looking at how we can utilize normal everyday life. It sounds weird, like walking up the street and how that can be a very effective way to mitigate the stress and anxiety and some of the physical issues of cancer survivorship post-treatment. And so I'm looking at that. I'm looking at mindfulness and how guided breathing can help with mitigating stress and anxiety when it comes to survivorship.


Personal-wise, I’m just trying to make a better life for my family. You know, trying to be that dad whenever people introduce me they say all the other stuff I’m like I'm missing,  I’m a husband and father and I’m a son, and then this this research stuff is a side gig because I hear all these stories about people--you see these academics and they're  unhappy. I'm like, I don't want to be that. I want to be present with my family and be a good dad because on my deathbed, they're going to remember me being present and happy, and just positive, and not for the papers that I've written. It sounds really morbid, but I want to be remembered by my kids as being something positive, not just an absentee father. So that's what I'm working on.


JOYCE: You're right, though. That's very good. Life's too short. It took me a while to figure out that my job is a job. I mean, I have always worked full-time, but, you know, it's family that's really at the heart.


MICHAEL: It's just hard to solidify that, and really follow that. It's tough because the world's set up differently.


JOYCE: Yeah. So my last question is, Michael, what song, when you hear it, do you have to sing along?


MICHAEL: You know, I smiled when I heard that there's a lot, but my kids and I were always like singing and dancing around. But if I ever hear ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ like, I mean, I have to stop everything. My kids and I do that. Something about Freddie Mercury, I think he's the greatest front man ever. And his voice is--it's crazy, insanely awesome. Then when that song comes on, it's just a great song. When we hear that song, everything just stops. The world stops for about three minutes and 20 seconds. 


JOYCE: That's great. Well, I hope you come back when some of your other research is out there and we can talk and see what's going on. I really appreciate all your time and all the work that you're doing for men and for testicular cancer.


MICHAEL: Oh, thank you, Joyce. I really appreciate it. The last thing I got, there's a lot of good people out there using a lot of good humor to make this world a better place. And particularly for testis cancer, just remember when you're using it, think of the relevancy and think of the appropriateness of it. And just not as a, like I'm telling you what to do,  just to make your work more effective.


JOYCE: So I should ask you too, do you want to give us how to find the Male Wellness Collective? Is that something you want to share?


MICHAEL: Yeah, of course. So we're at We're on Instagram, we're on, you know, LinkedIn, we're on Twitter, we're all on social media this year. If you go to, we have some great programming. We'd love anybody to come join us. But if you go to our website, everything's there,


JOYCE: Okay. All right.


MICHAEL: Great. Thank you.


JOYCE: All right. I will just have you come back.


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