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How Author and YouTuber Hank Green Chose to Share His Cancer Diagnosis

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Novelist and science communicator Hank Green has been video blogging with his brother, author John Green, since 2007. The siblings later launched an educational media company that produces content widely used in high schools across the country. In a new video on their popular YouTube channel vlogbrothers, Green revealed, as he put it, “Good news/bad news.”

Within the first couple of minutes Hank Green shares that he has cancer, following that up with the “good news” that it is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one of the most treatable cancers. In an upbeat yet realistic manner Green spends the next 10 minutes delving into what this diagnosis means to him and his life right now.

Green shares what many in our community already knows so well, such as the importance of having friends who have been through something similar and therefore really get it. Friends have let him know that he needs to treat it as “this is your job now.” He makes no promises in terms of how much of his regular work producing and filming educational videos he’ll be up for doing, but for those who want to stay informed he suggests signing up for his newsletter. Many can also likely relate to his description of his road to diagnosis, such as how the facial expression of a health care worker helped him realize the gravity of the situation before his biopsy surgery.

He gives a masterclass on setting boundaries by acknowledging:

“I don’t want you to think that I’m not processing this in a deeper sort of more emotional way. Or, with regards to my personal life. It’s just that I really don’t want to do that here right now.”

He then goes on to explain what he is comfortable talking about, and gives several “requests” — that he does not need additional health care advice, but what he would like to receive is recommendations for movies, tv shows, or games that are light on emotion.

It’s great to see he addresses some of the mental health aspects of dealing with a health condition, including stress and anxiety over beginning treatment.

To stay updated, Green has continued to be active on Twitter following the announcement of his diagnosis.

Image via vlogbrothers YouTube channel

Originally published: May 22, 2023
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