When Rhonda Bjelan received an unexpected terminal cancer diagnosis she decided to do something equally unexpected.
Over many days, she sat down with her son Clayton to record the Incurable podcast about her thoughts and fears throughout the process – hoping to inspire strength in others going through a similar journey.
Clayton Bjelan, a Melbourne radio presenter, said the podcast gave mother and son an opportunity to have heartfelt conversations and quality time during a very tough period in their family’s life.
“I wanted to spend time with Mum, I wanted to ask her questions and record it so I had it for the future,” Clayton said.
“It was always designed to be a mother-and-son conversation and you hear that as we go through the podcast – where we’re at and why we’re feeling certain things.
“Since she’s passed (September 2019) and through the editing process, I feel as though I’ve still been in a personal conversation with Mum in a way. There’s times I would just have to stop and cry and then I could get back to it.”
With Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9, this podcast is very timely for those who would also be missing their mums for a variety of reasons this year, and Clayton said its aim is to provide hope for listeners and point to something bigger than ourselves.
“When I asked Mum what she wanted others to take from the podcast… She would say that if you’ve never thought about God, start asking questions and keep looking into faith,” – Incurable podcast host Clayton Bjelan
“When I asked Mum what she wanted others to take from the podcast it often came back to a few key things,” he said.
“One was this idea of treasuring those around you and she felt that in incredible ways.
“She would say that if you’ve never thought about God, start asking questions and keep looking into faith.
“Mum talked a lot about the value of people around you as well – that was an interesting thing that kept coming up – she was valuing people being around her even more,” Clayton said.
“The encouragement that I took out of that was that if you’re walking alongside someone going through this journey, just get in there and be there with them.
“Mum and I both said we want people to know that there’s a God who loves them and there’s some hope in whatever you’re going through.”
Clayton said there’s “an emotional toll” that he wasn’t expecting, after months of editing the episodes and since the podcast’s release last weekend.
“This was our conversation and now it’s everybody’s.”
“There’s an emotional toll that I wasn’t expecting now that it’s been released, this was our conversation and now it’s everybody’s,” – Incurable podcast host Clayton Bjelan
Incurable is out now. You can listen below or subscribe via your podcast app of choice.
If you’re going through a similar journey, you can also join the Incurable Facebook Group for further support.