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The Healthy Advisor

Transparency With Diana B.: An Advisor’s Battle With Stomach Cancer, Addiction and Himself

California-based advisor Steve Melen was diagnosed with cancer more than a decade ago—and then the real troubles began.


About 12 years ago, Steve Melen had just started a new job as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, was in the midst of remodeling his house and had a new baby girl. Then he got the shock no one wants to hear; he was diagnosed with stage III stomach cancer. He went through an invasive surgery. Doctors removed several of his organs, including his stomach.

But the real problems started after he left the hospital. 

In this episode of Transparency with Diana B., Managing Editor Diana Britton is joined by Melen, now an advisor affiliated with LPL Financial, who shares the intimate details of his battle with cancer. He would later come out of a complicated treatment with an addiction to pain medication, and later, a failed relationship, deep insecurities and a dependence on alcohol. He shares his story on dealing with a health crisis, coping with physical and mental pain, how he fought his way back—and how his experiences have made him a better, more empathetic advisor for his clients. 

Photo by Steve Melenmelen-diana-podcast.jpg

Steve Melen and Diana Britton recording the Transparency with Diana B. podcast.

In this episode, you will learn: 

  • The story of Steve’s diagnosis and battle with cancer
  • What lead to his addiction to pain meds and how he eventually kicked them
  • How Steve’s fears, insecurities and broken relationships lead him to self-medicate with alcohol  
  • What his “rock-bottom” moment was
  • What kind of psychological toll health issues could have on one’s family and caregivers
  • How Steve got past the addiction and started being open and honest with others about what he went through
  • About Steve’s new beginning
  • And more. 

Tune in now to hear Steve’s very personal and emotional story about overcoming cancer and addiction.

If you have a struggle and wish to share your experiences and help others in similar situations, please reach out to Diana at [email protected].

The Transparency with Diana B. podcast is available on Apple PodcastsAndroidStitcher, Spotify and wherever podcasts are found. 

TAGS: Careers
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