top of page

Overcoming Salivary Gland Cancer

Heather Noggle, 33-Year Cancer Thriver, Entrepreneur

Navigating Cancer TOGETHER dropped another insightful episode! Heather Noggle came on the show to share her remarkable journey of being a 33-year salivary gland cancer survivor/thriver. She is also winning in entrepreneurship as the owner of Codistac, a process solutions company that integrates technology and the human experience. Heather shares her journey with salivary gland cancer and highlights the importance of resilience, support, and hope.

Heather's Cancer Journey

Heather was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer at the age of 19, a revelation that was shocking both because of her age and the rarity of her cancer. As she recounts her story, she highlights the emotional and mental challenges of facing a disfiguring facial surgery and the subsequent long treatments without the modern-day support systems like the internet.

"Survivorship is one of those things that they really don't prepare you for," Heather shares.

Heather touches upon the advancements in technology and treatment, noting how today’s patients benefit from more targeted therapies. Back in 1991, Heather’s treatment involved extensive and invasive procedures that left lasting side effects but also brought her to a place of healing and resilience.

Life After Cancer

Heather's life after cancer has been a journey of self-discovery and adaptation. She discusses how resuming normal activities and finding new joys helped her move forward. The lack of support and information during her treatment years led her to seek therapy later in life.

"I think what's really important is to incorporate any adjustments into your life as normally as possible," Heather advises.

"I've made it a part of me, but not a whole of me. I think that it's very important to live as normally as possible."

- Heather Noggle

Heather Noggle, parotid salivary gland cancer survivor, entrepreneur

The Importance of Support Systems

Heather emphasizes the significance of modern-day support systems, such as Facebook groups and organizations like Imerman Angels, where cancer patients and survivors can connect and support each other. I also highlight the need for oncology therapists who specialize in guiding cancer survivors through their unique challenges.

Heather's Current Work and Passions

Today, Heather is passionate about cybersecurity, focusing on helping small businesses with the people aspects so they can better handle the technical aspects. She leverages her expertise to demystify cybersecurity for small municipalities and companies. Her work is fulfilling and allows her to make a significant impact.

Advice for the Newly Diagnosed

When asked what she would say to her 19-year-old self, Heather emphasizes the importance of patience, learning from the experience, and moving forward. Her key message to listeners is: "Hang on. It's going to be okay. There's more giving and living to do."

A Message of Hope and Resilience

Heather's story is a powerful reminder that life after cancer can be fulfilling and joyful. She believes in facing trauma head-on, integrating it into life, and moving forward with resilience.

"Resilience is the word. The side effects are just a part of me, and the cancer is just a part of me," Heather states.

Heather encourages everyone to learn about head and neck cancer, especially because April is Head and Neck Cancer Month.

To learn more about Heather's work, visit her website at

Listen to the full episode of Navigating Cancer TOGETHER to hear about her resilience, life lessons, and the importance of finding joy after overcoming cancer.

Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the Navigating Cancer TOGETHER newsletter and get notified directly whenever a new episode drops.

Please share this blog and the podcast episode with anyone who may benefit from them.

Reflection: What is one action you can take from hearing Heather's story or reading this blog that you can implement in your own life? Please leave a comment, and I will respond.


Oral Cancer Foundation -

Other Episodes You'll Enjoy:


Feeling overwhelmed? Take a deep breath and find moments of calm with my FREE Guided Meditation: Calming Your Mind After a Cancer Diagnosis. Download it now and begin your journey to inner peace.

Get updates from On the Other Side.

Bookmark my sparkle link.

Visit my website to learn more about how I can support you on your cancer journey.

bottom of page