On this episode, Ann Allen joined me on the podcast. Ann is a Registered Nurse, Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, Reiki Master, and owner of Heal Your Grief – Heal Your Life. Ann talks about the meaning of grief and loss. She shares the misconceptions related to the stages of grief and unrealistic timelines to get over grief. Ann provides strategies for individuals to heal their grief in order to move forward and ways to support someone else who may be grieving.
My guest on today’s podcast is Teri Bode, a 20-year breast cancer survivor and a previous Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader. Teri was diagnosed with stage 1 ductal carcinoma in 2000 at the age of 31. Two years later, she was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in the same breast. Nine years later, Teri was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She shares her journey through each diagnosis, the impact of a stage IV diagnosis, and how she continues to hold onto hope, sunshine, and happiness.
Lymphediva President, Josh Levin, was my guest on today’s podcast. He talked about what lymphedema is and some potential risk factors for developing the disease. He shared his sister, Rachel’s, experience with breast cancer and lymphedema, which led to the creation of Lymphedivas. Josh carries on his sister’s legacy through the company, which focuses on education and providing choice and options for those experiencing lymphedema. They offer individualized and trendy compression garments.
Cary Goldberg joined me on the podcast. She was diagnosed with late-stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. Cary talked about knowing something was wrong for several years but thought it was a blocked milk duct. She talks about her diagnosis, treatments, and decision to remain flat. Cary talks about being self-conscious but after being introduced to Handful bras, she regained her confidence. Cary shares how she became involved with Handful and how the company supports breast cancer survivors.
Today’s guest is Robyn Towt, a two-time cancer survivor and co-founder of the Breast Implant Safety Alliance (BISA). Robyn was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in her 20’s and then breast cancer 20 years later. She openly shares her experience with breast implants that led her into patient advocacy and becoming a co-founder of BISA. She talks about the mission of BISA and how the alliance is working to create change that ensures the safety of patients.
Dr. Leslie Cole, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, as well as addiction medicine, is my guest on today’s podcast. She shares her story behind the pink ribbon. Dr. Cole openly shared her struggles with anxiety and developing an irrational fear that her husband would die of cancer. While she had tools that she previously used, those proved to be ineffective. Dr. Cole attended a class for Emotion Freedom Technique at her local Cancer Support Community, which completely shifted her emotions. She eventually became certified herself and now provides this technique to other survivors.
Melissa Robman was 39 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. She found her cancer after her new puppy repeated stepped on her breast and she felt a lump. Melissa talked about the marathon diagnostic testing she had all in the same day, as well as her course of treatment. She shares where she turned to for support. She feels there is a reason she has gone through cancer. Melissa shares that she feels that it is good to find some positivity in the journey and make lemonade from lemons.
On this episode, my paternal cousin, Kim Afanador, shared her story. In 2017, Kim tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation. Kim was not told that a genetic mutation was discovered in the family until approximately 10 years after I was personally tested. She opens up about her feelings of having a hereditary cancer gene from a biological father that had denied her throughout her life. Kim also shares why she made the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy and how it has impacted her own family.
Lori Godfrey from Portland, Oregon joined us on the podcast. Lori was diagnosed with stage 3B invasive ductal carcinoma in 2007. She noticed changes in her breast, which were ultimately dismissed. Three months later, she felt a lump on her ribs, which she felt was a sign from God. Lori then consulted with a friend and was referred to a breast surgeon/oncologist, who confirmed a diagnosis of cancer. Lori discussed her course of treatment. and talks about finding the sport of dragon boating.
Meri Gibson is our guest on this episode. She is the president of the IBCPC, the governing body for breast cancer paddlers around the globe. Meri shared her story of being a three-time cancer survivor- cervical, ovarian, and breast cancer. Meri talked about her treatments, distancing herself from the cancer community, and finding dragon boating in an expected way. She shares how she became involved in the organization of the sport in New Zealand and becoming a part of the IBCPC.