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podcast episodes

Tara Cohen
Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Bracelets

My guest on this episode is Tara Cohen, the Director of Marketing at Lauren’s Hope. She was diagnosed with a BRCA2 mutation through 23 and Me. After repeated diagnostic testing that left her in a constant state of fear and anxiety, she opted for a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy that resulted in complications. Tara also talked about the importance of medical ID bracelets specifically for those with breast cancer who have or may be at risk for developing lymphedema.

Emily Rich
Fertility Preservation

Emily Rich joined me on today’s episode to share her story behind the pink ribbon. In March 2019, at the age of 32, she was diagnosed with stage 1 encapsulated papillary carcinoma, a very rare form of breast cancer. Emily and her fiance had just moved cross country and were planning their wedding when diagnosed. Emily very openly and candidly shares her experience with in-vitro fertilization and the work that still needs to be done to protect cancer patients seeking fertility preservation.

Dr. Catalina Lawsin
Cancer and Dating

Dr. Catalina Lawsin. Licensed Clinical Psychologist, joined me on the podcast again to talk about cancer and dating. Dating and relationships are complicated in general but seem to be more so for those personally impacted by cancer. We talked about the pressure that cancer patients/survivors feel to disclose their medical information with potential dating partners, almost like a disclaimer. Dr. Lawsin provides insight on how to approach dating and relationships through the cancer lens.

Jennifer MacKenzie:
Never the Same

Jennifer MacKenzie, a 3-year breast cancer survivor, joined me on the podcast today to share her story behind the pink ribbon. Jennifer was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 35. she talked about her diagnosis, treatments, and struggling with coming to terms that her life would not return to what it was before cancer. Jennifer also talked about the lack of support for parents who become the primary caregivers for young adult cancer patients/survivors.

Stephanie McLeod-Estevez:
Live Free

On this episode, Stephanie McLeod-Estevez joined me on the podcast. She is a breast cancer survivor and an art therapist. At the age of 40, Stephanie was diagnosed with stage 3, triple-negative breast cancer. She also has a BRCA2 mutation. Stephanie shared her story behind the pink ribbon. Following the loss of her mother to metastatic breast cancer, Stephanie became an art therapist, which was deeply healing for her as she learned how to support others through creativity.

Chris-Tia Donaldson:
Silent Hum

My guest on this episode is Chris-Tia Donaldson, the Founder and CEO of Thank God It’s Natural, which manufactures natural skin and hair care products. She is also the founder of the tgin foundation supporting underinsured women going through breast cancer. Chris-Tia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 at the age of 36. She had a recurrence of breast cancer two years later. She shares her journey behind the pink ribbon and the lessons she has learned throughout her that journey.

Kimberly Schunn:
Hooked on Fly Fishing

Kim Schunn is my guest on this episode. She was diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 45 with stage 3B inflammatory breast cancer. Kim talked about her course of treatments, as well as the complications from her treatments, and being diagnosed with stage 4. Kim shared her experience of finding her passion in fly fishing during a retreat with casting for recovery and how she uses it not only to support her own well-being but sharing it with others to help them through a trying time. Fly fishing is a way for Kim to remember to live in the moment.

Westray Corradine:
Less Hair, Less Cancer

On this episode, Westray Corradine joined me on the podcast to share her story behind the pink ribbon. In 2011, at the age of 36, Westray was diagnosed with stage IV invasive ductal carcinoma after finding a lump on her back. Westray shared her course of treatments, as well as some of the complications and side effects that she experienced. She shared the current status of the cancer, as well as her treatments, and offered some advice for others who are battling stage IV breast cancer.

Becky Braun :
Sisters, Not Twins

Becky Braun, a hometown friend since kindergarten, joined me on the podcast to share her breast cancer story. She was 36 when she was diagnosed with DCIS. Her diagnosis of breast cancer came a short 2 months after her mom had passed away from breast cancer. Becky shared her family history of breast cancer, with no link to a gene mutation. She openly shared her course of treatments, as well as the complications that she experienced. She also talks about the importance of a good medical team.

Sharon Henifin :
Breast Advocates International

Sharon Henifin is a 26-year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 1993 at the age of 40. She shares her own breast cancer experience and how helping other women inspired her to co-found Breast Friends to support survivors and to teach family and friends how to support their loved ones. More recently, Sharon and a friend, Melissa, co-founded Breast Advocates International, which supports women in underserved countries in the hopes of reducing the mortality rate from breast cancer.

Dr Catalina Lawsin :
Let’s Talk About Sex!

Dr. Catalina Lawsin, also known as The Intimacy Doc, joined me on the podcast to talk about sex! Through her research and work, she discovered that relationships are core to who we are and how we experience life. She realized that those facing something such as cancer struggled with relationships and intimacy but these issues are not addressed in the field of oncology. She talks about some of the complications experienced by cancer survivors and offers some strategies on how to address some of these concerns.

Lisa Schlager :
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

My guest on this episode is Lisa Schlager, the Vice President of Community Affairs and Public Policy for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE). Lisa shares the history of FORCE, a non-profit organization founded in 1999 by Sue Friedman as an online support system for those diagnosed with hereditary cancers. Lisa shares some of the unique implications of hereditary gene mutation/cancer, the importance of testing, and how FORCE supports those with hereditary cancer.

Ann Allen :
Heal Your Grief – Heal Your Life

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.

Terri Bode :
Hope, Sunshine, and Happiness

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.

Josh Levin :
Lymphedivas

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 :
Handful

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.

Robyn Towt :
Breast Implant Safety Alliance

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 :
Emotional Freedom Technique

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 :
Lemons to Lemonade

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.

Kim Afanador :
Bad Genes from an Estranged Father

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 :
A Sign from God

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 :
Better Together

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.

Masumi Goldman :
Previvor

On this episode, Masumi Goldman joined us on the podcast. She is a previvor who opted for a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. Masumi shares her the dramatic story of finding out a genetic mutation was present on the paternal side of her family but years later finding out that she actually had a genetic mutation from the maternal side of her family. She talks about the decisions she had to make, the challenges she faced, and her book, Rise and Thrive.

Jen Rozenbaum :
Recontructing Life

Jen Rozenbaum from New York joined us on the podcast. Jen is a boudoir photographer, the podcast host of Shamelessly Feminine, and a breast cancer survivor. In July 2017, Jen was diagnosed at the age of 41 with stage 2 invasive lobular cancer. Jen shares her story behind the pink ribbon. She also talks about struggling through the reconstructive process, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Petula Kincaid :
Make the Time

My guest on today’s show is Petula Kincaid. She originally hails from Ireland but currently resides in Hong Kong. Petula shared her breast cancer journey and how she was too busy with work to make time for her routine mammograms. She also talked about her specific treatments and the side effects she has experienced. She shares where she is with reconstruction and offers advice for everyone to slow down, listen to our bodies, and get regular body checks. Listen in as Petula shares her story.

Christy Avila :
Fierce Flat Forward

Christy Avila, founder of International Flat Day and current Vice President of Not Putting on A Shirt, joined us on the podcast. She was diagnosed with stage 3C invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 38. Christy talked about her treatments, making the hard decision to not have a second child, reconstructive complications, deciding to explant, and how she is helping others.

Stephani Tucker :
It’s the Journey

On this episode, Stephani Tucker, the Executive Director at It’s the Journey joined us on the podcast. Stephani talked about the founder of the organization, Randi Passoff, and her passion for raising money to stay local within the state of Georgia to support breast health and breast cancer programs. Stephani gave us the inside scoop on the 2-day walk that will take place on October 3 and 4, 2020.

Nia Hammell :
Struggling with Loss

Nia Hammel joined us on the podcast to share her breast cancer story. In 2016, at the age of 35, Nia was diagnosed with stage 2B invasive ductal carcinoma. She thought the lump she had was fibrocystic and due to her menstrual cycle, until the lump started to dimple. Nia wishes she had been more educated about breast cancer so that she could have advocated for herself. She talks about her family history of cancer, her treatments, and her struggles with experiencing so much loss.

Shannon L. Puhalla, MD :
Cancer and COVID-19

On this episode, Dr. Shannon Puhalla, medical oncologist and hematologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, joined us on the podcast to talk about the coronavirus and the influences on cancer treatments. She talked about the most critical population- those currently undergoing active treatment. She offers suggestions on how these individuals can stay healthy and safe. She also talked about those who may be experiencing symptoms and what to do if you have a lump or symptoms.

Melissa Eppard :
Poster Girl

Melissa Eppard joined us on the podcast to share her breast cancer story. She was diagnosed with triple-negative, stage 1, grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma in 2014. She talks about the difficulties with losing her insurance right before finding her lump and having to wait to be seen for diagnostic testing. Melissa also shares her experience through chemotherapy and the complications she had from the reconstruction. She also talks about finding the flat community and making the decision to explant.

Sasha Milicevic :
Bridging the Gap

On this episode, Sasha Milicevic shared her breast cancer journey. Sasha was 43 when she was diagnosed with stage 0. Sasha talked about having a lumpectomy followed by a mastectomy, which she had out not pure fear and ignorance. She talks about the complications following the mastectomy and the reconstructive process, and her regrets around reconstruction. Sasha felt unsupported in the breast cancer community; almost as if she had done something to cause the complications she experienced.

Lize Lozelle :
Casting for Recovery

Lize Lozelle, Marketing Director for Casting for Recovery, joined us on the podcast this week. Casting for Recovery is a national nonprofit organization providing fly fishing retreats for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Women of all ages and stages of diagnosis are welcome to apply. She shares the history of the organization, how to apply, and insight on the retreats. She also talks about how individuals can volunteer their time or even donate money to support the organization and retreats.

Dr McKenzie :
BCS Dragon Boating, The Beginning

On this episode, Dr. Don McKenzie, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, joined us on the podcast to share his research project and the development of the breast cancer division in the sport of dragon boating. As a part of his research, he developed and coached the first-ever breast cancer dragon boat team- Abreast in a Boat. He shared details of his research, the outcome, as well at the lasting impact the study had on the breast cancer community in dragon boating.

Karen Rowley :
Leading the Way

Karen Rowley, a 22-year breast cancer survivor from Orange Co. California, joined us on the podcast to share her survivor story. She was diagnosed at the age of 45 with invasive ductal carcinoma. After finding her lump, Karen went through several lumpectomies before having a single mastectomy followed by 6 rounds of radiation, While she explored her options, she decided to remain flat and became a model for mastectomy fitters.

Lauri Leadley :
Taking a Risk to Find Joy

Lauri Leadley, a 27 year breast cancer survivor, joined us in the podcast studio to share her breast cancer journey. Lauri was initially diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma in the breast in 1992. She was 26 years old and 22 weeks pregnant with her 3rd baby at the time of her diagnosis. 23 years later, Lauri was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. Lauri talks about dealing with a rare and aggressive cancer during pregnancy and then being diagnosed again with a different form of cancer.

Tara Dunsmore :
Pink Ink Tattoo

On this episode, Tara Dunsmore, an 8-year breast cancer survivor from Raleigh, NC joined us on the podcast. She was diagnosed at the age of 39 with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. Tara talks about the challenges she faced during her treatment including being denied the surgery she wanted, the passing of her father, and a negative experience with areola tattooing. Through her experience, she founded Pink Ink Tattoo because she believes survivors deserve a better experience than what she had.

Andrea Stein Goldsworthy :
Go with Your Gut

Andrea Stein Goldsworthy joined us on the podcast to share her journey with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in November 2005 at the age of 32 with stage 2B, invasive ductal carcinoma. Andrea has a long history of cancer in her family and always felt like she would one day face that battle as well. It came much sooner than she had ever expected. She talks about finding her lump, treatments, lacking a support system in her first husband, finding love in her current husband, and having a baby.

Arpi Hamilton :
Rearview Mirror

On this episode, Arpi Hamilton, joined us on the podcast. Apri found a pea size lump in her breast in September 2016. Though she was experiencing symptoms, she ignored those symptoms until December 2016. She scheduled an appointment with her gynecologist and had to beg to get a mammogram ordered. Arpi shares her treatment, how her journey has helped not only herself but also her coworkers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. She also talks about the struggles she still faces 3 years later.

Kim Carew :
Peace, Love, Tote

On this episode, Kim Carew, breast cancer survivor and the founder of Peace, Love, Tote, joined us on the podcast. Kim was diagnosed with Stage 2A triple negative breast cancer at the age of 53. Kim had always had anxiety that she would get cancer one day after losing a friend to cancer. She shared her experience with treatments and how she was unprepared for her first chemo treatment. Through her experience, she founded Peace, Love, Tote for other women going through chemotherapy.

Dr. Francis :
Integrative Oncology

On this episode, Dr. Francis, the mastermind behind the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program in Pittsburgh, PA shared the how her personal belief system and the loss of her mother to cancer inspired to her to create the program. She talked about the different services that are provided, the intake process, how cancer patients/survivors come into the program, as well as cost and insurance coverage. Dr. Francis also shared her vision for the future of holistic programs.

Harvey & Vicki :
HIS Breast Caner

Harvey Singer and Vicki Singer Wolf joined us on the show to share their stories behind the pink ribbon. Vicki was first diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in-situ at the age of 35. Following her third diagnosis, Vicki tested and found positive for the BRCA2 mutation. In 2008, Harvey experienced a sharp pain in his breast and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer as well. As a male breast cancer survivor in a very pink world, Harvey struggled to find information and support. Together, they co-founded HIS Breast Cancer.

Jennifer Keyser :
My Daughter, My Rock

Jennifer Keyser from Gilbert, AZ joined us in the podcast studio to share her story behind the pink ribbon. Jennifer talks about feeling a heaviness in her chest. She googled how to do a self-breast exam and found hard tissue in her breast. Her doctor told her not to worry and Jennifer didn’t but as time passed, she began experiencing pain. She was diagnosed with triple-positive inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 31. She talks about her treatment, her daughter, and her support system.

Sonya Negley :
METAvivor

Sonya Negley, Executive Director of METAvivor, joined us on the podcast. She talked about the mission of METAvivor and the importance of supporting research for stage IV breast cancer. Sonya shared the different programs available through the organization, such as the peer to peer support group and Sea to Sea for MBC. She also talked about different fundraising events and how you can get involved.

Gina McDonough :
Finding Inner Strength to Make a Change

On this episode, Gina McDonough, a 10-year breast cancer survivor and gym owner, joined us in the podcast studio to share her journey through breast cancer. Gina talked about her breast cancer treatments. She openly shared her struggle with falling to a deep depression following cancer, which led to self-medicating with alcohol for approximately 3 years. Gina talked about getting clean for her family and fulfilling her lifelong dream of opening her own fitness studio.

Judy Pearson :
A 2nd Act

Judy Pearson, an 8-year survivor, writer, and founder of A 2nd Act, joined us in the podcast studio today. She shared her personal journey through breast cancer from finding her lump, having surgery, and going through chemotherapy. Judy talks about her friend Joanna, who was the inspiration behind A 2nd Act. Judy shares the mission of A 2nd Act and all the different ways that the organization is supporting women diagnosed with any kind of cancer.

Faith Walker :
Head in the Clouds

On this episode, 15-year breast cancer survivor and singer/songwriter, Faith Walker, joined us on the podcast to share her story with breast cancer. In 2004, Faith, a mother of 2 young children, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. Three years later, while pregnant with her third child, Faith was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She uses her cancer journey and music to inspire others including one of her latest songs- Head in the Clouds.

Jill Stutin Gresham :
Implants are Not for Everyone

Jill Stutin Gresham joined us on the podcast. She was diagnosed in 2004 with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 36. Jill was closely monitored for breast cancer due to the significant family history. She found a lump in her breast but diagnostic testing showed she had cancer in the opposite breast. Jill shared her struggles with reconstruction, as well as Tamoxifen. Four years later, Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Most recently, she explanted due to breast cancer illness.

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