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podcast episodes

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 :

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 :

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 :

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 :

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.

Gilda’s Club & Cancer Support Community

On this special episode, Kelly from Gilda’s Club and Vidi from Cancer Support Community joined us on the podcast to share the story of Gilda Radner, the vision of Dr. Harold Benjamin, the history behind Gilda’s Club and The Wellness Center, as well as the merge between the two organization to create what is now Cancer Support Community. They discussed the supports and services provided free of charge to those impacted by cancer. They also shared ways to donate or volunteer.

Leslie Jennings-Harper :
Forever Changed

Leslie Jennings-Harper joined us on today’s show. In March 2019, she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 43. Leslie had a clean mammogram and breast exam conducted by her gynecologist less than 6 months prior to finding the lump in her breast. Leslie underwent chemotherapy, which shrunk the tumor and underwent a bilateral mastectomy. She is currently still in active treatment and will undergo reconstruction and a hysterectomy in March 2020.

Deb Germundson :
Growth in the Journey

On this episode, Deb Germundson joined us in the podcast studio. Deb was diagnosed with HER2+, invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 41 years old. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy with delayed reconstruction. Deb had chemotherapy and radiation. She underwent 7 surgeries related to the effects of radiation on her skin and the impact on reconstruction. Deb openly talks about losing her husband to cancer and struggling to date because of her self-image.

Michelle Weaver Knowles :
The Voice for Others

On this episode, Michelle Weaver, a 21-year breast cancer survivor, joined us on the podcast to share her story. She was 38 years old when diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. Michelle was triple-negative and carried the BRCA1 mutation. Through her own journey with breast cancer and genetic testing, as well as the experience of losing her sister to this disease, Michelle went back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner and now has her own practice, Ava Health.

Elizabeth Cluff :

This week, Melissa Brumbelow, a 10-year breast cancer survivor joined us on the podcast. She shared that she was one of two patients at her OBGYN’s office recommended for genetic testing due to significant family history. Melissa was positive for a genetic mutation. She thought she had some time to be closely monitored before a diagnosis of cancer would happen. But a month later, through an exam with breast oncologist, Melissa was told she didn’t have time to wait- cancer was there already.

Melissa Brumbelow :
Perky Mutant

This week, Melissa Brumbelow, a 10-year breast cancer survivor joined us on the podcast. She shared that she was one of two patients at her OBGYN’s office recommended for genetic testing due to significant family history. Melissa was positive for a genetic mutation. She thought she had some time to be closely monitored before a diagnosis of cancer would happen. But a month later, through an exam with breast oncologist, Melissa was told she didn’t have time to wait- cancer was there already.

Danielle Grass :
Keeping Life Normal

On this week’s episode, Dani Grass, a 2-time cancer survivor, shared her journey through cancer- not once but twice. She was diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 21 years with colon cancer. Just over 10 years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 at the age of 31. Dani shared her journey through both cancers, the struggles of dealing with cancer at a young age, and her husband who has stood by her side through both cancer diagnoses.

Monique Colwell :
Are You Sure You are Talking about Me?

Monique Colwell, a 2 year breast cancer survivor, joined us on the podcast today. She talked about having a firmness in her breast that she thought was odd but was dismissed by her doctor because of her age, her body structure, and a lack of family history for breast cancer. Monique pushed to have diagnostic testing and was told that she had stage 0 cancer. After seeking out a second opinion, she learned that she had stage 3 breast cancer. Monique shares her journey and where she found support.

Julie Caputo :
Unrelenting Positivity

On this episode, Julie Caputo joined us on the podcast. She was diagnosed with Stage 2B invasive lobular cancer at the age of 49. Julie shared that a pain in her left side under her breast that was not even connected to the cancer was what led her to be examined in the first place. She also talks about her treatments, her support system, and how having unrelenting positivity has been a key factor in her road to recovery.

Nikki Speer :
Redefined Courage

On this episode, I had the opportunity to talk with Nikki Speer, founder of Redefined Courage, a nonprofit organization providing post-mastectomy shirts to breast cancer survivors at no cost. Nikki shared her family history of breast cancer including her mother’s story of battling breast cancer three times, which was the inspiration behind the organization. Nikki hopes that each woman receiving a box knows that they are cared for, loved, thought about, and never alone.

Shanna Geigle :
A Grain of Salt

Shanna Geigle joined us on the podcast today. She shared her story of finding a lump while soaping her armpit. While she didn’t necessarily think that it was breast cancer, she knew that it was a possibility. Shanna shares her experience of going through breast cancer, finding support through her husband, family, and friends, and creating new friendships during chemo. Shanna talks about how she uses her experience to help others in her career as a Nurse Practitioner.