Day 420: Goodbye Franken-Boobs


April 21st, 2022

24 mins 44 secs

Season 1

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About this Episode

It’s the night before Kristen’s implant exchange surgery. After 9 long months, the painful, lopsided tissue expanders will be replaced with silicone gel breast implants and her constant pain will come to an end.

At her pre-op appointment with Dr. Pacella, Kristen imagines choosing the new boobs will be like walking into a candy store and exploring an array of breast implants.

Adding to the already full plate of post-chemo and post-radiation health issues, a series of surprisingly bad effects from the Zometa infusion leave her wondering what’s temporary and what’s regular living now?

At an appointment with her oncologist, Kristen learns there’s a new pattern emerging of women who’ve had the vaccine experiencing bad reactions to the Zometa infusion in the past six to 12 months.

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Meet Kristen’s doctors: surgical oncologist Dr. Louis Rivera, hematologist and oncologist Dr. Sonia Ali, plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella, and radiation oncologists Dr. Anuradha Koka and Dr. Kenneth T. Shimizu.

About Breast Cancer Stories

Breast Cancer Stories follows Kristen Vengler, a 56 year old single empty nester in San Diego, from her diagnosis of hormone positive breast cancer through chemotherapy, mastectomy & breast reconstruction, radiation, and whatever happens after that.

In 2020, Kristen moved from Austin to San Diego to be near family and start her life over after a life-shattering workplace trauma. A few months later she had that terrifying moment in the shower we all hope we never have.

From her breast cancer diagnosis, through chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, and radiation, we experience each new milestone as it happens. This podcast is about what happens when you have breast cancer, told in real time.

Host and Executive Producer: Eva Sheie
Co-Host: Kristen Vengler
Editor and Audio Engineer: Daniel Croeser
Theme Music: Them Highs and Lows, Bird of Figment
Production Assistant: Mary Ellen Clarkson
Cover Art Designer: Shawn Hiatt

Breast Cancer Stories is a production of The Axis.