Day 422: The Weight is Off My Chest


April 28th, 2022

22 mins 19 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts

About this Episode

It’s the day after Kristen’s surgery to replace her expanders with permanent breast implants, and she’s already feeling much better. For the last 33 weeks, Kristen lived with a constant 2-4 pain level from the uncomfortable and awkward expanders. Today her chest looks normal again, even if it will never feel the same.
Kristen trusted her plastic surgeon Dr. Sal Pacella to choose the size and shape of implant that looked best in her body, and was amused to find out that she is the proud owner of Mentor 700cc high profile silicone gel implants, also known as “porn star boobs.”

Since this was her 2nd major surgery, things went much more smoothly with the right surgery buddy and all of her favorite comforts in place ahead of time. She spent the night in her velcro surgery bra, Ana Ono robe, and pillow recliner, and woke up feeling like a different person.


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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.