Two Nurses Turned Patients: Author Theresa Brown, RN & Natasha Curry, NP


June 15th, 2022

37 mins 46 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

As a nurse, you never truly understand the level of terror your patients are experiencing until you become one yourself. New York Times best-selling author Theresa Brown, RN, shares her breast cancer treatment journey along with details about her new book, “Healing.”

Diagnosed with breast cancer in fall of 2017, Theresa underwent a lumpectomy and four weeks of radiation before starting Tamoxifen, which ruined her life for three and a half years before she quit. With our Season 2 Breast Cancer Stories co-host Natasha Curry, we uncover similarities and surprising differences in treatment as nurses-turned-patients.

We were shocked to discover that like Kristen and Natasha, Theresa’s breast cancer was missed by mammography and was only discovered because she was participating in a study in which women also received an ultrasound to see if it gave better diagnostic results.

Theresa has been a contributor to the New York Times, and her words can be found on, in the American Journal of Nursing, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She’s also been a guest on MSNBC Live and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” She received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago. Theresa lectures nationally and internationally on issues related to nursing, healthcare, and end of life.


NY Times: A Nurse Finds Herself on the Other Side of the Equation — as a Patient

Buy Theresa’s book on Amazon

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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.