Kristen is exhausted and ready to be done with chemo. When Scripps' entire computer system goes down from a ransomware attack, her appointments come to a screeching halt. A chemotherapy session is delayed by a day, but the frustration is short-lived as she realizes her brother can be there to see her ring the bell.
Chemotherapy comes to an end, and Kristen’s attention shifts toward the looming double mastectomy and reconstruction.
As she moves out of her beloved beach house while desperately ill, a friend comes to the rescue to help organize and finish the awkward transition.
Even in the darkest valley, her thoughts return to helping others as she puzzles over how to advocate for women who might also miss detecting this kind of breast cancer. All she can think to do (for now) is warn us to “compare your nipples!”
Support the Breast Cancer Stories podcast
Read about the Scripps ransomware attack
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.
Support the show by sharing online, writing a review, or donating at https://www.breastcancerstoriespodcast.com/donate .
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.
PROUDLY MADE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS