Oct. 27, 2022

Day 111: Covid Ruins Everything

Day 111: Covid Ruins Everything

Thanks to the incredible cold cap technology, Desert Essence shampoo, and seldomly using a brush, after six rounds of chemo Natasha still has her hair.

Thanks to the incredible cold cap technology, Desert Essence shampoo, and seldomly using a brush, after six rounds of chemo Natasha still has her hair. Meanwhile, everything else is falling apart. Plans to celebrate at a fancy restaurant are wrecked when her date gets COVID and none of her friends can go. An insurance snafu just 2 days before her last chemo causes her to run out of Zofran and getting a refill requires some creativity.

Natasha has another MRI to see if the chemo worked, and realizes only after reading the results alone that if it had been bad news she would have been in a dark place without support. As she reflects on chemo, she shares what could have been done differently.

The End of Chemo, brought to you by DigniCaps cold caps (they didn’t sponsor us but probably should now!)


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About Breast Cancer Stories

Breast Cancer Stories follows Natasha Curry, a palliative care nurse practitioner at San Francisco General Hospital, through her experience of going from being a nurse to a patient after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Natasha was in Malawi on a Doctors Without Borders mission in 2021 when her husband of 25 years announced in a text message that he was leaving. She returned home, fell into bed for a few weeks, and eventually pulled herself together and went back to work. A few months later when she discovered an almond-sized lump in her armpit, she did everything she tells her patients not to do and dismissed it, or wrote it off as a “fat lump."

Months went by before Natasha finally got a mammogram, but radiology saw nothing in either breast. It was the armpit lump that caught their attention. Next step was an ultrasound, where the lump was clearly visible. One painful biopsy later, Natasha found out she had cancer; in one life-changing moment, the nurse became the patient.

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.



Kristen Vengler (00:03): I'm Kristen Vengler and our mission with this podcast is to help you and the people who love you through the shock of diagnosis and treatment.

Eva Sheie (00:11): I'm Eva Sheie and the incredible woman whose story you're about to hear is a nurse practitioner in San Francisco who has dedicated her life to caring for patients more vulnerable than you can imagine.

Kristen Vengler (00:23): Her name is Natasha. This is a story about what happens when you have breast cancer told in real time.

Kristen Vengler (00:34): I have been waiting for this day for months and I don't know if you can tell my voice is already cracking because we get to talk about how you're finished with chemo, Natasha.

Natasha (00:45): Yes. So I am five days away from having had my very last chemo, six of six. And yeah, I could almost cry at the thought of doing it actually. It feels both like it was a long time and also that it was a short time. And it was an interesting last session. I mean, you'd think after six I'd finally have things down, but I still didn't have everything quite figured out.

Natasha (01:15): And I don't know if it was anxiety about this being the end of treatment or if I did actually have a reaction, which is unlikely given that I'd had six treatments. But at one point I was having a hard time catching my breath. And one of the nurses came over and I just mentioned it. And it wasn't a big reaction, but I was just aware of my breathing.

Natasha (01:41): It had gone from being a natural thing to something that I was actually having to breathe consciously. So everybody came over, the nurse practitioner came over, the charge nurse came over, everybody, they slowed it down, which was kind of annoying because I did have a plan for the end of the day and I didn't want it to get slowed down.

Natasha (02:02): But they did the right thing and gave me a little bit of Benadryl, which made me super drowsy. But no, I can't say it was a big reaction and I'll never know to this day if it was just anxiety. It's interesting because I still have to go every three weeks for the hormone blocker for the Herceptin and the Perjeta.

Natasha (02:22): And I had actually screwed that up. For some reason, I thought it was ending at the end of December. And I looked at my schedule and it's actually going until the end of March 2023. It's 12 months from the beginning of chemo, so I just got three more months. But apparently it's a shortish infusion. There's not many side effects and it's going to do a good job anyway.

Kristen Vengler (02:44): Still annoying, but you have to go back there because you want to be graduated from that damn infusion center.

Natasha (02:51): Yeah, this was strange because there was a sort of a celebration with the, not a huge celebration, but with the nurses like, "Yay, you finish your chemo. That's great. See you in three weeks."

Kristen Vengler (03:03): So you didn't get to ring a chemo bell?

Natasha (03:04): They don't have a chemo bell.

Kristen Vengler (03:07): Oh, stop it.

Natasha (03:07): I was so shocked. I know. UCSF did not have a chemo bell.

Kristen Vengler (03:10): Oh well, we're going to buy them.

Natasha (03:12): Absolutely. Absolutely. So my celebration, I had about three months ago booked a table at a local restaurant that's really, really hard to get into. And I had booked it for the night of my last chemo. Not entirely sure who I would go with, just knowing that I wanted to go. And luckily enough there's a new person in my life to go with. He tested positive for COVID.

Kristen Vengler (03:41): Oh.

Natasha (03:42): So I had the option to go on my own, which felt super weird. A lot of other friends were like, "Sorry, I can't afford that. That's crazy expensive. We're busy." I offered to pay, nothing. So there was no celebration other than my dog giving me a hug.

Kristen Vengler (03:59): Waa, Waa, Waa.

Natasha (04:02): I know. But I also realized there's other milestones. I mean, I have surgery coming up, I have radiation coming up, I have that March 2023. That sounds like something from a science fiction movie, March.

Kristen Vengler (04:15): I know. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I went home and I think I had another favorite meal that was sent to me and put my feet up. And I don't even think I talked to Eva that day. I think it was a few weeks later that we talked. And so was just, I get it.

Natasha (04:32): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (04:33): It was a little anticlimactic. So you saved that money for your trip to Mexico, right?

Natasha (04:39): Yes.

Kristen Vengler (04:39): You can have the bomb meal there.

Natasha (04:42): No, I know we can have three bomb meals for the price of this one.

Kristen Vengler (04:45): Completely.

Natasha (04:46): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (04:46): Completely. And so when did he test positive for COVID?

Natasha (04:50): I think it was that day. And he's very, very careful with not bringing COVID around me.

Kristen Vengler (04:56): Sure.

Natasha (04:57): Which I really appreciate. This morning, he just called me and he tested negative with a home test. But he wants to go and do a PCR before he'll spend time with me. So maybe we celebrate tonight.

Kristen Vengler (05:08): Yeah, there you go.

Natasha (05:09): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (05:09): There you go. Well, because I'm excited about some huge news that you have and I have some other things that I want to talk about, but it's a good time to talk about the insurance BS too.

Natasha (05:20): So I don't entirely understand why it happened, but I know what happened. I had been carrying my ex-husband on my insurance and he was paying me the premiums because I have really good insurance as a UCSF employee. And I had requested him to be removed because being on disability, I don't understand why, but I'm paying more towards my premiums.

Natasha (05:44): It's fine. I'm getting great treatment and I can afford it. But they not only took him off the insurance, they just closed the insurance down. Why not, mid treatment? No reason why we should keep this going. So I actually found out because I went to Walgreens to get some more Zofran.

Natasha (06:01): That's the anti-nausea medication that everybody will become very familiar with. And they told me that my insurance had expired and I couldn't pick up the Zofran. And so many phone calls later, listening to, "Your call is really important to us. Please hold the line. Your..."

Kristen Vengler (06:21): Is it? Is it?

Natasha (06:23): For hours and hours. And it was about two days before my chemo and I know how much this costs. I mean, it's a $50,000 chemo experience if not more. And also it was the last one and I was just like, I was in full on panic mode and pulling all the, I'm a nurse practitioner who works for this hospital kind of strings.

Natasha (06:44): But still to this day I won't know what happened. A lot of people did a lot of things. And when I went in on Wednesday for treatment, nobody said it's not covered. But I'm still having issues with Walgreens. I have no Zofran in my bedroom for this, what am I? Cycle.

Kristen Vengler (07:02): Do you want me to mail you some? I have some extra from surgeries and I have new for surgery so.

Natasha (07:07): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (07:07): We're all [inaudible 00:07:08].

Natasha (07:07): No, I appreciate that.

Kristen Vengler (07:08): Sure.

Natasha (07:09): Yeah. And a message to people out there in podcast world, when your oncologist gives you medication for the side effects, ask for lots. What I mean is don't let them fill you with five Zofran or 10 Zofran because you are going to be going back and forth from Walgreens going nuts.

Kristen Vengler (07:27): Correct. Yeah.

Natasha (07:28): So ask for a nice 30, 60, 90. Give me enough pills to get me through this. Because unfortunately, I've been dealing with little tiny dribs and drabs. And they know me so well at Walgreens.

Kristen Vengler (07:41): So did you have any hair loss on your head? And I'm looking to see, I'm looking really closely to see if I can see eyebrows. And you have a little bit of eyebrows, don't you? I can't tell.

Natasha (07:52): I mean, I have terrible eyebrows anyway so I don't think I lost any eyebrows.

Kristen Vengler (07:55): Eyelashes?

Natasha (07:56): Any eyelashes. My legs are beautifully smooth. Ready in time for Mexico.

Kristen Vengler (08:00): Lovely.

Natasha (08:01): Nether regions bear like Barbie. But my hair on my head, I don't think I lost any. I really don't.

Kristen Vengler (08:08): That's amazing.

Natasha (08:09): I know. I was so thankful to the medical assistant. Monica Garcia, if you listen to this, you are a godsend to women who go through this. She was incredibly diligent. There was a three hour post call, which means I'm sitting there with this hat on and it's just cooling because my hair's been frozen. And she didn't skip any point. This thing was on for exactly as long as it needed to be. And she was so diligent. I mean, I owe this head that stayed to her.

Kristen Vengler (08:43): Oh.

Natasha (08:44): Yeah. I mean, there were a couple of other things they really recommended. I had some pretty special shampoo by this organization called Desert Essence that was highly recommended. My go-to would've been the Johnson's Baby No Tears shampoo. And DigniCaps was like a hundred percent don't use that. There's something in that that can lead to hair loss.

Natasha (09:06): So there were other things. I didn't brush or comb my hair that much. If it looked mildly bedheady, I was going to be okay with it. But yeah. I mean, I think I talked in the last podcast, I just, I feel so lucky that I was able to do this. And we are not sponsored by DigniCaps, but if they would start sponsoring women to have this for free or at least way down in price, we'd love you even more.

Kristen Vengler (09:33): Sure. It was just a few weeks ago that I had my one year anniversary of finishing chemo, and I was really super emotional that day. And part of it was going through and looking at the pictures. Because I think at the time I was just kind of a machine and was kind of shocked at the way that I looked in hindsight. And so not in a negative way, just I think that what happened was that the processing from this took a little while.

Natasha (10:06): Yeah. I had an interesting experience. So I wanted to capture the end of chemo. And the nurse was actually able to capture the second, which is so wonderful. The second that the last chemo drops went in. I've got a picture. And I look at myself and I'm like, "You look really skinny." I have my arm up doing some sort of yay celebration.I'm like, "I don't know if this is something I share with my mom. Because it's pretty, yeah, it's pretty shocking." So to have had the hair loss as well, I think I would've looked really emaciated. Because I've got kind of poofy bedhead hair. So it's [inaudible 00:10:46].

Kristen Vengler (10:47): We'll go with bad surprises first. But now in hindsight when you look back on it, what were the things that you're just like, "Damn." Both good and bad?

Natasha (10:57): It's a great question. I think I, at the beginning was harsh on myself because I thought I should be able to sail through this. And it's really only been this cycle and maybe the last cycle where yesterday I went to bed at six o'clock. I was exhausted and not really very hungry. So I know that's not a good thing. And even the day before, I went to bed super early.

Natasha (11:24): And I think in cycles one and two, I wouldn't have allowed myself to do that. That's when I was joining the gym and trying to walk the dog tons of miles a day. And then finally I was like, "This is a big deal. I'm going through it." So harsher myself from that. The food issue has been complicated for me because I've talked in a number of the podcasts, my taste buds are so messed up that nothing tastes like it's supposed to and nothing really tastes good.And it's really hard to describe how something that is familiar has a completely different taste. If I was going to do it again, I would just sort of give myself a message of like, food doesn't taste good, but just eat it. And that's much harder said than done. I think I was offered to meet with a nutritionist at the beginning and I didn't because I was just overwhelmed with the people I was meeting with.

Natasha (12:23): But looking back, that would've been a good idea, just to understand things that a high end protein and calories that I could get down me. I ended up with, I found some boost shakes that are 500 plus calories, but they're disgusting. The only way I've been able to get them down me is to put Kahlúa in it and pretend it's a White Russian.

Kristen Vengler (12:52): I love that.

Natasha (12:52): But they're still disgusting. Sorry, boos. No offense, but argh.

Kristen Vengler (12:56): The focus isn't to taste good, the focus is to be nutritional.

Natasha (13:00): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (13:00): But you would hope maybe, you know?

Natasha (13:02): I know. Yeah. What other things? I think, yeah, just being more gentle on myself. I have that Northern European work ethic that really got in my way like, "I have to be productive. I can't go to bed at six o'clock." Another sort of interesting thing at the beginning I was very on it. And I'll explain what I mean.

Natasha (13:24): I had a daily journal and I wrote my side effects and I wrote what pills I took and I was very controlling in a way of my own journey with this. And that kind of stopped around about number three. And I stopped the journal. I think because I didn't want it to be the main part of my life. I bought a cello six weeks ago. I'm trying to learn the cello. I'm knitting. I wanted other things other than just being a cancer patient who's writing a journal about being a cancer patient.

Kristen Vengler (14:00): Well, that's about the time you were feeling really, really sick too, if I remember correctly too. So it's anything non-essential, uh-huh, throw that away.

Natasha (14:10): Yeah. Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (14:10): Right?

Natasha (14:10): Exactly.

Kristen Vengler (14:10): And you were just treading water.

Natasha (14:12): Yeah. Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (14:14): And so well, talk to Eva. She plays the viola.

Natasha (14:17): Aha, I did not know that.

Kristen Vengler (14:19): And so you guys can be string buddies.

Natasha (14:22): Nice.

Kristen Vengler (14:23): That's really cool. Wow. I'm in awe that you took up a new hobby. That's...

Natasha (14:28): We'll see, I'm pretty hopeless at it, but it's a beautiful instrument.

Kristen Vengler (14:32): Absolutely. Is there anything remarkably that you would do differently aside from giving yourself more grace about your sleep and about taking care of yourself?

Natasha (14:44): I'm not sure. I mean, I did struggle with wanting to lead a normal life. It's sort of a challenge of keeping life normal while acknowledging that you're going through something big. And I don't think I quite found the balance. I think I'd push myself too hard and then I would collapse for two or three days rather than finding a medium in between and doing like, "Well, I'll come home at 7:30."

Natasha (15:15): I'd try and go all in, which is hard. I think the fatigue has been one of the most interesting side effects for me because it's very easy for me to think that I'm just being lazy if I go to bed at five o'clock. There's no real visual symptom with fatigue. Whereas if you're throwing up, everyone feels sorry for you.

Kristen Vengler (15:35): Right.

Natasha (15:35): But if you're going to bed at six o'clock at night and all your friends are going out, are you just being lazy?

Kristen Vengler (15:41): Well, I'd like to point out here that we're talking about cancer.

Natasha (15:46): Oh, that's right.

Kristen Vengler (15:46): And you're going through chemo and you use the word balance. I don't know that those balance goes anywhere in any of those.

Natasha (15:55): Right. Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (15:56): And so anybody listening to this, the expectations that we have of ourselves, and I think especially as being women and caretakers, whether you're a parent, whether you're not. My profession was a teacher, yours is a nurse, and we're just used to being caretakers and pushing through and we're not used to taking a hard look at ourselves and our needs. And so balance really is the physical piece. I'm able to stand up and put a foot in front of the other and get dressed. And maybe I'll brush my teeth before I go to chemo.

Natasha (16:34): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (16:34): I mean, of course you did. But I don't know how you get that through to someone aside from saying it and hoping that they hear you.

Natasha (16:44): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (16:45): And is that something in your job now that changes a little bit?

Natasha (16:53): So what's really interesting is I'm talking about switching jobs and going to work for the infusion center where I've been getting my treatments.

Kristen Vengler (17:01): Wow.

Natasha (17:03): And I probably shouldn't say this because maybe somebody from my current job will be listening.

Kristen Vengler (17:08): It'll be way past, way past.

Natasha (17:09): It'll be way past. No, they do such a remarkable job. I've spoken to the nurse manager there and it's... we'll see what happens. But I'm actually going in next week to shadow one of the nurse practitioners to see what they are taking care of. And it's a little bit, I don't know that I'm strong enough to go back and do hospice palliative care right now. That's a concern.

Kristen Vengler (17:34): It's really, really close.

Natasha (17:37): Yeah. Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (17:38): And so I had a quick question too. We talked about Taxotere, which is what you had. And I had Taxol. Did you wear the mittens and booties too?

Natasha (17:48): I did. I wore them. I was actually pretty strict about wearing them through the treatments, through all six cycles actually. Just because I like to dance and I like to use my fingers and I'd like to keep both of them as healthy as possible. And I haven't noticed any tingling of any kind yet.

Natasha (18:06): But I also know I'm not out of the woods. With the DigniCaps and the hands and mittens and the feet, the first three hours of every treatment were pretty freaking miserable. I was freezing. And it was only the very last cycle that I took a blanket of my own from home, a fur blanket.

Natasha (18:28): And they try, the nurses are great like, "Can I get you another warm blanket?" But a warm blanket lasts about 10 minutes. And you can't do anything when you've got the-. I had silly mittens. I didn't have gloves, it, yeah, it's huge great oven gloves. So there's no playing with your phone, there's no knitting, doing anything. You're just sitting there with these huge freezing globby things on your hands and feet.

Kristen Vengler (18:52): Yeah.

Natasha (18:53): I don't know how much I can attribute to not having had any of the signs of neuropathy, but I went in willing to do anything that wouldn't impact the next 20, 30 years of my life, if I can do something. I didn't do the ice chips. I don't know if you did.

Kristen Vengler (19:12): So I only did the ice chips when I had the AC chemo, which you didn't have.

Natasha (19:17): Right.

Kristen Vengler (19:19): So I'm going to ask you to talk about your news.

Natasha (19:23): Okay.

Kristen Vengler (19:23): How is your life different from March? Was it March the second that you had your first?

Natasha (19:29): Mm-hmm. So I had an MRI actually two days after my chemo. I had an MRI on Friday, which is unusual to have it so quickly. So usually, you would wait for cycle six to have done a little more damage before you would do an MRI. But I think that because we knew that the lymph node wasn't showing up under my armpit anymore, maybe they felt comfortable.

Natasha (19:55): Anyway, had an MRI, love the MRIs at UCSF. And it's so weird too, the aromatherapy. This time, I listened to Queen. It's almost like having a nap, really. It's a joyous experience. And then the results came up over the weekend. And thanks to the sort of patient portal they have at UCSF, I was able to go in and read my MRI.

Natasha (20:19): And it's all medical-ease but I spent a long time in school to decipher that. So according to the MRI, I have had a significant treatment response and both the lymph node and the mass that was in my breast, I love this phrase, are difficult to appreciate, which means they can't find them. I appreciate this lymph node so much for getting pissed off and getting angry in my armpit and telling me that I had breast cancer, but there's no cancer. I could not believe it. I'm so happy.

Kristen Vengler (20:56): I am crying right now.

Natasha (20:58): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (20:59): I'm so happy for you.

Natasha (21:00): Me too. But the crazy thing about being able to read your own report is I had nobody with me when I read it and it could have said, "Significant residual disease, recommend clinical correlation." Some... I had no idea when I clicked on that link what it would say.

Kristen Vengler (21:19): Brave girl.

Natasha (21:21): Yeah. I mean, yeah.

Kristen Vengler (21:23): It's 50/50, right?

Natasha (21:24): Yeah. It worked or it didn't.

Kristen Vengler (21:27): So tell me what that does. Tell me about that mindset. What does that do to you from three days ago?

Natasha (21:35): It just made it all worthwhile. It's a little difficult for me to remember how down I was around cycle three, but I was having conversations with myself that I'm not doing anymore. Number three was so wretched that I can't remember what I improved. Time just made things a little bit easier. But there was some pretty significant time around three when I was like, "I'm not doing three more." There was no way in hell I can do it.

Kristen Vengler (22:09): What is your message then for people who are in that place with you? And you also advocated pretty hard for yourself to get some med changes.

Natasha (22:17): Yeah. It's hard, but it's not as long as it feels. I think six cycles every three weeks sounds like forever. And it's kind of like the 12 step motto, it's one day at a time. Every day can be different. And it works. That's the remarkable thing. It's like you too could go through the six cycles and come out and have a difficult to appreciate note.

Kristen Vengler (22:45): A difficult to appreciate. I love that.

Natasha (22:49): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (22:50): That's such great news. So with that news, what does that mean for treatment going forward? What does that mean?

Natasha (22:56): So what I'm expecting, and I have been told the sort of trajectory is that the next thing to expect is surgery, July 19th. So about a month out. I don't understand what they're going to do in surgery. But I've brought it up twice with my oncologist and she's like, "Oh, people always think because there's no disease, there's no surgery." I'm like, "Well, yeah."

Natasha (23:22): So I have a meeting with my surgical team Friday next week. I have this fantasy that they're going to tell me I don't need surgery. I don't think that's going to happen. I think I'm still looking at surgery, but it's complicated to know what they're going to take out.

Kristen Vengler (23:41): If it's difficult to appreciate, then what are they going to take out? And that's what your clinical mind says. That's not just you as the patient. Right?

Natasha (23:48): Yeah.

Kristen Vengler (23:49): Okay. That's what I would think.

Natasha (23:51): And there's the sentinel lymph node that they have to take a look at. I mean, maybe, and I'm not a surgeon, maybe there's a sack that this was in and they want to take that out. I have really no idea. I'm interested to find out.

Kristen Vengler (24:06): Yeah.

Natasha (24:07): Things have to be a certain size to show up in a scan anyway.

Kristen Vengler (24:11): Sure.

Natasha (24:11): So.

Kristen Vengler (24:11): Sure. And you would know that. Absolutely. So let's talk about how your life is different. All of it. Come on. All of it. All of it.

Natasha (24:20): I got a dog.

Kristen Vengler (24:22): Yes.

Natasha (24:22): That's a big difference. I look back almost objectively to the me who had that two week period where I didn't know what stage I had, where the primary cancer was. This was while I was waiting for everything to get worked up. And it was an incredibly dark introspective time in my life where I'm really having these conversations with myself about recognizing that this could be a widely metastatic stage four.

Natasha (24:57): Do I want to die in the US? Do I want to die in England? Which room in my house would I receive people on my deathbed? I mean, what do I do with the money I'd saved? Do I give it? Which charities are important? And it was a really interesting time that I'm kind of glad I had the opportunity to go through now that I'm not looking at that.

Kristen Vengler (25:26): Inside.

Natasha (25:27): Yeah. I can't claim to be one of those people whose life's completely changed and I'm never going to be the same again. But there's definitely something about grabbing the moment and doing something. Just doing things, like going to Mexico City next week doesn't make a lot of sense. I might be pukey still from chemo.

Natasha (25:47): I hope to hell there's no COVID outbreaks in Mexico City. But I've always wanted to go. And a friend said she's going, I'm like, "I'm going." Because I think I also need to realize that this recurs. I don't know that I'm never going to see this again. It could recur quickly. It might not. That's the hope. And that's the hope from oncologists.

Natasha (26:11): But leaving the world with regrets. And I've sat with people who were leaving the world with regrets and it's really sad and it's really hard. I mean, I'm not there. I'm not the person who's going hang gliding and I don't have a bucket list, but just an awareness of the preciousness of life.

Kristen Vengler (26:34): Wow. That's beautiful, Natasha. Isn't it weird what it takes for you to get there?

Natasha (26:40): Yeah. I feel like I need to share that, but it sounds so Pollyanna and ludicrous to other people.

Kristen Vengler (26:48): It doesn't. It doesn't.

Natasha (26:49): Really? Okay.

Kristen Vengler (26:50): I promise it doesn't. Yeah. I am so excited for your trip.

Natasha (26:57): Thank you.

Kristen Vengler (26:57): I'm so excited for your status. I am just over the moon with everything that's going on with you.

Natasha (27:04): Thank you.

Kristen Vengler (27:05): I love you.

Natasha (27:06): I love you too. And honestly, I couldn't have done a lot of this without you guys, for sure. So thank you.

Kristen Vengler (27:13): That's why we're here. Right? And I hope that somebody is listening, feeling the exact same way.

Natasha (27:20): Yeah. And if you're not, get in touch with us on...

Kristen Vengler (27:23): Yes.

Natasha (27:24): The social medias and we'll share more.

Kristen Vengler (27:27): Absolutely.

Eva Sheie (27:31): Thank you for listening to Breast Cancer Stories. To continue telling this story and helping others, we need your help. All podcasts require resources, and we have a team of people who produce it, there's costs involved, and it takes time.

Kristen Vengler (27:46): If you believe in what we're doing and have the means to support the show, you can make a one-time donation or you can set up a recurring donation in any amount through the PayPal link on our website at breastcancerstoriespodcast.com/donate

Eva Sheie (28:00): To get the key takeaways from each episode, links to anything we've talked about and promo codes or giveaways from our partners, sign up for our email newsletter.

Kristen Vengler (28:10): You'll get notes and thoughts from me related to each episode, and links to the most useful resources for all the breast cancer things. So if you have chemo brain, you'll be able to just go read your email, find anything we talked about on the podcast without having to remember it.

Eva Sheie (28:24): The link to sign up is in your show notes and on the newsletter page at breastcancerstories podcast.com.

Kristen Vengler (28:30): We promise not to annoy you with too many emails.

Eva Sheie (28:35): Thanks for listening to Breast Cancer Stories. If you're facing a breast cancer diagnosis and you want to tell your story on the podcast, send an email to hello@theaxis.io. I'm Eva Sheie, your host and executive producer. Production support for the show comes from Mary Ellen Clarkson and our engineer is Daniel Croeser. Breast Cancer Stories is a production of The Axis, theaxis.io.