April 21, 2022

Day 420: Goodbye Franken-Boobs

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.

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April 8, 2022

Day 403: What They Don’t Tell You About Hormone Blockers

Nobody told Kristen just how horrible the side effects from the hormone blockers would be. The neuropathy in her feet causes her to walk like an old woman and she struggles with simple, everyday movement like standing up from the …

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March 24, 2022

Day 365: I'm Still Here

Kristen returns to Austin during the holidays to help a friend recover from surgery, clear out the last of her old things from the storage unit, and close the door on 26 years of her life.

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March 10, 2022

Deconstructing Kristen’s Breast Reconstruction with Plastic Surgeon D…

In part 2 of our conversation with plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella, we go behind the doors of the operating room to understand how the team functions and learn some surprising things about surgery. Looking back on Kristen’s extraordinary pain …

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March 3, 2022

Deconstructing Kristen’s Breast Reconstruction with Plastic Surgeon D…

Kristen’s plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella joins us to deconstruct her breast reconstruction and help us understand his strategy for the multi-stage approach in which the expanders are placed at the time of mastectomy and replaced with breast implants following …

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Feb. 17, 2022

Day 301: Another Day in the Valley

Two months after radiation, Kristen’s chest isn’t looking like such a hot mess anymore. But in mental health terms, we’re in the valley now and nobody knows how deep or wide that valley will be.

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Jan. 28, 2022

Day 248: Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again

Despite increasing pain and burns from the most recent round of radiation, Kristen manages to keep up with work and spend time with a friend at the beach. With only five days left until the end of radiation and “no …

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Jan. 13, 2022

Day 198: Why I Decided to Have Radiation

Weary and desperate for a break in the relentlessness of breast cancer treatment, Kristen makes the decision whether or not to proceed with radiation.

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Dec. 30, 2021

Day 176: This Is Not The Outcome We Wanted

Kristen goes into the operating room hopeful that this milestone is the end of her cancer, but wakes up ten hours later realizing the number of drains in her chest means the worst possible outcome.

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Dec. 16, 2021

Day 160: What Snacks Do You Bring to a Double Mastectomy?

How do you prepare to have a part of your body removed forever? What snacks do you bring to a double mastectomy? For Kristen, the list starts with a good pillowcase, her Anna Ono robe, her softest Kyte Baby jammies, …

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Dec. 2, 2021

Day 151: How I Got Mentally Ready For A Double Mastectomy

Kristen readies herself for the impending double mastectomy and reflects on her original thought process in which the bad boobs are swapped out for good new boobs and that’s the end

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Nov. 12, 2021

Day 131: I Regret Not Noticing This Sooner

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 …

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Nov. 4, 2021

Day 77: Did the Tumor Shrink?

After 11 long weeks of chemotherapy we’re at the clinic to see Dr. Ali, the oncologist. Kristen is hopeful because she can see her tumor and it appears on the surface like it’s getting smaller. But the only true measure …

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Oct. 28, 2021

Day 60: Strange Chemo Side Effects That Nobody Tells You About

Kristen adjusts to Taxol, the drug used in the second phase of chemotherapy, which brings bizarre side effects requiring special booties and mittens to prevent permanent nerve damage in her hands and feet. Being single, having cancer, and wondering if …

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Oct. 21, 2021

Day 28: This Might Be What Kills Me

4 weeks after starting chemo, the “new normal” is here. Kristen describes what it feels like to have no hair and as the physical effects of chemo present new challenges, she realizes that breast cancer could be what ends her …

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Oct. 7, 2021

Day 13: Why I Cut All My Hair Off 3 Days Before it Fell Out

At the end of the day following Kristen’s 2nd chemo treatment, she recalls her dream the previous night and describes how her hair hurts. Between the first and second chemo treatments, several surprise infections appeared along with disappointment over how …

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Sept. 30, 2021

Day 1: How My Doctor Missed My Breast Cancer Symptoms

When she noticed her nipple felt different, Kristen's first thought was "what the F is this?" Her second thought was that her life was about to change. So she did what everyone does in this situation... she jumped out of …

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