Episode 34: Patient Advocacy: Living with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer
Release Date: 06/14/2023
Mammograms are known to be the most common form of breast imaging to screen for breast cancer. This form of breast imaging is known to some to be uncomfortable and for some women culturally unacceptable. So, this interview sparked great interest in the work my guest is doing. , Professor of Forensic and Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry at is my guest. Her work and interest in forensic science lead her to a serendipitous discovery published in a paper she authored with others entitled, “. Professor Francese and I met at the this year where she opened the conference with her presentation on...info_outline Episode 43: The Drain-Free DIEP Flap Concept
DIEP flap breast reconstruction most often requires surgical drains for post operative care. Patients often mention to me they are awkward, can become infected at the suture site where they are attached to the skin, and are cumbersome to hide under clothing after surgery when going out in public. My guest on this episode of the has been in communication with me over the past year in anticipation of his recently published paper, . , is a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon with the NHS and private practice at . He graduated with distinctions from University College London...info_outline Episode 42: Clips, Mesh, and Sutures in Breast Reconstruction
from in Charleston, South Carolina, discusses the use of clips, mesh, and sutures used in breast reconstruction surgery on this episode of the . Many patients ask about these tools and devices. The information Dr. Craigies provides helps the listener understand their use and function in procedures like . This podcast cast is a remake of the . We want to present platforms to watch and listen for patients as they reserach options for surgery after mastectomy. Our aim is to provide this information so the listener can takes notes, pause, rewind and replay the episode to prepare questions in...info_outline Episode 41: Achieving Wellness through Breast Cancer
My guests on the are often made through connections in the breast cancer community. This is the case for Amy Robinson. She was introduced to me by another survivor who like me, benefits from the practice of meditation as part of her survivorship after surgery, treatment, and recovery. As a treat at the end of the podcast, I ask Amy to take us through a three-minute meditation. You won’t want to miss it! My guest, Amy Robinson, created Radiant Healing Together in 2022 transforming the breast cancer experience with vital research, caring support, and warm community. Her 12+ weekly live...info_outline Episode 40: Breast Imaging in Breast Cancer
This will focus on breast imaging. The questions we will discuss are when to see a radiologist, types of imaging, and more specifics about each type. We will look at what the future looks like in medical imaging in breast cancer. I’m speaking to Dr. Randy Miles. as the chief of breast imaging at with oversite over the breast divisions clinical, research, and educational programs. He also serves as the associate director for research in the radiology department. He earned his medical degree from . Dr. Miles has achieved multiple awards throughout his career and served on medical...info_outline Episode 39: The London Breast Meeting 2023
The will be held from September 7-9, 2023, at the Royal College of Physicians. It is a special opportunity for me to interview and be interviewed by my guest today on this episode of the . My guests and I discuss opportunities we will be involved in at the London Breast Meeting from the perspective of industry leaders, a world class microsurgeon, and patient advocacy. My guests are , CEO of , a medical device company that makes advanced molecular sensing devices like the for microvascular breast reconstruction like DIEP flap. I also welcome Vice President of Operations for Spectros. ...info_outline Episode 38: Sisters, BRCA 1, Three DIEP flap Stories
My guests on this episode of the are three sisters, all of who have a BRCA 1 genetic mutation, and all of whom had DIEP flap breast reconstruction at the same surgical practice, , Plastic Reconstructive Microsurgical Associates, in San Antonio, Texas. This is also the surgical practice I had my DIEP flap performed by in December of 2014. Elaine, the youngest of the three sisters, lead the way being the first to have her prophylactic DIEP flap with . After finding she tested positive for the BRCA 1 genetic mutation, she completed her surgery in late May of 2017. While she was in...info_outline Episode 37: Shining a Light on Survivorship in Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a scary word that no one wants to hear from their physician. When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer your mind can often go to, “How long am I going to live?” But because treatments have improved over the years, survivorship in breast cancer is a word we are hearing more often now in breast cancer communities, online, and in the media. On this episode of the , we are shining a light on survivorship with our guest, , who has “seen both sides as a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer surgeon.” She completed her residency in general surgery at Ohio Health...info_outline Episode 36: Sexual Function Concerns in Women with Cancer
When our bodies are physically changed because of breast cancer, it has the real potential of affecting sexual health. There are multiple layers to look at when a person presents with sexual dysfunction. In other words, the natural process of the act of sex has been disrupted due to treatment, surgery, the emotional impact of cancer, and other considerations. My guest on this episode of the is an expert in this field. I want to welcome , professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the . Her Clinical Interests include Cancer Survivorship, Female Sexual Dysfunction, Female sexual...info_outline Episode 35: Achieving Symmetry and Understanding Fat Grafting in Breast Reconstruction
Achieving symmetry and understanding fat grafting in breast reconstruction are topics patients frequently ask about. I reached out to an expert in the field. My guest on this episode of the is Dr. Tim Matatov of in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Matatov is a board-certified microsurgeon who performs procedures such as implant breast reconstruction, several autologous reconstruction procedures, autologous meaning using the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast, nipple reconstruction, and a variety of other breast reconstruction procedures. He works with a team of two other...info_outline
My guest today on the DiepCJourney podcast has a blog and website titled, No Half Measures, Living Out loud.
2017 was a pivotal year in the life of my guest, Abigail Johnston. Early that year, while dual nursing her twin boys she felt a lump in her left breast. The next few months involved multiple appointments with radiologists, oncologists, and surgeons. Abigail was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
Abigail Johnston is a wife, mother, writer, educator, earned her JD after completing law school and is a patient advocate. She begins the interview by sharing her experience at the National AACR conference held in early 2023. She sat on a panel with the FDA speaking about the importance of overall survival as an important end point in clinical trials. With all the complexities on that topic, she felt the FDA worked hard to make sure her voice was heard.
Attending conferences allows her to meet other patient advocates and for Abigail and me, this is always one of the highlights of traveling to these meetings. We met in person in December of 2022 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. As she says, “Those in person hugs, nothing is better, honestly.”
She talks about the idea of “finding a purpose after a serious trauma.” Abigail states that trauma changes you fundamentally as a human being. The question becomes, how do you carry that trauma? Advocacy is the way Abigail has found some purpose in “the derailment of her life.” It has become an overarching theme in her life.
This was a podcast interview that felt comfortable, informative, and one I will go back and listen to myself often. You can reach out to Abigail and find more of her work in the following links:
Bio: Abigail’s Story
Contact Information: Email Abigail
Place to find Abigail’s writing and work: Social Media and Elsewhere