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Welcome to we can do hard things Pod squad. Today is one of those days where we really get to test out and remember our mantra that we can do hard things, because today we have some news to talk to you about, and it might be a little hard or scary to hear. And also, all is well and going to be okay. So just get your little heart strengthened and cozied up, and we're going to jump in. Sister, would you like to begin?


Surely. Sure. Sure. First of all, I have no idea what's going to happen here. I will situate us in time because this will be unique if we end up airing this, which I don't know if we will, but if we end up airing this, we will be putting it out into the world later than we are recording it. So I just think it's useful to situate us. So right now, we're exactly three weeks from when I received this news. So it's been three weeks since we received it. It's been three days since I started telling the people in my community closest to me, and then it's one week away from my surgery. So as of the time of recording this. So three weeks ago, I was informed that a biopsy that I had had revealed breast cancer. And that's the big news. The first couple of weeks were very much like a rollercoaster of, what does that mean? How bad is it? What kind of tests can we do to figure that out in advance? What are the steps we can take to eliminate it? What is the prognosis? All of that. And then this last week has been getting to the point where we felt like we knew enough to be able to share without lying to the children.


So we did that five days ago, and then three days ago started telling our broader community. So that's kind of the lay of the land to situate us to where we are in this moment. Where we're recording. We haven't recorded for. I have not participated in a recording for three weeks. I'm here now. But, yeah, it's just kind of a doozy. I don't know that it's ever not surprising to people to learn something like this, but I don't know what would be helpful to walk through kind of how it went down or if it's.


Okay, let's start that. Let's start that. I think that there's so many people out there who love you so much and are just gonna want to be like, wait a minute. Yeah, how exactly?


Wait a hot minute.


Okay, take us to the moment that you found out. Talk us through just whatever you want to about the feelings of that time and how it all unfolded, to get to know.


So, as lots of pod squatters knew by now, my dear friend Wendy passed away six months ago from cancer. We had been walking her through that journey for what felt like a long time. And I just remember thinking over and over what absolute horseshit it is and why I think it doesn't make sense, as a layperson, that people only find out about their cancer when it's too late. It just seemed like a very, very bad model for everything. And I just remember thinking a lot about that during the process and also trying to learn a little bit more about our family history. Glennon. And so our paternal grandmother died when she was 52 from lady part cancer. It was back when they didn't talk about anything relating to lady parts. So we don't know. It was said it was like, uterine or cervical, but we actually don't know if it was that or breast because it was just not discussed at the time. And our great grandmother also died in her early fifties from a lady part cancer. I was very concerned about that during that time. So I had a blood panel, like a panel for genetic markers for cancer done.


And one of the markers came back as a variation of unknown significance of the US that was associated with one of the cancers that my grandmothers had, or that we believe that they had. So it was uterine, I believe, and that was what, in our family conversations, what it is believed that the grandmothers had. So that freaked me out a lot. So then I went to a cancer prevention place where it's basically like, the idea is we don't have to wait until it's too late to kind of get checked out. So if you think that you have a likelihood of getting diagnosed because of family history, come here. And there's preventative stuff that we can work on and kind of a heightened level of awareness and interventions. So I went there for the cervical stuff, and then they said, well, good news, bad news. Good news is that actually that variation is not something to be worried about. It has been disproven to be involved in cervical cancer. But that's the good news. But the bad news is that based on your family history, which we have paternal and maternal ants, multiple on both sides, that have breast cancer, that they have a test where they kind of put in all your data, and because of the density of my breasts and because of our family history, they had me at, like, three times your average, Joanna, for the likelihood of developing cancer sometime in my life.


So she said, we're just going to do an MRI as a baseline. So if in ten years, 15 years, whatever, if something develops in your breasts, we will be aware of it and know that it is different from this baseline. Background is that I have had mammograms every year. They've all been 100% clear. So this was a very kind of routine just to get a baseline. That was seven months ago. I went in for the baseline, got the MRI, and there was a non mass something in the MRI that they thought, that's probably just hormonal. It's probably fine. We'll just check again in six months, and it'll probably have gone completely away, and then we'll have our new baseline. And so last month, I went in for the just confirm, that's a hormonal thing. New baseline. And it was. All of it was still there, plus a little more. So then they suggested a biopsy, biopsies of both breasts. And then that came back a week after the biopsies. And that is when they called me. I was away with my family for that week in a place with, like, very spotty cell phone and Internet coverage.


And they called and said that the biopsy had revealed that it was cancer and that I was just sitting on the side of the road with my cell phone. And it was very eerie and odd. But I do remember being like, holy shit, I saved my life. Like, I found back when I was so angry and frustrated and just incredulous that this is the way it works, that it's like you get sick or you feel some intense pain or some tumor breaks a bone in your body, and that's how you find out you have cancer. Felt a very overwhelming sense of gratitude that that wasn't the case. And that, like, the thing that I really, really didn't want to happen, which was that wasn't going to happen, also the thing that I didn't want to happen, which is them to tell me that it's cancer happened, but not in the way that it was. Like, there's nothing you can do about.


This because there was information provided with you that made you feel like it was going to be okay, is that you must have in order to feel the gratitude.


So they said at the time, this is probably something that a lumpectomy or a mastectomy could totally take care of, that it might be just confined to the breast. This is, like, looking like a very good prognosis. So that is what made me feel very grateful. So then I had to, like, email you and you two and my parents from out of the country. And that was odd because.


It'S not typically how we would communicate things, right?


It's not typically how we'd communicate. So I don't even know. We haven't talked about. It's been so much like, just figured this out every step of the way that we haven't really even talked about that or what that felt like or any of it, which I would. Which I would like to do. But in that first conversation where they said, this is what it is, I said, well, I would like to get a mastectomy, I don't want to, of course, I will listen to everything the doctors say, but my instinct is that this is what I want, and I want to do the most aggressive way to yield the least likelihood of any recurrence as possible. And so I would like you to set up a time with a surgeon. So, like, the day after I get back from this trip, which they did, and that was wonderful. And so you both flew in, which was amazing, and we went to that meeting with the first surgeon, and then we got. It's just a crazy rollercoaster, because then we got news that suggested that it might not be as simple as we had originally been told.


There was a. A lymph node that was. Looked more agitated than it should. And because of how much was in one breast, there was more concern than I was aware of previously of invasiveness of, you know, it being all throughout and threatening to come out of the breast.




So during that time, there was a lot more tests and waiting, and it was, I guess, six days ago that we got the lymph node test back, saying that there was no carcinoma in that lymph node, which was an amazing relief. And that is what enabled us to tell the kids the next day, because I felt like we could say with very reasonable certainty that, like, this is the process we will go through. This is what we will expect.


So for pod squatters who don't know, I didn't know any of this three weeks ago. So the lymph node is key, because the lymph node is the only way that the cancer from the breast can get out, can spread, it has to go through the door of the lymph node. So if the concern was, and what we felt in that meeting was that they were saying they were scared that the cancer had spread through the lymph node as the hallway out into the body.


Right. And if it just stays in the breast, the way cancer works in a very, like, talking to a kindergartner way is that, like, cancer doesn't kill anyone. What happens is that cancer replicates and takes over an organ that you require to live. So theoretically, cancer can take over any part of you that you don't require to live. If that part of you can be removed and the threat of the cancer spreading can be eliminated. So in the case of the breast, if it is just confined to the breast and you are able to take out all of the breast tissue, then you are theoretically safe from the spread. If it goes into the lymph nodes, then the lymph nodes are the way that it is carried throughout the rest of your body and the organs that you need to live. So, yes, that is the case. There is still theoretically, there's still a possibility that's in lymph nodes, because it's a. That was one of the lymph nodes, but it was the one that seemed agitated. So it would be odd if it was in another one.


And they don't have the full information until.


Until after. So right now, we are one week away from. I also learned in those meetings that I was not a candidate for a lumpectomy. It had to be a mastectomy because of the extensiveness of it relative to the overall size of my breasts. Like, I have very small breasts, and it is a large percentage of them. So there's. It's just, I'm not a candidate. So one week from the time that I record this, I will be getting a double mastectomy and reconstruction. And from there, they will take all of the breast tissue that they remove, send it to pathology, test it all, figure out, you know, what exactly is in there. They also, in the surgery, do something called a mag trace, where they put in this liquid dye, essentially, that goes to the lymph nodes. And it's kind of an amazing technology because everyone has what's called a sentinel lymph node, which means the first step. So there is a first step of lymph nodes that if anything were to progress from your breast to. To the lymph nodes, that it would go to this step first. And so some people have one sentinel lymph nodes, some people have two, some people have three.


It's one to three on average. So what the mag trace does is it can zone in and be like, okay, here's your one sentinel lymph node or your two, or your three. And it marks them. And some people just take out the lymph nodes no matter what the sentinel lymph nodes. Some people wait until after the pathology of the breast tissue comes back. But so they'll remove all the breast tissue, they'll send it to full pathology. They will take a look at exactly what's in there. Depending what is in there, they will make a determination. Okay, based on this, we should go ahead and take out those sentinel lymph nodes to be careful. And because they have put that mag trace in there, they know exactly where to go back and take in. Now, if they take those out and then they do the pathology on those and there was cancer in those, then they'll go back, take out all the lymph nodes and proceed from there. So it's kind of just trying to do the least invasive thing possible while keeping the parts of your body that you can while knowing, you know, what is the next step to go to.


So after that full pathology will be the determination on the lymph nodes and also the determination on if there is a large invasive component, like what exactly that cancer is, what is the makeup of it, so that we know whether there are other steps that are needed, like radiation or chemo or endocrine therapy. There's a lot of different ways to address it. It is also possible that nothing is required. So it is a realm of possibilities based on the return of that pathology. So that is the whole, like, functional approach to what is happening here. Did I miss any of those parts?


No. For the pod squatters listening, who are very scared right now, what is the most likely we know based on the last three weeks that we don't know, and we. We are keeping that holding everything loosely because of the roller coaster of the whole thing.




But the best medical guess based on your specific situation is what?


The best medical guess based on my situation is that they will do the full double mastectomies. It will either come back that that's all I need to do, or it will come back that I need to remove the lymph nodes and do a little bit of extra stuff depending on.


What it is, like radiation.


But no one has suggested that this episode of this is going to be like a mortal consequence. Like, zero people have suggested that this is early enough. And where it is and what it is is not a threat to my life at all. So no one has suggested that. And I wasn't trying to hold that. My apologies if anyone's freaking out. I wasn't trying to hold that for suspense. I just trying to go in order of what happened.


And to be fair, we really didn't know that. What you just said until a few days ago, correct?


Yeah, we didn't know that until a few days ago. Yeah.


Yeah. And I also just want to say for those who are listening and are just like, oh, my gosh. One of the things that I feel so grateful to you for, sister, is feeling like, you know what? I'm going to do a little proactive ness. I'm going to put some proactivity into myself. And though the results are still scary on so many levels, you caught this so early, and it's only because you went about finding it. And I really feel like so many. And I know that that's a privileged position that we find ourselves in to have access to be able to go to doctors and to get some of these testings done that you did. But I do think that if you are out there listening, go get tested, go get a genetic test, go get an MRI, especially if you have dense breasts.


And I will say that we are going to. To the pod squatters who don't know what we're talking about. I just am feeling very responsible for saying we're going to do some episodes on that. We're not just dropping this info on you and just, it's okay to just listen and have feelings, knowing that we're going to have follow up episode with a doctor about how to go about doing this screening and walking through it, if you have it, and how to support people. So just know that we're not going to drop this on you and then move on. We're going to follow up with real information.


Yes. And just, like, one other, like, reassurance piece of that. And I agree that it's warranted with, like, actual doctors to talk about this, and none of what we're providing is medical advice at all. Yeah, but since I said earlier about because I have dense breasts, I want to just caveat that there are four levels of density of breasts. Colloquially. If you're sitting there thinking, I have dense breasts, too, there are two categories of dense breasts that in the medical world are chunked together and called dense breasts. And those two account for 50% of people with breasts. So the group that I am in is 10% of women. It's called extremely dense. So people who are in the other 40% group, which is called, I think, like, heterogeneous. That's what I. I have density or something. When I say very dense breasts, people think if they're in that group, they are just as at risk for not being caught. That isn't really the case, it's this one in ten women who are categorized as actually group four, which is extremely dense, that are most at risk for it not being picked up in a mammogram.




So, like, just because you think you have dense breasts, it doesn't. Like, half of women are told they have dense breasts, and it's really this one sliver that is.


And just in case we didn't say that clearly, I'm going to say this in a very non medical way, but dense breasts means that your breast is made up of a kind of tissue that is not as fatty. The fatty tissue is the good stuff for the mammogram.




The fatty tissue is what they can see through really. Well. To find cancer dense breast just means you have less fatty matter and more of a different kind of matter that makes everything very hard to see.






And there's two steps of this with the density issue, is that it is harder to see. Yes. Because glandular matter shows up white on a mammogram. So does cancer. So it is very, very hard to see. It's obfuscated completely in that last most dense percent, which is 10% of people. Also independent of it, makes it harder to identify it. People with the highest density of breasts are also more likely to get cancer. So there's two factors. They're more likely to get it, and it is least likely for people to be able to detect it. So those two things are together. You would know that you have dense breasts, because when you go to get your mammogram, there will be this horseshit disclosure on it that says, basically, you have dense breasts. Therefore, JK, JK, nothing in this mammogram might be true or not. This is like a horrible overstatement, but there will be a disclaimer in there that's basically them covering their asses for this mammogram, maybe not yielding the correct results in your case. Now, again, 50% of people will have that written on their mammograms. So in that case, what you need to do is you need to go find out, am I in this 40%?


That is, like, most likely, I'm pretty good, right? And again, that's the heterogeneously dense category. Or am I in this 10% group that is extremely dense? Who needs to disregard my mammogram and go directly to MRI? Because I had a mammogram last week in preparation for surgery, and I was 100% cleared through the mammogram. And also, I just want to say for this, that. All of my mammograms were always the. So if you have extremely dense breasts and your radiologist says, oh, no, don't worry, we're going to give you the 3d mammogram, which is also called the tomiosynthesis mammogram, that's not enough for you. You need to go to MRI. But again, this is all separate, and this is one in ten people have this issue, and it doesn't mean that you're going to get cancer. It's like one in ten and then, plus, if you have the family history and all that stuff. But you won't be able to rely on a mammogram if you're one of these one in ten.


And once again, we will have a doctor come on and walk us through this, specifically about what you can do and should do and what resistance you'll come up against and what words to use to get what you need.




So why don't you take us back to talk us a little bit about this really has been. It feels like everything is operating on two levels with this experience. For all of us, it's. The top level is the unbelievably difficult, confusing, near impossible journey of trying to become a medical expert and an expert on the business of medicine while in the most traumatizing part of your life. And every single day has been a rollercoaster of ridiculous decisions and logistics. Underneath that has been, what I can only imagine, an unbelievable emotional and mental experience that you're going through. Journey, really. Right. Like parallel lines. So do you want to talk to us a little bit about what that has been like? What has been going on in your body, in your heart and your mind during this time? What have you been thinking about? What have you been feeling in your quiet moments?


I mean, honestly, because it's been. I am just becoming aware of that right now. In the three weeks since then, it's definitely been total project management in terms of, okay, who are the people that we need to line up to deal with this? What are the things we need to learn about? What are the questions we need to ask? What are the things we need to by? What do I need for surgery? What do I need to be prepared for surgery? Who do I need to line up to help? Who do I need to tell? Who are the people in, you know, my kids friends, my kids people I need to talk to their therapist to figure out how to even talk to the kids that I need to communicate to everyone. So it has been, I need to line up new coaches for my lacrosse team. I need to let the kids on the team know. I need to, like, all of that has been all of it. And I just am realizing that I feel like I have this bit of tsunami inside of me that I have not processed any emotion with it.


I haven't even cried at all. Like, there's been two times where I had, like, a 32nd situation. And weirdly, that was. I remember one was in the appointment where you guys were there and they handed me this, like, pamphlet for a support group, and it was the support group that wendy used to go to, and that one got me for a minute.


Talk about. Talk about that real quick. Like, what that moment was, because that was a big breakdown moment for all of us. Something about them handing us that packet really got to everybody in that room. So what was that about for you, that moment?


I mean, I guess. I guess it was a little bit like, this is really happening, and this is. Isn't just a thing that happens to you, but, like, a part of who you then are or something. And I also wonder whether it is just too, at that point and up until, like, maybe now and maybe even after surgery, I'm not sure, like, in your survival instincts going to, like, what do I need to figure out? What do I need to endure? What do I need to get through that? You can't really be vulnerable or weak or feel your things because I'm about to have major fucking surgery. I have people all around me who I need to be sturdy for my kids. I need, like, all of the things. So I get why the body is like, nope, we will be entertaining that at a later date. But I wonder if I had such tenderness and compassion for wendy and everything that she went through. And I could feel. Feel deep emotion for her that when my experience intersected weirdly in that moment with hers, it was like, oh, wait, you are. I could feel the emotion with her as, like, a conduit for it.


Whereas if I opened it up completely for me, I feel like it would be too much right now.


Did it feel like someone was telling you you were the vulnerable one, like, putting you in a club you didn't want to be in or.


Yeah, I mean, maybe. Honestly, it's just. I don't really know. It's like. It was just like a door. I haven't opened the door to my own situation, but I have opened the door in terms of my ability to access and comprehend and process through what was happening with Wendy. And so my door has remained closed. But, like, since hers was open and it intersected with her. I could feel the realness of it for a hot minute, whereas the door is closed on the realness of it for me right now. And the reason I think that must be true is because the only other time I've cried during this whole process is when. And Glennon, you were in my bedroom with me, and John said, suggested that we call Erica for physical therapy after. And Erica was Wendy's best friend and the one who walked her through everything. And I also cried in that moment, which was totally random. So I do think that it's like there's a lock on the door over here, so no emotion is coming in, but for some reason, when it pushes on the wendy door of the intersection, I can feel it.


That makes sense.


Totally makes sense. So you truly have not been processing this emotionally. I figured that we are the two of us. The three of us really have been logistically warrioring with the three of us, like, separately and together, doing every single thing that needs to be done in all arenas to get us through this time. And I know that I have been processing deeply emotionally on a separate track like crazy, and so has of you. Are you saying that you have not been doing that?


No, and I have zero. Like, I'm accepting zero shame or zero judgment about that. There will be zero coming from anyone to me about that. I have been 24 hours a day doing the things that a person has to do when they find out in ten days that they are having major surgery and they have a diagnosis that, if not threatening their lives now, may very well cut the length of their life down. So I have, all day, every day, been making lists of every person I need to talk to. I have, all day, every day, been respectfully honoring the way I want to live and transitioning my roles in the community to other people. I have been figuring out every single thing I need to stock my house with for after. I have been making the food that is healthy for me to eat and eating it. I have been making checklists of all my vitamins and doing it. I have been doing the pre surgery, pre op, every form under the fucking sun and appointment. So, no, I haven't done it. And I do feel like a certain weirdness right now. It feels like, oh, you're avoiding your feelings again.


And, no, I'm coming with absolute curiosity.




Truly, I'm very curious about the way the body processes this time. And that makes perfect sense to me, that there would be no capacity to be on the bottom part, to be even indulging any energy, really, and also to be, I guess, if you're going into battle, if your body's going into battle, you maintain a level of preparedness.


I guess I completely understand this on every molecular level.


I'm absolutely curious. I did think that that's what would be happening. Like, how the fuck is she doing this part, the feelings part, and the logistical part at all?


I also think that you are doing some processing. It might not be necessarily conscious. All of this stuff that you're doing is processing. You're doing it tactically, you're doing it logistically. This is all helping you for the after. And so I think that you should also give yourself a huge pat on your back for all of the stuff that you've been doing for yourself so that when surgery day does come, you're going to be 100% healthy. And I hate to, like, say this is like war, but it does feel like that. And when soldiers are often war, they're not processing there. They wait until they come home. Right. And I think that that makes perfect sense to me. And I think that you're also still. You're doing the most that people can possibly do under the circumstances their hand they're dealt.


Thank you for that. And I sort of just. I guess, you know, it's been really weird because I've known about it for a couple weeks, but because I needed to tell the kids before I told anyone else. No one in my world here has known. And so it's been a little bit of a shift in the last couple of days as people have been finding out, because their emotional reactions are interesting to me, because it's like if I tell someone and they start crying about it in, like, a beautiful way, not in a needy, like, please comfort me way, but just, like, saying wonderful things and about how it's unfair and they're mad or whatever, it's like I'm looking at them being like, oh, yeah, this is sad. This is scary. This is a big deal.


Can I ask you a question about maybe how it feels? I'm wondering if it feels like this at all the first two weeks, because when I think. When I actually think about emotional processing, that's not true what I said. Do you remember the first two weeks?


Oh, yeah, you went deep.


No, but I would not speak. Yeah, she didn't talk, and I felt. I told her. She was freaking out a little bit because she was like. Like, I literally was not talking and I was doing all the things, but I was not talking. If there were not any extra words that needed to be said for work or the kids. And we had told Alex because we needed Alex to help us with life.


Alex Heddison. Oh, my God. She helped us so much. Yeah.


But even she would facetime me and be like, how are you? And I would be like, I'm not doing this. And I told Abby. I felt like I was carrying, like, a vase full of liquid inside of me and that my entire job was to not spill it. And if anybody came close to me who I felt like was going to emotionally spill me, I would freeze them out. Is that kind of it? I'm just trying to, like, how. I'm trying to figure out how it feels.


I mean, I feel like there's been a shift. I feel like up until even. Honestly, I remember we were on the phone when I got the message about the scariest, biggest piece of news was the lymph node biopsy, and I found out that it was negative, and it was so wonderful. And I came back and I said, it's negative, and you burst out crying, Glennon. And then you told Abby, and she burst out crying. And I was just like, yay, this is such good news. This is negative. I didn't have an emotional reaction. It was like, okay, so this is negative. Now, we put that in the decision tree. Now, I've been waiting on this report to, like, execute the next stages of the planning. So this means that now I can tell the kids therapist that it's negative, so we can prepare, and we can tell the kids, which means I can tell I wasn't processing things on an emotional level. And just over, I think, the last 24 hours, I am aware that I feel claustrophobic with emotion. I need. I feel, like, to cry or something. It's, like, right below, and. But I have this very distinct need to do it by myself.


I know I need to do that. I know that there's a certain point where this is going to come out really bad if I don't. And I also understand fully why my body would be like, we're not doing that. Are you kidding me? You want to go into, like, tenderness therapy right before you have to go to war? That's not conducive to your survival. But I also am just very aware, and there is something really weird about the aloneness of this. We'll have to do a whole other episode on support and how you and you guys just gave me everything that I needed to get through all of that and find the people that I needed and feel comfortable and all the ways I'm already receiving support over here. And I remember in that first surgery meeting where she was saying the stuff, and I was like, I'm not. No. I'm not gonna let this bitch see me cry. Nope. I was like, this isn't happening here. Like, I'm not doing it here. And then. But even it's weird. It's like, it really is just you. It's really just you.




Which is weird. Which is a weird. Everyone would be very sad. Everyone would be deeply affected. Everyone. And then everyone would go right along, and only you wouldn't, which is just true. That's not an indictment on anyone. It's just spooky as hell that at the end of the day, you know, and God bless my kids, they're so amazing.


Talk to us about that. Talk to us about telling them and what you tell us about.


Well, on this note, like, just. We were sitting at the table yesterday, and Bobby said that I could tell one of his parents friends and that they should tell him. And I was like, okay, well, I mean, what made you change your mind? And he said, well, I mean, like, if you suddenly die, he's gonna be like, why didn't you tell me that? And I'm like, we wouldn't want that awkward conversation. So I'll go ahead and let him know. But I mean. And I know they'd be devastated. It would be heart shaking. It would be, oh, my God, people would be so sad. And also, I would be the only one that would be dead, and everyone else would be fine ish. That's fucking weird.


Yep. Yep. That's what I talked to my therapist about. I was like, so the truth is, nobody's coming to save us, and we're here, actually, all by ourselves.


Yeah, that's really sucky. And then here's another thing I haven't even thought about. The fact that, like, literally haven't thought about it. That in one week they're just gonna take parts of my body off that I was born with and I've had my whole life and replace them with plastic. That's fucking weird. I mean, I'm not. I'm not even someone that's been particularly attached to my breasts. I know some people are like, that is my shining moment. I love my boobs. And I've been with. I'm not even that. But also, like, it's my body. And I feel like half. The half of what I'm trying to figure out is, who am I really? Who am I really in person, in soul? In body, in whatever. And right as I'm trying to figure that out, they're like, well, this body you've got, we're gonna take some parts away and put some fake shit on it.


Maybe they're just trying to help you with the process of elimination. Like, for sure you're not. Your boobs.


One down.


Yes. But then I'm like, I don't know.


That's a big deal.


I mean, it's not even close to the biggest deal, but it's nothing.


Having major surgery to remove parts of your body and add on plastic parts is not nothing. I know that.


It's not nothing. It's not nothing.


Okay, so you are processing philosophically like you're having. This is. These are existential thinking cues. Like, when I was saying, like, what are you thinking about when you're laying in bed? It's not just logistics.


Yeah. I feel like I am operating in the weeds of logistics, which are very important. Weeds?




I am conceptually entertaining very high level concepts and realities. What I'm not doing is processing the real personal reactions and emotions of it.




I'm high and low, but not personally in me.


Yes. Yeah. What are you most afraid of?


I am most afraid that cancer will stunt my longevity. I am not afraid that this episode will kill me. I get really sad when people tell me stories. Like, my mom was diagnosed in her forties, and she lived. She lived 20 more years. She lived whatever. Like, it was. I don't want that. Like, I. I don't accept that as a good outcome for me. I want to live the length of time that I would have lived without this. And I don't yet know enough about. I mean, I've heard that getting cancer once makes it more likely that you will have it. And, like, I. I don't accept as a good and happy outcome that I get 20 more years, and then cancer recurs somewhere else in my body. That makes me deeply upset and deeply sad.


And that's a worry for you? A real worry, because of our family history. Is that the nagging thing?


I mean. Yes. And also, just because you read these studies and they're like, well, the five year recurrence rate, the ten year recurrence rate. And I'm like, fuck you, I want to know the 40 year recurrence rate. Like, I plan on living 40 more years. So I don't know why you all aren't talking about that. And I don't even want to hear about your ten year recurrence rate. So I think that is the part that's scariest to me is that when people are talking about great prognosis and great outcomes and beating it, that I want that to mean that I get to live as long as I was going to live if this wasn't true. Not that I get some more years and I get that that is greedy. There are so many people who would be very, very happy to have a five year, ten year, whatever. I understand, and I own that, that I am greedy as fuck when it comes to having all of my time. And so that's what scares me because I. And me. And maybe I'm like a little too ambitious to be like, oh, I don't even. I'm not even considering that this one could take me, but that in my heart of hearts, I'm not.


I feel really confident and good about this. And obviously there will be more information and if I need to readjust my worst fear, I will do that. But for now, that's my worst fear. That, like. And I don't want to be short changes of that. And I don't want anyone patting themselves on the back that they got me another ten years. Like, I want all of them.


All right, we're going to end this episode here for you. This episode will end Pod squad. We're going to keep talking about this, and then you will hear this conversation continued in the next episode. Okay, we love you. We've all got this. We can do hard things. We'll see you next time. Bye. If this podcast means something to you, it would mean so much to us if you'd be willing to take 30 seconds to do these three things. First, can you please follow or subscribe to we can do hard things. Following the pod helps you because you'll never miss an episode, and it helps us because you'll never miss an episode. To do this, just go to the we can do hard things show page on Apple Podcasts, Spotify odyssey, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and then just tap the plus sign in the upper right hand corner or click on follow. This is the most important thing for the pod. While you're there, if you'd be willing to give us a five star rating and review and share an episode you loved with a friend, we would be so grateful. We appreciate you very much.


We can do hard things is created and hosted by Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, and Amanda Doyle in partnership with Odyssey. Our executive producer is Jenna Wise Berman, and the show is produced by Lauren Lagrasso, Alison Schott, Deena Kleiner, and Bill Schultz. I give you tish Melton and Brandi Carlyle.


I walked through fire I came out the other side I chased desire I made sure I got what's mine.




I continue to believe that I'm the one for me and because of I mine I walk the line cause we're adventurers in heartbreaks on a final destination we're glad we stopped asking directions some places they've never been and to be loved we need to be known we'll finally find our way back home and through the joy and pain that our lives bring we can do a hard thing I hit rock bottom it felt like a brand new star I'm not the problem sometimes things fall apart and I continue to believe the best people are free and it took some time but I'm finally fine cause we're adventurers and heartbreaks so that our final destination we stopped asking directions some places they've never been and to be loved we need to be known we'll finally find our way back home and through the joy and pain that our lives bring we can do hard adventurers and heartbreaks are mad with Mike and lost but we ok stopped asking directions some places they've never been to be loved we need to belong we'll finally find our way back home and through the joy and pain that our lives bring we can do hard things yeah we can do hard things, yeah we can hardly.