32 episodes

The Intersection of Cancer and Life is a conversational look at the lives we rebuild for ourselves after a cancer diagnosis. In each episode, host Emily Garnett and guests discuss the changes, challenges, and unexpected shifts that have occurred while living with cancer. These conversations emphasize the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to rebuilding a life after diagnosis, and creates a space to better understand the lives we lead with cancer. This podcast lets listeners know that they are not alone, whether they themselves have been diagnosed with cancer, or have a friend or loved one navigating treatment. Emily Garnett is a mother, wife, and elder law attorney in New York. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November 2017, the same week as her fifth wedding anniversary and her son’s second birthday.

The Intersection of Cancer and Life with Emily Garnett Mouth Off Network

    • Alternative Health
    • 4.8 • 32 Ratings

The Intersection of Cancer and Life is a conversational look at the lives we rebuild for ourselves after a cancer diagnosis. In each episode, host Emily Garnett and guests discuss the changes, challenges, and unexpected shifts that have occurred while living with cancer. These conversations emphasize the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to rebuilding a life after diagnosis, and creates a space to better understand the lives we lead with cancer. This podcast lets listeners know that they are not alone, whether they themselves have been diagnosed with cancer, or have a friend or loved one navigating treatment. Emily Garnett is a mother, wife, and elder law attorney in New York. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November 2017, the same week as her fifth wedding anniversary and her son’s second birthday.

    Episode 30: Being with Babish with Andrew Rea

    Episode 30: Being with Babish with Andrew Rea

    Way back in The beginning of 2019- which feels like a lifetime ago- I was starting a clinical trial as my second line of treatment. I had just experienced progression for the first time. I was angry - so pissed that my treatment hadn’t worked, that I hadn’t gotten more time, time I naively thought I would have- time that I thought was owed to me. My husband was pissed too- we had been blindsided, shaken out of a dull comfortable lull that things would be ok. Life with metastatic breast cancer is like living with a terrifying clown in the shadows, and I hate clowns, so I’m just going to leave that there. You know where I’m going with this.
    My husband and I had been together for, at the time, almost 11 years. We met when we were babies- he was 22, and I was 23, less than a year out of college. We were both at a party hosted by mutual friends, but our paths had never before crossed. After noticing my bright-red patent leather heels (which he claimed, and still maintains, that he hated, but what are red heels for if not to be noticed in them?) we struck up an easy conversation, introducing ourselves. I asked him what he did- as 20-Somethings in New York are apt to do, and in what became the most fateful pickup line ever to exist in the universe, he responded to me: “I’m a custom wood furniture maker, like Aiden, from Sex and the City. Or Jesus.” 
    I was all in, then and there. (And this was 2008, so the Sex and the City reference was timely!) I soon learned that he was all in as well. After that evening, we became inseparable, moved in together within months, and got married (4 years later, but believe me when I say that there was no question from that first evening that that was where our relationship was headed.) We have dealt with a lot a lot as a couple- over a decade together life has tested us, weathered us, but never fully jaded us. He is still my favorite person to high five, my favorite person to make bad jokes with, my favorite person to laugh and to cry with, my favorite person ever. Christian is my person, and I would never change that. 
    But back to the beginning of the year: Christian and I were spending an evening watching YouTube cooking videos, a favorite shared pastime. One of our favorites at the time was Binging with Babish; for those not familiar with the show, it is a witty, slick YouTube cooking show showcasing meals from pop culture, with an obscure, non-sequitur West Wing reference in the title. We loved it. One evening, at the end of the show, Andrew, the host, put out a call for people to write in, asking to hear about fans who had specific accomplishments to celebrate, fans in need, or fans who were just going through hard times. My husband, the quintessential fan, was going through the worst stuff of his life- what did I have to lose? So I emailed Andrew, explaining my diagnosis, my prognosis, and the challenges Christian was facing as a husband, father, professional, and person, watching his wife navigate this horrible disease in a somewhat frustratingly helpless way. Again, you know where I’m going with this. (And I’m not going to give away any spoilers just yet!) 
    Especially as a mother, I have been surprised at the outpouring of support, of love, and of kindness directed my way. I can’t begin to thank all of the people who came out of the woodwork, and who came out of the comforts of their own lives, to support me. But so often, the caregiver, the spouse, the co-parent, is overlooked. There is so much focus on the sick person that the massive, massive impact on family members can get lost in the fray. And fraying was exactly what was going on with my husband’s mental state at the time. As the months of 2019 went on, we were hit relentlessly with more and more bad news: progression into my brain requiring radiation, i

    • 56 min
    116 People Die Every Day from Metastatic Breast Cancer

    116 People Die Every Day from Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Today, October 13th, 2019, is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
    In honor of this day, and to remember that 116 people die every day of this disease, I will be reading a list of 116 names. Each person mentioned died of metastatic breast cancer, and so, so many more.
    Noelle Gray Monica Hill Patricia Wu Teva Harrison Rebecca Scheinkman Lindsay Ruland Andrea Parker Christine Knowles Josh Hendrix  Jennifer Friar Groves Suzanne Dahlgren Judy Erdahl Amanda DeFiebe Margaux Untracht Hannah Thomson Caitlin Masterson Jessica Karabian Sheryl Nichols Michael Selsman Wanda Lewis Katie Sanders Shannon Weber Lewis Ben Truitt Priscilla Grant-Battle Ann Donovan Linda Manthei Gerard Campion Cara Gentile Debbie Petrocelli Stacey Smith Jose Luis Gonzales Jenny Pagliaro Tanya Sumner Stephanie Sunday Briana Sykes Maggie Van Duyn Anya Silver Champagne Joy April Hines Susan Rosen Rob Fincher Annie Fuller Heather Sabella Larissa Podermanski Uzma Yunus Andrea Zinn Beth Caldwell Nina Riggs Allison Elrod Mandi Hudson Melissa Tang Rebecca Szpara Laura Williams Adrienne Toth Lisa Brown Terrie McGray Kim Varga Regina Cooley Marcia Mays Jennifer Hendryx Erin Grant Adrienne Dorris Valerie Wright Mike Phillips Donna Peterson Joyce Heckman Ashley Gollahon Rachael McKillip Nicole Marchand Emma Spangler Delores Ochs Maybe Brunner Key Peters Amber Gillespie Laura Lennox Pat Woolridge Christina Newman Jody Schoger Sarita Jordan Linda Forster Erin Grant Lori Stillwell Melinda Connelly Michelle Middleton Kristi Kramer Sarah Amento Sylvia Walker Bobbie Jo Bolinger Mary Ann Baker Emma Shaw John Lunardo Barbara Kelly Roxanne Gibson Mary Frances Nina Frances Lynna Spornick Angela Powell Kerry-Anne Turner Cheri Rauth Bill Becker Tatum Bowerman-Hummel Blanca Villalba-Baldonado Sheryl Nichols Ken Williams Roland Taylor Linda Cramer Lindsay Kavka Kay Hukill Rebecca Barrett Melanie Curran Kerri Chalmers Tracy Jo Blata Leanne Murtha Faylayn Liber Alan Blood Yenifer Euceda

    • 5 min
    Episode 28: A Documentary Intervention with Andrew Silver

    Episode 28: A Documentary Intervention with Andrew Silver

    by Anya Silver
    I’d like a long braid to lasso my rage away,
    to stand on a stage in a garter belt
    and thigh high boots and stamp my feet
    through the floor, like to put my face
    right up against someone else’s face and scream
    until the scream knocks me to my knees, coughing.
    I could become an arsonist, delicious click of the lighter.
    Every time someone I love dies, I’d like a diamond
    to line the hilt of a dagger, or tip an arrow.
    I’d like to shoot the whole God damned universe
    through its infinite starry center, and watch it suck
    into itself, scattering the suns and galaxies
    over each other like a jar of tipped glitter.
    Don’t tell me not to be angry.
    Do you know how close I am to flinging my whole body
    at you, how little I care about being hit
    back or spat on, or bruised? Humiliation
    means nothing to me. I have nothing to lose—
    If you push me off a building, I’ll sing.
    I’d jump in front of a bullet if I could.
    I’d let someone wring my neck if only
    I knew it would hurt God just one bit to watch me die.
     One of the most difficult, most heart-wrenching things about life with metastatic breast cancer is how many people just like you you watch and listen to die. Every day, it’s happening, and I can’t go on social media sometimes because I’m afraid of what news I’m going to get. I’m afraid of who I’m going to lose next. Metastatic cancer, when it gains momentum, has a tendency to move very quickly. It’s terrifying, and it’s also our reality. The longer I live with this illness, and the more time I spend with the metastatic community, the more incredible, amazing people I meet. And the more incredible, amazing people I watch die.
     It feels cruel and unfair, like a sick cyclical groundhog day, where we  - or at least I - often feel torn between allowing my grief to pull me under and submerse me, knowing that it will hit me unyieldingly in incessant waves. Knowing that that grief is not survivable, either, and that, submerged in it, I have no air for anything else. Or I can tamp down that grief, let go of it while I cling to a life raft- literally, to life, to the numbness that comes with continuing on after loss. For me, it often feels like an either/or sort of thing, and yet, to choose one feels like a betrayal to the other.
     However, there is another kind of grief that I’ve found myself experiencing more and more as I continue to live this life with cancer. It’s an unexpected grief, something I couldn’t put my finger on until recently. Something that, to me, feels like this very fundamental cornerstone of loss. I find myself, over and over, grieving for the people that I never met, never interacted with, and never will.  The people I learn about only through their obituaries, their online tributes, the condolences that float through our shared Facebook groups. These people, whose lives are punctuated by the illness that stole them, who will never post another late-night worry or pose a question to the online community, or who will never let us know the results of a good or bad scan. Whose lives, and everything that they encompassed, are over.
     I have experienced this grief so many times over the last two years, but, in many ways, one person has stuck out to me- the incredible, indomitable poet Anya Silver, who died last year from metastatic inflammatory breast cancer. We shared membership in a number of Facebook groups and online metastatic breast cancer communities, but had never interacted, but for a few comments on the same threads. I didn’t know much her until I read her obituary, posted in one such group. A few months later, her husband posted on Facebook that he was looking for interview subjects to be part of his documentary theatre project about metastatic breast cancer. I reached out, interviewed, and today- October 10th, the day this ep

    • 1 hr 51 min
    Episode 27: The Worst Club with the Best People, with Julia Maues and Christine Hodgdon

    Episode 27: The Worst Club with the Best People, with Julia Maues and Christine Hodgdon

    I often say that having breast cancer introduces you to the worst club with the best people. It seems so strange, but it’s so true. In particular, it seems like the worse things get - at least for me - the better the people are. When I was first diagnosed, I found an incredible community willing to circle the wagons around me. That community grew tighter and more generous with their time, resources, and support after I was diagnosed metastatic. Even mores when I discovered I had brain mets. It’s truly amazing, and I could not be here, doing what I do, without the unflinching support of this group of people.
    Two of the people who have been critical pieces of that support system are my guests today. Julia Maues and Christine Hodgdon are both women in their 30s living with metastatic breast cancer. They’re incredible researchers, advocates, and brilliant educators for those both in and outside of the metastatic breast cancer community. Julia was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer while pregnant at age 29. After her son was born, she found out the cancer was metastatic and had spread to her brain, liver and bones. She has been in active treatment since 2013.
    For the first few years after her metastatic diagnosis Julia did not get involved in support groups or advocacy. When her oncologist asked her to speak at a fundraiser for his research she realized the power of sharing her story. Being able to help other patients going through similar struggles and to help researchers better work for patients have been extremely rewarding. As she has gotten more involved with breast cancer advocacy she has become more aware and outspoken about the struggles that the metastatic breast cancer community, in particular, faces.
    Julia is a member of multiple advocacy groups that work with researchers, clinicians and other stakeholders to ensure that research is patient-centered, innovative and accessible. She is a graduate of Living Beyond Breast Cancer Hear My Voice program and the Alamo Breast Cancer Program. Julia has spoken at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the YSC Summit, the DC Komen MBC Conference. Behind the scenes, Julia has served on American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guideline panels, as a reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and is an active member of local support groups in D.C. and closed Facebook groups for people with metastatic breast cancer.
    Christine has been a breast cancer advocate since her metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis in April 2015. Her goal as an advocate is to represent the collective voice of young MBC survivors. As a patient who falls into both the young and metastatic cohorts, she feel uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between doctors and patients. she aims to work with scientists to identify and address the disparities that exist in patient care, especially in underserved and vulnerable populations that are disproportionately impacted by breast cancer. she has even launched her own website TheStormRiders.org as an education tool for the breast cancer community. The mission of the Storm Riders Network is to 1) provide the most up-to-date scientifically accurate information about breast cancer and its treatments, and 2) to distill this information into a digestible format that is easy to understand. The website now includes a database of MBC-specific clinical trials and promising drugs.
    Today, these two incredible women talk about their individual advocacy works, as well as their collaborative efforts, and the critical importance of friendship within the metastatic community. 
    Christine's Website: The Storm Riders
    Christine's Twitter
    Julia's Website: It's Not Pink
    Julia's Twitter
    Thank you so much for listening to the Intersection of Cancer and Life. For show notes and more about each episode, you can go to my website,

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Episode 26: So How Exactly are We Going to Cure Cancer? With Hillary Stires

    Episode 26: So How Exactly are We Going to Cure Cancer? With Hillary Stires

    One of the things that has plagued me since the very beginning of my breast cancer diagnosis - I mean, other than the actual breast cancer, is trying to understand what breast cancer really is. How does breast cancer work? Why has it found such a willing host in my body? And what can I do about it? I’ve been trying to understand the mechanisms of my disease so that I can understand how to stay ahead of it, how to outsmart it. And I guess that is the million-dollar question.
    Last December, when I first experienced disease progression, I put out a desperate call on Twitter for help understanding a pathology report. I had had a bone biopsy that had shown that my previously very estrogen positive cancer - as in, my cancer fed voraciously off of estrogen - had stopped feeding off of estrogen, and instead, found a different mechanism to fuel its growth. What mechanism, though, I didn’t know. Apparently, that is a common question for researchers too, and one that there isn’t a good, or known, answer to. It’s frustrating, feeling like you can identify the question, but not being able to find out the answer. It turns out that that frustration is not only on the patient side of things, but experienced by the cancer resrarchers as well. Today, I talk to breast cancer research scientist turned breast cancer advocate Hillary Stires. When I put out my desperate plea for help understanding my pathology report on Twitter, Hillary responded to me, and became a lifeline for me, helping me understand the issues my disease faced, as well as the issues faced by researchers and clinicians treating breast cancer in general. 
    Hillary is a breast cancer research scientist who now works in healthcare consulting. After completing her PhD in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences at Rutgers University, she moved to Washington DC for a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. While at Georgetown, Hillary began working with patient advocates and saw the impact of their experiences on her research projects. Six months into her postdoc, her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28. Hillary’s experiences moved her towards a career in healthcare policy and inspired her to develop programs to connect cancer research scientists and patient advocates.
    Personal Website
    Twitter @hillstirsci
    Instagram @HillaryStires
    NCCS Elevate Ambassadors

    • 57 min
    Episode 25: Surviving Breast Cancer with Laura Carfang

    Episode 25: Surviving Breast Cancer with Laura Carfang

    And we’re back! As this episode is being released, it’s October 1st, which means that breast cancer awareness month is upon us. Fittingly, I also have scans this morning, after what has been pretty much a year of hell. Let’s backtrack: My last stable PET scan was in September 2018, right after my hysterectomy. In December, I experienced progression in my bone lesions, and in January, I started a clinical trial. After being diagnosed with brain lesions in March and undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery in April, my disease progressed into my liver and lung in April, removing me from the clinical trial. I then started Xeloda, and oral chemotherapy drug, that month. Two months into my treatment with Xeloda, my tumor markers, liver enzymes, and liver pain skyrocketed, sending me for scans nearly a month ahead of schedule. My largest liver lesion had doubled in size, and I had developed several new lesions as well. It was time to bring in the big guns. The following week, in July of 2019, I started my first course of IV chemotherapy: Taxol. 
    To say that Taxol has been a bitch would be an understatement. It’s been brutal. After about two weeks, I lost all of my hair - and when I say all of my hair, I mean ALL of it. It’s slowly growing back now, but, as my husband said a few days ago, “you look like a baby goose who flew into an electrical wire.” So, not exactly winning any style awards these days. And then there are the rest of the side effects: GI issues, near-constant nausea, body aches, and pain. A lot of pain. Enough pain to warrant three emergency room visits in the last month. So fingers crossed that I can have my first stable scan in over a year. 
    But let’s chat a little bit about breast cancer awareness. What exactly does breast cancer awareness mean? What are we working for when we are trying to foster “awareness” of the disease? I honestly would love to hear what other people think about this. Personally, I think that the term awareness has lost effect. We need to break down what our campaigns are doing and make sure that they are falling into what I think of as the three subcategories of awareness: education, advocacy, and community-building. If it’s not doing one of those three things, than that awareness activity is feeding into the culture of pink-washing, which is when a brand slaps a pink ribbon on something without further explanation, and relies on that pink ribbon to boost sales, often without a direct connection to an organization or specific mission, other than “awareness.” And that really just allows people, and companies, to buy into the commodification of breast cancer. Because I can’t imagine how many companies’ sales would be boosted if they slapped a sticker on their product and said “116 PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY from metastatic breast cancer” - and yet, that’s the reality of breast cancer. We don’t need breast cancer awareness, we need metastatic breast cancer awareness: we need advocacy, education, and community building.
    So for this month, October, I am going to be doing my best to do those three things. I will be talking with guests whose lives in the breast cancer world have shifted past awareness into a space that works toward those three tenets in order to further work toward true understanding of life with breast cancer. My guest today, Laura Carfang, is as much of my guest as I am hers - we conducted a joint interview of each other, and came out with a fantastic conversation about community that I hope resonates with many who are listening. 
     Laura Carfang, the host of Breast Cancer Conversations podcast, is SurvivingBreastCancer.org's Executive Director.  She is a firm believer that everyone's voice should be heard. She's an advocate, mentor, leader, and visionary with over 10+ years working in education, development and programming in the non-profit s

    • 1 hr 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

lynxerzzz ,

Immune therapy episode

Hello! Just listened last night! Sry informative and hopefully info! I’ve got MBC as well, thriver for 3 years! Great to hear new treatments in the horizon. Thanks for sharing!!

MomOfEighteen ,

Love this woman

Emily is fantastic at sharing news and information and still remaining upbeat!

DWeitzen ,

Love this Podcast

Love this podcast which faces the realities of dealing with serious, possible terminal illness head on with grace, humor, honesty, intelligence and wit. Emily is critical and necessary voice, fierce in her advocacy for better care, more research and more funding for anyone living with a metastatic cancer diagnosis.

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