Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer – patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.
Sherri had no idea how following Brenda’s journey would shape her own cancer experience 8 years later, when Brenda would become Sherri’s treatment mentor.
This is a story about friendship and patient support that everyone who has been impacted by cancer needs to hear.
Everyone Needs a Cheerleader
Sherri recalls the day she got the devastating news: She had breast cancer.
“My first phone call, sitting on the floor in the gym, was to my husband. My second phone call was to Brenda,” said Sherri.
Sherri shares how she was overwhelmed with unfamiliar medical terms and confused about the next steps needed to formalize her care plans until Brenda, a cancer survivor turned patient mentor, quickly stepped in to organize and advocate for Sherri and her family.
“So, when the doctor was drawing me diagrams and telling me all these things, I was literally in a fog. I would have left there and been like, 'I have no idea what I'm doing next',” recalls Sherri. “Having that mentor, that person to provide the clarity and the understanding and the empathy, honestly, that's a huge part of it as well. I felt like, you know, I had a cheerleader.”
Brenda tells listeners how to find a health navigator if you don’t have a friend or loved one to fill the role, and Sherri offers her best advice for people who have just been diagnosed.
Caring for Caregivers
Though Sherri’s prognosis was hopeful from the start, the process was still scary for her and her family. Brenda worked with Sherri’s husband and adult children to help them manage their own emotions so they could best support Sherri.
“Something that we talk about on the podcast in other episodes is that we can control only so much about what our family is feeling and what they know, because they're also getting outside influences, “ says Brenda, who offers tips in this episode for helping families conquer cancer together.
The Ride of all Rides
While following Brenda’s cancer story, Sherri, a cycling coach, created a special ride at her gym for breast cancer patients and survivors. Following her diagnosis, the ride took on a whole new meaning for Sherri.
“I was completely transparent and open with everybody. I never hid anything. I was telling the details of everything that I was going through, but that allowed people to feel comfortable telling their story,” says Sherri.
Brenda and Sherri recall the emotional moment they rode together as survivors.
“And then we came full circle, because I came to your gym and you had been riding year after year since 2013 for me,” said Brenda.
“I remember looking at you,” said Sherri, “I'm crying, you know, there's 30 people on their bikes. And I just remember looking up at you, in tears, and you looked at me, and you shook your head like, It's OK. It's OK. We're going to get through it. That was the ride of all rides.”
The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. The podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests who speak in a podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. Neither Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundations, nor any of its affiliates endorses, supports, or opposes any treatment option or other matter discussed in a podcast. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy on a podcast should not be construed as an endorsement. View disclosures for Sherri Malone.
Childhood friends, both breast cancer survivors, relive the joy and fears of their experiences and share why patients shouldn’t conquer cancer alone.