The Mix Tape: Ep. 2 — Fighting Breast Cancer Together: Patient & Provider

When you've been given such staggering news as a breast cancer diagnosis, what can you do to fight for a cancer-free future? Mix Talent's Paige Nelson knows a friend and coworker who's now on the other side of her diagnosis: Cassie Vick. Vick is a Practice Leader for Mix Talent's Sales Vertical, and is kind enough to share her story of overcoming cancer with a strong patient-to-provider relationship.

Transcription

Unison:

Welcome to The Mix Tape.

Natalie Taylor:

I’m Natalie.

Valerie McCandlish:

And I’m Valerie. And it’s officially October. The year is flying by.

Natalie Taylor:

It is.

Valerie McCandlish:

I can’t believe it. But being October, this also marks breast cancer awareness month. A month that always is sitting with me, personally, because if any listeners remember from season two, I had shared that my grandmother passed away from breast cancer when I was very young. So, this month always just sits a little bit closer to me and around this time I’m always thinking of her and those that are unfortunately given this diagnosis and are trying to figure out life now. A tough month, but we’re really excited to have two amazing guests today.

Natalie Taylor:

We are. We have two mixer guests, which is a first ever for The Mix Tape. We have Paige Nelson, who is our head of sales. And we have Cassie Vick, who is a practice leader for our sales vertical.

Natalie Taylor:

Cassie is going to be sharing her very impactful story of being a breast cancer survivor. We’re just so appreciative that she’s sharing this story on our podcast and talking with Paige, who is a former oncology nurse practitioner.

Valerie McCandlish:

Yeah. Incredible just connection for the two of them. It’s really great to hear how it’s brought them, in a way, to this industry. And even small world, you’ll hear that they live in the same state of North Carolina, so they got together to share this story. We look forward to sharing this with you all today. So with that, we’ll turn it over to Cassie and Paige.

Paige Nelson:

Hi, Cassie.

Cassie Vick:

Hey, Paige. How are you?

Paige Nelson:

I’m good. So good to be with you. Even though we live so close together, North Carolina, we don’t always see each other.

Cassie Vick:

No. But that two and a half hours can be a long road trip some days. I’m so happy to be here. Coming into Breast Cancer Awareness Month and have a good chance to talk about your experience, and my experience, and maybe raise some awareness for some individuals as well.

Paige Nelson:

Yeah. That’s awesome. So maybe we do some introductions.

Cassie Vick:

Yeah.

Paige Nelson:

I’ll go first. Paige Nelson. I have the luxury of working with Cassie and other mix colleagues at Mix Talent in Columbus, Ohio. We live in North Carolina, but certainly work remote and come together with our colleagues in Columbus frequently. I am in the business development department. I head sales for our search verticals. The reason I’m here with Cassie… I’m delighted to be here, by the way. I’m actually an oncology nurse practitioner. I worked in oncology back in the late nineties. I went to Vanderbilt University and practiced in Atlanta, Georgia before coming to the pharmaceutical industry.

Paige Nelson:

I like to say that I’m in the people business because I love taking care of patients. I went to pharmaceuticals and love being in that industry as sales and strategic accounts and others taking care of clients and people there. And now, working at Mix in the life science recruiting, taking care of candidates and people here. So I say I’m in the people business. So Cassie, what about you?

Cassie Vick:

We are in the people business. It’s awesome. And Cassie Vick. I am the practice leader for our sales vertical here at Mix. Mix focuses in on the life sciences industry. It is an industry that I’ve known and fallen in love with back in the late nineties. So you and I are on same path there, but from a different perspective because not only did mix bring us together, but I am breast cancer survivor and that’s part of what we’re here to talk about today.

Cassie Vick:

Surviving breast cancer is really what brought me into this industry as well. I look forward to talking about my journey, but not only through breast cancer, but that brought us here today to talk to each other. I’m truly thankful to be able to be here, and talk to you, and have gotten to know you over this last few months that you’ve been here.

Paige Nelson:

Yeah. Thanks, Cassie. Maybe let’s just talk a little bit about breast cancer. Certainly, October is a breast cancer awareness month. Most cities dawn pink in some form of fashion, whether it be lights or ribbons. It brings attention to the United States and how we need to take better care of ourselves.

Paige Nelson:

Looking at some of the prevalence statistics in 2022, there’s over 287,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer for women in the US. With 43,000 deaths annually among women. I know that that number’s astonishing.

Cassie Vick:

Well, obviously with that number it shows that there are a lot more survivors than there are deaths.

Paige Nelson:

That’s right.

Cassie Vick:

Which is pretty amazing. But I feel there is not one person in my life who has not been touched by breast cancer in some way, shape, or form. It’s just good these numbers are staggering. But the good news is that awareness has been raised, that we are doing something about it, that there are ways to survive and thrive.

Cassie Vick:

I know those stats apply to women, but it’s not just a women’s condition, disorder, disease, whatever you want to call it.

Paige Nelson:

You’re right. Men are affected, they’re not immune to breast cancer. In fact, there’s over 2,700 cases annually among men, with about 530 deaths. So it is a gender neutral disease. Men and women both can be diagnosed with breast cancer. What’s really important to note is the median age to diagnosis. Most women have their diagnosis in their sixties, 63 is the median age. And for men at 68. But 4% of breast cancer diagnosis occur under the age of 40, within the age of 20 to 39. That’s the leading cause of death.

Cassie Vick:

Scary.

Paige Nelson:

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about that 4% because you’re in that category, Cassie. Tell us about it.

Cassie Vick:

I am. I will age myself. Now it’s been 25 years since I was diagnosed. At the time I was 27 years old and I thought that breast cancer was an older persons disease. I literally was sitting there one day and found the lump myself. It felt like size of an almond. I had literally just been to my gynecologist. Probably it was about four or five months beforehand. I had a breast exam, no family history. I was just like, “What is this lump?” And freaked out just a little bit.

Paige Nelson:

Of course. Understandable.

Cassie Vick:

That was a Friday. I couldn’t do anything about it over the weekend except for call my family. And on Monday… Didn’t even know what doctor to call, so I called my gynecologist and he said, “Come on in.” That week I went in and he said, “Let’s get some test runs.” So I had my first mammogram, not a pleasant experience. They did an ultrasound, because at that point in time it was very palpable lump. But they thought that way they could maybe tell whether it was cyst or not. They couldn’t tell, so they sent me to a surgeon. I can still remember sitting in there, talking to Dr. Logeman, who was my surgeon, and he said, “If you were my daughter, I would tell you to take it out.” They really didn’t give me an option. They just said, “Let’s take it out just in case, but we don’t think it’s anything.” And I said, “Okay. Great.”

Cassie Vick:

Within two weeks of finding this lump, I am going into surgery.

Paige Nelson:

Was that your first surgery?

Cassie Vick:

Yeah, that was my first surgery.

Paige Nelson:

So you didn’t know what to expect.

Cassie Vick:

Didn’t know what to expect. All we’re doing is trying to take out whatever it is. Lumpectomy at that time and short surgery, day procedure. But I was in recovery with my mom and Dr. Logeman walked by and asked the nurse if we could have a conference room. And I looked over at my mom and I said, “Well, that’s it.” [inaudible 00:09:41] in a conference room said he was really sorry that certainly wasn’t what we anticipated and that we had some decisions to make. But it was definitely, from preliminary pathology report, was cancerous. That within the next couple weeks I’d have to go back into surgery, determine what we needed to do, what course of therapy. They still needed to finish the pathology, figure out how far it had gone into my tissue, if at all, and all that good stuff.

Cassie Vick:

Got the preliminary pathology report back, the margins were not clean.

Paige Nelson:

So you had a lumpectomy.

Cassie Vick:

I had a lumpectomy.

Paige Nelson:

Not a mastectomy.

Cassie Vick:

Correct. That tissue surrounding wasn’t fully involved, but didn’t get clean margins everywhere. Obviously needed to check my lymph nodes, and at the time was 25 years ago, so we didn’t have what we have today.

Paige Nelson:

The sentinel node biopsies.

Cassie Vick:

Yes.

Paige Nelson:

Which so cool, all the advances that have been made. But at that time, I had to get a pie slice worth of lymph nodes out from under my arm. But I had to make a decision within two weeks. I had to decide because they said I did have a choice, did I want to mastectomy or a lumpectomy? Not everybody gets a choice. I’m truly thankful that I did and that I caught it early enough. Because especially in younger women, breast cancer is much more aggressive. And this was super aggressive form of cancer. The other thing too is most women, especially over the age of 60, they have estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Mine was estrogen receptor negative. So back before we talked about all these things like triple negative and all of this good stuff, that was where I was sitting.

Paige Nelson:

But thankfully I did have that choice. I did listen and pay attention to my body and caught it early enough that I could have those choices.

Cassie Vick:

So important. I’m curious, when you felt the lump, did you immediately think something or as a woman, sometimes we just dismiss things that happened to our body. Were you dismissive or were you more intuitive and said, “I need to get this checked out.”

Paige Nelson:

Such a great question. I think, had it been smaller, I would’ve dismissed it in a heartbeat. But this was truly the size of a decent size almond and it was as hard as an almond. Look, there’s so many different types of breast cancers. Not everybody’s going to have a hard tumor. Could be ductal, could be…

Cassie Vick:

Inflammatory.

Paige Nelson:

… inflammatory, et cetera. But in this case, it was so hard and it was so much larger than any normal thing would’ve been that I was, “Okay. This can’t be right.” And I would say, at the time, I wasn’t in the life sciences industry. I really didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know what to think.

Paige Nelson:

When I started doing a lot of research-

Cassie Vick:

Did that scare you?

Paige Nelson:

It did. It scared me but at the same time too, it’s just that female intuition, if you want to say or whatever, of listen to yourself, listen to your body, take control, find out what’s going on and do something about it. That’s really all you can do.

Cassie Vick:

That’s so good. I have a daughter and I tell her all the time, “Listen to your intuition. Listen to your body.” It’s easy for me to say, my kids are grown. If I had to look back, I probably should have heard those words more often. So glad you did.

Paige Nelson:

Well, we all should sometimes. It’s easy to sometimes just ignore it. At the same time too, you don’t want to overreact either because that can stress you out even more. That’s the way that you can do.

Cassie Vick:

Can we talk about your lumpectomy? And then, you had some lymph nodes taken out. What was your course of treatment and how did you make that choice?

Paige Nelson:

Thankfully my nodes were clean. But, age, super aggressive, estrogen receptor negative, all of those types of things doctors came in said, “If you choose to do a lumpectomy, not only will you have to do radiation because you’re keeping tissue. So as soon as you keep tissue, you’re going to be doing radiation if you have cancer. But because of the aggressive nature, et cetera, in order to get your survival chances down to that of a more normal person, you got to go through chemotherapy.”

Paige Nelson:

I had a choice too on chemotherapy. At the age of 27, I wasn’t married, I wasn’t even close to being married and if I maybe wanted to have children, which I knew I did at the time, they gave me two choices. One much more aggressive, chemo would’ve been a shorter course of therapy. So it would’ve been three months worth of treatments in addition to the radiation. The second course, which is what I ended up choosing, which should have been more help to spare my ovarian reserve, the health of my eggs so if I wanted to have kids, was a six month course of therapy with cytoxin, methotrexate and 5FU. That’s why I chose lumpectomy because I thought, “Maybe one day I want to breastfeed.” I chose to go down that longer path, but something that could hopefully keep me in good shape for the long run.

Paige Nelson:

It all went quickly. Blink of an eye, back into surgery. You got to wait till you heal after the surgery. So about a month later, started on my first chemotherapy treatment.

Cassie Vick:

Wait, you said you did radiation too?

Paige Nelson:

I did. We did I think it’s four rounds of chemo. Stop, did the radiation in the middle and then five at the end.

Cassie Vick:

Got you. So your first chemotherapy treatment, talk to me about when you sat in the chair and what you were thinking and the people you met, because oftentimes you meet other patients and how did that go for you?

Paige Nelson:

That day I didn’t meet any other patients, but I did in the future. That day I met a fabulous nurse, but I didn’t meet her right away. I didn’t get into a port so the first person who did my treatment trying to put my IV in didn’t go so well.

Cassie Vick:

Sometimes that happens.

Paige Nelson:

I know. I can appreciate that. But they kept trying and tears were streaming down my face, tears were streaming down my mom’s face. I really didn’t know what to expect honestly. I was already scared and now I was in pain. Finally, they went and found the magic nurse who was the one who… I’m all for training people, but on my first chemo treatment maybe not. So they brought in the nurse who got the IV and no problem. And first treatment, not knowing what to expect I didn’t bring anything with me.

Paige Nelson:

I wasn’t ready for the chemical taste. So from then on I brought Jolly Ranchers with me. That helps a lot. Chewing gum helps. What’s the one that hurts? Is it the cytoxin that hurts your nose?

Cassie Vick:

It can.

Paige Nelson:

I think that’s what it was. They had to drip it super slowly because just my nose was on fire from that. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it just was what it was. Then felt like I had the flu for a couple days.

Cassie Vick:

Were you working?

Paige Nelson:

Yeah. Worked the entire time.

Cassie Vick:

That’s also me.

Paige Nelson:

It is you. I know you now. Yes.

Cassie Vick:

I just wanted my life to be as normal as possible. I just kept doing things. I kept trying to go for runs. I didn’t think about things like platelet counts and things like that. I went for a run, this is after my second or third treatment, and I was like, “God, why can’t I not breathe?” And I went in for my blood counts the next day and they were like, “Well, we know now why you can’t breathe. Maybe you don’t want to go for a run today.” But they did adjust my regiment at that point in time as well.

Paige Nelson:

Your mom was with you?

Cassie Vick:

Yeah. My mom was with me.

Paige Nelson:

Every treatment she was with you? Probably made food at home. I can only imagine a doting mom. Describe to me what she learned. Has she ever expressed, “This is what I learned and this is my takeaway.”

Cassie Vick:

First of all, I had an amazing oncologist, Dr. Waterhouse. I love that man. He was the best. He was so sweet, so caring. I can still remember, even when I was in the hospital after my second surgery, we knew I was going to have to go down the path of a treatment like that. Actually, the hospital system that I went to in Cincinnati, they had a whole crew of physicians that talk about your case, and they probably do that all the time now, but at the time it wasn’t as frequent. All of these providers talking about my case. So Dr. Waterhouse came in to visit me right after my surgery, came in at 8:00 AM and my parents weren’t there yet, and he spent an hour with me and then he goes, “But your parents aren’t here yet.” He came back again, spent an hour with my parents. He’s a pretty amazing man. So she learned that having a great physician who listens to you, who cares about you, that you click with…

Paige Nelson:

So important.

Cassie Vick:

… matters. Because we actually had another family friend of ours going through breast cancer at the same time and she did not click with her provider. She had very pretty negative experience. Look, cancer in and of itself is not the most positive thing in the world so you want the best experience that you can have. Part of that is getting a good provider. So my mom learned that because she actually ended up having breast cancer after me. But we can talk about that a little bit later. Quite a bit after me. And she went to see Dr. Waterhouse. Dr. Good. Just having somebody there if you can. Not everybody has that. I was really lucky to have my mom there.

Cassie Vick:

Is so uber important. So my mom was going through treatments. Unfortunately, I no longer lived in Cincinnati at the time, so it wasn’t able to be there for her treatments but she always had somebody there for her.

Paige Nelson:

That’s good.

Cassie Vick:

Just to be there.

Paige Nelson:

Absolutely.

Cassie Vick:

And always have candy.

Paige Nelson:

Always have Jolly Ranchers.

Cassie Vick:

Jolly ranchers, whatever. You’ll probably never love that candy the same way again. So maybe don’t get your favorite candy.

Paige Nelson:

Do you have Jolly Ranchers now?

Cassie Vick:

Rarely.

Paige Nelson:

Rarely.

Cassie Vick:

There are certain foods I can’t eat, gazpacho. I had gazpacho after one of my treatments.

Paige Nelson:

Gazpacho?

Cassie Vick:

Whatever. I can’t. Even to this day it makes me nauseous.

Paige Nelson:

Okay. So your mom, let’s talk about that, your mom was diagnosed. No family history prior to your diagnosis?

Cassie Vick:

Yeah. If you’re going to have a family history, it has to start somewhere. So it started with me.

Paige Nelson:

Then how many years later was she diagnosed?

Cassie Vick:

That would have been 10 years.

Paige Nelson:

Oh gosh. So a lot of technology and chemotherapy, bio immunotherapy changed in that 10 years. She went to Dr. Waterhouse and had a pleasant experience as well. I can see the look in your eye. And she’s doing well now?

Cassie Vick:

She’s doing great.

Paige Nelson:

Great. Awesome.

Cassie Vick:

Both survivors.

Paige Nelson:

Nice. Congratulations.

Cassie Vick:

Thank you. It’s pretty cool. I haven’t looked recently, but even though statistics… Obviously, a history of breast cancer in you family can raise your chances of getting breast cancer. But still, the amount of breast cancers that have no family history associated with them are the vast majority. It’s still only what? 33% that have that history. I think that’s what I read at some point. So again, paying attention, knowing that it’s just not an older person’s condition and paying attention to your body.

Cassie Vick:

My mom, we both got tested also for the bracketing, both tested negative. I do know that some of the doctors at University of Cincinnati are actually doing some additional genetic testing. Because there are other genetic markers that they know are probably closely related. Even my grandfather had prostate cancer. My uncle has prostate cancer, my mom has breast cancer, I have breast… There’s probably something there. We just don’t really know what it is yet.

Paige Nelson:

Your lifestyle after diagnosis, after treatment, after your five year survival mark, did it make a difference? Do you live, eat differently?

Cassie Vick:

I did for a while and sometimes now I take it for granted. I’m not going to lie. But it’s times like this when we can sit down and really talk about it and I really think about it that takes me back to, it makes me go, “Cassie, come on, you can do this for your family, for yourself.” Do I ever want to go through that again? No. Chemo is poison. Your putting poison in your body. Now, I would take it again just to make sure that I’m sitting here with you, having this conversation today, having my family, I’ll do it all over again. But I would choose not to have to go through it and I would choose not to put my worst enemy through it too.

Cassie Vick:

I would say initially, yes, lots of changes… Or not changes, but just being better to myself and taking care of myself. I went out, I spoke to women, younger women, just to raise awareness as far as that one goes. Because again, people thinking, “You can’t get it because you’re young.” There are far too many women. You just talked about one of the statistics that it’s a leading cause of death for women ages 20 to 39. That’s horrendous. It’s something that if we keep paying attention, hopefully we can knock that down.

Paige Nelson:

Absolutely.

Paige Nelson:

Well, I think I mentioned that I do have a daughter and a couple of things I always tell her, “Pay attention to your body,” which I think you eloquently stated and talked about your journey and, “have a healthy lifestyle and prevent as much as you can.” Preventive techniques such as reducing alcohol intake, and no smoking, and really choosing the right foods to eat that are non carcinogenic. Sometimes those foods come on and off the list of carcinogenic.

Cassie Vick:

They do.

Paige Nelson:

But the best we can just take care of the body. But for me too, if I would’ve thought differently when I was younger and had more women conversation, it might have changed the way I would’ve grown up. Not granted, I think I can say this for both of us, having families and you pay attention to your family, and your kids, and your spouse, and all the activities, and work, but important to take care of yourself first and foremost. I think that’s such an ideal state. And you did.

Cassie Vick:

Well, and you as a healthcare provider, having just been on the front line of caring for women like me, I’m sure that’s part of what you told them, but what other advice would you give to women? I don’t care whether you’re 20 or 60.

Paige Nelson:

Gosh. Do as much self education as you can. Breast cancer is something that all women and men should pay attention to. But there’s also lung cancer. There’s skin cancer. We live in the Carolinas, we love our son.

Cassie Vick:

Yes, we do.

Paige Nelson:

We also grew up in the seventies when you used to put Sun-In in your hair and you put baby oil.

Cassie Vick:

Baby oil.

Paige Nelson:

[inaudible 00:28:49] dying.

Cassie Vick:

It was still fun though.

Paige Nelson:

I know it was. But just arm yourself with as much education so that you can prove men as much as you can. That’s the key. That’s both physical, emotional, everything. There’s a website that I look at frequently, it’s called everydayhealth.com. It has tips on wellness, healthy living, daily inspirations and recipes. I don’t go there every day, but once a month it’s in my feed of Instagram or other tools that I use. I think it’s a really key to how I keep it top of mind. }.

Paige Nelson:

But October, obviously being breast cancer awareness month, I can imagine that’s when we think about, “Okay. I need to be better on eating plant-based food versus red meat,” et cetera. All good stuff.

Cassie Vick:

I’ve not been on that website so I will definitely check it out. I think having you here and being able to talk to you, whether it’s right now during a podcast or even just on the side some days and learning about your experience, not only as a healthcare provider, because earlier today we had a chance to talk a little bit about how much progress the treatment of not only breast cancer but other cancers, but how far it’s come. And the different things that even you had exposure to of… You were in it during some of the newest therapies coming out that are really helping women still today. How did that impact you?

Paige Nelson:

Gosh. I can speak from a pharmaceutical terms, Kytril and Zofran were in competition against each other. But as a practitioner, two amazing drugs back in the nineties that helped every patient reduce their chemo induced nausea and vomiting. I do remember very vividly and my mind’s eye, I can even see it, Herceptin was approved when I was in practice. And sitting next to that first patient, it was me and two nurses and we’re like, “Okay. We’re going to start you. Are you ready?” We watched her, we’re like, “Do you feel anything? What’s going on? Tell us. Talk to us.” It was just amazing. Now that I look back, it was history in the making.

Paige Nelson:

But we’ve come so far. That was the first monoclonal antibody. And now look where we are with genetics, and personalized medicine, and bio immunotherapy, there’s just so many advances. Still a lot to be done quite frankly. But I’m proud to be in the oncology field definitely and in the people field.

Cassie Vick:

It’s so true. You sit there and even think about all of those things and how it even has led into this incredible industry that we’ve had the privilege to be a part of. I know your experience as an oncology nurse practitioner, my experience as a breast cancer survivor, what brought us to even be sitting here today.

Paige Nelson:

I’ve just got chill bumps by the way.

Cassie Vick:

It’s crazy to think about, right?

Paige Nelson:

Yeah. To call you my friend of all this two different dynamics. We live in the same state. We come together at Mix talent in Columbus, Ohio.

Cassie Vick:

Go back guys. It’s so true. Heck, I even think about when I was in school science, chemistry, I was like, “Oh god now.” And I’ll say, when I got sick, I started doing the research I was like, “How interesting is all of this.” I think it made me a better patient. I didn’t go too far down. I didn’t try to do my doctor’s job, but I knew enough not to get too freaked out about things and to…

Paige Nelson:

That’s good.

Cassie Vick:

… learn what I could to help myself better handle my treatment and everything. Ultimately, after I was finished, I was talking to one of my friends who was in the pharmaceutical industry, she worked for Bayer at the time and she’s like, “Love my job. I love what I do.” I was like, “Tell me more about it. I’ve started doing research with regards to breast cancer, but just learning about the disease state and the different treatment.” I was like, “It’s so interesting.” She’s like, “My job is so interesting and I get to help patients. I get to help healthcare providers learn more about the products.” And I was like, “Gosh, that sounds so interesting.” And that literally started my journey…

Paige Nelson:

That’s awesome.

Cassie Vick:

… down this path and has ultimately brought me here today.

Paige Nelson:

So speaking of getting into the industry, have a question for you about…

Cassie Vick:

I can’t wait.

Paige Nelson:

This is about interviews.

Cassie Vick:

Yeah.

Paige Nelson:

What is your favorite interview question? Either someone asked you or you’ve asked of others.

Cassie Vick:

I’m going to go with one that I typically ask of others and I say, “If I were to talk to your most current or most recent manager, what would he or she tell me is the one thing that you most need to work on?” And the interesting part about that question is everybody needs to work on something and it’s interesting, to me, to see the amount of people who are afraid to answer that question honestly. And that’s what I’m looking for, is an honest answer.

Cassie Vick:

All right. Turning the tables. Go back on you.

Paige Nelson:

My favorite interview question, I used this a lot probably 10 years ago… It’s not anything personality, obviously you’re a great question. But rather I would slide a pencil across the desk and I would say, “Here’s a number two pencil. Name five things that you can do with this number two pencil other than writing.” You get lots of really great answers. But the one that really stands out in my mind, a gentleman I was interviewing, he picked up the pencil and he looked at it left, right, and then he stood it up on its end and he said, “I would use it as a steak in a plant, my house plant at home, because it’s leaning to the left and I need it to stand up straight.”

Paige Nelson:

I was like, “How intuitive.” He probably was thinking about his comfort place maybe is home, but I thought that was a really good answer. I hired him.

Cassie Vick:

I was just going to ask if you hired him.

Paige Nelson:

Yeah. I definitely hired him.

Cassie Vick:

I wonder if he went home and actually used a pencil to do that.

Paige Nelson:

He probably did.

Cassie Vick:

Because I probably would’ve.

Paige Nelson:

That’s awesome. Okay. Next question. What’s your favorite song?

Cassie Vick:

I have so many. I love music. I want to go with my favorite karaoke song. And this will be meaningful to not only my friends currently in North Carolina, but even my friends from where I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Paige Nelson:

Love it.

Cassie Vick:

All right. So your favorite song. I want a little context behind it too.

Paige Nelson:

I was born and raised in Nashville, so I’m very much a country music fan and I love classic country. I even love the seventies classic rock. So I’m a little bit of country and rock. But when I turn on my radio, it’s mostly country. So classic country is great. I really started listening to new country, new artists…

Cassie Vick:

Nice.

Paige Nelson:

… like Travis Denning and Parker McCollum. Parker McCollum has really been on my playlist recently. He’s got this song called Hell of a Year so that’s my go-to right now as a hell of a year. But it’s been a great year and I like that song. Go, Parker. You’ve got an amazing voice.

Cassie Vick:

I’m going to take a listen to it because I like you. I’m an eclectic music lover.

Paige Nelson:

Nice.

Cassie Vick:

So I’m going to have to check that out.

Paige Nelson:

That’s awesome. Well, Cassie, this has been a pleasure.

Cassie Vick:

It’s been awesone.

Paige Nelson:

I hope we work together for many years, decades to come. Thank you for sharing your story. It was impactful and meaningful. Thank you.

Cassie Vick:

Thank you for sharing your story, for giving me some things to look up and do to remind myself to pay attention, take care of myself so that I can be here to be your friend and to be a fabulous member of my family, to my son and my husband.

Paige Nelson:

That’s awesome. Good. All right.

Natalie Taylor:

We are so thankful for Cassie and Paige joining us today. And for Cassie to take the time to share this impactful story. I think it’s really remarkable how she remembers everything so clearly and so vividly as though it was just yesterday. It feels like we were right there with her as she remembered all of these details.

Valerie McCandlish:

I know. It’s such an impactful story and might even come as a surprise to some of our own teammates, but we’re just so grateful that Cassie has decided to share this story with us and with all of you on this scale, and able to really make it feel like we’re right there in the room with her as she was going through it all.

Natalie Taylor:

I think it’s a good reminder. Well, Cassie’s such a strong and impactful leader at Mix, and I think it’s a good reminder just to all of us that you never know what somebody has been through or what they’re going through so it’s just a good reminder to be kind and to always consider what somebody’s been through in their life.

Valerie McCandlish:

Definitely. Some of just good takeaways from the whole conversation. I wish I was part of it. Well, it was happening too because I wanted to ask questions as well. But just a good reminder that if you find something, if you feel like there’s something that’s off or wrong, to definitely get it checked out, to trust yourself…

Natalie Taylor:

Trust yourself.

Valerie McCandlish:

… to say something. Really cool to know that there are really great doctors out there that are going to take care of you. How interesting that Cassie and her mom shared the same doctor once her mom had her diagnosis too. Just what whole story.

Natalie Taylor:

I know. This has truly been one of my top favorite episodes so far. It’s been really a very…

Valerie McCandlish:

A good one. And Paige with her clinical background too, just able to ask great questions and shared some awesome information. I will definitely be checking out that website for the everydayhealth.com Great questions for the interview guide, if anybody’s keeping a collection of all of the questions so far.

Natalie Taylor:

Fan songs.

Valerie McCandlish:

Most importantly, Total Eclipse of the Heart. Oh my gosh.

Natalie Taylor:

That was a surprise.

Valerie McCandlish:

I cannot wait to add that to the playlist and I’m going to listen to it on my way home.

Natalie Taylor:

I loved Paige’s songs. I’m a country music fan, so I really enjoyed hers thrown in there. Parker McCollum is great. I thought those were fantastic. We are so appreciative for Paige and Cassie joining us here on The Mix Tape to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As always, stay tuned for more episodes launching every Wednesday. Follow us on Spotify. And thank you for being in The Mix.

Valerie McCandlish:

We’ll see you next week.

 

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