WEEI>On Demand>>M&M: Robyn Nash

M&M: Robyn Nash

Aug 27, 2013|

Martha’s Vineyard resident and lawyer Robyn Nash was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and lymphoma on the same day – her birthday. She had a mastectomy and underwent chemo for a year, after which she opened a restaurant along with her law practice. Though all had looked good, in October she learned that the breast cancer had spread to her bones and her chemo was changed. In July 2012 scans showed the cancer had traveled again, this time to her pancreas. Despite these experiences Robyn remains upbeat and has an amazing outlook on life and credits Dana-Farber.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Doctor how Bernstein go get to doctor good morning -- very -- and Robin Ashe. Who is in here today and -- in a lot of pain today rather talk about that. Well. I was initially diagnosed in 2006 on my birthday with stage three breast cancer and not have to them from. And I've gone through I've been treating. Straight through for the past like that seven years. But I cannot begin to tell you that I wouldn't even be sitting here right now or even maybe breathing living talking if there wasn't and Barbara because. They just make every difference in the world as far as. Treatment make you feel comfortable and give you hope that they're gonna lit up with his. The most important thing all the smile lit up violence and know that you know tomorrow and not be here. The pain is something that you learn to live with sometimes I don't have all the time but. You just three you know I see looks forward to come to Boston they got a beta blocker but I know I'm gonna -- -- text another they're gonna make me feel better. And this morning I got out I really did hurt I mean I do -- is why I'm sitting. But I knew that this cause is so important I can't stress. How important it is for people to regional pockets and pay whatever it if it's five cents a day or whatever because. People like myself who were trying to live and function every day to pay bills and to support our families. To be able to just know there's hope and add to that I can come here and I know I'm went for treatment tomorrow and I'm going to be made better. Sour the pain I'm having is is it hails. Compared to. Other patients that I work that I that I talk to all the time. I'm at the hospital and and from the one -- one government and has for you reach out to somebody else they need they set you up with someone who may be similarly situated as yourself. So that -- not alone we've been talking the pride you can laugh. Whatever whatever is going through your your mind your body your -- that time. -- you're able to be able to connect with someone and to help someone in house now. The pain right now it's going to look at him anything. I. A lot of pain oh yeah it takes note -- your your amazing woman just talking to you briefly Cuba I just want asked doctor bursting real quick. She is she -- -- birthday diagnosed breast cancer and non hodgkin's lymphoma. Two different two separate types of cancer how common is that. So it's pretty uncommon to have two cancers it wants the Robin is special in every regard as we often that a joke with her. You know this morning we've heard. So amazing stories about kids who had three career cancers and that's a big part of what we do with Dana Farber. But he huge part of what we do is take care rather common cancers in breast cancers -- rather common cancer and non hodgkin's lymphoma is it rather common cancer in and sometimes the overlap and that's what happened and Robin's case. He still practiced law avenue or in a lawyer and a vineyard. I am I I haven't stopped working since. I hit the ground running with this diagnosis I mean of course when -- had surgeries. Campion courtroom or -- think -- here on hospital you can get a phone charging. I know what you people you know that so yeah I mean I have. Had my laptop and I've continue to work straight through and I'm working right now I've got some very distinct cases I'm not that keeps you going but. Because of all the bases that cancer research has been able to you know. The breakthroughs they've -- I've been able to work you know whereas. If it wasn't for that research. Perhaps I would be having -- the in the hospital plug up to machines you know receiving -- -- and -- but it's been a wonderful thing. -- determination and it seems. It diagnosed in 06 you still play this each and every day you're still practicing law you still you attack this thing don't you live life and I think that's. You see people that that struggle with that's out of that you help out yet we are fighting that side of it feel sorry and don't wanna continue. Absolutely there are and I feel like that's maybe why even ask yourself what I'm here for what's my purpose and I. Since getting his diagnosis I really feel like. My purpose is to spread God's spirit. And to show people that it's about living in the moment. And it really being appreciative of what ever you have I even thank god for pain sometimes get some extra slowdown pay attention but in terms of helping others. Absolutely I've come across. Patients. Or people. That happens it's on now like I don't like them and I hurt him much I don't like eating and it just really depressed. And I have been able to infuse in them because I tend to be really pumped up most of the things I can tell the energy and to make them. They call me this sunshine smile money I don't know the -- and I don't know if that's I'll wanted to go in under around here in the sunshine smile -- -- wireless so when I'm around people they really start to feel better and I love that you know I can make them laugh and make them get excited about. Something the smallest go on from the bed to the back into the kitchen to get something to eat whatever and you know. Ice where 85% I think. Healing yourself is yours here excuse me if you are upbeat and you feel good about live and in life and anything to smell a rose or something that he doesn't know that it will help you fight your cancer don't I mean I'm here I'm a testament. You actually. Progressed I'm convinced. Are battered and someone you know that's not something that's up to the extent that I couldn't go to every room. You know what I'm doing when I'm getting infusions I'm -- -- they I'm to busy nights I'm always gonna be here thank. Don't win today. You know an end and we had a conversation and next thing I know we're exchanging numbers and emails and we stay connected. You have an amazing energy and I'm curious doctor -- when you have. A patient like this it was this much energy in life. This has got to be an inspiration to you as a doctor well it's an inspiration to all of us the whole care team our nurses support staff social workers everybody who meets Robin. I think is just in life and inspired by her example and the other great thing is there are hundreds and thousands of patients like her and our clinics it's very -- place it's a place where. People feel very safe and very comforted and comfortable with one another. And I think that's one of the special things about working in a place that's totally focused on cancer. You -- -- and everybody understands what you're going through everybody understands where you're coming from. They know it's a special environment and they take tremendous hope for people like Robinson and all the care providers there. You're do you take somebody like Robin in here and -- obviously very upbeat and you have so your patience and almost connected to. And just didn't listen. Because you know Robin Robin this I have this one patient -- down. Could you just talked to her. So we do they have both formally and informally so Robin mentioned 2121 program at Dana Farber where. Our patients who have been diagnosed with a certain kind of cancer are often linked up with another whose newly diagnosed -- similar circumstance. To help them explain how it goes and what happens in the kinds of resources that are available just to be a body. But we also do it informally we have patients who they are on the same schedule and they get to know one another and they reach out to one another we sort of encourage them to come together. What they beat through a shared activity. Of the hundreds of activities that the Dana Farber runs in the way of patient education and other things so. There's -- huge community of people really helping one another and of course your efforts today here one great example of that in this happens day in India editing. -- you want to -- telecast in the doctor's which I think really kind of sends the message home to warn listeners and helping donating is how we've come. Yield from three years ago five years ago we expect you with three years ago in treating breast cancer. And improvements so you know we're really living in this golden era of advancement in oncology we are using drugs that are more effective and are less toxic. And are more targeted to specific features of the cancer. And I think we've made tremendous progress in doing that Robbins -- the beneficiary of some of these treatments and that care for both for cancers over the years. But we can genuinely say to our patients that you're gonna do better now than you would have if you were diagnosed three year five for ten years ago. That the treatments are gonna be less obnoxious and less carry fewer side effects and they would have and the results are going to be better and there's even more reason for hope. You seem so and. Energetic about this in your energy -- was there a -- moment on your birthday in 2006 when he got the diagnosis was there ever days. Why's this happening to -- -- for the beginning as it's been taken on -- Headfirst with the type energy -- today yeah I never had a Miami I was like why not me. I mean there's so many of the things I mean why not me. I actually thank god for the promotion because it caused me to appreciate other aspects of living and about my life that maybe need to be put in check. But. So no I never had that moment that I wanted to say if I could that. Some of the things -- have encouraged him help me to develop. What you see today I mean this is really important about programs at Dana. I've never been anywhere. Or rarely have I've been somewhere where you what from the moment you walk in that. In the front door the sliding doors -- as you step on me and my god as a nod and let there. People. Every staff person I met whether it was the receptionist when you first come in but there was some -- it was doing something with the elevators whether it was it. Dining pavilion staff whether it was the nurses. Or at the volunteer it would bring you books magazines. Food. When you're doing it and has had always have all been solid welcoming and even when you're waiting in line checking -- -- -- -- match you know you little bracelet that I -- applies to everything vs what they look -- perfect I mean you might say 28 I'm. Everyone is so intensive. And and name is accurate and you don't feel like -- hospital. You feel like you're -- you know like the fourth season's -- and seriously and it's very important because sometimes you don't feel well and just having that kind of welcoming -- and I mean every layer. Of what's it data not just the nurses not to Saddam is I mean even some might as -- in the what was. And and how you doing they have programs. They have people that are dealing with you if you know specifically about nutrition like what steps that you maybe they got it got. In AD. I can't -- and in that right now please forgive me that -- -- he and Clinton but I have to I have -- easy guy and they have all kinds of on natural path. Kinds of exercise things you can do that are available to you why you're waiting for an appointment or afterwards and it got. A woman that's having this thing Nancy Campbell has. This exercise program that you can go to -- fitness club they have -- Italy with Dana and still. You can do exercise for free I mean and -- work with you one to one basis and the people in the classes at. So everybody comes from different walks of life you know on have different cancers but all departments you an -- you in shape that you -- -- when you have radiating like doing thing I get out. -- got. People when you sit down doing -- that come I with so many kinds of goodies that you could gain so much weight -- Seriously apples aren't just cut up fruit any kind of -- it's almost like and Michael and I think that's the tastiest cookies. You. Well you have an amazing energy of an amazing story we thank you for coming and sharing your story today and doctor thank you so much -- definitely. And telling your story can donate right now and the the energy that Robin has copy of the energy. In your donation 8777381234877. 7381234. Online and Jimmy Fund dot org you're listening and watching the WEEI -- Jimmy Fund radio telethon. Live from Fenway Park. This is Jon -- listening to Jimmy Fund radio telephone please donate at 877. 7381234. Or WWW. That Jimmy Fund dot org -- strike out cancer and kids.

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