For Grace’s “The Pain-Cancer Connection” series will stream monthly via Facebook Live in partnership with The Mighty, the leading online site for chronic illness advocacy. The show will be hosted by For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint who’ll interview leading experts (healthcare professionals, advocates, authors, etc.) on the intersection between cancer and chronic pain – and air on five of The Mighty’s pages including Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Warrior, Cancer and their flagship FB page, The Mighty Site.
This educational series will explore, among other related topics, how high-impact chronic pain puts patients at risk for cancer and how traditional cancer treatment often leads to chronic pain. The series will also emphasize the use of whole body integrative medicine (conventional, complimentary and self-care) as a valuable core therapy for both diseases.
Join Cynthia every fourth Tuesday of the month @ 1pm PST at The Mighty for a lively interview that’ll explore the connection between pain and cancer – while inspiring those struggling with one or both diseases to thrive for better days ahead!
Pat Wetzel’s original background after graduating from Wharton Business School was in finance, working in the direct placement market in New York. More recently, she has been involved with a number of startups, including her current one, “CancerRoadTrip”, which includes her podcast, BumpInTheRoad. In 2009 a supposedly incurable cancer diagnosis sent Pat on a serious quest for what creates health. She realized that her experiences weren’t unique, and she founded the “Anti-Cancer Club”, a free website of cancer resources. Three rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery ensued over the next several years until a remission was realized. It was time for a break. It was time for a road trip. And along the way, there were many lessons. One is that travel heals. Pat is our Guide to a bit of healing adventure.
Link here to view a replay of the October 26, 2021 live stream with Pat.
Celine Tien is a storyteller from Yale and DreamWorks, developing traditional and interactive content. But growing up around pancreatic cancer patients, the majority of whom were in incredible pain, Celine felt strongly about developing a tool for people who suffered from pain. There needed to be a platform that addressed physical pain, but also the anxiety, depression and social isolation that accompanies it. To that end, she and two other colleagues spent hundreds of hours working one-on-one with chronic pain patients and listening to their stories. They eventually engineered Flowly, a Virtual Reality platform to integrate community, therapy, and healing.
Link here to view a replay of the December 15, 2020 live stream with Celine.
Cynthia again interviews her life partner, caregiver and For Grace director, John Garrett, to update all about their journey with Cynthia’s breast cancer. The two will share tips on how to remain strong during the recovery period, one that is often filled with dread and fear. They’ll talk about the challenges of “scanxiety” and how to keep one’s “terrain” in a place of cancer-fighting wellness.
Link here to view a replay of the November 19, 2020 live stream with Cynthia and John.
Tom Norris‘ career in the military came to an abrupt end after developing excruciating chronic pain from radiation treatment for testicular cancer. With the help of the love of his life, Marianne, they journeyed for three decades to find pain management to regain quality of life. Part of that path was Tom becoming an advocate for those battling chronic pain, and his inspiring take-away is “There is always hope for a better day!” Join Tom and Cynthia live as they share about the cancer experience – and how sometimes it’s the time after treatment that can be the toughest.
Link here to view a replay of the October 26, 2020 live stream with Tom.
Donna Pinto created DCIS 411 to help women world-wide receive the same information and resources about Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (aka, “Stage Zero” breast cancer) she was emboldened by as well as to provide a space for emotional support and connection that she felt was missing in online DCIS support groups and forums. From her experiences following her DCIS diagnosis, Donna went through an incredible life transformation. She went from being frightened, confused and anxious to feeling calm, empowered and inspired. Due to this transformation, Donna became an avid researcher, blogger, Certified Nutritionist, and advocate for informed decision-making and pro-active wellness practices.
Link here to view a replay of the September 24, 2020 live stream with Donna.
Join host Cynthia Toussaint as she again interviews her life partner, caregiver and For Grace director, John Garrett, to update all about her breast cancer treatment progress – the good, the bad and the ugly. The two will share tips on how to remain strong during the most challenging of times while detailing how her chronic pain is greatly complicating the healing process. Cynthia’s biggest decision is on the horizon…
Link here to view a replay of the July 21, 2020 live stream with Cynthia and John.
Susan Nyanzi, PhD, specializes in integrated lifestyle counseling for the prevention and management of chronic degenerative disorders including high-impact pain. After holding a position at the Los Angeles County Public Health Department’s Office of Women’s Health and a professorship for Walden University, she currently works at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center as a lifestyle expert specializing in nutrition. As a public health professional at a local health department, Dr. Nyanzi developed, implemented and evaluated community-based interventions. Her primary area of research is the management of chronic conditions through healthy lifestyle.
Link here to view a replay of the June 16, 2020 live stream with Dr. Nyanzi.
Wayne Jonas, MD, is a board-certified, practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health and health care delivery, and a widely published scientific investigator. From 2001-2016, Dr. Jonas was President and Chief Executive Officer of Samueli Institute, a non-profit medical research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes in the areas of stress, pain and resilience. Dr. Jonas is currently the Executive Director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, an effort supported by Henry and Susan Samueli to empower patients and doctors by providing solutions that enhance health, prevent disease, and relieve chronic pain.
Link here to view a replay of the May 19, 2020 live stream with Dr. Jonas.
Karen Smith is a long-term chronic pain patient and advocate who created a 10-minute video called “Karen Smith: The Stigma and Social Consequences of Chronic Pain” to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships that face people with this life-altering disease. She has used her extensive speaking skills to articulate her experiences as well as empower patients. After safely using opioids for years, she was able to taper her pain patch and oral medications down by half on her own. Unfortunately, she is now dealing with horrific neuropathic pain in her chest wall from radiation treatment for breast cancer.
Link here to view a replay of the April 21, 2020 live stream with Karen.
Michael Eselun, Board Certified Chaplain and a Unitarian Universalist, is the chaplain for the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. He has worked extensively in oncology, hospice, palliative care and with acute psychiatric patients. He’s been invited many times to speak to students, doctors, nurses, social workers, and faith communities about his work as a chaplain. Michael speaks from deep personal experience while also sharing the experiences of his patients with vulnerability, insight and humor—making connections between seemingly disparate life journeys.
Link here to view a replay of the March 17, 2020 live stream with Michael.
For the inaugural episode of The Pain-Cancer Connection, Cynthia will share why she’s doing this stream for The Mighty audience. She’ll detail her 37-year journey as a woman in pain (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), her recent diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer, and the unique trials and pitfalls of having both diseases.
Cynthia will be joined by her life-partner and For Grace Director, John Garrett, who will share how Cynthia’s cancer has changed his care giving experience.
Link here to view a replay of the February 18, 2020 live stream with Cynthia and John.
See you at The Mighty’s Chronic Illness Facebook Page!
Catch “Miracle Makers“, For Grace’s 2019 live stream show on The Mighty – where Cynthia interviewed inspiring women who are making the world a better place for Women In Pain!