Interview with Nanea Hoffman, Founder of Sweatpants & Coffee


#1

I was first introduced to Nanea by a mutual friend. I hadn’t heard of Sweatpants & Coffee at the time, but it turns out I was in the minority: Nanea’s built an incredible mini-empire from writing about the topics and ideas she cares about…in her sweatpants. She’s funny, thoughtful, and honest.

As you can see from a recent Facebook post she put up:

Nanea has breast cancer, and being connected to her on Facebook, I’ve admired her incredible/scary/inspiring daily posts. She in unflinching about the details, posting photos from her chemo treatments. I’ve learned a lot from seeing how she approaches her breast cancer.

I asked Nanea if I could interview her about what she calls her “anxiety blob” (she even has a t-shirt! I need to get it on the marketplace), and how it impacts her as she deals with cancer.


Without further ado…

QUESTION #1: Hey Nanea! Thanks for joining me for this virtual interview. How are you feeling today and what is the latest with your health? Also, are you sick of people asking you that?


#2

Right this moment, I am feeling good in my body and brain. It’s surreal, because it was just about this time a year ago that I went in for a mammogram I thought I didn’t need and it came back abnormal. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and 18 weeks of what I call “scorched earth” chemo - the kind that attacks the cancer but also other fast-growing cells in your body like hair, fingernails, and taste buds. Then I went through 29 sessions of radiation, which I thought would be sort of like lying under a heat lamp like a 7-11 hot dog, but as it turns out, it’s more like being microwaved. I’m in early menopause now (yay) because my body was like, “Nice. You decided to cut off your breasts, poison yourself, and then burn yourself with laser beams. Clearly, it’s time to close up shop.” So, I have fun mood swings and hot flashes. But it could be worse.


#3

@Nanea_Hoffman See, that’s what I mean about incredible/scary/unflinching descriptions.

It’s interesting because I just went in for an annual checkup last week and the doctor said to me that even though my grandmother and her sisters had breast cancer, I had no greater chance than anyone else of having it, so they don’t recommend I get a mammogram until 50. But of course you have me questioning waiting.

Question: Does early menopause follow the same course as regular menopause or is it sped up? Are you told what to expect or are you just rolling with what is getting thrown at you? Being microwaved must change the way you deal with daily life.