The Karla Booker Interview

Thanks to Karla Booker, MD for being my guest on Episode 334 of the Mike Sevilla Radio Program recorded January 26, 2015 (I said 2014 in the podcast - sheesh). She serves at Gwinnett Medical Center's Director of Women's Health Education.

In a previous blog post, I shared how I became interested in the Karla and Kent story. It was a love story 40 years in the making. In the first part of the interview, Karla describes how they knew each other in their teens and twenties. In 2013, they became reacquainted through social media - specifically Facebook and Skype.

"He's the one who said, 'I Love You' first, and that was important to me," Karla said. As their courtship continued, they were on the track to getting married, when Kent became ill. The diagnosis was cancer, and the immediate future was unclear as more testing was done. The findings were more ominous, as it was found that the cancer had spread.

In the course of this early treatment, there seemed to be mild improvement, and this was the opportunity for the marriage ceremony to take place. Karla's voice lit up during this part of the interview as she described the wedding.

In the weeks following the wedding, Kent's cancer treatments were found to be unsuccessful, and the decision was made for hospice care. Karla describes a kind of "at peace" feeling that she and Kent had, as they knew his life was coming to a close. She was not there for his last breath, and she as ok with this, as she describes in this interview.

Karla and I then talk about Kent's love of butter pecan Haagen Dazs ice cream, as this was one of the only foods that Kent really desired towards the end. Karla challenged her friends to change their FB cover photos and profile photos to the Haagen Dazs ice cream. She also challenged her friends to post pictures to the FB Haagen Dazs page. Karla then challenged the company to make a donation to the American Lung Association, which was ultimately done.

The best part of the interview is the last 30 minutes, which you have to listen to. Karla and I have never met before, and as usual for me, it took me an hour of conversation until to really dive into things. I asked Karla if she had any regrets. I asked Karla what kind of "call to action" does she have to those familiar with her story. And, I asked Karla what she thought Kent's reaction to all of this would be. You'll have to listen to find out what she said.

Towards the end of the interview, we had a great conversation about self care as a caregiver, and self care as a physician. I really believe that self care as a physician is not something that is talked about enough. And, I hope to have more online and offline conversations with Karla about the topic of self care, because I think that it is an important to talk about more.

Thanks again to Karla for being on the program tonight. Thanks to everyone who listened live and who will listened to the archived podcast above. You can also click this link and listen and/or download the podcast. I really need to find the time to podcast more, and hopefully, I'll be able to go that soon...