Susan Ralph

JUNE



My Story

I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer December 30th, 2015. At the time, I was a single mom of two girls, 8 and 5. I remember knowing it was cancer the day I had my initial ultrasound done simply by the look on the radiologist’s face. It was a completely sobering moment, as my girls growing up without me was the first thing to go through my mind. At that moment, the fight was on, and I was not about to let my girls grow up without their mom.

I had my first surgery, a bilateral mastectomy on February 5th, 2016. After that, I figured I would recover and get back to work as a nurse. Until my follow up appointment, where I was told they had a found a small spot of cancer in the one lymph node they took. Back to the OR for another surgery, a lymph node dissection. Thankfully, all of those were clear. I had appointment to meet an oncology team, but I was thinking it was just a formality.

When I met the team, they told me the type of cancer I had was metaplastic and very aggressive. Even with the removal of both breasts, there was still a chance of recurrence. I was ordered 6 chemo treatments, followed by 25 radiation treatments.

I was told my hair would definitely fall out. So, after my first treatment, I went to a salon and spent the afternoon getting a mullet, a Mohawk and a rat tail. For me, that took the power away from cancer, and I removed my hair on my terms.

My second chemo happened to be on May 4th (international Star Wars day). So, my friend and I dressed up as a storm trooper and Darth Vader and had some fun. We decided then that we would theme each of my chemo treatments. Mexican, 80’s, the mummers and finally a New Year’s celebration at my last treatment.

As a single mom, with depleted sick leave and only 15 weeks of EI sick leave to rely on, I decided to start an at home baking business to help with financial matters. I called it Silver Lining Delights. I always said I could find the silver lining in any of the negative parts of this journey.

Eventually, I returned to work about half way through my radiation treatments. Once all treatment stopped, I felt everything hit me physically and mentally. I quickly realized that my life was in a way starting from scratch, and I would have to discover a whole new “me.”

By early February, I learned I was pregnant despite having been told the chemo would make it unlikely for me to have any other children. Francis William was born September 27, 2017, two days short one year of the completion of my treatment.

Needless to say, I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome of having cancer. He is an absolute blessing.

I have recently learned that I carry the BRCA 1 gene mutation and will have to have another surgery in the near future removing my ovaries and Fallopian tubes. It’s like the neverending story 🙂

Susan Ralph


A MESSAGE FROM WINK

Every little girl dreams of a life lived in Happily Ever After. It is the dream of this beautiful lady to survive and make those dreams a reality. ❤️