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Photo by: maf04 (under CC sharing rights)

What would you do if you were told you had breast cancer? Any men reading this? You too could be told you have breast cancer. It’s not just a female disease. So…what would you do? Would you fight? Would you go to all lengths possible in order to fight and win against this disease? Say you decide to fight against it with all that’s available and all you have inside of you. And you survive…maybe you’re even bold enough to say you won. You celebrate every year after on the date you were told you were cancer free. The years pass…5 years…a decade…18 years…then WHAM! It comes back. What would you do then? How has your attitude changed? Your approach to going to battle against this disease once again when you had thought you were in the clear…almost 2 decades?

Well, that’s the situation Susan Ricci has lived. Susan is a breast cancer survivor, two times over. I interviewed Susan back in October 2014 while home for a family visit. I wanted to share her story because of her strength and will to live. I am grateful that she agreed to sit down, speak with me and allow me to share her story with everyone. I’m hoping she agreed not just because we’re family. We may not be blood but she has been my “godsister” all my life. Pretty much makes her family. 😉

Susan is very candid about her memories of being diagnosed the first time and then a second time. Shares about her decision during her second battle with breast cancer to undergo elective double mastectomy. Her recovery the second time has not been as smooth as the first; yet she fights on to live life to the fullest every day. She opens up about the differences in her approach to fight and the types of support she had during each bout. A song by Cher has been almost an anthem to her to keep going, keep getting up to fight. Thank you Cher for giving her the will to fight because you helped keep Susan in our lives. She has a stronger will than me. Ultimately, what Susan shows is that you can’t fight alone when battling any cancer. It takes a family and what Susan now knows is that family isn’t always just your blood but your extended family, your network, other survivors and yes, even a song by a favorite singer.

This is Susan’s answer to the question, “what would you do if you were told you had breast cancer…twice?” Please share this video, especially if you know of someone fighting to win against breast cancer.