Europe, two weddings, a double mastectomy

Comedian and WA Cancer Council Daffodil Day ambassador Peter Rowsthorn with cancer patient and Claremont resident Susie Barralet. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d405539
Comedian and WA Cancer Council Daffodil Day ambassador Peter Rowsthorn with cancer patient and Claremont resident Susie Barralet. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d405539

Within a week, Ms Barralet was being wheeled into surgery for a life-saving double mastectomy.

‘In the 24 hours between first finding the lump and being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, all I could think about was how desperately I wanted to see my daughter Emily get married,’ she said.

‘Going through chemotherapy and radiation all last year, helping plan the wedding was my lifesaver.

All year, I kept repeating a mantra to myself: ‘I am going to be okay for the wedding’. And I was.’

Ms Barralet said volunteering at the Cancer Council WA wig department was the most rewarding role she had ever taken on.

‘Cancer research has played such a big part in my recovery, so there will always be a reason for me to give something back,’ she said. ‘When the women come in, they’ve either just been diagnosed or are about the start their chemotherapy.

‘I help them find a beautiful wig and they go away feeling so much better. It is incredible to think that I used to be in the same place they are now ” I had long, thick, dark hair and thought losing it would be the worst possible thing. Once I knew it was all going to fall out and I decided to embrace it, it was absolutely liberating.’

Ms Barralet expects to go into remission after her final treatment in September ” just in time for son Tim’s wedding this December.

Western suburbs resident and comedian Peter Rowsthorn said he was just as comfortable posing in a bright yellow daffodil hat with Ms Barralet as he was talking seriously about Daffodil Day on August 23.

‘The older you get, the more people you know who have either gotten or died of cancer,’ Mr Rowsthorn said. ‘The ferocity of the disease can take someone so quickly or draw it out over years’