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Fashion Statements With Susan Sullivan Danenberger: Metastatic Breast Cancer on the Runway
Susan Sullivan Danenberger
February 11, 2019

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Susan Sullivan Danenberger talks about her experience with metastatic breast cancer, reconstruction, and what it's like to walk in the AnaOno fashion show.

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I'm Susan Sullivan Danenberger. I'm a winemaker from central Illinois. I had breast cancer in 2014, thought it was gone, and then it came back in 2016, and that's when I was diagnosed metastatic. I had a long, arduous journey of just... besides the cancer, infections and pulmonary embolisms and lots of reconstruction.

But my surgeon — actually, she's here today, I'm so thankful because she's the one that — they were in bad shape. So she had to do a lot of stuff, and she made them look so beautiful. I was so thankful. So she kind of brought me out of the abyss, because it was hard just to... Even with the cancer that's one thing, but then also to feel really ugly and uncomfortable in your own skin. And I didn't know that you could keep going back until you got it right. So yeah, she pulled me out of that deep, deep tunnel.

So, I've been off of Ibrance since June, and I just had another scan last Monday, and so far it's no changes. So that's a good thing.

[Walking the runway is] kind of like this thing you're terrified to do, so if you can conquer it, it makes you feel like, "Ok, I can keep moving forward." So I love that. I'm scared, but I think that's going to be that part that's going to make it wonderful, because I'm doing something that I'm afraid to do, just like with the cancer, same thing. You get through it, and you're like, "Oh my gosh, I am strong." And then having all these women that I follow on social media who have been there telling me tips or ideas, to get to meet them in person? Wow. Yesterday was the crying day and today is the smiling day.

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