RERUN: Real Talk: Diagnosed During Pregnancy

[00:00:00] Adam Walker: This episode is brought to you by our friends at Major League Baseball. In recognition of Mother’s Day, Susan G. Komen and Major League Baseball are teaming up to put Moms first and raise awareness to help reduce rates of breast cancer from Susan G Komen. This is Real Pink, a podcast exploring real stories, struggles, and triumphs related to breast cancer. We’re taking the conversation from the doctor’s office to your living room.

This is Real Talk, a new podcast series where we’re going to break down the stigmas and feelings of embarrassment and talk openly and honestly about just how difficult breast cancer can be from diagnosis to treatment, to living with metastatic breast cancer to life after treatment ends. A breast cancer diagnosis can be life altering for women and men of any age, but imagine learning you have breast cancer while you’re pregnant.

Today’s guests were both diagnosed with breast cancer during their pregnancy. They’re going to share about the range of emotions they experienced, their fears, their worries for their health and their baby’s health as they went through treatment and how they’re doing today. Alison and Kate, welcome to the show.

[00:01:17] Alison LoCoco: Thank you. All right, thanks. 

[00:01:19] Adam Walker: So glad to have you. And I know this is gonna be a discussion among the two of you, so, why don’t we start with you just telling the listeners a little bit more about yourselves and then maybe just start talking about what the experience has been like for you.

[00:01:32] Alison LoCoco: Yeah, sure. Happy to jump in and kick us off. So I’m Alison. Let’s see. I was 35 when I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer, and that was two years ago. And in 2021 and I was 17 weeks pregnant at the time, which is not ideal. And it was also the height of the pandemic. So that was also you know, a d a, just a different time for everybody.

I also had an 18 month old at home. My daughter was 18 months and just as busy as all can be. And I was also working full-time, so just kind of stacked them all together. And I made it for a, just turning my life completely upside down. If the pandemic didn’t do that enough, then, everything else did.

So, I was diagnosed with her two new, a positive privileges, protein positive. Cancer in my right breast that also traveled to my lymph nodes in my armpit. So, I had to, had a series of tests and scans and all of this stuff for about 10 days after that to finally get to final diagnosis and a plan for treatment. So, yeah, 10 days would just turn my life completely upside down while pregnant. So, yeah, Kate?

[00:03:01] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah, I was in a little different place. I was 31 years old when I was diagnosed, and I was also pregnant, but I was 13 weeks pregnant. I was diagnosed with stage one, grade three invasive ductal adenocarcinoma.

It was triple negative. And then I was also found to have the BRCA gene the BRCA 1 gene. So yeah, when I was diagnosed, It was a complete shock. I had, a really bad week or two. Like you. I think that there were so many decisions that needed to be made in that time that I. You know I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened in those two weeks, but I know it wasn’t a great two weeks. I did decide to go ahead and have a bilateral mastectomy. I was 15 weeks pregnant at that time. Then I had to take a recovery leave, and then I started chemotherapy when I was 20, 21 weeks pregnant. And that medication was Adriamycin and Cytoxin. They call it ac and I had four of those treatments, and those were pretty rough. I did not handle them super well as you can imagine being pregnant. But I it was told by the nurses that, after three days, then you would have your worst day. And so we kind of prepared at home for, you know, the days that I wouldn’t feel well, and communicated with work about that and just tried to make plans around that.

And then kind of moved forward for the next two weeks and then started with the second round. So after I finished those four rounds, then I had Mave, my daughter I was 36 weeks pregnant at that time, so they induced me. She was seven pounds, nine ounces, 19 inches. She was a big 36 week child. And then I took another two weeks off and then I started Taxoland that was a weekly treatment. And I had 12 rounds of Taxol. At the point in time when I was diagnosed, was the end of 2016 or the fall of 2016, and I had a then seven year old and a three-year-old. I had been married for 10 years at that point. I’m still married, but I had been married at 10 years, for 10 years and it was completely unexpected.

I was kind of reminiscing with Alison about it and just saying that I remember thinking, oh, this will be my last pregnancy. I, looking for things on Pinterest and starting my own board and, bump pictures and all this stuff, and it just seemed very insignificant when. When I was diagnosed it, I didn’t, I don’t think I even opened that Pinterest board ever again after I was diagnosed. And it was very memorable pregnancy. But not bebecause I took, those bump pictures. The lump itself I found when I was, I mean, I was four or five weeks pregnant when I found it, and I said something to my OB and. He said, you know, let’s just watch it bebecause sometimes you can get that when you’re pregnant you can have small cysts or painful breasts.

And so we just decided to watch it. And then I had my first OB appointment at nine weeks, and then we decided to go to see a general surgeon. And then after the general surgeon saw it, you then we had ultrasound and biopsy, and then I was called with the diagnosis the following day. So, yeah, it was quite unexpected.

And yours was? Different, but still unexpected.

[00:06:38] Alison LoCoco: Very unexpected. I’ve found mine, so I, like I said, I had an 18 month old at home, so I was kind of fresh off of breastfeeding and so I was very in tune with kind of the breasts and just kind of being in that space and happened to find I, I was just noticing a lump that just wasn’t going away after breastfeeding and.

I didn’t really think anything of it. It wasn’t bothering me. And then I did mention it also to my primary and she’s like, let’s just watch it. Like they, like, let’s not get all worried or stressed about anything if we don’t need to. And then a hot minute later I got pregnant, and that was in November of 2020.

I went in for my first check and it, the lump had grown significantly from when I found out I was pregnant when I had my first check. So about four weeks. And my OB at the time was, rushed me into the ultrasound and she said, okay, we need to get you scheduled. We need to get you going. This is concerning me.

And it was a month later, I had the ultrasound. Two weeks later I had three had biopsies, which were extremely painful. And then I was diagnosed. I remember being called and it was like a super snowy day. My husband was outside shoveling and I’m sitting on the arm of the couch and. The nurse navigator called me who is, how we met was Peggy. Our nurse navigator through the healthcare system connected us bebecause we both went through this and she just called me and I was told, if the nurse navigator calls you, you better sit down. So, that’s how I found out. I was like, oh it’s not the receptionist calling.

So I knew it was a bigger deal. And 17 weeks pregnant sent me into a spiraling. We talked about spiraling earlier today, and… that was a hard day. I mean, that was a hard 10 days. I immediately got scheduled for surgery bebecause of where I was in my pregnancy, I had to go right into surgery a month later.

And then I had a quick recovery from that and I started the AC chemo that you talked about. I had a couple rounds of that and then I had to take a break before my son arrived. He was July of 21 and then I got about a six week break. And I was able to breastfeed him for a quick amount of time.

because I only I was fortunate to only need a lumpectomy and I had lymph nodes removed also. And then I was able to breastfeed him for six weeks and then I had to cold Turkey that and go right into 12 weeks of Taxolchemo. So an extended maternity leave, which was, a blessing in disguise.

I got to stay home with him longer. But at the benefit of, him to be with me, but I was not myself. You know, it was a very hard, it was a very hard six months to be home. And then I went right back into full-time work and six weeks of radiation every day. And then after that I started a year of immunotherapy and I just which I just finished up this past October and October of 22.

My Progeta injections. So, I’m now at the, I think I’m eight, eight months post everything and still have ongoing like P T O T for some shoulder issues with my surgery and my radiation treatments. But I mean, I think it’s very good that we can both sit here. Hanging out and being friends after all of this completely cancer free.

So that’s, and I should, we should mention like completely healthy kits. That’s what we’re here to talk about today, is our kids a little sassy, but very sassy. My son is almost two. And just a crazy full of life destruction prone kid, but completely healthy and safe. Yeah. And that’s, I think what was the most.

Impressive thing about the whole journey. To me it’s like as much as we were worried about ourselves, we had to worry about them. And it was, I was told, I know you had a different perspective. I was told very early on almost day one, there is no concern for the baby. And I had my OB at every appointment in the beginning and every scan and every check bebecause she was a representative of the baby.

And that just gave me like the biggest relief. And I was able to just like almost accept the process, be like, I hate this. I don’t want to do this, but I’m okay in that my doctor said everything’s good and fine. If I, if that hadn’t happened, I don’t think I would have made it as calmly through. I don’t really think it was that calm, but I would’ve been a little bit more disheveled I think, but yeah, you had a different feel. 

[00:11:23] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah. I, the day that I was diagnosed, I actually worked with the, I work in a, in an office where I worked in a medical office and they, the obgyn actually was working that day. Ironically.

And when I found out when my results, he told me to come into his office and he said there were some discussions or decisions that we would need make but that we had more testing and more things that we had to look into and. It just, I kind of felt, I was scared. I felt mama bearish. I felt don’t tell me what to do. I, it was a very big mix of emotions and I was a very big mess. My mother also worked with me in the same office and she, they pulled her in and so we were crying and a very emotional day. And yeah, I guess I didn’t really. Get a whole lot of that reassurance right up front.

And so I ended up looking for it bebecause I was so scared and which is why when Peggy connected us or when I, after I finished my treatments, I told Peggy that needs help and I think she’s given my name to a few people, but when Alison reached out, I was so happy. Bebecause it’s scary to go through, especially if you don’t have people to an answer questions for you.

Yeah. I don’t think, I don’t know, but I don’t think that my medical team had dealt with this until I was there, and then after that, I think they’ve had I mean, they’ve had for sure you, and then they had maybe a few other Yeah. People as well, so they had more, they could say with more confidence that, this is gonna be fine, this is what our plan is.

But at that point I was kind of, I was, I don’t know, it wasn’t a Guinea pig, but I was more just we’re not sure, so, yeah. I think overall we had good outcomes and we made a friendship out of that. 

[00:13:19] Alison LoCoco: Yeah, we did. Yeah. Amazing friendship we’re, we actually did the Komen walk together for the first time. It was my, kind of like the end of my treatment celebration. And Kate came and we walked together at the, in the fall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Which was a pinnacle for me. It was it really marked like the end of my treatments. And kind of like the coming, I keep my whole like outlook this year is like rebuild, like I’m rebuilding my life.

I’m rebuilding After the last two years. You’re far a little bit more farther removed. Yeah. But it’s still, I mean, still raw. We were getting together earlier today to talk about what do we wanna talk about? And it just all came back like it was yesterday. Yeah. I mean, it’s just, It was scary. 

[00:14:05] Kate Ratajczak: And those negative thoughts, don’t, they don’t completely leave. You think about it a lot. 

[00:14:12] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:14:12] Kate Ratajczak: Is it gonna come back? Something? Are my kids gonna be okay? I think about it a lot. 

[00:14:18] Alison LoCoco: One of the things I remember you telling me, that I now think of is like anytime there’s something wrong with like my son that I’m like, is that bebecause he went through chemo with me?

Is that bebecause we did surgery together? And like my pediatrician is tired of me asking. She’s like for the last time nothing that he gonna be fine. He is just a kid. And I’m like no, no, no. He has the sniffles still it must be bebecause of cancer and it’s just not the case. But I do remember you felt that way about your daughter.

[00:14:48] Kate Ratajczak: think we had her tested for like her immune system tested or something and I’m pretty sure they thought that it was crazy. But they appeased me. Her immune system’s fine. 

[00:14:57] Alison LoCoco: It’s like our mama bears coming out of I know I have to check it all bebecause I feel like this will catch up in some way, shape, or form mean.

I feel like that fear is always gonna be there. Yeah. But I know like we’ve gotten good pediatricians that weren’t us of all of that, but I know like at the time it was very much like I, I very much had the two teams working very closely together, the like OB pediatrician group and then the cancer oncology group of like, how do we make sure that we’re doing safe scans for you and the baby?

How do we make sure that I mean, I was getting, I remember in the hospital I was getting heart scans hourly for the baby when I stayed overnight for my surgery. I mean, I had an OB nurse up there every hour on the hour. Like I was adamant you’ll check this baby and make sure he is fine. Out of this anesthesia, out of all of this, 

[00:15:48] Kate Ratajczak: But it did, it helped a lot to calm me. 

[00:15:51] Alison LoCoco: It did. Ok, baby’s still there, right? Thanks. Perfect. Otherwise, I would’ve been a master. So, and it was also really hard bebecause it was the pandemic. So I actually went through, we had very different treatment experiences bebecause I had to go through everything alone bebecause if you know, during the pandemic and all the doctor’s appointments, everything with masked like no visitors, you had to be doing it alone.

So I ended up doing all of my chemo treatments by myself. I did. Radiations by myself. I had to stay overnight in the hospital after surgery by myself. It was lonely, but it was like, we talked about it. It’s all I ever knew. Like I didn’t, yeah, I never knew a treatment with somebody next to you. So, I don’t know. I got to become very friendly with the staff and the nurses became like my friends and that was that helped me a lot bebecause then I didn’t feel so alone. But you got to bring your mom and you got to bring your husband and your kids came

[00:16:51] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah. And I cuddled with May for 12 weeks. 

[00:16:54] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:16:54] Kate Ratajczak: Every week she, they gave me the Benadryl and I passed out, and then she usually had my lap and sleep with her for. Couple hours, so. 

[00:17:04] Alison LoCoco: That was my, I mean, this sounds crazy. My favorite part of chemo 

[00:17:08] Kate Ratajczak: Was the Benadryl?

[00:17:09] Alison LoCoco: Was the Benadryl. That was wonderful. Coming back home, still like groggy.

And then I just grabbed the newborn and went into the couch and my mom’s I’ll do dinner. Bye. And I was just on the couch snuggling for three hours after chemo every week was, that was the favorite time of the week. I did like my snuggles were fun. But yeah, it was Yeah, I feel like it was a long time ago, but not a long time ago. because it was just two years ago. 

[00:17:38] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah. But my other kids, yeah, my seven-year-old and my three-year old. That, how that time, yeah. My seven year-old was pretty emotional about it. He’s, he did some crying and he kind of tried to look away when you’d be too cool and not to show that he was crying.

He, you could tell he was trying to be kind of tough and but he was definitely more he definitely knew what was going on, and he was genuinely concerned and afraid. My three year old at the time, she, I had she did not handle it very well. She was very, she’s she shut down. She was very quiet. But, I try to like internalize this and think, was it me? Did something happen? Did I do something? But if you think about it, I was. Earlier today looking before we were preparing for this. Or like thinking about it, I looked at the pictures from the summer before I was diagnosed and know, we, it was just the four of us and, my daughter and I would kind of hang up together and we would, we would do princess things and we would do dress up and go for, go to the beach and do all that stuff.

And my husband and my son would of do the, the same. And then when I was diagnosed, like I couldn’t take care of her. I couldn’t, I was so tired and I was just mentally and physically drained. And so she had new people to care for her. Or at least new people to share in the parenting and the disciplining.

And I mean, yeah, I just remember. I remember her being very shut down and kind of angry and she definitely doesn’t understand. And today I asked her too do you remember? And she really doesn’t recall a whole lot of it, but I think it changed our relationship, honestly. And that was really hard for me.

That really it was a big struggle for me bebecause I, I think I had a lot of guilt about that. A lot of guilt about how she, it was, did I do this? Was it my fault? Did I. Not do the right thing. And I think we’re a lot better than we were. Our relationship is a lot better, but I have to put a lot of effort into it to make sure that she understands just bebecause I think it just happened at that like a pivotal time in her life and- 

[00:19:56] Alison LoCoco: Oh yeah.

[00:19:56] Kate Ratajczak: I think she didn’t understand what was going on. She was scared. 

[00:20:00] Alison LoCoco: Well, so oddly enough, you are ironically your daughter now, like my daughter now is the age your daughter was. Yeah. So I can totally see how, an 18 month old be seeing like she doesn’t understand or remember any of this, but like a three, four year old, a hundred percent would, and be very affected by that. And the fact that mommy can’t pick her up and mommy can’t go play outside right now.

[00:20:28] Kate Ratajczak: And my hair, that was a big, losing my hair was a big one for her. I think she, she didn’t recognize me and I think she just I, maybe this is just me thinking, but I think she, had a lot of, Imagery about princesses and she liked to dress up and now mom has no hair and that was kind of weird. Don’t have her hair and boobs anymore. 

[00:20:50] Alison LoCoco: You can’t put, and you can’t put those in your hair anymore. 

[00:20:54] Kate Ratajczak: It just, it was a weird thing for her to process, I guess. I don’t know, maybe at any age it’s gonna be hard, but at different stages it’s going to be they’re gonna deal with it differently than, or like emotionally they’re gonna deal with it differently. So…

[00:21:11] Alison LoCoco: And then there’s your son who wrote the sweetest note. 

[00:21:15] Kate Ratajczak: Story. 

[00:21:15] Alison LoCoco: Or story, yeah. Yeah. It’s a school story that he wrote about you going through this and like from his seven year old lens. It was just so, that’s so cute. 

[00:21:26] Kate Ratajczak: It was really cute. Yeah. He’s he’s a very sweet boy. They, my kids are all very sweet. Just all, they’re all very different. 

[00:21:35] Alison LoCoco: And it, well, we were talking about this earlier too, but it’s like people, so many people came up to us, right? Like during all of our treatments and everything we’re going through, and they’re like, “oh my gosh, you’re going through this plus you have kids at home. It’s it’s hard enough to be a mom.” Just a mom. And then it’s like, “oh, you’re a mom going through this. Oh, and you have a newborn at home!” And it was just like, I don’t just don’t think people even can comprehend how, like the levels of complexity and hardness.

[00:22:04] Kate Ratajczak: But also at the same time, you don’t have an option- 

[00:22:07] Alison LoCoco: Right.

[00:22:07] Kate Ratajczak: To not, like you have to- 

[00:22:09] Alison LoCoco: Yes. 

[00:22:09] Kate Ratajczak: You have to move forward. You have to like- 

[00:22:11] Alison LoCoco: Yeah, we’re very similar. 

[00:22:12] Kate Ratajczak: There’s a time to grieve about it or whatever, process it, but then you have to move forward. 

[00:22:17] Alison LoCoco: You have yourself, you have your baby. You have other kids, your children and, oh- 

[00:22:22] Kate Ratajczak: Plus husband and a wife. 

[00:22:23] Alison LoCoco: Exactly. Yeah. Right. 

[00:22:24] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah. 

[00:22:24] Alison LoCoco: Your job, your family insurance, and like it’s, you have to keep moving and. Yeah. It’s to see those people look at you and to like, “they’re so sad” and they just like, just they look at you like you’re, you’re just halfway in the grave. I dunno. 

[00:22:43] Kate Ratajczak: Right? 

[00:22:43] Alison LoCoco: And they’re like, oh, you’re, and it’s like you need a Kleenex? Like?


[00:22:48] Kate Ratajczak: Right. It was literally like a full-time job. 

[00:22:51] Alison LoCoco: Yes. 

[00:22:51] Kate Ratajczak: I remember I called you about this and I was like, I need you to help me. How do I manage other people’s reactions to my news? It’s like a full-time job. Making sure that they feel okay with the fact that I had cancer. 

[00:23:04] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:23:05] Kate Ratajczak: And it’s just like, I mean, became overwhelming to me, I did not handle that part very well. But one thing that we both learned and you had given me a lot of advice about was to let people in, let people help. 

[00:23:18] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:23:18] Kate Ratajczak: And that was helping them to react and to process what I was going through, especially like close family members. So that was one big piece of takeaway. And that’s where I think you probably leaned in a lot too with your daughter is let the grandma’s help, let the grandpa’s help let the sisters come in and cook all of the stuff.

Let the neighbors did, like my neighbors at least did a whole meal train for a month after my surgery, which was wonderful, but I think I put on 16 pounds eating their food. 

[00:23:46] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:23:46] Kate Ratajczak: But I mean, those type of things are just like that made it. And that helped everybody else. To feel like they were a part of Yeah. Supporting us. 

[00:23:57] Alison LoCoco: Right. 

[00:23:57] Kate Ratajczak: And it’s kind of funny because I feel like I’m almost like now I know I’m only like two years ago, but it’s almost like I’m trying to catch up for what I missed, ya know? Which is also the mom guilt side of all of this was like, I mean, the mom guilt was so real during my journey. Because it, and even though, I mean like your kids were older, even though my daughter was in 18 months doesn’t remember a thing. Right? I still hated that. I missed out on these milestones or I missed out on these, or wasn’t a hundred percent focused on it. And looking back at all the pictures, right. I remember those moments, but I don’t remember like anything else. Like, I don’t remember the feelings around that. I don’t remember. Feeling special at that time or cherishing it, or it’s just like I went through the motions of some of her milestones. And for that, like I’m very sad that I kind of missed out on part of her, not childhood, but kind of some of her later baby years, I guess. But –

[00:24:51] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:24:51] Kate Ratajczak: So maybe I feel like now I’m probably compensating trying to make up for it, but she probably doesn’t remember any of that.

[00:24:58] Alison LoCoco: Right. It’s all on me. It’s all on me. I mean, a hundred percent like your daughter too, Norris told you she doesn’t really remember.

[00:25:04] Kate Ratajczak: I know, but I still can’t. 

[00:25:06] Alison LoCoco: You think she, I mean, she maybe deep down does, you know? 

[00:25:10] Kate Ratajczak: It’s hard to let that go. I looked too, for pictures of me when I was pregnant and I, thinking about the Pinterest thing that I started?

[00:25:18] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. Yes. 

[00:25:19] Kate Ratajczak: I have zero pictures of being pregnant. Like maybe a handful. 

Wasn’t that sad? Like I just, I was so embarrassed. I felt I looked awful. 

[00:25:27] Alison LoCoco: Exactly. Yeah. Felt terrible. 

[00:25:30] Kate Ratajczak: Didn’t want any pictures of myself, but no. 

[00:25:32] Alison LoCoco: I remember that. Yeah. Like it. Yeah. 

[00:25:35] Kate Ratajczak: I have nothing. 

[00:25:35] Alison LoCoco: I remember you showed me a picture. 

[00:25:37] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah, I have a few. 

[00:25:38] Alison LoCoco: And you were like, because I, what I couldn’t remember or like I couldn’t comprehend when we met the first time was like, “How am I gonna give birth during all of this?” Like I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I just wasn’t mentally there. And I remember you like that first meeting you and I had, I think that was like, the second week after I had been diagnosed or something we met super early. And you showed me a picture, you’re like, “here’s what I looked like in the hospital.” You had no hair. You did take some of those pictures with wigs on. 

[00:26:04] Kate Ratajczak: Yep. 

[00:26:05] Alison LoCoco: And this big, belly bump still, and it was the baby. And I was like, how did you do that?

[00:26:12] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah.

[00:26:12] Alison LoCoco: I just remember pausing, like “you are Wonder Woman. I’m so amazed that you actually did it.” 

And then like I just – 

[00:26:18] Kate Ratajczak: But same thing, right. You have to, you just do it.

[00:26:22] Alison LoCoco: Yes, a hundred percent. Yeah. 

[00:26:24] Kate Ratajczak: You said that was your greatest fear-

[00:26:26] Adam Walker: That may be a good place to, to pause there. I think you’re both a wonder woman! (Laughing) That’s pretty evident from the conversation here. I mean, wow. You know, I really appreciate everything that, that you just shared with us, so I, so let, so Let me let me wrap us up if you don’t mind one question first. Since we’re doing this during Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s Day that’s exciting. 

[00:26:50] Alison LoCoco: Oh, thank you. 

[00:26:51] Adam Walker: And I’m very glad that you’re both able to share with us just that the ins and outs of this. It’s so, it’s so important. So, so the end let me just ask you, what advice would you have for women that receive a breast cancer diagnosis during their pregnancy?

[00:27:09] Alison LoCoco: I’ll let you start. 

[00:27:11] Kate Ratajczak: So, my biggest thing is to be an advocate for yourself and actually when I said that, she also was like 100%. 

[00:27:19] Alison LoCoco: Yeah. 

[00:27:19] Kate Ratajczak: You have to know your body and know when it’s not right and, kind of push forward. And not only with diagnosis, it’s with anything. You just need to make sure that you’re, only you know your body as well as you do so, you know. Other people don’t, so you just need to make sure that you’re being a good advocate for yourself. 

[00:27:41] Alison LoCoco: I think we already hit on two of the ones that we kind of have both said in the past and still say is, let people in, let people help. Give yourself that grace. Give yourself that break. That was, it’s more important than you even know. Stay positive is my, I, that’s very hard to say and it’s kind of loaded, but if you go to a bad space and spiraling we talked about like you just, you can’t stay there. 

[00:28:10] Kate Ratajczak: Yeah. 

[00:28:10] Alison LoCoco: Because that is just going to make it worse. And you have to pull yourself out in order to get through it all and staying positive and looking at those, all those notes that are come flooding in, and all of those meals being delivered, and all the things that people are doing for you and with you, and right there next to you. That’s look at, look at all of the silver linings, look at all of the positivity that’s going to make you stronger than you even know. 

[00:28:37] Kate Ratajczak: I do have to say that my, my grandma had cancer. She’s still alive, but she was diagnosed 30 years ago, and she always said that you have to be positive. You have to stay positive. And I always was like, “oh, grandma. Okay.” But truly, I mean, she went through horrible things and just that positivity; I mean, it really did help me a lot. You said helped you so- 

[00:29:02] Alison LoCoco: Yeah, a hundred hundred percent. That’s like our, that’s like our phrase. One hundred percent. 

[00:29:05] Kate Ratajczak: Be positive, move forward. 

[00:29:07] Alison LoCoco: Yes!

[00:29:08] Adam Walker: That’s good advice. That’s good advice: be positive and move forward. Well, Alison and Kate, thank you so much for giving us a peek into your lives and your experience. Thank you for joining us on the show today. You are both inspirations. 

[00:29:22] Kate Ratajczak: Oh, thank you so much. 

[00:29:23] Alison LoCoco: Yeah, thank you. 

[00:29:25] Adam Walker: Thank you to Major League Baseball for supporting the Real Pink Podcast, this Mother’s Day. To learn more about Major League Baseball and how they’re going to bat against breast cancer, visit

Thanks for listening to Real Pink, a weekly podcast by Susan G Komen. For more episodes, visit And for more on breast cancer, visit Make sure to check out @SusanGKomen on social media. I’m your host, Adam. You can find me on Twitter at AJWalker or on my blog