Surviving the Cancer Dance

Elizabeth Rydall beat breast cancer with the help of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and now shares her message of hope.




On the day Elizabeth Rydall received her breast cancer diagnosis in August 2013, she started her blog—whataboobie.blogspot.com. Sharing her experience was her way of coping and also of giving hope to others facing breast cancer.

Within a few weeks of being diagnosed, Rydall had a lumpectomy and a mastectomy and was planning for chemotherapy, which would be followed by radiation and physical therapy, reconstruction of a breast, and then ongoing chemotherapy.  “It was a tough time in my life,” she said. “Within two weeks of diagnosis, my son had left for college, and within a year and a half my husband had left for good. This would have been an impossible stretch of change and healing had it not been for an amazing, loving and talented team of professionals at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, and the best doctors I could ever have imagined having at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. They cared for me through it all and made a big difference in my survival chances.”

Rydall, a resident of Valencia and mother of Jaeger, 21, and Willa, 18, is an actress and an artist with a love of education. Originally from Minnesota, she has a degree in art from Moorhead State University. She currently teaches art in the Santa Clarita Valley; plays tennis every day; and is a board member of Family Promise, Santa Clarita, a nonprofit organization serving homeless families. Rydall plans to participate in an upcoming mini-triathlon with the support of the Paseo Club of Valencia. In addition to blogging, Rydall found help through meditation, changing her diet, extreme exercise when possible and painting.  The paintings she shows on her professional website (eliry.website) are inspired by what she calls “the cancer dance.” “I feel great now,” she said. “It’s the best I’ve felt in 15 years.”

With more than 20,000 views of her blog, Rydall continues to reach a broad audience. Her most important two messages remain “know your own breasts” and “get them checked by professionals regularly.” IYH

“This would have been an impossible stretch of change and healing had it not been for an amazing, loving and talented team of professionals at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, and the best doctors I could ever have imagined 
having.” 
—Elizabeth Rydall