Susan Leichter is a big fan of Halloween. Every year, she decorates her house inside and out. And even though this year has the real-life scare of battling breast cancer, Leichter has made it the most epic Halloween yet.
In June, Leichter was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She has undergone intense chemotherapy sessions that leave her exhausted, and still has radiation treatments yet to get through.
However, not decorating her house because she has cancer was not an option.
“There was never a question,” Leichter said. “As soon as my diagnosis was done, I kind of used that as my excuse to buy extra stuff. My son calls it my cancer card.”
Leichter’s house is fondly known as the “Halloween House” in her neighborhood. This year, she pulled out all the stops, from the creepy zombie woman in a rocking chair and pirate skeletons out front to the newest addition: a winding maze in her backyard with figures of Freddy and Jason as well as classic Halloween beasts like werewolves and spiders.
The outdoors are something for her neighbors to enjoy, but indoors, Leichter and her husband to do something special, too.
“Some people enjoy “Elf on a Shelf”, in my house we do “Skeleton in the House,” Leichter wrote on Facebook.
She loves that her haunted house is a source of delight for the people in her life — herself, included.
“It’s tough. It can be really easy to say ‘I’m done,'” Leichter said. “But this, for me, it gives something to fight for, something to smile about, to be happy about.”
“Cancer is very scary,” Leichter said. “It’s scary not only for you, it’s scary for your kids, your family members.”
Thankfully, Leichter’s doctors have told her that her prognosis is promising.
Here’s hoping next year’s decorations are even more special and that Leichter is cancer-free!
Learn more in this video.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.