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Peggy Sulahian: I Took it Upon Myself to Have the Mastectomy
"I lost my mother when I was 21 years old, and I knew I didn’t want the same for my own kids."
Bravotv.com: What were you first impressions of Lydia and Doug?
Peggy Sulahian: Lydia and Doug have to be the cutest couple I have ever met! When I first met the beautiful couple, their warm, welcome, and loving personalities convinced me into thinking I had known them my entire life. At first, I felt my guard unintentionally being up considering it was the first time I left my house after my double mastectomy, but Lydia’s amiable hello made me feel safe. Not only did I think Lydia looked so beautiful, but what left a greater impact was how emotionally supportive she was of my situation. Her personality and body language comforted me, which allowed me to open up to her and quickly be able to bond. After knowing Lydia and Doug for only 20 minutes, I felt so inspired by how connected they were with one another, and how much they understood each other with minimal communication. I still thank my husband to this day for persuading me into joining him on the photoshoot, because I wouldn’t have met Lydia at the moment I needed her support the most.
Bravotv.com: Lydia asked you about your double mastectomy. Is it hard to discuss such a personal incident?
PS: When Lydia asked me about my double mastectomy, I was completely caught off guard. I had never openly discussed the subject with anybody outside my immediate family, so to have the question asked in such an innocent, yet blunt manner, took me a while to process. My father passed in December which took a massive toll on me. I was receiving calls and letters from my doctor that I could potentially have cancer, but I was so distracted by my father’s passing that I didn’t pay attention to my own health. Just two weeks after his burial, I went in for the operation. At the time, I didn’t communicate the news to even my closest girlfriends. But when Lydia asked me from a place of compassion and sincerity, it was easier to discuss the situation. My personal incident is becoming easier to communicate with others.
Bravotv.com: You can tell you and Diko are so in love with each other and you've been married 21 years! How did you meet?
PS: It's so easy to be in love with someone that’s basically your best friend! Diko and I met on an arbitrary Saturday about 24 years ago. My cousin insisted I go to a fashion show with her at Universal Sheraton hotel. Diko’s mom on the other hand, insisted Diko give her a ride to the fashion show where she told Diko she would meet his sister, Nancy. As Diko dropped off his mom, my cousin dragged me outside to meet him. Neither one of us had any idea that we were going to meet. The setup was vey casual. 24 years later, here we are!
Bravotv.com: What is the secret to such a long lasting marriage?
PS: Grab a pen and paper! Of course love and honesty are important, but patience, consideration of feelings, sense of humor, and attention are key to a successful marriage. It’s so easy to focus on the negative things about your significant other, but once you push all the unsubstantial details to one side, you realize how much love you have for this one person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. I cannot express how important communication is with your loved one. It’s the only way you grow as a couple, and prosper together. Diko is one of my best friends; I can tell him anything knowing that he’ll provide emotional support and advice. Having kids is an additional reason our marriage has lasted this long, too. Once you realize there are little people that you’ve brought into this world together, that becomes a love that lasts on its own forever.
Bravotv.com: Was it hard to make the decision to get a double mastectomy?
PS: Of course I hesitated for a moment when I was given the option, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I lost my mother when I was 21 years old, and I knew I didn’t want the same for my own kids. After countless exams, they found DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in situ) in my right breast. I had the option to go through chemotherapy, radiation, or the mastectomy. I knew that if I chose chemo or radiation, there was a chance of the cell coming back. Instead of taking the risk, I took it upon myself to have the mastectomy. I was advised to remove one breast, but I took precautionary measures of undergoing a bilateral mastectomy to avoid any future scares.
Bravotv.com: Does Diko lavish you with stunning gifts all of the time?
PS: Diko is such a loving, giving man. He does lavish me with gifts all the time, but only because he never wants to wait for a special occasion. I fall in love with him even more, because it’s not that he’s buying his family gifts because he can, but it’s because he chooses to spend his hard earned money on his family rather than on himself. Diko chooses to share his wealth with everyone from his family, to the church, to the Armenian community. It’s more than just the diamond or the Birkin, it’s the notion and compassion that comes with it.