A little piece of my heart has cracked.

steph4Six years ago on March 29th, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For those of you who have followed my journey or know someone…a family member, friend, co-worker who has been diagnosed with Cancer…you know that it SUCKS! Big time. However, there in the middle of all of that ugliness and darkness can sometimes come beautiful things. One of them being my friend Stephanie. Stephanie and I met shortly after I was diagnosed. She listened to my radio show and said that when she heard me announce my Breast Cancer diagnosis, it rocked her to her core. I said on the radio that day that if ONE woman went and got a Mammogram and/or did her monthly self-breast exam because of me sharing MY Cancer, than it more than confirmed that I made the right decision to go public with my journey. Stephanie did just that. After a year and a half of putting it off, she went back to getting mammograms. She went back because of me. That’s powerful.stephaniefamily

I didn’t know Stephanie. When you are on the radio, the people who listen to your show are called “listeners.” I always felt they were more than that though. People who would give up their time to listen to anything I had to say, had to be pretty special people in my book. People who would let me share personal stories about my family and me and then stand by me through thick and thin? Well, I think I would rather call those people friends. That is what Stephanie became. In fact, she became one of my best friends. I always felt like we were kindred spirits.

steph1Stephanie can be seen all over my personal Facebook page. She and her family are a part of mine. Stephanie used to make beautiful jewelry until she put that to the side to take over an AH-mazing French restaurant in Sandy Springs, GA called La Petite Maison. It is my favorite restaurant and the place my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary every year. She took over because the owners, two sweet sisters who were very close to Stephanie, one got sick with Breast Cancer and later lost her life and the other moved back to France with her husband. Stephanie kept the restaurant true and authentic and it is thriving in their honor!

Stephanie has had a rough go at life. Her Grandma passed away at 49 due to complications on the operating table from colon. Her mum, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, passed away about a year after we met which was a month after her Uncle also died. Then almost a year later, her father passed away from a blood clot to his heart and because that wasn’t enough heartbreak, her brother passed away last year to colon cancer. And that’s just PART of her story of loss. Through all of that though, she has shown nothing but strength, grace, generosity, kindness and true friendship to everyone who knows her.stephanie2

Unfortunately, Stephanie just found out that SHE now has Breast Cancer. I have known many women who have gotten diagnosed since me and my mom. One of my best friend’s mom, one of my best friend’s sister, some friends, friends of friends and neighbors. I almost felt like I was getting used to this happening, which is truly sad. Stephanie’s diagnosis has truly broken a little piece of my heart. Not that any woman, any person….any of us really, deserves ANY kind of Cancer but man, Stephanie? Come on. She has been through so so much. She only deserves the world! She is one of THE most genuine friends I have ever had. Her spirit and heart have gotten me through some tough times. She has a beautiful family and her family is our family. She has a beautiful soul. I have been a blubbering mess since she told me. It’s just not fair.

The thing is, I know Stephanie is going to be ok. Really. She is one tough cookie but my heart just hurts for her. Mostly because I know how hard it is, how many different emotions you experience during this stephdepechejourney and the physical pain you have to endure. I told her today on the phone that in some strange way for me, I feel like I am a better version of myself because of my cancer. It changed me. It improved me and continues to improve me every day. It has really shown me how to lean into my Faith and for that I am so grateful. Stephanie? She is already the best version of herself. God made a pretty good one with her!

I am happy to know her and happy to be her sister in this journey. Let’s do this! I love you my friend!

XO Surviving Mommy

 

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18 Comments

  • Susan Kavanaugh says:

    We will pray for Stephanie to get through this journey and the doctors for healing.

  • Susan coltman says:

    So beautifully said!!!

  • Robin says:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Heather says:

    Fight like a girl!

  • Robin Martin says:

    I lost my Dad to Lymphoma, and my Aunt to breast cancer. I lost my precious 7 year old Grandson Brayden to brain cancer last year which I will never heal from!! Now my Mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
    I listened to you from day one when you started at Star 94 and have loved you ever since. I actually met you (and Ray)at Scottish Rite (CHOA) when my Brayden was first diagnosed. You were so sweet to us and it made me love you even more!!
    I will keep your friend as well as you and your family in my prayers always.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration to me!!

  • Devoria says:

    Stephanie, GOD is the all-time healer!!. He will be the doctor in your journey to good health. Lean not on your own understanding, but focus your hope and faith on GOD through Jesus Christ.

  • Karyn Lisk says:

    Breaks my heart and yet your words are so comforting. She has a great cheerleader in you and your family. I wish her the best outcome and that is life forever! Team Stephanie gets my prayers everyday now!

  • Lisa 🌹 says:

    Beautifully said!! Stephanie has endured so much and she will endure this too!! You are so rt when you said she is one tough cookie and a truly amazing friend!❤️
    Love and prayers going out as we go thru this with sweet Steph!! All will be well!!😘😘😘🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Tami says:

    Now you get to return the “favor” to Stephanie by being a great friend, confidante, and someone she can lean on as she works through what she needs to to hopefully arrest the breast cancer and overcome it. Thanks for sharing more details about Stephanie. I always wondered about her since you mentioned her so much. I like what Karyn Lisk said in her comment above. Time to gather TEAM STEPHANIE. She’s got this!

  • Ashley Davis says:

    What a precious post! I have been praying for you Stephanie since I heard the news. I know God is going to heal you! Xoxo

  • Michele says:

    As always, thank you for sharing. I will keep her and her family in my prayers.

  • Taylor says:

    What a beautiful story of friendship and love! If you hadn’t become friends due to Stephanie’s empathy and compassion all those years ago, she might not have started getting checked and this may have not been caught soon enough. Woa! Sounds like a God thing to me! I’m so incredibly thankful you both have each other and that Stephanie will not be going through this alone, but rather with someone who knows EXACTLY what she’s going through! We’ll be praying tons for Stephanie! Much love to you both! xox

    • Tammi says:

      Our Pastor said that God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but he always has a plan when they do. I think part of God’s plan was to put you, Cindy, in Stephanie’s life to help her get through this. And she WILL get through this! Prayers for you all.

  • Teresa Kick says:

    I feel like I just got kicked in the face! I know Stephanie, not as well as you, but I bought some jewelry from her after I fell in love with her Cindy necklace. I know you will be there for her, and I will be praying every day. I think she is an amazing woman, as are you. I told her when I met her I would love to meet you. I admire you both so much. Be Strong!

  • Kristen says:

    Oh Cin…this just sucks. You told me that one day on the phone when I was at a horrible place with my cancer. You told me to own it and accept that cancer just flat out sucks. You told me to accept that people don’t understand unless they’ve gotten that diagnosis. And you told me to never be afraid to throw that cancer card out there because I earned it. That conversation runs through my mind weekly. You have no idea. You also drove over 100 miles to sit and wait on scan results during the scariest appointment of my life. And THEN…you took me to a celebratory lunch. Your strength is inspiring. Stephanie will get that same strength and those same encouraging words. You will be her champion and cheerleader and IT WILL MATTER to her. She’ll be so grateful for you. Just as I am EVERY SINGLE DAY. I will pray for her and think of her and of you. Now…GO DO THIS, LADIES.

  • Lori says:

    Very beautifully written. You definitely have a gift for writing to convey your thoughts. I am so sorry to read this about your friend. I am convinced God brought the two of you together to be an inspiration in each other’s lives. When one is weak, the other is strong. I’ll add her to my prayer list.

  • Jennifer says:

    Like you, I was diagnosed a few years ago and was able to come out on the other side….Steph will too!! With great friends and a hard work she too will survive. I have faith in both of you!!

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