A Mother and her Two Daughters

19 September 2010

A Very Good Life

This is my new favorite photo, taken at my 50th birthday party.  A few wonderful friends put together this celebration to coincide with the Single Parent Scholarship event on Thursday night.  My girls were home (and Jeff too) so it was the perfect night for family and a few friends to celebrate much more than a 50th birthday.  We celebrated life and hope, fight and defiance, courage and friendship.  Take away anything from me, but don’t take away my family and friends. 

True friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient.  It’s about being there when it’s not.

As you can see, my hair is coming back, and so is my strength.  While my energy level is nothing compared to what I had before cancer, it is returning and I appreciate every moment when I feel good enough to cook a meal, attend a meeting, run errands, or have dinner with friends.  In time, it will get better, but the new part of my life is to honor the need to rest.  Rest is good, and I don’t shy away from it anymore.  

It’s not whether you have cancer; it’s whether cancer has you.

This is a photo of my new but very dear friend – Ellen.  She typifies what I’ve long heard as the breast cancer sisterhood.  The “sisterhood” involves other women who have been though this tough journey, who are there by your side to make this life chapter a little easier, to help you cope, provide you with inspiration and guide you to a new place of strength and purpose.  Ellen and I didn’t know one another before my diagnosis, but we had many shared friends.  Ellen is an almost 10-year survivor, like me diagnosed with 3B Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  At the time she was 33-years old, with two daughters – ages 3 and 5-months old.   Because my two daughters who can manage the laundry room, cook a meal, empty the trash and can tell when Mom needs a nap, it’s difficult to imagine how challenging this must have been for her.  Ellen has been an inspiration for my fight during this journey.  She has been by my side, and the girls too, during this entire ordeal.  Ellen always tells me, if she can do it, so can I.  Do you believe in lucky charms?   Well, I’m convinced that Ellen has been mine.

 The girls are both home for the weekend.  In fact, Anna-Lee even surprised me Thursday by coming to the Single Parent Scholarship event – which was a magical night on so many levels.  We raised over $100,000 to continue our work to provide college scholarships to single parents who need a second chance to complete a college education.  SPSF’s graduation/retention rate is 90%, so there are many who believe we are a solid investment, that we’ve found the silver bullet to get a single parent and their children out of poverty. 

About the SPSF event was lovely, a night I will never forget.  Jim Argue’s comments, the testimonials from two of our students, the letter Anna-Lee read from her and her sister – it was all so meaningful, not to mention having my family, CJRW colleagues, SPSF warriors and so many friends.  And the icing on the cake (no pun intended) was the beautiful blue cake of my sweet puppy Abbey. 

Truly, truly – the past several days have been quite magical, another reminder of my very good life. 


  1. Stacy,
    What would we be without the sisterhood? It's so great you've found Ellen, someone who's walked in your shoes & can encourage and inspire you, although it sounds like you have no shortage of friends.

    Your BD cake is so cool! I think I might have had a hard time cutting into a cake with the likeness of my "Goldie" or "Sam Dog."

    Wishing you all God's blessing. I will be checking on you sister!

    Brenda Coffee

  2. My name is Lindsey McKinley, I was one of the student speakers last Thursday night, the "marketer". I had the time of my life and it was a pleasure to have met you. Your blog is amazing, and so are you!
    Happy 50th Birthday : )

  3. You are looking just great, Stacy! Happy Birthday! I am glad you had such a good time.


Web Statistics