My dream job was the outlet to reaching women like me

This guest-blog entry was written by Ebony Steele, radio personality and co-host on the Ricky Smiley Morning Show in Dallas, TX:


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Ebony Steele shared her breast cancer journey with her extended family — the listeners of her morning radio show.

In August of 2007 I’d recently relocated to Dallas, TX. for my dream job as co-host of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show.  The next month, I was lying on the couch watching television and I felt something kind of odd in my breast.  It was just a brief brush across and I thought “this is probably nothing.” 

I later told my sister about this discovery over-the-phone, assuming that it was probably similar to the cyst that I discovered years earlier. I dismissed it as “nothing.”  But she insisted that I should head to the doctor to get it checked.  I told her that I’d go in time and she said, “if you don’t go, I’m telling Momma!” As we laughed, I realized that she was serious. 

Within the hour, my phone rang and it was Momma – “you already know what I’m calling for and you need to go to the doctor immediately.” 

After a series of tests over the next two weeks, the unimaginable news was delivered to me by the doctor: “You have breast cancer.” I was devastated and suddenly my dream job could no longer keep me on a cloud.  All I could think about was this diagnosis. 

It felt as if I was leaving the dream world and walking into a nightmare.  Now came the even harder part – delivering the news to my family and friends as well as facing my new reality.  Do I keep it a secret?  Do I share it with the millions of listeners who tune in everyday and have become extended family? I was faced with more questions than I had answers for. 

But this wasn’t only about me. My mother, my father and my sister owned this diagnosis as well.  They felt as if this was happening to them.  “How could they fight if I didn’t fight too?” 

With no answers in sight, I decided it was best to face my new life head on.  I knew that I’d been given this job for a reason larger than myself.  I figured out what that reason was for and I made the courageous decision to share my diagnosis on-air in hopes of helping someone else.  The surprise was that it actually helped me…

Do you know a celebrity who was diagnosed with breast cancer? Share your thoughts on why it may be important for a public figure to go through a cancer dianosis openly and how that gesture may be admirable. How does it give fans like you hope?  Comment here or on our Facebook page.

One thought on “My dream job was the outlet to reaching women like me

  1. Ebony, what a great post. Thank you for sharing your story. What you provide can be captured in two words…prevention & hope. Your courage to face your diagnosis head on and go public created the opportunity to promote prevention ~ we need to honor ourselves and get to our doctors.

    My late husband waited four months before finally having his enlarged nodes checked. It was Hodgkin’s Disease. Perhaps it would not have made a difference. So great that you model tapping into courage and a support network to proactively take charge of your health…two hands clapping loudly!

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