Ebony Steele of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show is a nationally-recognized radio host and TV personality, as well as an entertainment correspondent for CNN’s New Day. Ebony is one of Atlanta’s leading ladies of entertainment, in addition to being National Ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
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Having beat breast cancer in 2010, Ebony now tours the country sharing her story and encouraging other women to get examined.
Here are just some of her amazing words of wisdom:
BDO: Had you been getting regular breast screenings prior to your breast cancer diagnosis?
ES: Before my diagnosis, no. No mammograms. I had performed self-exams, though, and that’s how I found the lump. Age 35.
BDO: When you found the lump, what’s the first thing you did next?
ES: I actually blew it off at first. Later, I discussed the issue with my sister. Then my mom called and said, “You need to get it checked.” I was at the doctor’s office within 48 hours after her call.
BDO: What form of treatments did you choose?
ES: I chose to get a lumpectomy and then breast reconstruction, in addition to chemotherapy. Yes, my treatment was more aggressive, but it was my personal choice. Because I have another breast.
BDO: Please share your chemotherapy experience.
ES: Chemotherapy is like a good friend that hurts your feelings. You know it’s helping you heal from disease, and you don’t know how it’s going to show up. The experience is unexpected, because you don’t know what to expect. For me, the vanity of it, such as my hair, etc., left pretty quickly. I just wanted to feel good. I never threw up. I got nauseous, but that was it. It was definitely an experience. It taught me the amazing strength I had to endure everything and still be cool with this.
BDO: What are some major aspects of your lifestyle that you’ve changed following your diagnosis?
ES: I don’t really drink liquor. Maybe a light wine, but nothing else. I watch what I eat. I try to exercise, walking especially. And there’ve been mental changes, too. People don’t get how the mind and body work together. I had to remove the stress.
BDO: What do you do to reduce stress?