In 2008, Angie's best friend of 15 years, Stephanie, was diagnosed with metastatic leiomyosarcoma—a long name for a rare and aggressive cancer that takes root in supporting tissues, such as bone, cartilage, fat, and blood vessels. For more than seven years, Stephanie put up a valiant fight. But the cancer spread, and her doctor recommended hospice care.
"To those of us close to Stephanie, we weren't ready to hear the 'H' word," said Angie. "How could she be ready for hospice? She's only 48 years old."
On a High Note
Stephanie began receiving hospice care, but she wanted to remain strong for her son, grandson, family, and friends. "Be strong" became her mantra during an increasingly difficult time. Saint Luke's Hospice staff was there to help with education, resources, medication—and compassion.
During Stephanie's final weeks, she rallied as often happens when someone is near the end. Music therapist Amy Wilson wrote a special song, "Be Strong," for Stephanie and her son. Amy was there to sing it while Stephanie passed away—with her son, her friend Angie, and other loved ones by her side.
"I will forever remember that moment and cherish my friends at Saint Luke's Hospice," said Angie. "They helped us be strong, held our hands, and made those final moments with Stephanie something to treasure."