Help Care for Debra Steffler
In July, our fabulous, caring, beautiful mother, Debra Steffler, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. This came as quite a shock, as most cancer diagnosis do....it's a lot to wrap your head around when you receive this news. As this information came to us, her family, we reacted the way she taught us to....we surrounded her in light and love and put our minds in a positive and focused place, but we also began to prepare for the battle to come.
Since then, there have been many doctors appointments and an overload of information thrown her way. It has been quite overwhelming for mom but knowing that all of her doctors are wonderful and are working as a team to get her better, she began to relax knowing that she is in good hands.
Since the diagnosis, it has been confirmed, that for her to get better, she will have to undergo 6 rounds of Chemo, a lumpectomy and then follow that up with radiation. For a woman who has always sworn by homeopathic medicines, this was a lot to accept.
As most of you know, she is strong and WILL get through this. What you also probably know is that she is 100% a caretaker which makes it difficult for her to let go helping and caring for others and just take care of herself. When she began with the treatment plan, she knew that at times she would not feel well, but felt certain that she would still be working, getting to see her grandkids afterschool most days and just be able to live like normal.
So far, she has had a port placed in her chest, 2 rounds of chemo and has been hit hard with exhaustion amongst many other difficult and uncomfortable symptoms. Even though we had told her she needs to rest, the caretaker and social butterfly she is, she attempted to go back to work, only to have to go home a few hours later because of pure exhaustion. After that, with a little persuasion and push from her loved ones, she has come to the realization that she only has enough energy to focus on her health and well being....this is a hard thing for a life-long caretaker to accept.
Luckily, our mom lives a simple and relatively low cost lifestyle - she has always been this way. As long as she has a roof over her head, food in her fridge and family to share it with, she is happy. That being said, if she is unable to work, she will not be able to live independently which will cause much unneeded stress. My brother, Lane and I, are helping with what we can but unfortunately are not able to help with as much as she will need.
By setting up this GoFundMe account, we are hoping that you all can help us keep her main focus on healing and getting through this.
Any money that is donated will go to her VERY OUTRAGEOUS medical bills that she is getting and will get from all of the surgeries, chemo treatments, medications, and radiation. She is only a little way through this and already has a large amount due to the doctors.
If you would like to find a way to help Debra, our mother, please consider doing at least one of the following things:
Send her a loving message so she knows that you are thinking of her and sending her light and love.
Contribute as much as you feel comfortable with.
You can contribute here on her GoFundMe page OR
if you would like to make sure 100% of your contribution goes directly to her, you can chose to send her your contribution through the paypal that we have set up for her. Go to paypal and search her name to find it
IMPORTANT : be sure to select "send money to friends and family" to avoid any paypal fees.
Visit George's Restaurant and Bar during the week of September 10th - 16th where they will be hosting a fundraiser to help her raise money to ofset medical expenses. If you eat at George's during any of those dates, part of the proceeds will go directly to Debra (you are also able to make contibutions to her there). Please help spread the word about this benefit....
George's is located at
1041 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta GA 30306
No matter if you are able to contribute monetarily or not, we ask that you keep her in your thoughts. We will all pull together to help make sure that she gets well so that she can continue to be that shining light in our lives.
Thank you so much for caring.....
Lauren and Lane
A lot has happened since the last post. She recovered well from the surgery. She was told that she would have to complete her radiation treatments before beginning the year long chemo treatments. After the radiologist looking at how the chemo had done and the lumpectomy, he decided she would need 20 treatments. These treatments were daily and spanned for 4 weeks. Luckily, radiation does not have all of the nasty side effects that chemo has. That being said, it has it's own which for my mom was exhaustion and general fatigue. Thank goodness she did not feel sick from this.
So, she got through with the radiation and then had to meet with her Chemo doctor about what the next step was.
For the next year, she is having to take a much more mild version of what she had experienced before. She has now gotten through 2 of these treatments and I am happy to say that so far, it is not nearly as bad as the heavy chemo treatments. She is still pretty tired and the first couple days, does not feel great.
At this point, she was really hoping to be back to normal but unfortunately, she is not. Her hair is growing back, she is gaining a little more energy but still can only just do her day to day life. A month or so ago, she attempted to try and put a few hours in at work, only to see that she just can't do it yet. She is questioning if she will ever get back to doing what she did before .... as you can imagine, being a server takes a lot of energy and a lot of ability to multi-task. It is amazing, and sad, at the horrible toll that chemo, surgery, and radiation does to the body and mind.
I do want to thank you all for your support throughout all of this. She truly could not have gotten this far without you all.
We are hopeful that she will eventually be able to return to George's or at least to find something that does not require so much energy to do. As of now, it looks like that will be a while before she is able....
Again, thank you to those of you who have sent your kind thoughts, donated to her cause or have just keep her in your minds and thoughts. Thank you thank you thank you.
Treatments 5 and 6 went “fine”, but to get straight to the point in this update, mom felt completely defeated and overall, horrible. Chemo kills the cancer cells but worst of all, chemo strips your body of EVERYTHING good. You may already know or can at least imagine, but it also has a way of stripping you of your strength, motivation, appetite, taste buds, and in a way, your will to live. On top of that, you feel like crap all of the time. It has been so difficult to see mom go through this treatment. I know that she needed it to fight the cancer but it is poison and in my opinion, has damn near killed her.
At the vitals check-up before the 6th treatment, she got news that she will have to continue treatment with 2 of the chemo drugs for a year. This is because of the type of breast cancer she has. Though the year-long “preventative” treatment is a lesser chemo treatment then she has been having, it still has the drug that could give her all of the same side effects she has been having up until now. She felt completely blindsided by this and almost seemed like at that point she gave up. I have to say, I felt the same negative outlook for a few days because the idea of her feeling this way for a year, I knew she wouldn’t be able to make it that long.
Next was the lumpectomy so once the 6th treatment was done, she rested for a week and then put the call into the surgeon. I took her to meet him and when we arrived, she dumped all of what she has been feeling and how she is currently feeling now, onto the doctor. He listened and, long story short, explained to her how she would be able to hold off on the year of chemo so that she can let her body recover a bit. He spoke with her chemo doctor and they both agreed that she should rest and recover a bit before continuing. At that appointment, we went ahead and scheduled the lumpectomy, knowing that until she got on the table for surgery, she could always reschedule if she wasn’t feeling up for it. Since that appointment with him, every day, she has felt better and better. Her spirits are up and she is motivated to do more and more each day to build her stamina. Knowing that she wouldn’t have to go get blasted with poison right away, really lifted her spirits.
Well, her surgery was today and everything went exactly as planned. She walked in with a pep in her step. I was having to try and to keep up with her! The surgery went well and he removed all of the calcifications and a couple lymph nodes to make sure it didn’t spread to them. The pathology reports will be back in a few days. She is back home now and resting.
Now that she is through with the lumpectomy, she has to recover, she has to figure out the year-long treatment and how she wants to proceed, and also has radiation to deal with.
She is slowly regaining strength but I have to say, I still feel that it is going to be a while until she is back to normal. This treatment took so much out of her, she has a long way to go. She is still hopeful that sometime soon, she can make an attempt to go back to work. Though she is trying to be realistic and realize that it may be a while before she regains the strength.
Mom, my brother Lane and I want to thank all of you who have been sending light and love, prayers, thoughts, sharing’s on social media, cards, and sending financial help. Thanks to so many of you, she has been able to keep her little warm and cozy house and has been able to be home, resting and healing. We cannot, and will probably never be able to express to you how much it means to have your support. She is awesome and loved by so many…thank you for really proving that to her in such a time of great need. She feels so loved.
Thank you all and I hope you have a warm, cozy and happy holiday.
Please know that she feels so loved by all of your support and wanted me to be sure to let you all know that. Every day that goes by, she is closer to beating this and we have you all to thank for that.... You all have made it possible for this process to be so much more comfortable for her than it would have been if you hadn't helped.....she feels everyone surrounding her giving her love and light to get through this.
As of today, she has zero energy so is laying low, trying to eat and rest. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts....♡♡ Here is a photo of us at lunch earlier last week and one of her and Alex at his and Ian's lemonade stand....
We truly have no clue, when all is said and done with treatment, what she will owe but what we CAN say is that, with this amount, combined with the money coming in from donations through GoFundMe and Paypal, she will be able to keep her rent and bills paid while she fighting this and that alone is such a relief. While we just tried for raising 20,000 to start....we have no clue what's to come for the lumpectomy after chemo is done and then the radiation treatments after that....so please be sure to still keep her in your thoughts and if you dont mind, share this page with anyone who may be willing to help her.
That being said, we thank you all so much for taking the time to help us whether it was that you shared the information about mom and the fundraiser, ate at Georges during the event, sent her light and love, or donated money.....WE APPRECIATE YOU.
Side note....to make sure you are up to date on how much we've raised, since the beginning, I have been posting any donation we get, onto this page even if it comes in from a different place such as Georges, check or Paypal (no worries, they do not take a percentage if I post it as an offline donation) ...this way you all know where we are at with our goal.
Update on mom, she had her 3rd treatment on Friday and as of Monday feels awful and is in bed....though it is to be expected for this first week after chemo, it is still hard for her to keep her spirits up so please keep her in your thoughts....♡ She is halfway through chemo now....3 down, 3 to go....