As Stephanie and Brooke digested the news that Stephanie had cancer, Dr. Lewis explained that the oncologist, Dr. Rabin, wanted to perform an MRI on Stephanie. Brooke assumed that they were just looking for cancer, but Dr. Lewis repeated her concerns about the coughing and shortness of breath. Stephanie recalled that she had found herself gasping for air and excessively perspiring at night. Dr. Lewis said it could be nothing, or it could be lung cancer.
Brooke and Stephanie reasoned that Stephanie had never smoked tobacco, but Dr. Lewis said that 25 percent of the cases were diagnosed in nonsmokers. Unable to fathom it, Stephanie remarked that she never got sick. "I'm not a sick person," she insisted.
Later, Stephanie redressed, and Dr. Rabin joined them to say that her tumor was called "non-small cell adenocarcinoma." It was a less aggressive, treatable class of lung cancer. He'd also found other nodes that they still needed to examine. Lastly, he said they'd discovered metastatic tumors in her brain. He explained that those tumors were in stage four. Stephanie asked how many stages existed, and he gravely replied, "Four."
While listening to Dr. Rabin discuss treatments, Brooke seemed to be on the verge of tears. Stephanie asked what her chances were. Dr. Rabin said that less than 10% of stage four patients survived more than five years. Stephanie asked how long she had, and Dr. Rabin replied six to eight months, even with whichever treatment she'd choose to undergo.
Brooke sent the doctors out of the room and told Stephanie that it couldn't possibly be as bad as it sounded. Stephanie requested to go home. When Brooke tried to help her up, Stephanie insisted that she wasn't an invalid. Brooke apologized for calling Stephanie a faker. Stephanie stated that the news was her business, and she didn't want anyone to know about it. She wished that she'd asked Brooke to leave the room before the doctor had rendered the diagnosis. Brooke replied that she wouldn't have left Stephanie alone. "Story of my life," Stephanie quipped.
At Forrester, Eric joked to Ridge that the CEO's office had gotten shabbier since Ridge had taken it over. The father and son discussed Stephanie's upcoming birthday, and Eric wondered what he'd do for the woman who had everything and hated growing older. Ridge proposed dinner at his house and a night at the opera. Ridge cited that since he'd married Brooke, his parents had visited him zero times. "Gee, I wonder why that is?" Eric responded.
Ridge realized his mother and wife didn't get along, but he hadn't considered it an incurable condition. Eric doubted that Stephanie's birthday was the time to seek an ending to the women's differences. "And certainly not in our opera box. Somebody could fall," Eric said.
Later, Ridge continued to work in his office when Brooke somberly entered. He said that she didn't have to sneak around because Stephanie wasn't there. Brooke remarked that his mother had visited her earlier, but Brooke awkwardly avoided explaining the reason for the visit. Ridge deemed Stephanie's visit an encouraging sign, but Brooke quipped that Stephanie would infiltrate a maximum-security prison for the opportunity to berate Brooke.
Ridge hoped that the distance created by Brooke's hiatus would give the women a chance to work on their relationship. Brooke decided that she could live with it if Stephanie disliked her. For a long while, Brooke hadn't been able to accept it, but she'd realized that she and Stephanie were forever connected through family. Ridge wished Stephanie could hear Brooke say that. Brooke believed that Stephanie knew it already. "And if she doesn't, she will," Brooke added.
Brooke wondered if Ridge had ever wished that he could turn back the clock. Though Ridge pondered being in his twenties again, he concluded that he was happy with where he was at the time. Brooke remarked that children always questioned things; however, once they became adults, they just accepted people and situations for what they were, without realizing there could be more beneath the surface.
Brooke said she didn't know what her point was, and Ridge sensed that something was troubling her. She said she wished to return to the beginning of their relationship, because she'd do things differently. She reasoned that she'd be calmer and kinder if she could do it again.
Ridge guessed that she had low blood sugar, and Brooke giggled, saying that he was probably right. Ridge loved hearing that he was right, and he jokingly wondered if that was what defined him as his mother's son.
At the Forrester mansion, Stephanie arrived home and quickly smeared on some lipstick. Eric entered, grumbling that he'd had to make his own martini in her absence. The drink was terrible, which to him proved that he couldn't live without her. Nostalgically glancing around the living room, Stephanie said that she was always in that room, because no matter where she went, the room was always in her heart. "I will never not be here in this room. Never," she told him.
Over dinner, Eric noticed that Stephanie was hardly eating anything or drinking her martini. They lovingly ribbed each other, but Eric said he was fortunate that she loved him, even though he'd been a disappointment at times. Stephanie admitted that she'd said mean things to him in the past, but it had been because only he and "her son" had the power to hurt her.
Stephanie wondered how much Eric loved her, and he guessed that she was asking because she'd done something mischievous. She asked him to sit beside her, because there was something that he needed to know.
At Forrester, Brooke and Ridge chatted, and Ridge wondered why Brooke didn't seem to be herself. Brooke was thinking about how Stephanie had warned Brooke not to tell Ridge anything about Stephanie's cancer. Ridge asked Brooke to spill what was wrong, but instead, Brooke hugged Ridge and asked him to hold her.
At the Forrester mansion, Stephanie and Eric shared some alone time, and Stephanie told Eric that she had something important to tell him. Eric looked worried, and Stephanie appeared to change her mind. Stephanie changed her somber tone and smiled. She said that she wanted a birthday bash, and Eric was surprised because Stephanie had always been interested in low-key events for her birthday.
Eric told Stephanie that he and Ridge had discussed planning a party for her, and had wondered if she wanted a formal gathering or a barbecue. Stephanie decided to plan the entire event by herself, and she told Eric that she wanted only family to attend -- all the kids and grandkids. She wanted to have the party at home, the home that she and Eric had lived in most of their lives. It was where they had shared so many memories.
Stephanie reminisced about the family's first days in the house. Eric laughed and recalled "empty rooms." Stephanie remembered the kids running around the house. Eric and Stephanie embraced. Brooke interrupted when she let herself in the front door. Stephanie asked her to leave, but Eric beckoned her in because he was on his way to the office. Eric left.
Brooke surmised that Stephanie had not shared her cancer diagnosis with Eric. Stephanie insisted that she would handle things her way. Stephanie reminded Brooke that Brooke had promised to respect Stephanie's wishes. Brooke reminded Stephanie that Stephanie had to let her family know what was going on so that she could begin fighting the cancer.
Stephanie refused to discuss anything with Brooke, but Brooke said that she was the only person who knew, and she wanted to be a sounding board. Stephanie softened momentarily and told Brooke that she needed 24 hours to digest the news and make a plan. Stephanie wanted to be left alone.
Brooke saw Stephanie's lists and wondered what she was planning. Brooke remembered that Stephanie's birthday was coming up, and Brooke offered her help. Stephanie refused. Brooke grilled Stephanie about setting up her follow-up appointment with her doctor and planning for chemotherapy and radiation.
Stephanie shouted that she had stage four cancer that had already spread to her brain. Stephanie wasn't sure if there was any need for a plan because the odds were against her. Brooke started her pep talk and reminded Stephanie that the odds had been against Stephanie and Eric when they'd started a business and many times since then.
Brooke said that Stephanie was a woman who always beat the odds. Stephanie doubted Brooke's sincerity, and remarked that Brooke would dance on Stephanie's grave. Brooke explained that her husband and children loved Stephanie, and Brooke planned to be involved to help them.
Brooke warned that Stephanie could not shut her family out. Brooke insisted that Kristen and Felicia would want to know and spend time with Stephanie. Brooke baited Stephanie by telling her that she was making her disease "all about Stephanie." Stephanie shouted at Brooke to get out. Brooke left, and she shouted at Stephanie to tell her family about her diagnosis.
At Forrester, Thorne, Marcus, Ridge, Steffy, and Thomas were eating Chinese takeout and brainstorming about the men's line at Forrester. Steffy urged everyone to consider a man for the job as a model. Steffy turned to Ridge and suggested that he should be the spokesmodel.
Ridge disagreed because he was the CEO, but everyone pointed out that Brooke had been CEO and a model at the same time. Thorne pressured Ridge to show off his physique. Ridge stripped off his shirt, and everyone was wowed. Steffy claimed that Jackie M might be proud of Owen's abs, but Forrester had an answer.
Eric entered the wild meeting and laughed at the ideas his family had generated. Eric announced that Stephanie wanted a birthday party. The family members agreed that it was not Stephanie's style, but Eric added that Stephanie was planning the entire event, and it promised to be memorable.
At home, Brooke saw the latest version of Eye on Fashion magazine with a photo of Owen, Bridget, and Jackie splashed on the cover. She set the magazine aside when Ridge got amorous, but Brooke stopped the action because they were late for Stephanie's birthday party. Ridge was surprised that Brooke was in a hurry to get to Stephanie's place, but Brooke passed it off as not wanting to cause trouble.
At the Forrester mansion, Stephanie's birthday party was in full swing. Hope called Stephanie from Forrester Creations to ask if it was okay to invite Liam to the party. Stephanie agreed, and Hope explained that Liam had nothing to do with Bill Spencer's magazine story that had embarrassed Bridget. Stephanie agreed, surprisingly, and Hope was thrilled.
While Hope was on the phone, Liam had entered the office, and Hope was elated to invite him to the party. Liam was afraid that he would face a firing squad, but Hope said that none of what Bill Spencer had done was Liam's fault. Liam agreed and said that he loved his father, but he didn't know if working at Spencer Publications was a good idea, since Bill continued to hurt people. Hope told Liam that she held out hope that Liam would be a positive influence on Bill. Liam laughed, and they kissed.
At the party, Brooke and Ridge showed up, and Ridge wondered if Felicia and Kristen were attending, but Stephanie said that they couldn't make it. Ridge said that he was sure they would attend the following year. Stephanie and Brooke locked gazes, and Stephanie said that she understood that her daughters were busy, and it was short notice.
Hope arrived with Liam, and Stephanie greeted Hope. Stephanie said that she didn't know that Liam was attending, and Liam panicked. Stephanie admitted that she was teasing him. Stephanie told Hope and Liam to have a great time. Thorne, Marcus, Steffy, and Thomas gathered when they saw Hope and Liam, and Thomas and Marcus grumbled that they had not been encouraged to find a date. Thorne told them to knock it off because Liam was a good kid.
Liam met Eric and Pam, and Liam apologized for his father's cover story. Eric seemed ambivalent. They all chatted, and Pam told Eric that he should have had her cater the event because the desserts were atrocious. Stephanie watched the crowd from the second floor balcony, and Brooke interrupted her. Stephanie wondered aloud how high the balcony was, and Brooke assumed that Stephanie was thinking of offing herself by jumping. Stephanie told Brooke to stop the morbidity and have a good time. Brooke wondered when Stephanie was going to share the news that she had cancer.
Stephanie reiterated that it was none of Brooke's business. Stephanie told Brooke to stop looking "dewy-eyed." Stephanie didn't want anyone to know that anything was wrong. Stephanie rejoined the family on the first floor. Taylor and Pam grilled Stephanie about why she had allowed Liam to attend the party. Stephanie told them that Steffy and Hope had forgiven Liam, so she didn't see a problem. Both Taylor and Pam were shocked that Stephanie was not holding a grudge.
Stephanie grabbed a martini and asked for everyone's attention. She told the crowd that she had agreed to a party after all the years that she had refused birthday parties because she was tired of declining to host a party. Eric chimed in that he was tired of hearing her refuse the parties.
Stephanie said that instead of telling everyone what she wished for, she wanted to live in the moment, and she stared directly at Brooke. Stephanie added that she had an announcement that she never thought she would make on her birthday, but she felt she had something to tell them, and they all had a right to know.
At Jackie M, Oliver lamented to Aggie and Nick that Hope had broken up with him. Aggie was surprised, but Oliver said that Hope had forgiven him. He added that Hope couldn't get past it, though. Oliver hoped that he hadn't lost the best thing that had ever happened to him. Aggie tried to encourage Oliver not to give up, but Oliver was despondent. Nick chimed in and agreed that Oliver needed to stay in touch with Hope.
Oliver explained that Hope and Liam were dating, and Oliver added that Liam was Bill Spencer's long-lost son. Nick was bitter that the news of Liam's fatherhood had not been splashed all over magazine covers. Nick told Oliver not to give up on Hope. If it were meant to be, it would happen. Oliver left, and Aggie asked Nick if he really believed that Oliver had a chance with Hope.
Nick said that he believed Hope and Oliver had a great chance at love. Aggie wondered what was going to happen in their relationship -- her relationship with Nick. Looking pensive, Nick told Aggie to stand in front of the mirror in the office. She gazed at her reflection, and Nick told her that she had changed and grown since they'd first met.
Nick said that saw a beautiful and confident woman, far different from the Agnes that he'd first met. Aggie thanked Nick and suggested that their relationship was very different from when they first met. She asked what was happening in their relationship.
At Stephanie's party, Brooke braced herself as the guests curiously listened to Stephanie say she felt compelled to share her new perspective with the family. Stephanie had awakened that morning with a strong sense of exuberance. After she'd realized that she had many fabulous experiences left to live, she'd remembered something that her children and grandchildren had begged her for. She declared that it was their lucky day, because she was tired of declining them.
Someone knocked on the door, and Stephanie reminded her family that the kids had always exclaimed that it would be awesome to slide down the stairs and into the living room. All the guests cheered, but Brooke, who scowled to see deliverymen carrying a yellow, curvy sliding board through the front door.
The family helped the deliverymen move furniture and hook the slide to the tiny balcony that overlooked the living room. Eric, Taylor, and Pam expressed that it was zany to have a slide in the house. Stephanie responded that she was just enjoying her birthday. Ridge grinned like a boy and declared that he was going first.
Liam approached Brooke to say that he was sorry about what Bill had done to Bridget at the Jackie M showing. Brooke assured Liam that she knew he'd had nothing to do with it. Hope and Liam got in line for the slide, and Brooke mirthlessly smiled as the elated Stephanie cheered Ridge down the slide.
Somber music played over the scene as the family roared with laughter to see Steffy and then a skittish Pam take their turns. Pam exclaimed that she felt like a kid, but Stephanie said they'd never had that much fun as children. Eric and Stephanie recalled that Ridge had drawn blueprints for a slide when he'd been a little boy.
The family decided that it was Stephanie's turn, but Brooke discouragingly tugged at her. Stephanie, however, breezed by Brooke to take a turn. Brooke fretted as Stephanie glided down the slide and bounced easily onto the foam pad below. "Where's my martini?" Stephanie yelled, and Brooke finally rendered a genuine smile. The boisterous family wondered how Stephanie would top the slide at her next party, but Stephanie doubted that she could.
Pam left to check on the food, and Stephanie followed her. By the front door, Brooke snagged Stephanie's arm and asked why Stephanie hadn't said anything yet. Stephanie insisted upon handling it her own way, but Brooke stated that she didn't seem to be handling it at all. Brooke understood that Stephanie wanted poignant moments, but she urged Stephanie to tell the family, so that the moments would mean more to them, too.
Stephanie stated that it wasn't poignant at all. In her view, it was senseless and unfair that she'd survived her stroke, reunited with Eric, and gotten the company back, only to be hit with something like that. Brooke said that the family had been hit with it, too; however, Stephanie refused to reveal anything until she knew what she was dealing with.
"You have stage four cancer," Brooke said and offered to help Stephanie prepare for it. "I can't even have cancer without you," Stephanie miserably replied. Insisting that she'd do what she thought was best for her family, Stephanie implored Brooke to stay out of it.
At Jackie M, Aggie giggled as Nick complimented her smile and courage. She noted that he'd been going through a lot at the time, and he'd even missed their fashion show. The two laughed as Aggie made fun of Owen's statue costume and poses. Noting that it was good to laugh, she asked if Nick planned to return to the land of the living. He relayed that he was thinking about it.
Nick admitted that he was worried about the pounding that Bridget and Logan were taking in the press. Aggie admired Nick for caring, even though he wasn't with Bridget and the baby. "I don't like seeing people I care about being dragged through the mud, even if they choose to put their face right in it themselves," he replied.
Aggie assured Nick that Jackie and Whip were handling the press, but Aggie sensed that Nick felt he hadn't done enough to help. He wondered why they were even discussing it, but Aggie conveyed that he could say anything to her-or they didn't have to say anything at all. She said she didn't need words, because she could feel the trust that had grown between them. Nick locked the office door and roped her into his arms for a passionate kiss.
After they made love, Nick uttered that he'd always trusted Aggie. "I want you with me. You good with that?" he asked. She replied that there was no other place she'd rather be. Nick couldn't promise that things would be smooth, but Aggie didn't need promises. After everything they'd been through together, she figured that he knew how she felt about him. For the first time, she knew who she wanted to be and whom she wanted to be with. She was glad that he wanted to be with her, too. The couple kissed.
Lying on her bed, Brooke upset herself by reading the tabloids, and Ridge inquired about Bridget. Brooke said Bridget was okay, but Stephanie had been right about scandal following Brooke. He asked when she'd started listening to his mother, and she admitted that Stephanie had asked her to keep a secret. Ridge decided that he didn't even want to know what it was.
Ridge was happy that Stephanie had finally confided in Brooke as a friend. "Well, hardly," Brooke scoffed. She disliked keeping secrets from Ridge; however, he said he wanted the trust to grow between the women. He didn't want Brooke to break it because Stephanie would eventually tell him the secret. Sadly agreeing with him, Brooke decided to remain silent.
On her terrace, Stephanie pondered her illness. Eric noted that she seemed troubled, and she claimed that she was concerned about Bridget and Jackie's situation. As they discussed it, Stephanie distractedly grumbled that she wished people would mind their own business. Eric hadn't expected to hear such a statement from her, but she said it wasn't too late to change.
Later, Brooke arrived and insisted upon driving Stephanie to her doctor's appointment that day. Stephanie quickly declined Brooke's support out of fear that Brooke might wind up making out in a closet with a young doctor. Undaunted, Brooke grabbed a scarf to carry with them, but Stephanie took offense to Brooke handling Ann's garment. Brooke assumed Stephanie would prefer having her mother to a scarf. "My mother? Not necessarily. Brooke, some things are just not possible. Her time was up," Stephanie responded.
Stephanie announced that she'd canceled her doctor's appointment. Brooke was outraged, but a phone call for Stephanie interrupted them. Brooke saw a list on the table, which included roller coasters, yacht trips, and Alaskan glaciers. Upon seeing Brooke with her list, Stephanie told the caller that she had to go, because a fly was buzzing around the house.
Stephanie snatched the list away, and Brooke guessed that it was a "Bucket List." Stephanie said she had the right to experience things that she'd always wanted to do. "Hula lessons?" Brooke asked. Citing that Stephanie was a fighter, Brooke urged her to stop focusing on what to do before her death and start focusing on her surgery and recovery. "I'm tired of fighting. No surgery. No chemotherapy. No radiation. No nothing!" Stephanie declared.
Brooke refused to let Stephanie give up. "Don't do this to your family. Don't do this to me," Brooke implored. Stephanie laughed, saying, "You hate me, you dingbat!" Brooke uttered that she didn't want Stephanie to die, but Stephanie quipped that she would want that if she were Brooke.
Brooke figured that Stephanie was either afraid of dying, or afraid of living. Stephanie simply stated that God had decided that her time was up, and she'd elected not to receive treatment. "If I die, I die," she concluded. Brooke held her hand out, but Stephanie defensively stepped back. Brooke ordered Stephanie to take her hand. Rolling her eyes, Stephanie complied.
Brooke said they were in it together. Stephanie protested; however, Brooke insisted that they were going to the doctor to find the best treatment for Stephanie's survival. "I'm not letting you leave us, Stephanie. I won't allow it!" Brooke persisted.
At Forrester, Eric expressed his pride in seeing Thomas and Ridge working together. Eric wished his daughters would return to the company. "And your wife," Thomas said to Ridge. Ridge responded that it would happen, because Stephanie was starting to appreciate Brooke.
At Bridget's house, Rick arrived to discuss his progress with Jackie, but Bridget ordered him to stay away from the married woman. Rick explained that he'd been alone for a long time, and Jackie had ignited a spark within him. Though Jackie was preoccupied by the scandal, he he'd be there for her once it became too much to bear.
Bridget noted that Rick had been there for Taylor during her alcoholism, and he'd been there for Steffy, who'd grieved the loss of Phoebe. "When you see a good-looking woman in need, you go 'be there' for her," Bridget said and pleaded with him to give it a rest. Rick asserted that he really liked Jackie, and he planned to let her know it.
After Rick left, Owen arrived to find Bridget scanning the Jackie M message board online. She read a post claiming that the baby scandal proved that the Knight marriage had been a publicity stunt. "Fess up. Do the right thing. You and Bridget belong together now," Bridget read. Balking at the comment, Owen wished the posters would mind the fashion, and not his business. Bridget, however, thought the poster might have a point.
Owen gently explained that he was committed to his marriage. Bridget claimed that she'd never want to interfere with that, but prior to Logan's birth, she hadn't realized how sensational their family would seem to the public. Owen reasoned that their new family was just going through an adjustment phase, but things would work out. Sure that he was right, a glowing Bridget expressed that she was glad to have him as her baby's father
At Jackie M, Jackie was irritated to find Rick waiting in an office. Rick told her not to pretend that she wasn't thrilled to see him, because he was definitely thrilled to see her. Jackie figured that he was a good brother to be so persistent, but she wasn't worried about Bridget and Owen. Rick countered that Jackie deserved an attentive man. Once Logan had been born, she'd lost that in Owen; however, she could have it again in Rick.
Jackie joked that she should just "throw caution to the wind" and run off with Rick. He said he'd thought she'd never ask, and he suggested that they hop a plane to Paris. She admitted that she enjoyed his spontaneity, and he enticed her with the breath-taking sights in Paris. "We have to get engaged at the Eiffel Tower," Rick added to his romantic pitch. Jackie pretended to be beguiled, but then flatly said she wasn't going with him.
"Who needs the Eiffel Tower?" Rick decided. He flipped open a black velvet box and said, "Marry me." Jackie's eyebrows rose at the sight of the enormous ring inside the box.