Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Springfield News-Leader

Check out the front of the sports section in the News-Leader today! Thanks to Allen Vaughan who wrote an awesome article about Steph. He had e-mailed me a while back and said he wanted to help. I can't think of a better way to help!! This was a great story and will not only raise awareness about Steph's battle but also everyone else who is fighting right now. I put the link on here in case you don't get the paper. Let's pray that Steph is able to make a smooth transition into basketball season! Thanks again Allen!



Today was our costume parade at school. Drew wasn't really sure about it but I did manage to get a picture of him showing off his muscles! We are all getting excited for tomorrow and all of the fun things Nanny has planned for us! Nothing new today, just thought you would like to see Drew in his costume. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chef Levi says......

Here's a little greeting from Levi to everyone who has or will be helping with dinners for his family! He has been pretty sick the past few days. Steph took him to the doctor with a 103 degree temp. They said if it got worse that he may have the dreaded flu. Which, by the way, they say is starting earlier this year so everyone be sure to get your flu shots asap! Drew got his and my mom said she may have some hearing loss due the the insanely high decibel at which he was screaming! Not a good day! On Friday my mom was bouncing from St. John's to Cox all day. She spent some time with Steph at chemo and some with my dad. He had to have a blood flow test in his hand to see how good it is after his accident in 2005. Apparently, it is non-existent. Dr. Boswell said that it doesn't look like there is anything he can do to fix it so they will go back to the hand doc and see what he says. Today has been a rough one for Steph. She is REALLY sensitive to the cold right now. So, my dad is going to take her later to Bass Pro (if she's up to it) to get some under armor stuff to hopefully take the chill off. Right now she is cuddled up by the fire in their living room staying warm. She is learning that you have to be your own voice when it comes to chemo. She found out on Friday that they can give her meds that will give her more energy. We aren't sure why they didn't offer her that last time! Unfortunately there are no meds to take care of the extreme sensitivity to cold, so she will just have to tough it out. Luckily it only lasts about 5-6 days. We are looking forward to dressing the kiddos up on Wednesday, making "pumpkin brownies" and painting pumpkins. We will post pics of the kids in their costumes. Drew is Batman, Claire is Supergirl, Cohen is Charlie Brown and Levi may go as a little kid who has been electrocuted. You will just have to wait to see pics of that. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and is enjoying the beautiful fall weather! Oh and by the way, check out my blog and look at what's new at our house! http://www.claireandcocosmommy.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I just put a stat counter on this blog. I started at 9000 because that's AT LEAST how many hits the other website has gotten thus far and they go hand in hand. A few hours later there were 9093 hits! I am amazed. Not because I am surprised at the number of people who care for Steph and are concerned about her progress, but the fact that people read what I write and actually come back! If you know me, you know that I often end up talking to myself. Usually I crack myself up and occasionally someone gets my jokes! (Usually Monica, my brother or Ashley!) I just hope that I am using the right words and giving the Glory to God. I never thought I would ever have the chance to speak to so many people without having to leave my home, take a shower or even brush my teeth. I just pray that this blog can be a testimony to believers and non-believers out there who need a boost. God is working here so keep coming back and we will prove it to you! As far as Steph goes, today she left for Columbia for a coaches clinic and a meeting. She has been pretty tired lately but said it is "manageable" so that is a good thing! Thanks to Chuck and Greta for taking her up to Columbia and Jimmy for bringing her home. Since she will be trapped in a car with nothing else to do, she just might get some rest! By the way, I would like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to Jim Pender. He has been around for as long as I can remember. (We are talkin' SMS days here.) He has been a huge help with the boys and his friendship means the world to all of us. Love ya Jim! Steph, I miss you. It seems like it's been forever since I have actually SEEN you. I know you didn't need to see me last week since I had the flu and was sequestered to my own home, but now I'm a healthy hand washing freak so I must see you soon! Everyone take care and God Bless!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's real

First I will start by saying Steph is feeling a little nauseous today but the weekend wasn't too bad. Friday was a weird day. It was weird for me because I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be pumped full of, for the lack of a better term, crap that you have no idea how it is really going to affect your body. I also struggled because....now it's real. It's real that Steph was the first one in the office Friday morning and the last to leave. It's real that she will be there for 6 months to a year and the lady next to her goes 4 times total. It's real that it was hard for her to hold Levi this weekend because her port is on the left side and she is hooked up for days. It's real that our lives are forever changed. It's real. I apologize if this part of the blog is a downer but this is real. Our tears are real. Our hurt is real. Our confusion is real. Our pain is real. BUT! Our God is real. Our Faith is real. Our hope is real. Our love is real. We will see Steph through because she is a very important part of our world. She WILL WIN. But I relate this to the old days when I used to play volleyball. In order to get to the big games and win them, we had to do 2 and 3 a days during the last (HOTTEST) weeks of summer. No one liked ALL of the practices and I'm pretty sure we would have done anything to avoid running the dreaded MILE, but we did it for the love of the game. And there is no doubt in my mind that Steph will do this for the loves of her life. Whew! Now that I have that off my chest, here's a few more stories from this weekend.

Steph's nurse gave her a prescription for anti-nausea meds that she said should do the trick. Thank the good Lord that her insurance covered it! She paid $18 and saved.....$501!!! (for 20 pills) She also noticed as soon as she took a bite of food with Ranch dressing on it that things are tasting different so I will let you all know if she finds something that she can't stomach if you are bringing food! She said it is amazing how good a glass of ice water sounds when you know you can't have it! You also don't realize how much easier it is to get a cold drink than a lukewarm one! She also knew she had way to much time on her hands during chemo when she started really wondering what each persons story was. If you know Steph, you know that she doesn't usually concern herself with the business of other people, ESPECIALLY complete strangers. But, she found herself wondering about each person in there. Maybe cancer will make her as nosy as me and my Mom! (Doubt it!)

She was a trooper this weekend and was in her and Scot's cousin's wedding. She left the house at 9:30 am and got home at 10 pm and was able to participate in all of the wedding festivities! Jackie, being the beautiful and gracious bride that she is, took the time to honor Steph and her battle at different times during her big day. It was so thoughtful and it meant the world to Steph. Drew loved his tuxedo so much that he wore it ALL day, ALL night and he even slept in it. When I say slept in it I mean he slept in the shirt, pants, tie, coat and the shoes. He thought it was pretty neat. I promise to have pics up very soon! Thanks again for all of your support. It means so much to all of us. God Bless and keep sending up prayers!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Day 1

Well folks, today is the first day of chemo! Scot took Steph this morning for her first treatment at 10. My Mom took his place and brought lunch at 12. Please pray that all goes well today and that her side effects are minimal. I will let everyone know how it goes as soon as I hear something. We still haven't decided on what to do with the fanny pack tomorrow during the wedding! Check out our other website for totals from fundraisers last week! www.stephsgonnawin.com

Monday, October 8, 2007


The fundraiser was a HUGE SUCCESS! First I want to thank Leslie, Greta, Kailey, Whitney, KJ, Molly and the staff at Mcalister's for all of their hard work tonight. (Will one of you PLEASE let me know if I left anyone out!?) You girls did an amazing job getting this together and waiting tables. The girls busted their tails (literally huh Whitney?) getting the food and drinks out to everyone. Thank you! Second, thanks to Jarad, Ashely and Doug for being in charge of the merchandise. Third, thanks to Mom, Dad, Edna, Jarad, Ashley, Doug and Terry for helping so much with the 4 kids. It's not a small task. Last, and certainly not least, thanks to everyone who came and made this such a huge success. For those who weren't able to attend, let me paint you a picture. When I pulled up at 6 pm, the parking lot to Mcalister's and the TWO buildings next to it were full. There was a line out the front door and down the sidewalk and there was not an empty table in the place. I was overcome with emotion. (Especially when I realized I may have to park at Target!) Honestly though, it was so touching to see so many people waiting for 20-30 minutes to order their dinner at a place that normally takes 5! We all realize how precious your time is and we can't thank you enough for coming out to show your support for Steph. There were tons of Stephs players there...past, present and future! There were old teammates, opponents, coaches, fellow teachers, family, friends, nurses, doctors, and even people who don't even know Steph but are aware of her situation! One of the Mcalister's employees said we raised more in the first hour (just in sales) than most organizations do in a whole evening! I wish I could thank each person individually, just know that we appreciate you. It was so nice to get to put some faces with names and finally get to meet some of the people that have helped out so far. I only wish I would have had time to talk to everyone. Again, THANK YOU EVERYONE who was there (In body and spirit!) for making this such an amazing night. I have some pics that I will post later! God Bless and Good Night!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This and That

Here's a few little stories that lean towards the "lighter side" of cancer. After driving through Arby's and bringing home lunch, Steph and Drew sat down to enjoy their meal together. The conversation went as follows.
Drew: "Mommy, is this slow food?"
Steph: "Huh?"
Drew: "I said is this SLOW food?"
Steph: "What do you mean Drew?"
Drew: "Well, the doctor said you can't eat FAST food, so is this slow food?"
Too cute! We did find out that the first nurse told her wrong. She is allowed to eat anything she wants. We think that because the kind of treatment she is receiving she doesn't have to watch so closely what she eats.
Also, I learned some new info today that gave me just the ammo I needed for the perfect "fanny pack" jokes. Steph's first treatment is Friday. This means they will hook her up and give her a fanny pack to take home. She then will be a bridesmaid in her cousin Jackie's wedding! I told her we could "Bedazzle" that thing until it shines like the top of the Chrysler building! Or we could stuff it in the top of her dress along with some balloons filled with pudding (to round everything out) and she can be the Pamela Anderson version of herself. OR She could put it under her dress in the back and get the JLo thing going on. I personally think it's a win win win situation.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dinner Date

Just a reminder!! I would like to invite everyone for dinner on Monday night between 5pm and 9 pm. Don't worry, I won't be cooking! Come to Mcalisters Deli on Primrose and don't forget to bring your appetite and your spare change. All tips and 10% of the sales will be donated to the Stephanie Phillips Foundation. Come show your support for Steph and get her "pumped" up as she prepares to start chemo next week. Thanks so much to Scott Pureyear for encouraging me to call in and give the details on Sports Talk today. I hope I didn't sound too silly on the radio! Hope to see everyone there and finally put some faces with names and meet all of the wonderful people who have contributed so much to our cause!! God Bless you all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ding dong....no one's home.

Yes, I am referring to my head. One of my worker bee's was trying to get in contact Steph using the cell phone number I gave her. She instead got my Aunt Karen. We all had a good chuckle and talked about how I was too young to be experiencing memory loss. THEN, Karen got about 5 more phone calls asking for Steph. Luckily she realized what was going on and gave them her REAL number. I had inadvertently put Karen's cell number (which in my defense has 3 of the same numbers in it) on a DRAFT that I send out when people need directions to deliver food. So it was going out to everyone! Some days I wonder how my kids and myself make it through a whole day without being wounded or seriously injured to to my daily "bonehead" moves.

On a much more positive note, we had a breakthrough on Tuesday. Drew showed up for school dry eyed and bushy tailed and stayed that way the whole day!!!! He didn't cry except when Claire grabbed his cape while they were standing in line. She can't be blamed. I mean everyone knows chicks can't resist a man in a cape. Why do you think Steph married Scot. But Drew got even....he sat next to someone else at lunch. Oh to be young again! So for all of you who have been praying for Drew, OUR PRAYERS ARE WORKING! His teachers were so excited and literally had chills when we walked away and he didn't cry. I think it had everything to do with our little miss bossy pants looking at Drew and saying, "Drew, no crying." She's a take charge kinda girl and Drew is a take orders kinda guy! Remember the wedding is scheduled for the summer of 2029!

Monday, October 1, 2007

2nd opinion

Again, I didn't get this information posted as soon as I would have liked due to the fact that I was magically whisked away to the year 1805 and there was no wireless internet back then. (We spent the weekend in Eureka Springs, AR.) Steph's appointment with the oncologist in St. Louis went very well. She agreed with the treatment plan that Dr. Hoos is going with. That was exactly what we were hoping to hear because now she doesn't have to choose and she can do treatments here without wondering if she made the right decision. She was very compassionate and couldn't believe when she walked in that Steph was sick. She looked at Steph, Scot, Drew and my mom and asked who the patient was. That made Steph feel good but really made my mom wonder about the way she is looking these days! She was baffled as to how and why things like this happen to people like Stephanie.

We did get more info on the side effects of chemo that Steph will have to deal with. We did find out that she will NOT lose her hair. My little Claire will be relieved to hear that because she wants "Steph's hair to stay on HER head!" She will have to deal with the usual stuff such as nausea, mouth sores and other lovely digestive problems. There is one side effect that is the worst one and unfortunately there is no medications to counter it. She will not be able to drink, eat, touch or breathe ANYTHING cold. If she swallows something cold or breathes in cold air it will make her throat feel like it is closing up. If she touches anything cold (including but not limited to anything in the fridge or freezer, cold water, doorknobs, car door handles, steering wheel, seat belts, car seat buckles, the mailbox etc.) without gloves on it will make her skin tingle and go numb. The really bad part is that if she loses feeling in her hands or feet there is a chance that it won't come back...ever. Needless to say, Steph will be sporting a hat, gloves and a scarf all winter. So think nothing of it if you see her in the frozen foods section at the grocery store dressed like an Eskimo! It looks like she will be starting chemo next week. We think that she will go in on Wednesdays and they will give her the "fanny pack" to wear until Friday I believe. (You all know I will be loading up on "fanny pack" jokes between now and next week.) Then they said the side effects will kick in by the weekend.

For my worker bees that are bringing dinner, I think the schedule will stay the same. It has been working wonderfully and Steph is so thankful to everyone who has and will be bringing meals. It has been so nice for her to have one less thing to worry about. I am working on November-January right now so e-mail me if you want to be added to the list or are up for another meal! We have been doing 3 meals per week and it has been great. Thank you all for being so flexible and easy to work with. It was quite a project that I created for myself but is running so smoothly thanks to the cooperation of everyone. You are all so sweet for doing this! Thanks from Steph, Scot and Drew. Levi will thank you in a few months when he is able to eat something besides pureed food and fruit puffs! By the way, Levi is REALLY close to walking! Sadly, he is closer than Cohen. You know Cohen, my 35 pound 1 year old. Oy. It won't be long and he will be EVERYWHERE!!

By the way, I know you were all looking forward to the "Top 10" list. I may just change the topic since Steph will be keeping her beautiful locks, but it may take me a while to come up with a new list. Stay Tuned!