Thursday, December 18, 2008

I TRUST in YOU.

That is what I kept repeating today. On the way to school, on the way to Target (retail therapy), on the way to Hobby Lobby and even a few times IN Hobby Lobby. I don't even care if the lady in the fabric department thought I was off my rocker. In fact I was kind of hoping she might ask WHO I trusted in, because I have a hunch that lady could have used some good news today! Anyway, it was strange this morning. I didn't feel the need to ask this morning. All I could come up with was, "I TRUST in YOU LORD." I do. I TRUST Him. I TRUST His plan. This is the kind of stuff I used to hear and be so baffled. Where do these people get this kind of faith? I never knew how people made it through such tough times. But now I know. NOW I understand. I wasn't hungry then. I didn't thirst for the Word of God. I didn't know pain so how could I possibly understand the need of something so much larger than myself? Some might say I was blessed...and I was. Blessed because Jesus knew me inside and out. He knew that there was a work to be done in me before he could throw the hard stuff at me. Thank you Jesus.

We were thrilled to find out that the tumor is shrinking. We were starting to (as you could probably tell) get worried. Every time Steph would have a pain, we panicked. So to find out that the cancer has not spread was good news. To find out that the tumor has shrunk....WONDERFUL NEWS! She will continue with chemo for a total of 4 months (possibly 6) and will go back to Houston in two months for another scan. They will then decide if they want to continue with chemo or put her on a "maintenance program" which is a lower dose of the chemo. They also told her that she is a candidate for ERBITUX at some point if needed. This was good news because as many of you know, with colon cancer, treatment options are pretty limited. So we will stay on this course and pray that she won't need the Erbitux....EVER! But it's comforting to know that she is a candidate, just in case.


Now, on a lighter less medical side, let's talk about those adorable Phillips boys. They went to dinner on Tuesday night and then to the ice skating rink. Levi kept yelling, "Put skates on me NOW!" If you know Levi, you know that he is VERY articulate for a 23 month old. He also has a pretty good idea about what he wants! They were afraid that if they put skates on him and let him go, they may never catch him! Drew was so excited about skating. He told Scot, "Come on dad! This could be our own special moment together!" They had to pay extra because when everyone MELTED on the rink, it caused a big mess.



I was so excited to report our news when I picked the kids up from school. The first person I told was a mother of a little guy in Claire and Drew's class. She flagged me down in the car line desperate to know if we had heard anything. She is no stranger to the feeling of waiting for this type of news. Her little guy fought for his life not long ago at the tender age of 2. When I told her she was in tears and we talked about how our children are being changed because of this cruel disease. We agreed that they are seeing God work miracles. I shared with Miss Sandy and she literally jumped up and down and screamed in the car line! Another momma had already gotten the news via my moms original text. It was a VERY happy day in the car line today!



Please take the time to stop and THANK GOD for the work he is doing in Steph. Thank you all for praying and continuing to pray for Steph. You guys are wonderful. Really, you are. Please have a MERRY CHRISTMAS! I KNOW we will!

Sending my love to each and every one of you!

No words.

Wondering where those adorable boys stayed during the appointment today? Well let me tell you. If you recall last time Steph went to Houston she stayed with Kathy and Tim. Kathy's sister Jane flew down with Steph and was so helpful. Well, Kathy and Tim offered their babysitting services so that Scot and my parents could all go. It is so important to have multiple sets of ears during such important appointments. NOW, when I say babysitting services, I don't mean sit and watch them play. I'm talking about playing WITH the boys and truly enjoying them. How do I know this? Because after the appointment Drew said, "Miss Kathy, are you guys going to lunch with us?" She told him she probably would and he replied, "Oh good! You just make my heart so happy!" My mom said they are two of the most amazing people she's met in a LONG LONG time. She said as soon as she looked at Kathy, she just felt the need to hug her. We are a hugging family, but rarely feel the need to hug people we have never met before! I'm not sure that they will EVER know how much we truly appreciate them. The best I could come up with was their very own post!

Tim and Kathy,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking such good care of the Phillips family. For once, I am truly having a hard time finding words here. (ask my family how many times that happens!) So here are a few, in no particular order, that come to my mind.

Amazing, friends, saints, blessing, gracious, sweet, awesome, dear, loving, fun, angels, wonderful and sent straight from Heaven.

Love, hugs and prayers,
Chrissy

This just in!

I just got a text from my mom. This is what it said.

"TUMOR HAS SHRUNK BY 30 OR 40 PERCENT! I'll call as soon as I can!"

PRAISE GOD! This is SUCH great news. God is so good! I will post again later when I get home and talk to them. Thank you so much for praying. We feel your prayers. We REALLY do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fun day!

Today is just a fun day. I think most of the gang was headed to the Space Museum. Drew was excited to see the rocketships. My mom is going to spend some time with one of her best friends who moved to Houston years ago. Steph's appointment is at 11:30 tomorrow to find out the results of the scan and discuss how we are going to procede. Please continue to pray and lift her up to the Lord. We KNOW that HE is in control. HE is the almighty physician and we trust in His plan. I am supposed to be the first phone call tomorrow. I will be out and about so I am taking my laptop along. I will most likely stop off at San Francisco Oven (a little plug for our favorite breakfast and lunch place!) and post if I can. If not, I will post as soon as we get home from school which is usually around 1:30. Stay tuned.

For now, I will leave you with some humor. If you know me, you know I love a good bodily function. I don't know why, but toots are funny. So here is a family favorite. Drew has been watching it on my blog and can't get enough! Listen closely, and ENJOY!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Miss you much!

No one has called me today! We missed Drew tonight at basketball practice and at the Christmas program last night. I'm starting to wonder how next year is going to go when Claire and Drew go to different schools. She sure does miss having him right by her side!

From what I understand, we will not know anything until Thursday. But I will continue to pass along what information gets thrown my way. I can't wait until they all come home. I don't like them all being so far away!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Free Entertainment.

It's only 3 months late, but I just did a slideshow of my baby boy and decided to share it with my loyal readers. His two year pics (in the red tie) are by our very own Auntie Karen. Enjoy!

Click to play Coco2
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The Good News

What a wonderful morning it was at Riverbluff Fellowship this morning. Pastor Scott delivered in true Watson fashion. He spoke about the "Good News!" It was, as usual, just what we needed to hear. In our lives we are inundated with bad news. The news rarely reports anything good. The economy...bad news. The war....bad news. Cancer....bad news. Poverty, famine, abuse, neglect....it's all bad news. But guess what? I have some good news for you that will ALWAYS be the same. It will always be GOOD.

God sent His only son to this earth to die for our sins.
We are FREE because of Jesus.

That's some pretty good news. News that we must focus on during the tough times.

I was doing well keeping my emotions in check. Until Claire turned to me and we had the following conversation.

Claire: "Mommy, I want to go with Nanny."
Me: "No, remember we talked about how Nanny and Papa are going with Steph and Scot to the doctor in Houston."
Claire: "Well, then I want to go with Steph."
Me: "No, you can't go with her but when we miss them we can say a prayer for them."

I then diverted her attention to the advent calendar at home waiting for her, and all was well. She then turned to Steph, hugged her tight and said, "I will be praying for you Steph." This momma was so proud. We hugged and loved on everyone and sent the crew off to Houston.

I spoke with them at about 6 and they were 100+ miles from Texarkana which is where they are staying the night. They said the boys are being ABSOLUTE angels. No doubt due to the numerous prayers being sent up on their behalf. They stopped in a little town at a flea market because they saw Santa. Drew wanted to get out and talk to him. He came back to the truck and reported that Santa talked really funny. (They were in Arkansas!!!)

I will be posting updates often. In the meantime, I will be cuddling up with my family and trying to stay warm. I just got home from the store where I bought WAY too much food in anticipation of a storm! (Which by the way, I shopped with the entire town of Ozark this evening!!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

O Come all Ye Faithful!

I was so excited to have lunch with my mom and Steph on Thursday. Steph seemed to be feeling much better. We enjoyed a quiet lunch at San Francisco Oven and discussed what we will be getting our big strong men for Christmas. (Besides our undying love of course.) Mom and Steph had just returned from taking Drew to the doctor. I wish I could say that it was just for his flu shot. But it wasn't. As he likes to say, "I am having potty issues." They are did a renal ultrasound on him yesterday. They are supposed to call Steph next week with the results. Please pray that this is nothing. Because....really? I keep telling myself that God never gives us more than we can handle. I know this is true. But is it possible that God may have overestimated us a little here? Just wondering.



Today I was very excited to hear that Steph's spirits seem to be much better. It is so hard in the world of cancer to stay positive. We are surrounded by it. But everyday, we make a choice. Are we going to let fear get the best of us? Some days, yes. It happens. We are only human. But most days, we choose to put our faith in God and trust in His divine plan.



Tomorrow we would like to invite ALL of our readers to Riverbluff Fellowship to enjoy a morning of worship. My parents will be picking up the Phillips family and bringing them to church. They will all leave from there to head to Houston. Steph will be rescanned and we will have a better idea of how the chemo is working this time around. I can't think of a better way to send them off than a morning with Pastor Scott Watson and the rest of our Riverbluff family. So please join us at 10:00 am at Riverbluff Fellowship. They can be found at the corner of Evans and Thetford Roads in Ozark, Missouri, just West of US Highway 65. Take the Evans Road exit. Come early for coffee and donuts! I hesitated to post this because I know there are crazy people out there who stalk blogs and steal kids. But, I'm going to trust that the Lord will keep us safe. And if you are a crazy stalker who wants to steal my kids, please just sit through the service first and I can almost guarantee that you will leave a changed person...so no need to steal the children. PLEASE PLEASE join us! Then, if you REALLY want to church it up tomorrow, you can head across the highway to James River and catch the 11:30 Christmas service. It's the place to be if you like Christmas music and worship! Please just consider coming tomorrow to RBF. Does it sound like I'm begging? Well I am. Just do it. Now I'm being bossy. I come by that honest, just ask Steph!



Steph,

I'm praying with all my might sister.

Love,

Chrissy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sick and Tired....

of being sick and tired. Chemo this week was not good. Steph is very sick and we all are very anxious for her appointment on Monday. My mom and dad will be going with Steph, Scot and the boys to Houston this time. They are driving up on Sunday afternoon. She will be scanned again and I think will get the results sometime soon after that.

Please pray for healing. Pray for safe travels for my family. (By family, I mean Steph, Scot and the boys too!)

I will keep you updated as I get news.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Baby Changes Everything.

I'm not sure if you have heard the new Christmas song by Faith Hill, but it's very good. Here's the video. There is an ad at the beginning, but it's worth it.



Drew loves this song. He makes my mom turn it on as soon as they get in the car. This morning, they were listening to it on the way to school. He said, "Hey Nanny." My mom looked up in her mirror to see what he wanted. Keep in mind, his big brown eyes and LONG lashes can melt your heart in a second. She said, "Yes Drew?" He sweetly replied,

"I was a baby once, and I changed everything."

Yes you did buddy. Yes you did.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update

Steph is feeling VERY sick. Please pray a little extra today. She is taking Neupogen injections to try to keep her counts up (white blood cells). If they are too low, she is not able to have treatment. Please just lift her up in prayer. Oh how I wish there was more I could do, but for now....just pray.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 Years ago....


was an absolute blur. Drew was just a week old and in the hospital in St. Louis. (For those who don't know, Drew was born with Pulmonary Atresia and a small right ventricle. A Helicopter ride the first day of his life, a series of surgeries and medication every 4 hours for a long time.) I remember taking turns going back and holding his hand. I remember praying more than I ever had in my life. One night I was sitting with him staring at his puffy little face and touching his soft skin. I was just getting ready to walk out so Steph or Scot could come back and he opened his eyes. My stomach dropped. What do I do? I was so torn! I wanted so badly for his mom and or dad to be there, but I didn't want to leave him alone while he was awake. I knew that he would never remember it, but I just couldn't walk away. So I sang to him (You are my Sunshine)as his eyes slowly shut again. It is a moment I will never forget. It wouldn't be much longer and they would wake him up and he was able to come home. I remember telling my mom, "I'm not ready to get pregnant yet." I was ready for a baby, but was I ready for something like this? God knew. He knew that this sweet boy was going to be a huge part of my life. He also knew that this little angel would need a buddy to grow up with. HE knew what I didn't. I was already pregnant. I watched Drew 2 days a week at their house and the others mom and I watched him at the bookstore in our little nursery we set up in the back. The two days when I watched him, we napped together on the couch. He would lay on my chest until my belly got too big and we took some GREAT naps. It was so funny when he would be sleeping and I would see his arm or leg pop up because Claire was kicking him!

He was the talk of the basketball community around here. The Lady Chiefs and their families LOVED that child but also understood the importance of keeping their distance and slathering up in Purel before they even looked at him. Due to his dramatic entrance to the world, we never did get birth announcements made....but we figured a picture on the front page of the USA Today was way better anyway. (When his momma's Lady Chiefs were ranked nationally!)

He has grown into such a handsome little dude. He is smart and incredibly witty. He is the most observant child I know. He met me at the door last week and said, "Chrissy, did you know you are wearing Nanny's boots?" I was wearing boots JUST like a pair my mom has (she was not wearing them at the time) and that was the first thing he noticed! He has been known to walk into a room and say "Oh, I like what you did with that shelf!" Seriously?

I am blessed to be a part of his life. I was taking him home about a month ago and had already dropped the kids off at Grandmas. I started asking him questions.

Me: Drew, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Drew: Tall just like Brian. (My husband who is 6 ft. 9 in.)

Me: I mean what do you want to do to make money?
Drew: Coach my Daddy's football team.

I had to fight the urge to pull over and kiss his face off!
Drew,
We love you to the moon and back!

So sorry!

I've been a little behind on my blogging. If you want to know where I've been, check my blog. I won't put any details on here because I don't want to make anyone TOO jealous. Steph didn't have treatment until Friday of last week because her counts were too low on Monday. They spent some time in urgent care with Levi, but due to a bad connection in Mexico, I didn't get the details about what was going on with him. Man....I am seriously slacking. I DO know that we celebrated Drew's 5th birthday on Sunday!! I wasn't able to make it because I was unpacking my Texas bag and packing my Mexico bag and heading out. Claire went with Nanny and was excited for Drew to open his new basketball shoes that match hers! The kids are starting Upward Basketball next week and we are really excited about it. (Jane, please know that I haven't forgotten that I owe you guys money!!) I'm such a dork. Hope everyone is getting excited for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thinking of you.

Dearest Stephanie and Mom,
As I sit here this morning watching JoJo's circus (trust me it is a much welcomed hiatus from Alvin and the Chipmunks!) my thoughts are with you. I know the two of you are sitting in the all too familiar "chemo room" and I wish you were here instead. Steph, I am thankful today that you are getting the chance to fight. I wish like crazy that you didn't have to....but I'm thankful that you have the chance. Much love to my two best good friends.

Love,
Chrissy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Found This....

while reading this blog which I found through this blog which I follow because of this couple who are currently recovering from an airplane crash in August.

Hope is the anticipation that the outcome will be good.
Worry is the anticipation that the outcome will be bad.
Faith is the anticipation that whatever the outcome, it will be for our good.
amen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beware...not a "feel good" story.

Last summer, my mom recalls sitting by the pool watching the kids play. Steph was opening some mail. She opened one of those solicitations from a cancer foundation of some sort. She told my mom that she felt compelled to donate to avoid tempting fate. She did and well, you all know how well that worked out. SO, on Tuesday Steph's phone rings. The lady on the other end is from that particular foundation and is asking for another generous donation this year. She then proceeds to go into great detail about how the chances of beating cancer are getting worse and worse. Something along the lines of "Cancer is SO HORRIBLE and people are DYING AS WE SPEAK!" She then asked Steph if she knows anyone with cancer. Steph's reply was something like this. "As a matter of fact...I HAVE CANCER and I just want to thank you for the amazing pep talk there lady. I'm sure you can understand why I am not in the position to donate at this time and I am thankful for all the OTHER people you are helping today." (My thought: Yeah! Because you certainly didn't do anything for me or my mood!) Sheesh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The latest

Steph called from Houston after her appointment this morning. She asked my mom, "How do you feel about more chemo?" My mom, forever the optimist, says, "OH sure! I've missed the bonding time with you!" Steph doesn't share her enthusiasm but appreciates it nonetheless. They found another tumor on or around her ovary. It is 2x3 centimeters so they don't want to remove it surgically because there is a very good chance there is more cancer around the area that is too small to show up on the scan. The tumor was not there in April. However, the last scan that was done in Springfield did not go down far enough to tell if it was there then.

So, it's more chemo. The good news is that the chemo will be different so hopefully she won't experience the numbness and sensitivity to cold like she did last time. The bad news is, she gets to go back into full on tourist mode with a fanny pack! She is very anxious to get home and thanks to Stan (her pilot), Dan and Shelly...she will be doing so tonight! I will leave you with this.

JESUS DRAW ME EVER NEARER
Jesus, draw me ever nearer
As I labor through the storm;
You have called me to this passage,
And I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing.
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure;
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

May this journey bring a blessing.
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne.

By Keith and Kristyn Getty~ Ireland.
This poem reminded me that God is forever faithful. As we fully trust in His plan, He will use each experience to mold us in His image. We MUST trust in Him. Have a blessed day!

Prayer Request

If you are looking at this on Monday morning, please take a second and pray for peace for our dear friend. She texted my mom this morning from the doctors office and said she was very nervous. Please just pray that she finds peace in her heart this morning. I will post as soon as I hear anything. Should be sometime today. I am actually spending the entire day at home today so I will be close to my computer. Stay tuned and keep praying!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Houston Appointments

Just wanted to post a quick note updating everyone. We basically have gotten no news yet. On Thursday they didn't have the scan results yet. They want to do further genetic testing so they did that yesterday. We will find out more on Monday regarding those results and the results of the scan. We did find out something interesting. When she had surgery last year, they took out her appendix! How's that for a surprise? I guess she didn't need that ol' thing anyway! I will post more later but I must run now! Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Refiner and Purifier

I found this entry on THIS blog that I read often. I thought it was worthy of a post.

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Get comfy...it's gonna be a long one!

Here are a few pictures from the "Steph's done with radiation celebration" that I managed to get my hands on!

Scot giving Steph some lovin'!!


Scot, Steph, Cheryl and Kenneth


I have been waiting for a meeting with my mom about what to post, but it seems as though there is at least one little person demanding our attention so we rarely have a full conversation! So I am going to post what info I have in order to keep everyone up to date.

Steph will have an appointment in Houston on October 8th. This is a Wednesday and she will basically be doing tests. Then Thursday she has an appointment with the doctor where she will, I believe, get the results of these tests and a plan for the future. The people in Houston have said that they are not in the business of giving second opinions, they are in the business of treating people with cancer. So we are very hopeful about the appointment and are very anxious to hear what they have to say.

Now the logistics. I'm not sure who is going with Steph to Houston. She has had MANY MANY offers from so many people and we can't thank you all enough for your loving support. My parents will be in Vegas all next week and Steph INSISTED that they not change their plans because she knows how important it is for them to get some quality alone time together as well as with my Uncle Bobby and Aunt Donna. If you know my family, you know that time with them is ALWAYS exciting! We cherish our Oklahoma family and treasure the time we get to spend with them! Steph has also insisted that Scot stay behind with the boys. She wants them to have their Daddy at home with them each night to maintain some sense of normalcy. Scot, being the amazing husband and father that he is, will stay behind and "hold the fort down." He will also be depending on the help of his family as Nana (Scot's mom Joyce) will be there to take care of the boys during the day. I'm sure that Grandma Edna, Papa Larry, Papa JL, Oma, Papa Ed, and Granny Pam will be pitching in like they always do!

While Steph is in Houston, she will be staying with a wonderful family who lives close to the hospital. Please forgive me, I have forgotten their names. I will use the excuse that I am still so amazed at the kindness these people have shown us and I am simply overwhelmed. They are very familiar with the hospital so they will provide rides to and from her appointments as well as opening up their home to someone they have never even met! When I get more info about them, they will be the proud recipients of their very own post!

Now I'm going to get mushy. There are some people who deserve a lot of recognition and I plan to do that now.

Scot,
I feel like you often get left out of the blogging. Knowing you, you are probably rolling your eyes at me because being the center of attention is not your thing. But you deserve some serious praise. I marvel at the amount of stuff you do in a day. What is even more amazing to me, is that you just do it. You don't complain (from what I know!) and you just get it done. I also have it on good authority that you do laundry. Pretty impressive! You are in this fight too and I hope you know how much we all love you.

Dad (Kenneth),
You have been so wonderful through this whole thing. You are there for everyone when they need you. You have welcomed another man into your home every single day and allowed him to take over the attention of your wife. (Drew, you are a lucky little man!) And don't think I don't notice that you are truly growing in your walk with God along this path. I'm proud to call you my Dad.

Mom (Cheryl),
I think you know how I feel about you so there's no need to pull out the big guns tonight. I know Steph feels the same way. I love her like a sister and I am so thankful that she has you to be with her during all the appointments as well as taking care of Drew. I love being stay at home moms together!

Brian (my husband),
Thank you for allowing me to sit here and type away while you watch Project Runway. (He's gonna love that I included that!) But seriously, you are my rock. When things get too tough, you offer me that big strong shoulder to cry on and that's all I need. You make my dreams come true everyday. You know when I've hit my limit and are always so very understanding. I remember seeing you in the gym at Cherokee Jr. High at 7th grade orientation. It was love at first sight. (for me anyway...I don't think you even noticed me until at least a year later!) I still can't believe that you are my husband and I am the mother of your children! I love you to the moon and back!

To Steph and Scot's families,
Edna, Larry, Ed, Pam, Joyce, Mike, JL, Cheryl and all of the brothers and sisters. Thank you all for helping out with the boys. They are truly blessed to have such a HUGE support system. Family is such a gift and you are each so very important to all of us. I know I'm not technically related, but we have a habit of adopting people....so consider yourselves adopted!

Pastor Scott,
You will never know how much you mean to us. You married Brian and I. You were in St. Louis to pray over Drew as he fought for his life. You were there to dedicate Claire and Drew in one of the most beautiful and touching dedication ceremonies I have EVER seen. You were there the day that I came forward and made a commitment to Christ. You dedicated Levi to the Lord and you were on my mind the day that Cohen was dedicated by Pastor John at our new church. You have been there for the big things, but most importantly we know you are always available for the small stuff too. You were the first person we called when we learned about Steph's cancer and offered prayer and your usual message of encouragement. We love you and thank God for putting you in our lives.

Our River Bluff family,
I miss you! Even though Brian and I are attending another church, we still think of you all very often. You will always hold a special place in my heart because you were my first church home. There are so many wonderful people there and we can't thank you enough for your unwavering support and countless prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To the blog readers,
I never thought in a million years that this blog would become what it is. Thank you all for your prayers, support and kind words. We feel your prayers working and sincerely thank each and every one of you. May the Lord bless you.

WHEW! I feel better! I read back over my post, and am reminded at how truly blessed I am to be a part of this journey. In the words of my sweet baby girl, "My heart is all filled up...with love for you." Yes, that means you.

Too much time on my hands...

or am I just REALLY good at wasting the time I do have? Either way, Brian and I stayed up WAAAYYY too late last night making funny pictures. Here are a few.


Steph and Scot

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Levi

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Me and Brian

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Drew and Claire

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Cohen

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Me and Brian again

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Brian

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sending Stuff to God

Today after gymnastics, we decided to eat at Red Robin. When we left, the kids each got a new shiny balloon. Claire had hers in hand (which is huge because she used to have a major phobia about balloons with helium) and said that she would like to send it to God. We decided that we would wait until we got home, write a prayer on it and send it on up. Here is the prayer she wanted to send to God.


Of course brother has to share the love too!


Cohen waving to the balloons.



Steph, we love you with all our hearts. We are blessed to call you friend and to be a part of your brave fight in which we KNOW you will be victorious. WE BELIEVE! We are praying each day that God heals you. We are also praying for safe travels to and from Houston. I feel it in my heart....remission...I feel it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

last days of summer

The past few days have been such a treat! Mom and Dad turned on the heater in their pool to take the chill off and we declared Wednesday and Thursday POOL DAYS! We decided to take full advantage of the warm weather, as we know those days will be gone very soon. We are very much looking forward to the cool crisp days of October, but want to make sure to enjoy what warm days we have left. Notice Drew and Claire in their "spidey suits" and rain boots. If you know Claire, you are familiar with her rain boot obsession. Other faces you may or may not recognize....Miss Alivia Jane (the one with the beautiful blue eyes and great tan from St. Thomas!) and "Lella" (actually Ella, Cohen's little buddy from next door is riding in his car with him.) Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather as much as we are! Oh, and I have an update that I am working on. Steph's appointment in Houston has been rescheduled for October 8th and 9th. More details very soon!


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Stephanie

During the past year as we have watched Steph in the battle for her life, we have come across people who are just down right special. People who were friends or even acquaintances that have basically become like family to us. One of those people is Miss Leah from school. She sent me an e-mail yesterday to request prayer for a friend of hers. And any friend of Leah's is a friend of ours so I wanted to share a little about her story and encourage you to visit her page and pray for her full recovery. She is a young mother of 3 beautiful children (her baby girl was just born in August) and she is fighting a very rare type of Lymphoma. Take a minute to check out her blog www.stephanievest.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thanks a lot Ike.

This is the last e-mail I got from my mom. She e-mailed me from home because we rarely get to have a full conversation over the phone! So here it is!

Hi Everyone!Update on our plans! Last night, one of my best friends, that lives in Houston (Teresa) called and said that they were saying on the news that M.D. Anderson was closed because of water issues. So, I picked up the phone and called the hospital and actually reached a person! She told me that they would be making a decision at noon on Sunday if they were going to reopen on Monday. So on Sunday morning we updated Dan (the pilot), apologized for being such a pain because we've only changed plans 57 times! He was his usual wonderful, pleasant self and said no problem! At 10:30 I went ahead and called just to see if maybe someone already knew something. I was on hold for 10 minutes and talked to a really nice girl who when I asked how she was doing she informed me she had been there since Thursday and that a tree had went through the back of her house and she just wanted to go home! She said they were in a meeting at that moment to decide whether they would be open for appointments tomorrow and to call back at noon. I thought I would try, didn't work! I just felt so bad that we weren't giving Dan much notice. At noon, I called and was on hold for 20 minutes. The lady I talked to this time said that they were not having appointments Monday and to call back tomorrow to see if they might be on Tuesday. At this point, Steph will just have to call and try to reschedule. I will let you all know when we have plan #58!

Love,Cheryl

So there you have it! I will post as soon as I hear anything new!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I just remembered...

something Drew said (actually sang) the other day and had to share. I had picked up the kids from school and we were headed into our house. Drew hopped out of the truck and was singing, "I've got peace like forever, I've got peace like forever, I've got peace like forever in my soul!" (I've Got Peace like a River) Love that kid.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This afternoon...

was so wonderful and uplifting. I can't say thank you enough to everyone who came and supported Steph and her family. The prayers were beautiful and so heartfelt. The best part of the afternoon was before we started praying and Pastor Scott was asking people to pray for certain things. He asked who would like to pray for safe travels. We hear a little, "I will" come from the couch. It was Drew. Bless his stinkin' little heart! I love that kid! We felt every single prayer today and we know so many of you were there in spirit. The members of Steph and Scot's church will be having a time of prayer at 2:00 pm on Sunday. They are asking everyone to take time out on their own and pray for the Phillips family. God will hear our prayers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Call to Prayer

For those who are interested and able, we will be meeting at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon (Friday the 12th) for a time of prayer in preparation for Steph's appointment on Monday. We will meet at the Phillips house with Pastor Scott and our families. If you can't come and wish to participate, please join us in prayer wherever you are. If you would like to join us and need directions just shoot me an e-mail and I would be happy to give those to you. If we hear anything regarding her appointment and the hurricane, I will let you know. She hasn't heard anything yet so we are assuming the appointment still stands.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Appointment

Steph's appointment in Houston is on September 15th at 7:00 am. We really don't know much right now, but I personally have a really good feeling. I told Steph that I have a sense of peace right now that I haven't had in quite a while. I'm not as anxious as I usually am about this appointment. Not sure why....it just feels different...in a good way. If I learn anything new I will pass along the info. Until then, pray that God will heal our dear friend!! Love and Prayers!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Whatta Woman!

I received an e-mail today from our good friend Holly. For those who don't know, Holly's Husband recently lost his brave battle with melanoma cancer. I stand amazed at how graceful Holly has been during a time of complete tragedy. She is so brave and continues to be a pillar of strength for her two beautiful little girls. She made it her personal goal to make her and Jeff's dream of an urgent care clinic for cancer patients a reality. She is well on her way and here is the message I had waiting in my inbox today.

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to share the good news that with the help of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, we are now officially The Jeffrey A Melton Urgent Care Cancer Foundation. Anyone who wishes to donate or sponsor can do so through the CFO. We are on the way!

Thank you all! Looking forward to Tuesday night--the 9th, at the Gillioz.

Holly


Please take a moment to visit her blog and read about the upcoming benefit at the Gillioz. The Meltons are a very special family who will always hold a special place in our hearts. My heart is filled with pride to even know Holly. I am blessed to call her a friend.

I did it...

now it's your turn! I finally had my debit card and computer in the same place and put MY money where my mouth is. So our team has now raised $50.00. I know we have a few thousand people who look at this blog so I dare you all to donate $2.00. That's it....$2.00. That won't even buy a tank of gas!!! So why not put it towards finding a cure for cancer. Just 2 bucks. Come on, you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it! HERE

There's really nothing to say here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Prayers

This morning at church my mom had a great conversation with our good friend David Potter. He and his wife (hi Misty!) and their family pray for Steph every single day. They pray ONE prayer. They pray that God will HEAL Stephanie. He suggested (and we all agree) that we should all be praying for the exact same thing. So from here on out let us pray that GOD WILL HEAL HER BODY. HE is the all mighty physician and HE can perform miracles. So let Him hear our prayer. Please Lord, heal her. I have faith and I know nothing is impossible with God. No prayer is too small or too big for Him. Just keep praying that simple prayer....I know she feels them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Still no appointment with MD Anderson. She called Friday and they said that her case is still under review. She should hear back this week. As usual, I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer!

While we wait for news from M.D. Anderson about an appointment, I have a challenge for you. I'm sure many of you have heard about the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. If not, you can go to http://www.standup2cancer.org/ and read about it. The nationally televised and commercial free show will be on September 5th. It is supposed to be big! SO I have started a team in honor of our dear friend Stephanie. I'm not asking for major amounts of money. I KNOW how many people look at this blog and I felt it was my duty to provide an easy way for everyone to donate. Let's be a part of something HUGE! WE can and WE WILL make a difference! Go HERE and donate. Then e-mail me (if you want) and let me know who you are honoring with your donation. If you want to send pictures too, that would be wonderful! I would love to put together a slide show honoring EVERYONE we know who has battled this cruel disease. I want to recognize their heroic battles! Let's do this!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sherrie's Father

They found Sherrie's dad yesterday and he his no longer alive. He was found between his property and the neighbor's. It is now being investigated as a crime scene.Please continue praying for the Hake's as their lives continue on.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Please Pray

...for John Hamrick. He is the father of one of the sweetest women in our Women's Bible Study, Created to be his Helpmeet. He has gone missing. His truck was found this afternoon with license plates switched out and more things that I just won't list here. Please pray that he is safe and just hasn't made it home yet. Please pray for peace for Sherrie and her mom and Sherrie's daughter Miranda, who just want him home.

Results

Okay, I know I said it might take a few days but this is a little ridiculous right? I have an excuse, but you know what they say about those. Last Thursday was not a good day. The way it sounded was that there was another reduction in cancer activity and there was more cancer down in the colon area. NOT what we wanted to hear. HOWEVER, when she went to see Dr. Edwards on Tuesday it was a different story. He informed Steph that the tumor they have been working on in the chest region was COMPLETELY GONE! Gone, not there, absent, disappeared, outta here....just plain ol' gone! Then he mentioned removing the other tumor. Steph questioned him because she understood on Thursday that they wanted to do a biopsy. Dr. Edwards said that because it was so small (just the size of a grape) that it wouldn't be that big of a deal. AND he said that it was in a really odd place which leads him to wonder if it is even cancer and not just scar tissue. At this point we were all a little frustrated because we can't understand how we can get so many different stories all at once. So Steph asked for a referral to M.D. Anderson. We are waiting on that and she will be headed down there as soon as we get word of when her appointment is. Keep praying that the "grape" is nothing more than scar tissue and that the appointment in Houston goes well. A HUGE thank you to Dan and Shelly who will be providing travel to and from Houston. Thank you doesn't even begin to express our gratitude for your kindness and love. From the bottom of our hearts thank you.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

News

Steph had her scan yesterday. She does not meet with her oncologist until August 7th. (which I believe in some countries is considered cruel and unusual punishment, but that's neither here nor there.) However, she did call Dr. Helen yesterday and ask her if she could call her with the results when they were available. Dr. Helen said it would probably be too late to call her that day but she would call her in the morning. WELL, she called last night and was pretty excited. Here is what we have gathered so far..keep in mind, this is a preliminary report and they have not had time to compare the CT scan with the PET scan. Based on the PET scan there has been...and I quote "ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT reduction in cancer activity!" We will know more after the appointment with Dr. Hoos. But for now we are very hopeful. Keep praying and I will post more later!! Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Smile Box Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of all of the pictures from the balloon ride! Please keep Steph in your prayers over the next few days as she prepares for her scan tomorrow. BIG day. Have a blessed day and enjoy!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Up Up and Away!

Last night Steph got a special treat! This year for my Mom's birthday my Dad got her a hot air balloon ride. They called yesterday and said the weather was just right and that they would be going up that night. My mom called Steph and told her the plan and insisted that she come with Scot and the boys to watch them take off. Just as they were about to hop on board, my dad said, "Well Steph, better get ready because you are going up!" She was completely surprised! So Steph and my mom took off in Springfield and landed at Nixa Jr. High. They said it was an amazing experience. I will post pics when I get them from my mom but I just wanted to share with everyone! I also wanted to thank Rick and Karen Hewlett from Rick's Automotive and our DEAR friends Pam and Steve White who made last night possible. You have no idea how special it was for my Mom and Steph to finally share an experience that didn't involve cancer, chemo or radiation. Thank you! And of course, thank you Lord for the beautiful evening and a safe landing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Call to Prayer

Steph had an appointment with Dr. Hoos. She will be scanned again and on August 7th we will get the results. It is on that day that we will know if she is in remission or if we need to pursue other treatment options. PLEASE pray that the cancer will be in remission. Everyday pray that the radiation and chemo worked. I will post as soon as I can and let everyone know what the outcome is. If it takes a while, don't panic and assume the worst! I am a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding the next day so it will be a very busy weekend but I promise to try my best!!! Please just pray until then for good results as well as strength and peace for all of us.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

PS

I put a few new websites on the "links list" if you are looking for something to do. Just thought I would raise some awareness about some different issues that have affected my family and friends. Take a look!

Day of celebration!

Yesterday we celebrated Steph's last radiation treatment. We really thought we would be jumping for joy and partying it up, but not really. I hate to be a downer but as I have said before, this is real. We were told on Monday that the tumor cannot be removed at this point because it is still too big. Bummer. We haven't really understood why we are waiting 8 more weeks for the next scan. This tumor (which was NOT there when she had surgery) only took 6 weeks to grow about 4 inches. The last thing we want is for it to get bigger again. Dr. Helen said that the radiation and chemo will continue to work between now and the time she is scanned again. She said that it is a possibility that is could be completely gone in 8 weeks. She also talked about how one of our biggest concerns is that colon cancer is NOTORIOUS for spreading to the liver. She said right now we need to do our best to focus on the miracles that we have already been blessed with. We need to keep a positive attitude because Steph has already beaten a lot of odds. I stand firm in my belief that she will continue to do so. I can't let myself believe anything else at this point. I know that if I allow myself to think about the worst, this will be Satan's chance to take control of my heart. I WILL REMAIN FAITHFUL. WE WILL WIN THIS BATTLE. Right now, we need some very specific prayers. Please pray:

1. That the radiation will continue to work and get rid of the tumor completely.
2. That the cancer will not spread to her liver.
3. For Steph and Scot's emotional health.

Just keep praying and I will update when I know more. Thank you all!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Counting the days!

Counting today, Steph has 5 radiation treatments left. She meets with Dr. Helen on Monday and has a lot of questions. Please pray that she gets the answers that she needs. There are a lot of things that are confusing to us right now but we have faith that Dr. Helen is going to tell Steph what she needs to know. We are looking forward to celebrating the end of radiation. She will be rescanned six weeks after to see where we are. Keep praying and I will post when we know more! Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Radiation Update

Today was Steph's weekly meeting with Dr. Helen. She and my mom had some questions about what "significantly decreased" meant. Dr. Helen explained that if the tumor was at 100% on day one of radiation....it has shrunk to about 30-40%!!!!!!! She was VERY excited and also went on to say that she was very surprised because normally people who don't respond to chemo don't respond to radiation either. It was incredible news. We have also been told that since it is shrinking, there are more options available to her now if the radiation doesn't completely get rid of the tumor. Keep praying and PRAISING GOD for this wonderful news!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Facing the Giant

Today as I was watching my "little" girl at her first big girl gymnastics class, my mom got a phone call from Steph. She had a PET scan done today and was told she would have the results tomorrow. HOWEVER, she got a call today from Dr. Helen saying that she had the results and was REALLY EXCITED! The tumor they have been "aiming" at has decreased significantly in size!!!! From what I understand she will adjust her future treatments now because it has gotten smaller! This news came at a time when we all REALLY needed it. The past few weeks have been really hard on us all. God is so good and I know he is in control. He is listening to all of our prayers...so keep it up!!! I realized a few nights ago that I was getting a little down and starting to let my faith waiver a little. So I prayed. I prayed for God to direct me and lead me to something that would offer some comfort. The next morning, I was cleaning out my closet and picked up a stray DVD that was on the floor. It was "Facing the Giants." I'm so glad God has a sense of humor. He knew that if it wasn't on the floor, I would never find it because I would never think to look in the place it belonged! I began thinking about the movie and the team struggling to win games. Their coach told them that they were going to praise Him if they won, and they would praise Him if they lost. I won't ruin the ending for those who haven't seen it, but you can probably imagine what happens next. So I took a deep breath and thanked the Lord for the subtle message. I began to count my blessings and thank him that Steph has been given the chance to fight. We said in the beginning that she will beat this...all she needs is the chance to fight. Here's her chance and SHE WILL BEAT IT! So imagine my surprise when just a few days later we get this news! I know He is good, but man that was fast!!!! Thank you Jesus for never failing to amaze me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ink

Steph has 3 small dots tattooed on her body for radiation so they can get everything lined up exactly right each time. I suggested that she cover them up with REAL tattoos when she beats this. Vote on your favorite!

Normal...I miss you.

We spent Sunday with the Phillips family at my parent's house. It was a wonderful day! Every now and then I was able to pretend that everything was normal. I wish Steph could do the same, but I know it's on her mind every second. But the day was as close to normal as we can get these days. I was quickly jolted back to reality when my dad asked Claire what she prays for at "Super Church" on Sundays. She said...and I quote..."I pray for Steph because she has cancer and has to go to chemo." So many emotions flooded my soul. I was shocked because this is the first time she has EVER said anything like that. I have told her that we need to pray for Steph because she is sick but as far as details, she has picked all of that up by listening to us talk. I was proud because she cares so much for other people. I was sad because I was looking at four babies whose lives are so affected by cancer, whether they realize it or not. I want so desperately for cancer to go away. It's a feeling I'm not familiar with. It's gut wrenching. It's almost primal. I haven't spent much time with Steph lately because of her schedule and the fact that my kids have been sick and we don't want to pass anything on. But this weekend I got to spend hours with her and I miss that. She is like a sister to me and I miss her. I miss just being normal. Just. Normal.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"We must destroy it."

My mom and I had picked Claire and Drew up from school a few weeks ago and then took them for ice cream. I don't remember what we were talking about, but Drew just said "We must destroy it." We asked him what he was talking about. He looked up and said, "Well, that's what Peter Parker says to Dr. Octavius." We aren't exactly sure what brought it up, but we couldn't agree more! In honor of Drew who LOVES superheros, check out the new poll and cast your vote!

Drew understands that Mommy is sick (even though sometimes it is hard for him to REALLY understand because she doesn't look or act sick.) and that she has an oncologist that is going to make her better. Doctors have been a part of his life since the minute he was born and he goes to the cardiologist on a regular basis. He has visited my dad in the hospital on NUMEROUS occasions and loves to go to his appointments with him. He even got to go to the doctor with my mom which NEVER EVER happens, because she NEVER goes to the doctor! (She did find out she had an ear infection, sinus infection and pneumonia!!) My point...doctors are a regular part of his life so it hasn't really worried him that Mommy goes all the time!

STEPH, is doing well. The first few days of radiation were a little rough, but she is adjusting. She got to run the bases with Drew at his first tee ball game and I will post pictures very soon, because they are priceless. They are all having a great time participating in Drew's first REAL TEAM! He told Steph that he really wished Claire was on his team. Maybe next year Drew! Which brings me to my cute story for the day.

Steph: "Drew, is Riley your new girlfriend?"
Drew: "No Mom, I'm just havin' fun with her!"
Steph: "So who is your girlfriend?"
Drew: "CLAIRE is my girlfriend! I will ALWAYS love Claire."

I'm telling you! Mark your calendars for the summer of 2028! It will be the wedding of the century!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Radiation

Steph had her first radiation treatment today at 3:30. My mom is sick (which NEVER happens) so my dad stepped in and took her to her first treatment. I haven't heard yet how it went so I'm not exactly a wealth of information today! I just wanted to post to let everyone know that she has started radiation and will do SEVEN weeks!! She will go Monday-Friday and most likely will be going at the same time everyday. So if you get a chance between 3:30 and 4:00, say a prayer for Steph. Pray that this radiation will work. We have been so encouraged by her wonderful doctor. (Dr. Helen Kim is AWESOME!) She is positive and upbeat with a great sense of humor. She has assured us that she will do everything in her power to get rid of this nasty old cancer!! So keep praying and I will post again very soon! Oh and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the moms out there!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blogger impaired

I am such a nerd! I meant for the "Look Alike Meter" to be posted on my personal blog. I wondered where it went but just assumed I was computer illiterate and didn't do something right. Then I come to the blog today and here it is! I'm sure all of you really care about how much my baby boy looks like me. (3% more than daddy, read it and weep Brian!) Anyway, one of these days I will catch up with technology. Of course, then I will be 5 years behind again. Oh well, that's what kids are for.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Well....

Steph had her appointment yesterday. We didn't hear EXACTLY what we wanted to hear, but also realize it could have been much worse! The lymph nodes that have been inflamed for a while are still that way. Unfortunately, that means that there is still cancer in there. The good news is that there are no new tumors or masses. We will press on with 4 weeks of radiation, 20 minutes a day......everyday. The plan to stay on the Avastin was changed and she will now be on Xeloda. It is in pill form but can cause the following. diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, headache, sleeplessness, dry or itching skin, and dehydration. They also warned her that it can cause tingling, numbness, pain, redness, or swelling of the hands or feet. Sounds pleasant huh? Steph was very discouraged and asked if the last 6 months of chemo was all for nothing. Dr. Hoos said, "No, to be perfectly honest, if you hadn't done that we would be calling in hospice right now." For all of us it was a feeling much like being punched in the stomach and smacked in the face all at once. I'm not sure if ANY of us, including Steph, really grasped the severity of her illness. Part of it has to do with the fact that Stephanie Phillips is THE strongest and toughest woman I know. Just to look at her, she doesn't look sick. More often than not, she doesn't ACT sick. So to have the doctor tell us that was eye opening to say the least. SO, we need prayers now that we can get rid of the rest of this stupid cancer. I will let you all know when we get radiation scheduled so we can all take a few minutes a day to lift Steph up to the Lord during her treatment. We are praising God today that there was nothing new on the scan and thanking him for getting us through the past 6 months.

Thanks to those of you who sent birthday wishes!! I had a good one and I'm ready for my hot date tonight with my husband!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 24th is the day!

Steph has an appointment with her oncologist on April 24th. I have a great feeling about this. You see, April 24th is the day I graced this earth with my presence just 28 short years ago. So, as you can tell, only wonderful things happen on that day. (wahhhh wahhhhh!) I mean really, Kelly Clarkson and Barbara Streisand were born on that day too. How can you go wrong? But seriously, I wish we didn't have to wait that long for the results of her scan. But as my Dad says, "you can wish in one hand and....." You know the rest. If not, then you probably don't have any Okies in your lineage.

Enjoy the warm weather and if you live in the Springfield area, hold on to the little people in your life, they may blow away. Man it's windy!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flooding

OK, so I have been lucky enough (unlike my parents) to avoid any serious water getting into our basement. However, it's still like a flood around here! My good friend Jenny is now the proud recipient of a shiny new pacemaker and defibrillator. (she is 27 with a wonderful husband and a 2 month old baby) Steph had her scan yesterday. (results still pending) My Aunt Donna and our close family friend Steve both lost their mothers on Thursday. So I'm trying to keep it together....and I go down with strep. Thanks to my WONDERFUL mother-in-law I didn't have to worry about the kids while my dad took me to the doctor and Brian finished up his work day. I am still praising God for the miracle he performed in Jenny. I am praising him for healing me as I am on the mend today. I continue to pray for Steph's results and for Him to give Aunt Donna and Steve and their families strength in this difficult time. I praise Him. Without Him, I know I couldn't deal.

I will post as SOON as I know anything about the scan but we don't really know when that will be. The PET scan should show if there are any cancer cells left. This is a biggie so keep praying!!!
Love
Chrissy

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No News is Good News!

It's been a crazy few weeks in my life. You know the saying..."when it rains it pours." It's been pouring!!! (Literally and figuratively!) Steph is enjoying some time off from treatment. She has gone back to school and recently went to Tampa, FL for a meeting. Tomorrow she has a scan so please be praying that everything comes back okay. I will post as soon as I hear anything about those results. She will be starting radiation in a few weeks (I think) so I will let everyone know how it goes. Thank your for your continued prayers. It seems like 50 years ago when this whole thing started but your prayers are just as important today as they were then! So thank you thank you thank you!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Melton Family

I received an e-mail this morning from Ms. Holly (Claire's teacher) saying that her husband passed away at 12:45 this morning. He was diagnosed in October with Melanoma and now, he's gone. My heart is broken for Holly and their two beautiful little girls. Her blog www.nevergonnabreakmyfaith.blogspot.com sheds a lot of light on what a wonderful man he is. I have been inspired by their strength and their faith. They have changed me. I told Holly that because of them, I tend to stop before I get mad about picking up a pile of dirty clothes on Brian's side of the bed. I think twice before I get grumpy about him coming home a little late. Instead, I thank God that I had him here last night to make that mess. I rejoice because he has an amazing job that keeps him busy into the evening and provides us with a roof over our heads and food on the table. I didn't even get upset when that table that holds the food became a canvas for Cohen's recent hobby...fork carving. It puts things into perspective. The endless piles of laundry mean I have 3 other beautiful people in this house that dirty them up! The crumbs all over the floor mean we have little hands learning how to use silverware. All of the screeching and laughing means we have a sister and brother in this house who adore each other. I am thankful for every second I get with the people I love. Whether I am playing games with them, coloring, painting, working around the house, watching TV with them, shopping with them, working out with them or sharing a meal. Every person who is in my life is so valuable to me. The Melton's situation has reminded me that we are only guaranteed this very moment on earth. We don't know God's plan and we don't know when he will call us or our loved ones home. Take the time today to pick up the phone and call someone you love just to chat. Spend an extra minute in that embrace before running off to start dinner. Let them splash water on the bathroom floor just for fun. Read an extra bedtime story. Don't turn on the TV this evening. Invite a single mom out for lunch or over for dinner. Wake up each day and ask yourself, "What can I do today to make someone's day special." It doesn't matter if it is your kids, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, friend or a complete stranger. Just do it. You may not have another chance. If you are the "prayin' kind" please pray for Holly, Ashtyn and Lauren. Pray that they feel the presence of the Lord more than ever right now. Visit their blog and send a positive thought or a Bible verse. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

LONG time, no post!

So sorry! My laptop has officially earned "paperweight" status so computer time is hard to come by. I missed a few very important dates!! First of all, Stephanie turned 34! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY STEPH!!! Second, Tuesday was her last chemo treatment for this round!!! She now gets a month off (I think) and then she will start radiation and continue with the Avastin. Radiation will be 5 weeks everyday. We are hoping that means Monday through Friday. Then she will go in for the Avastin every other week like she has been but it will only take a few hours rather than all day. She will also be getting a CT scan as well as a PET scan sometime in the near future to see what there is to see. Dr. Hoos has also mentioned exploratory surgery after treatment in order to make SURE that there isn't anything left. So that's the scoop!

We have all been busy filling out our brackets for the NCAA tournament. Drew and Claire will be participating this year. We are letting them pick their own teams. Should be VERY interesting!

Hope everyone is drying out after almost a foot of rain!!! We were thinking about starting our arc yesterday. We have plenty of scrap wood after the ice storm! Have a great day and HAPPY SPRING!!!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

No Ordinary Season

I wanted to take a minute and say a little about the 2007-08 Kickapoo Lady Chiefs. Sadly their season came to an end last week with a loss to the Ozark Lady Tigers. I don't know anyone who is more sad than my little Claire. She LOVES watching her Lady Chiefs! (Which is funny because we live in Ozark!) This year was obviously different from any of the others. When the girls were gearing up for this season, they were preparing for a season of basketball, wins, losses, bumps and bruises. What they got was a season full of those things plus life lessons, FAITH, hope, generosity and love. These girls hold a special place in Steph's heart and they have no idea how much they did just by showing up to practice with the drive and determination that we all know and love. Their energy and spirit got her through some very difficult times. Girls, I know you were disappointed last week when your season ended so abruptly but please know that this was no ordinary season. This season will live forever in our hearts. What you did this year was so much more than a title or championship. God Bless each and everyone of you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Prayer Request

Unfortunately so many people are touched in some way by cancer. If you have been there then you know that it bonds people for life. You find that God puts certian people in your life for numerous reasons. It may not be clear at the time, but he knows what he is doing. For example, this year when Claire and Drew started school they were welcomed with open arms (AS USUAL) by their wonderful and fearless leaders. All of the teachers knew what the Phillips family was up against and they made the transistion as easy as possible for Drew. While Ms. Holly was comforting Drew, praying for Steph and giving money at the fundraisers...she had no idea how HER life was about to change. One day we were sitting at the Fall party for our kids and the next thing she knew.....her husband, Jeff, had been diagnosed with cancer. For all of the details you can visit her blog www.nevergonnabreakmyfaith.blogspot.com (Yes, we are big fans of the REALLY long blog addresses!!) I haven't had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff really well but he and Steph have been able to talk a little about what they are both dealing with. I DO know Holly and she is a little slice of Heaven right here on earth. I am thinking that if Miss Sandy and Miss Holly could just follow Claire right on through to her senior year I would be just fine with that!!! Right now they need prayers more than anything. They are such strong and faithFULL Christians and have such an amazing attitude. Please pray that God will touch Jeff and heal him. Jeff, Holly, Lauren and Ashtyn: You are all in our prayers! Everyone have a blessed week!

Friday, February 15, 2008

White Out Cancer!

Here's story number TWO for this week in the Springfield News-Leader! These two women are so wonderful and I am so glad someone took the opportunity to do a story on them. Not only do we have dishrags around here but Mrs. Anderson took the time to make the greatest earwarmers for all the little ones! They are warm, cozy and of course they are BROWN AND GOLD!!! I haven't gotten the chance to actually thank her for them so hopefully she reads this blog!! So, here's the article and a BIG thank you from the Stephanie Phillips Foundation to the people who are doing so much for Stephanie and her family. Love and Prayers.


(Click on the title of the blog and it will take you to the actual article!)
By Sarah Overstreet



Dishrags help wash out cancer-care cost Springfield Public Schools food service worker Shannon Kinney found an unusual ally in her friend Stephanie Phillips' battle with colon cancer — her knitting needles.


If most of us racked our brains trying to come up with an idea to raise money for a sick friend, probably only one in a million would come up with "dishrags."
Luckily, that one in a million lives here and has no padlocks on her imagination. Shannon Kinney had recently learned to knit from her friend Darleen Anderson, and knitting was the first thing that came to her mind.


"When I heard about Stephanie's cancer, I thought 'Everyone else can do something for her, what can I do?'" she remembers of hearing in August the heartbreaking news that Kickapoo High School's girls' basketball coach Stephanie Phillips had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

What she could do, she reasoned, was what she knew and what other people might want. She could knit, and the sturdy, pretty dishrags she knitted for friends and relatives lasted forever. She called Anderson to bounce the idea off, and her friend thought her idea was great. She researched the colors associated with different cancers — the American Cancer Society told her purple is for colon cancer — but from out of nowhere, a slogan popped into her mind: "White Out Coach Phillips' Cancer."



White. White, long-lasting dishcloths that are easily bleached when they lose their snowy sheen.
She hung sign-up sheets for orders and started talking to friends. Soon, some of them, like Anderson, joined her with needles.


Then, she became her own marketing department, talking to co-workers and customers at her second job, even taking custom orders for rags in various holiday colors.


Anderson says the impact of the small woman, her knitting needles and her mission has had an impact way past what Kinney even knows. "She brought together all these wonderful people everywhere she worked. They heard the story and went out with a new heart for cancer. They were so touched — here was this woman with two little boys (Phillips), just like Shannon was left with two little boys" (after Kinney's divorce).


By December, Kinney had reached her goal: She'd made 400 dishrags.
"I counted every stitch," Anderson says. "There are 1,865 stitches in each dish rag ... . Shannon says, 'With each stitch goes a prayer for Coach Phillips' full recovery.' She brought in $1,000 just by herself."


As we talk, Kinney knits, 10 spools of cotton yarn surrounding her feet at the couch where she sits. As Kinney does with almost any activity that lets her sit down, she knits. One of the only places she won't knit is at one of the high school or college games she often watches with Anderson. Her sons Dre and Channing Dokes grew up playing on teams with Anderson's grandsons Shane and Spencer Laurie all the way through middle school to high school graduation, and now Dre plays in the Canadian Football League.


"I can't knit and pay attention to the game," Kinney explains. "But Darleen knits. I don't care what game she's watching, she knits. I've at least got to the point where I can watch TV and knit."


Before she committed to her rag-a-thon, Kinney briefly wondered if she'd have the time. "Then I thought, 'Yeah, I'll have the time — I'll make the time.' It's in my heart."


When I reach into my pocket to get a few bills to poke into a kettle or contribute to a sick co-worker's hospital fund, I'm sure I'll often think of Shannon Kinney. She's bought more than $250 worth of yarn herself for the dishrags and baby blankets she makes for unwed teen mothers.
Shannon's hands don't stop at her pockets. They reach for her knitting needles, then pass on her work to others who need it more.


To visit the Web site maintained for Phillips by supporters, go to http://www.stephsgonnawin.com/.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The results are in!

Dr. Hoos felt good about the scan. Nothing has changed which leads him to believe that the inflamed lymphnodes may still be from surgery. So that's good news! I didn't hear anything about the hernia. I just wanted to update everyone on the status of the scan! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Think Pink Week

Say that 10 times fast!!

As my Mom and Steph were sitting in chemo last week, Steph was contacted by a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader about a campaign that she is heading up. Here is a copy of the article and here is the link http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080211/SPORTS0102/802110343 Steph came up with the slogan and Jarad (my brother) did a great job with the shirts. They look great! I can't wait for next year because Steph has already picked a slogan and it's even better! So enjoy the article and ladies, take a minute to check your breasts! It could be fun!

Local teams join cancer fightGirls' basketball teams from area high schools to wear pink this week to promote awareness.

Michael Stacy News-Leader

It might be difficult to distinguish between different girls' basketball teams around town during warm-ups this week, because several of them will be sporting the same shirts.

The girls' teams at Central, Glendale, Hillcrest, Kickapoo and Parkview — and a handful of their opponents — will don pink gameday T-shirts in conjunction with the "Think Pink" initiative, a national effort sponsored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

Kickapoo coach Stephanie Phillips is spearheading the local effort. Diagnosed with colon cancer in August, Phillips has continued to teach and coach while fighting the disease.

When Phillips suggested the pink shirts to her fellow coaches, they jumped at the opportunity to support the cause and show solidarity with Phillips — even if, for some, it meant compromising their sense of style.

"I'll be honest with you, I hate pink," said Central coach Dan Stander, who will join his players in sporting a pink shirt. "But I can't think of a better time to wear it."
Like Stander, Parkview coach Keri Nichols was eager to support the effort. Nichols, in her first year at Parkview, said she is impressed with the way the city coaches have come together for a common cause.

"It's a true testament to how the coaches are a great group of people whose first concern is helping kids have great character and become successful people," Nichols said. "(It's) showing them that there's other things out there that we can do to help make our community better."

Proceeds from T-shirt sales will be donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
But financial support for the battle against breast cancer is only part of the equation this week; raising awareness is just as important as raising funds. The T-shirts shed light on the significance of such awareness. Emblazoned with the slogan "Hand Checks Allowed," the shirts make a humorous allusion to a very serious subject --the importance of vigilance in the fight against cancer.

"It's really important to raise awareness about taking care of your body and getting things checked out," Phillips said. "If it causes one person to go get checked out that wouldn't have, we've made a difference." Such vigilance is important, Phillips said, because nobody is immune from the impact of cancer; everyone has been touched by the disease in some way.
Indeed, in talking about the "Think Pink" promotion, Nichols mentioned her mom, Evelyn, a breast cancer survivor. Stander spoke of an aunt whom he lost to cancer and a cousin who beat cancer and will likely be in attendance as the Lady Bulldogs don pink this week.

And then, of course, there's Phillips.

"I think it puts a whole new perspective on life and... just how valuable that is," Glendale coach Renee Temple said.

The national "Think Pink" effort was inspired in large part by another basketball coach who, like Phillips, is fighting cancer. North Carolina State women's coach Kay Yow is currently battling breast cancer for the third time.

"I can't imagine being her and being that strong and that tough," Phillips said. "She's still coaching; that's really motivation for me, because this is just my first time."
While Phillips finds inspiration in the example set by Yow, other coaches look no further for inspiration than the Kickapoo coach.

"Even though she's sick, she's still out there trying to beat (cancer) for other people," Stander said. "I get my strength in coaching from Stephanie Phillips."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ice, Scans & Hernia's

Oooh that would be a good name for a band. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome...Ice, Scans and Hernia's!" Our first song would have to be, "Cold wind blows...So does cancer." I can already hear it making it's way to the top of the charts. Sorry, I've got a serious case of cabin fever and I have to find some way of amusing myself!

For those who don't live in the Ozarks, the word ice is probably reserved for that stuff you put in your drink. Here, it's that stuff that comes down in massive amounts at the begining of the year and causes pure chaos! This year was even more exciting when the ice was accompanied by thunder and lightning. "Thunder-Sleet." Hmmm. Is that a technical term? Anyway, we found ourselves at my Mom and Dad's last night because we had no power and it was getting pretty chilly in our house. Their yard looks like a war zone....again. But we are all safe and sound and that's what truly matters.

Steph was having a scan at 12:30 today so please pray for good news. They are checking to see if there is anymore cancer and also to investigate what they think is a hernia. We aren't sure if they will do anything at this point to fix it because of the fact that she is doing chemo. She is in pain and has been pretty sick lately. Please pray for even more strength to get her through. It's been tough. I will post as soon as I hear any news. We are hoping to hear something by tomorrow but we aren't for sure. Just keep her in your prayers! Stay safe, warm and cozy!
Until tomorrow!

PS Spell check still isn't working, so forgive me if I missspel. ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Calling all Volunteers!

OK, my food system fell apart a little towards the end of 2007. Between Steph and Scot's crazy schedule and everyone getting ready for the holidays, things got a little wild. But, I think I have perfected my system and we have figured out the days that would be best for food to be delivered. So now I need a new list of people who want to help again. I also realize that I may have overlooked a couple of people during the last "round" and I hope you don't feel neglected! Just send me another e-mail with "dinner for Steph" in the subject line (so I don't accidently delete you!) and I will get you on the new schedule. Tuesday and Fridays will be our new "drop off" nights. If you have a preference let me know. What I will do is just assign everyone a night. If that night doesn't work for you let me know and I will move you down to the next available night. We will keep doing that until we get a date that works! We are so thankful for everyone who is still expressing the desire to help. Steph has two more treatments and then will continue on with radiation and will keep doing the Avastin for another 6 months. She has been exhausted and having a meal on hand will mean one less decision for her and Scot to make! So just e-mail me cgeorge424@yahoo.com and let me know if you prefer a day and a phone number where you can be reached would be good also in case we do have to change the location of the drop off! I would like to thank you all in advance for the gift of your time. Hope everyone is warm and cozy on this CRAZY icy day!