Saturday, January 26, 2008

Poor Little Chiefs!!!

I just spoke with my mom and Steph who are in Oklahoma with the Lady Chiefs this weekend. The girls beat Jenks last night which put them in the CHAMPIONSHIP game!! Way to go girls! However, apparently the first team they played were all coming down with the flu. So between last night's game and this morning we had a little brother, a grandpa and the majority of the team come down with this REALLY BAD bug. Lucky for them it seems to only be a 24 hour thing but needless to say....they had to forfeit. So they will be returning to town with a second place trophy and probably a few less pounds among them! Please pray today that Drew, Steph, Scot and my mom are all spared because we aren't quite sure how Steph's body would handle this awful bug. Everyone has been exposed but maybe...just maybe...they will manage to avoid it. Girls I hope you are all feeling better very soon and get plenty of rest this weekend. I'm thinking Steph needs one of those masks to wear all the time. I could "bedazzle" one of those things and she could set the next fashion trend. Just a thought.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Your Cross

Sometimes it is hard for us to accept God's plan for us. The cross we bear can sometimes seem like too much. What we have to learn (and PRACTICE) as Christians is that we must trust in God with all we have. We must trust that the cross we bear just may be preparing us for the "dip" in the path that we can't see. God sees all, knows all and IS ALL. Who am I to question him? So here I sit today.......trusting in God.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Here's to Scot!!!

I am sitting here in my living room and it is quiet. Brian took Claire to play basketball with the guys and Cohen is napping. (a little late, but I'll take what I can get today!) I just wanted to give props to someone who has been completely behind the scenes during this whole cancer ordeal....Steph's wonderful (not to mention adorable) husband Scot. He has just stepped up to the plate and really taken on so much. Steph has mentioned many times how amazing it is to watch him basically be the main caregiver to Levi while she is ill. I can't imagine how hard it must be as a mother to have to hand the reigns to someone else. BUT I do know that it has to be a great feeling knowing that your husband is right there to help and support you. Not only is he taking great care of Levi but he is working full time as well. Scot, you are awesome and I hope you know how much we all appreciate all you are doing. I feel like sometimes we are so focused on the patient, that the caregivers are sometimes forgotten. I know after watching my mom take care of my dad after his accident, that it is often just as hard to be the caregiver. Scot is doing a great job at balancing everything in a day!

Another very BRIGHT spot is the fact that Mr. Levi has been sleeping through the night! I don't know if it was the prayers from everyone who knew about Levi's recent bout with insomnia or if it has anything to do with his new wonderful babysitter. Whatever it is, Steph and Scot are thrilled! If you will notice I haven't mentioned Drew. That would be because he is just about the most easy going kid lately! He just goes with the flow and I think is starting to settle into a schedule now that Steph isn't teaching. So, praise praise praise God for placing his hand on the boys and helping them to get used to a good routine!

As for treatment.......we are 75% finished with this round of chemo!! She will meet with Dr. Hoos next week to discuss other treatments. She will have to do radiation and will most likely continue the Avastin for another 6 months. Avastin is one of the drugs she is given now during chemo and it causes "erosion" in her nose which causes terrible sores and that leads to nosebleeds. We are thinking he will be doing another scan as well to get more info. Let's pray for good results and you know I will keep you posted!!!! God Bless!


Say an extra prayer today! Steph is having chemo today instead of tomorrow because she needs to be unhooked before they leave for Jenks. I just heard that the high today in 30 something but with windchill it will feel like about 15 or 16. This means that to Steph, it will feel like -30 something! So join me in sending warm cozy thoughts and prayers her way! And while I'm posting, GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND TO THE LADY CHIEFS!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Check check check. Check check check. Check your Booty!

I came across this site the other night. There were stories on there from survivors of colon cancer. This story sounded pretty familiar and I thought I would post it. I feel like right now it is VERY important for everyone to stay positive. Steph has had, and will continue to have some pretty rotten days. Days when she can't help but be a little down. But as her friends and family, we have to make sure to keep our attitudes as positive as they can be. So when I read this story I knew it had to be posted! May this post also serve as a reminder that a colonoscopy could save your life. You don't have to wait until you are a certian age. If you have colon cancer in your family, if you have had problems with your digestion and/or bowels OR if you just have a feeling.....DEMAND a colonoscopy. Just the procedure can prevent colon cancer. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.

Survivor: Colleen Jorgensen

It was labor day 2005 and my 29th wedding anniversary. Little did I suspect that I would eat something that caused a previously symptom-less tumor in my colon to bleed profusely.

The week that followed was like falling off a cliff into a raging river. My doctor saw me within hours of my phone call. During my visit he said it was probably nothing serious but scheduled a colonoscopy for the next day. As I was coming out from under the anesthetic, the gastroenterologist told my husband and I that he had found a tumor, had taken a biopsy, and that I most likely had colon cancer. We knew for sure when the biopsy came back positive.

We were in shock. I was in perfect health. I had never had digestive problems; in fact I can’t remember when I last even had a cold. My diet had been mostly vegetarian for the past 15 years. This could not possibly be true. But inside I knew it was true. During my colonoscopy I was semi awake and I could see what was happening on a TV monitor. I saw my tumor and will never forget what it looked like.

My husband became my advocate and my subject matter expert. Within days he knew what treatment options were available and what were considered best practices. This proved invaluable as I approached surgery for the first tine in my life. The right half of my colon would be removed along with all connecting lymph nodes. While we awaited the after surgery pathology report, my husband researched the staging of colon cancer and follow-up treatment options.

The second shock hit. The cancer was completely though the intestinal wall and had spread to 3 lymph nodes. Chemotherapy was strongly recommended. I decided to enroll in a clinical trial which added the experimental drug Avastin to the traditional treatment regime. For 6 months I had chemotherapy every two weeks with 4 drugs followed by an additional 6 months of Avastin only.

Today, I am reclaiming my life and my health as I recover from the cancer and its treatment. I am wonderfully blessed to have had so much support during this ordeal from my workplace, friends, family and most of all, my husband.

So there you have it. This is pretty much Steph's story except the vegetarian thing! It can and WILL be beat! Steph is feeling better today. She was able to get some rest since her Mom kept Levi last night and Drew stayed with my parents. She slept in and I hope is feeling refreshed today. Keep the prayers coming for Steph and everyone who is battling cancer right now. God Bless!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Last night Scot's step-mom told me that the Girls Varsity coach from Bradleyville was killed in a car accident. Troy Hays died yesterday when the car he was traveling in hit a trash truck that was parked on the side of the road. He has a little boy who is 1 year old. It always makes me sick to my stomach when I hear something like this. Being a mother changes your perspective so much. It wasn't until this morning that I learned he was riding with the boys Varsity coach Brad Briscoe. I met Brad our Freshman year at SMSU. We lived in the same dorm and became friends. I haven't seen him since he lived down the street from me on Meadowmere so I was VERY shocked to hear his name this morning. It is just so tragic for everyone involved. I have experienced how close the coaching community is during Steph's battle so I felt it very necessary to mention this coach and his family. To Ashley & T.J. in Bradleyville, may God be with you during this time and may you find comfort in his presence. To the basketball girls, you are in our prayers as well. We know there is a special bond between player and coach. Honor him and do what you can to help his family. Brad, you are also in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Levi!!!

Today Levi turns ONE!!! Feel free to post birthday wishes for him! Happy Birthday buddy! We love you!

One more down!

The only good news about treatment days is that we are one treatment closer to the end. I will tell you one thing, they don't get any easier. My mom told me a story and it has just really been on my mind. She told me because her heart broke for the other lady, but I wanted to share it because I think my mom is pretty amazing. My mom goes every week with Steph for her treatments. She sits with her, gets her warm water to drink, gets her lunch and basically anything she needs. She doesn't do this for recognition and expects absolutely nothing in return. She does it because she loves Steph and wants to do anything possible to make this easier for her. So yesterday she was straightening up and getting everything ready and moved out of the way so they could unhook her. There was one lady left in the room (because they are almost always the last to leave) and she was just watching. When Steph was done, the lady looked at her and said, "You have no idea how lucky you are to have such a wonderful friend. I watch her every single week and it must be so nice to have someone like her." Steph of course replied with, "I KNOW how lucky I am and you don't even know the half of the things she does." The lady then said, "all I have is a 20 year old daughter who has her own life." I don't know this woman and I pray that she finds the support that she needs. (Of course my first reaction was to try to think of a way I could help!) But it just makes you realize how important relationships are. Steph has been a "true blue" friend to my mom. She has been there when my mom needed her. She is a loyal, caring and loving friend. It is a wonderful example of what true friendship is. I think it can serve as a great reminder of how important it is to invest in people. It's just like so many things in life, you get out what you put in. If you give nothing of yourself, be ready to get the same thing back. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this lady hasn't given of herself. I'm just saying that Steph has, and now she is reaping the benefits of being a wonderful friend. Take a minute today and REALLY look around. Is there someone around you that is in need? Maybe it's as simple as a hug or a compliment. Is there someone that you need to call and reconnect with? Just take a minute and call. Invest today, you never know what tomorrow holds.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Here's a picture I got of Drew in his Christmas jammies!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I hope everyone is enjoying this amazing warm weather! I'm sure no one is as excited as Steph. Besides being EXTREMELY tired, the sensitivity to cold is the worst side effect right now. The cold is at times almost too much to take so even a little break from the frigid temps is very welcome! Both the sensitivity to cold and the constant fatigue have played a huge part in Steph's decision to take a leave of absence from teaching. She was just stretching herself too thin. She was working 12-14 hours a day between coaching and teaching. Then she and Scot are up often every night with one or both of the boys. Last week was a crazy one. As she was preparing for the KTXR tournament Steph got news that her Grandfather had passed away. The funeral was in Branson and she had to rush back so that home health care could unhook her IV. She went back to church for a lunch with her family. She then found the time to lead her Lady Chiefs to a championship in the KTXR Classic! (CONGRATS LADY CHIEFS!) This would wear a person out on a good weekend! She is truly the toughest girl I know so imagine my disbelief when I asked what she wanted to be put in the blog and she replied, "Just that....this is SOOOOOOO hard for me." My heart is breaking for her right now. I am hoping that this leave of absence will be good for her mentally and physically. So we press on into 2008. I will remain hopeful and faithful, as that is the only thing to do. I have a good feeling about this new year. 2007 was the year that Steph was diagnosed...2008 WILL be the year that she BEATS this. So keep praying for Steph. Pray that the Good Lord will give her the strength that she needs to get through each day. Again, we can't thank you all enough for your support. It is because of the Stephanie Phillips Foundation that she is able to take this leave of absence and really focus on taking better care of herself. It also will take care of the deductibles that she must meet all over again this year. Last but definitely not least, we are able to help numerous families who are battling cancer as well. I know I have mentioned this before but it is really important to Steph that we help others as much as we can. We can't thank you all enough for the generosity that has been shown by so many people. It means the world to all of us. I wish I could thank each person individually, but it's just not possible!