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 (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

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 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 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!