**UPDATE** Just in the last 24 hours, I learned that two more people who are very dear to me have received news that they have cancer. One is breast cancer and another is melanoma. Seriously?
Is it just me, or is cancer EVERYWHERE?! Claire and Drew have a sweet little friend at school who was fighting for his life at the tender age of 2. (He is currently CANCER FREE!! Praise the Lord!) Their teacher Miss Holly lost her husband Jeff to a VERY brave yet very short battle with Melanoma. Another mother at their preschool had breast cancer. A player on an opposing team a few weeks ago had recently discovered that her mother would soon be undergoing treatment for melanoma. Trish Marsh is a friend of ours and coach of one of my AAU teams in Jr. High. She fought stage 3 breast cancer and beat it. Go HERE for a great story about her victory. A former player's mother was diagnosed shortly after Steph with breast cancer. My 8th grade basketball coach Kent Watts is supporting his wife as she battles breast cancer. Too much cancer if you want this girl's humble opinion.
The bright side...the people who I am surrounded by who are battling this disease have done it with such courage. They have faced uncertainty with such grace. They have inspired me and the people around them in ways I never could have imagined. Especially my dear friend Steph. I sometimes break down and ask God, "WHY?" I know that I may never truly understand why, but it is becoming more clear to me as I watch the world around me change. He is using Steph. He knew all along that she would be facing giants someday. He knew. She has been chosen to fight this battle and He knew that she would be strong. He knows that people around her need to see a miracle. She is encouraging people all around her. She encourages me more than she will ever know. Don't just take my word for it. Go HERE and read Michael Stacy's wonderful article in the Springfield News-Leader. Be careful though, it left me in tears. Okay, I lied...it left me "ugly crying." You know what I'm talking about...tears, snot, swollen eyes. The works. I am so proud to call her my friend. Steph, because of you I am a better wife, mother, daughter, friend and sister. Because of you, I CHERISH every single day. You, my friend, are a true hero in every sense of the word.
Please pray for Steph this week. If you are familiar with chemo you know that it makes you feel pretty rotten for days afterward. You also know that it continues to work in your body so skipping ONE treatment won't really do any harm. She made the decision to skip chemo last week. This week is districts. It was very important for her to be at her best for her girls. Unfortunately, she has apparently picked up some sort of bug and is feeling lousy anyway. So pray that she is feeling better by tomorrow night.
Good luck to our Lady Chiefs tomorrow night at districts!!