Friday, August 14, 2009

Two years...and counting. A note from Steph

I'm not near as entertaining as Chrissy, but she's kinda busy right now. I've been reflecting a lot lately, so I thought I would share...

Two years ago today, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Looking back on the past two years I am feeling so blessed. I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratefulness. It would be really easy for me to think about all of the rough times that my cancer diagnosis has brought with it (and there have been plenty), but my focus tends to be on all the good stuff. Maybe not so much the good stuff, but the good people…wow!

I can’t even begin to guess how many people have told me that they are praying for me. Let me tell you, that never gets old. I am so thankful that people still remember that I am fighting the hardest battle of my life, and they are thinking of me and praying for me. It truly is comforting to hear that and to know that there is a network of people out there…some family, some very close friends, some old classmates, some former teammates, some coworkers, and some people that I don’t even know that are still praying. Knowing that I have all that support truly gives me so much courage and strength as I continue to fight.

The real beauty of all these people praying for me, is that I feel it working. I really do. I feel God leading me with every decision. After surgery, after chemo, after radiation, after another round of chemo, after each visit to Houston, and after my most recent decision to take charge of this thing myself…He has guided me so gently and so carefully in the right direction. He has placed people in my life to share stories or offer advice at just the right time. Most importantly, He has kept me here. Allowed me to live, to keep doing what I do as much as I can. He has allowed me to struggle, challenged me to fight, and carried me at times when I didn’t think I could do it anymore.

Boy, have I needed that a few times…someone to carry me, that is. And He has placed someone right by my side to do just that. I don’t know what I would do without Scot. Wow…talk about carrying me and doing everything else to make our lives as normal as possible. Our boys LOVE superheroes, but what they don’t realize is that we have one living with us. He does it all around our house. No, seriously, I mean ALL. He picks up toys, does laundry, makes meals, cleans up after meals, scrubs the boys at bath time, picks out their clothes for the next day, makes Drew’s lunch for school, sweeps the floor, plays rodeo, wrestles, plays superheroes, jumps on the trampoline, rides bikes, reads books, colors pictures, mows the yard, plants flowers, spreads mulch, teaches, coaches AND NEVER complains. He really is a hero.

My family has been great. They have all helped me in countless ways. My mom and dad and Scot’s mom and dad are incredible. They have been there to do whatever we have needed, whenever we have needed it. They provide us with love and support and we know that they are there for us whenever we need it. They are not intrusive in any way. They let us live our lives and make our own decisions, but when we need them, we don’t have to ask twice. It’s true what “they” say about family, they are always there for us.

And then there’s my angel…my forever friend Cheryl. She has been there with me through it all and her family has jumped on board as well. Cheryl has been to every chemo treatment with me and almost every doctor’s appointment. Her family has been so supportive and very unselfish about sharing her with me. Chrissy especially has made my life so much easier by keeping the blog going for me. I truly can’t say enough about these people and how special they are to me. Without question, I know that they would do anything for me at any time. Priceless.

I would not have survived the past two years without my family, my dear friends, my coworkers and my precious team. There’s no way I could recognize each of them individually. I fear that I would unintentionally leave someone out and hurt someone’s feelings. What I do know is that God has placed so many people in my life over the years for a reason. Many of them are helping me fight this battle in one way or another. I couldn’t do it alone and I feel so sorry for the people that are not as blessed as me. I feel so small and I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you are reading this, there is no doubt you have helped me in some way. Know that I appreciate you all.

Please continue to pray as I go in for another scan today. I have not been able to have chemo very consistently this summer because my blood counts have been too low. At this time I’m very frustrated with that because it feels like the tumor is growing and it’s starting to cause more discomfort. I meet with my oncologist Monday morning and I am praying for a clear plan.

Two years…and counting…thank the Lord!

Blessings to you all.
Steph

10 comments:

Jason and Simona Kelley said...

Steph - We are blessed to have you in our lives. We love you with all our hearts!!! We cover you in the blood of Jesus. Love, Jason, Simona, Mateo, and Terrianna

Anonymous said...

Steph-we don't see each other often but Brent and I keep you and your family in our hearts and prayers daily.I am so very happy you have such a wonderful husband and loving group of people to help you get through this tough time.
God bless
Abby Fryar

Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie,
Since I learned of your diagnosis, I have checked this blog multiple times a month to see how you're doing and send prayers and good thoughts to you. It's been several years since you walked the halls at SCHS and graced the court with your talent, but we haven't forgotten you. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily and I truly pray that you walk with God and are blessed every day.
Debbie Seitzer

Anonymous said...

Thinking of u and praying u!!! Luv ya! Stay strong!!! Brett

Anonymous said...

Coach Phillips,
Ever since I found out about your diagnosis, I have been praying for you. I found out about this blog from Cheryl (at the Las Vegas airport of all places) last Oct. I check this site often to keep up to date. I then keep Kari (KHS 2005) up to date. We live in California now. Kari graduated in May from Biola University with an Accounting degree, and a minor in Biblical Studies. You helped shape her into the hard worker she is today. Just as so many people have touched your life, your have touched so many. You will never know how many young ladies were affected by your positive influence. I liked you from the start, when you told the girls to keep their faith 1st, family 2nd, school 3rd, then basketball. As for Scot, he has been crowned with Love and Compassion (Psalm 102:4), his reward will be great. As for you keep up the good fight. His hand is upon you, and He is the greatest physician. Wishing you His best, Kathy & Greg Walton

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

Andi said...

Steph- I cried as I read this post especially the part about Scot. He is a hero!!! I have been praying like crazy. I pray for you to have strength, little fear, and to be healed. I know there are so many out there praying for you. May God continue to walk you through this journey. So glad that you and the family had a wonderful vacation at the beach. I hope to see you at church again soon. Please update us after your scan. Take care and God bless you.

Andrea (Waterman) Elliott

Anonymous said...

It's Good to hear from you Steph. You've been heavy on my heart lately and now I understand why...the prayers have NEVER stopped and I will continue to pray each and every day. Much love and prayers to all of you!!

Pastor Damian Ahrens said...

Stephanie,

My name is Pastor Ahrens from Tri-City Christian School. You serve a great God. One of his titles is Jehovah Rophe...our healer. He says in Ps 139 that his thoughts of you and your family are more than the sands of the sea...and that the are precious. He says in Romans 8:26 that the Holy Spirit is making intercession on your behalf. (the Father's response to the Holy Spirit is always YES! according to His will.

Also, Ps 92:4 says that you will TRUIMPH IN THE WORKS OF HIS HANDS, and verse 10 says you will have fresh oil. God also reminds you when he says HAVE I NOT COMMANDED YOU TO BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE? BE STEADFAST, UNMOVEABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD. Your life is impacting many, Christ says, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. God speed as the Christ, the KING of OLD works salvation in the midst of the earth and uses you to be an example of His Power and Might!

amymoran said...

Steph,
We are all praying for you at the Poo! You are a hero yourself along with Scot!

Much Love
Amy

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