Saturday, January 30, 2010

Monday Night

Got this e-mail a few nights ago and wanted to share.

The Ozark Lady Tigers will be holding a fund raiser for Stephanie on Monday, Feb 1, 2010, during the Ozark vs Hillcrest Girls Basketball game. The girls will be wearing Kickapoo colors during warm ups to honor Coach Phillips. I know that Kickapoo has a game the same night, but if you could spread the word around to let people know to come out and "Kick the Poo out of Cancer for Coach Phillips"
Keeping Stephanie and her family in our prayers.
-Ozark Lady Tiger Parent

So if you are in the area, stop by and show your support! I will be there with my future Lady Tiger!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have been waiting to post anything. Ultimately, it is not my story to tell so I am always very cautious. I haven't talked to Steph personally yet. I will. Today was not the day to do that. I will not share details tonight because again, they aren't my details to share. But this was posted to the News-Leader website tonight.

Kickapoo basketball coach Stephanie Phillips stepping aside to focus on family, fight against cancer
Michael Stacy • January 27, 2010

After receiving a diagnosis Tuesday that her cancer has spread, Kickapoo High School girls' basketball coach Stephanie Phillips told her team this evening that she is stepping away from basketball to spend time with her family and focus on her fight against the disease.

Phillips has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.She and husband Scot have two young sons, Drew and Levi."I just feel like I need some time away," Phillips said tonight, "to take a break from (the team) right now and from basketball and from all of that and just focus on me and my family and doing everything that I can do to get healthy."

Phillips, in her ninth season as coach of the Lady Chiefs, has a 201-37 record. She has led Kickapoo to two state championships, in 2003 and 2005.Missouri State women's coach Nyla Milleson, a former coach at Glendale High School and Drury University, has known Phillips for years. She praised Phillips — the mother and the basketball coach."I think the big thing now is your prayers and your thoughts go out to her and her family and her husband and two little boys," Milleson told News-Leader reporter Erin Bolen tonight while en route to the Lady Bears' game at Southern Illinois. "These kind of things put so many things into perspective. She's a wonderful mother and a wonderful person, and I just don't know what else you can say about her as a person."And she's got a tremendous basketball mind that's done so much for that team. I'm sure her team will rally around her, but I don't know what else you can do but to offer prayers."I'd known her for years," Milleson added, "but I was already gone from Glendale by the time she came back to Kickapoo. We've been friends and colleagues for a longtime."

MAKE NO MISTAKE. We are not giving up...just focusing on a new plan of attack. We will pray for a miracle and ask that you fall to your knees with us and do the same. We will continue to trust in the Lord our God with ALL our hearts. We will continue to praise Him in this storm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Steph has an MRI scheduled for 6:30 this evening. She will also be meeting with a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. That's all I know for now! Keep praying!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lengthy and Most Likely Confusing Post.

I will now attempt to share with you what has been going on in the past few weeks. It will be long. You will be confused. You will be sad. You will also be encouraged. So here it goes.

After meeting with Dr. Biggers, Steph had a meeting with Dr. Hoos. He said he didn't think the PET scan would be necessary, but if she moves on to St. Louis, they would probably want it so "go ahead if you want." She then asked to be referred on to a surgeon in St. Louis and he obliged. Meanwhile, Dr. Biggers is still VERY concerned that she has not been tested for Lynch Syndrome or anything else genetic. She informed him that she HAS in fact been tested for that stuff TWICE. And guess what...when he called the ONLY genetic counselor in Springfield....she had NO record of even seeing Steph. She was also tested in Houston. The tests came back negative again, but they weren't so sure so they requested more information. This would come in the form of a 25 page questionnaire. Questions like, "What and how many times did you eat as a baby,"caused her to push that one aside and never look at it again. That has guinea pig written all over it!

SO, Dr. Hoos referred her to Dr. Chapman in St. Louis. After doing her own research she found that this man specializes in LIVERS!! She called and spoke with his nurse (who said, "Oh, I have your scans right here that you need to pick up to take to St. Louis!" Good thing she called!) to explain that she did not want to waste her time driving to St. Louis to see a doctor that couldn't help her. She was very understanding and assured Steph that the doctor himself would be calling her back before the day's end. At 4:30 she had heard nothing so she left practice that day and drove straight to St. Johns. She walked in without an appointment and in a very nice way insisted that she speak with Dr. Hoos. He explained to her that her scan revealed "more cancer deep within her abdomen." He then assured her that she was going to the right doctor. I don't think I need to tell you how devastating that news was...for everyone.

Steph, Scot, my mom and the boys FINALLY got out of town and headed to the hotel. The next morning was her appointment which they originally thought would be a simple meeting to discuss surgery options. However after talking more about it they decided that they boys did NOT need to be in the office, given the news she had received the day before. So they called dear Aunt Jackie who lives in St. Louis and dropped EVERYTHING to be there. She and Uncle Jerry were at Siteman Cancer Center before Steph was! She sat with the boys while Scot and my mom accompanied Steph. They gave Dr. Chapman the stack of scans and he went to his office to look them over. He came back and said that the scan from December 22, 2009 was not there. He would absolutely have to see this scan in order to compare it to the PET scan from the previous week. Without it, he really couldn't say much. So I guess you would call that...A WASTED TRIP!!!!!!! Oh yeah, he also told her he would look at the scan and most likely refer her on to a different surgeon, you know, one who specializes in the colon.

Everyone came home very confused. Steph called and talked with the nurse about the missing scan. She apologized and said that they request their scans from another department and she wasn't sure how many scans were supposed to be there, so she didn't realize it was missing. Steph said she would send JL (Scot's dad) up for the scan so he could mail it. She told Steph that she would take care of it and get it to St. Louis by Friday. Scot called Steph on Friday and told her that the scan had arrived...AT THEIR HOME!!! JL went up to St. John's in hopes he would find that they had just sent a copy to their house. No such luck. He then mailed it HIMSELF to St. Louis. Now here we are. Today. I just got an e-mail from Steph. Here is what it says.

Going to STL tomorrow. Don't have appt time yet, but should get it this afternoon. The (liver) doctor that I saw last week spoke with me today and said he thinks I would be a candidate for the surgery to have the pelvic tumor as well as the abdominal tumors removed. Pray that he is right! I really think if I can just start with a clean slate I can beat this thing.

Isn't she amazing?

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here we are. It's 2010. We have been sitting on some news for a few weeks now. Before Christmas, Steph had been experiencing some pain at the site of her tumor. This tumor is near her uterus and was deemed "stable" at the beginning of November. She insisted that she be scanned again. Dr. Hoos obliged and called her with the results. Not good. The tumor has grown by about a centimeter in one direction and a centimeter and a half in the other direction. This was NOT what we wanted to hear. Since then she has seen Dr. Edwards, a general surgeon, to get a little feedback about why we aren't just taking the tumor out. He said he was very apprehensive about doing the procedure, although we still don't understand why, and referred her to another surgeon here in town, Dr. Biggers. He also said he would not feel comfortable doing the surgery and is sending her results to Dallas to see what they say.

What Dr. Biggers DID do was to get the ball rolling on a few other things. He was shocked that Steph has COLON CANCER and had not been instructed to get a colonoscopy YEARLY! That thought had never crossed our minds, but when it did it just seemed like a no brainer! He also could not believe that she has not had a PET scan since her diagnosis. So she will be having a PET scan on Thursday which will show any cancer activity in her body. She will be meeting with Dr. Hoos next week (I think) to discuss some more things. We are very frustrated at this point because we feel like many doctors she has seen (Not the previously mentioned docs) are giving up. We feel like from day one, they looked at her chart and wrote her off as another hopeless case. APPARENTLY they didn't get the memo...STEPH DOESN'T GIVE UP!!!!! They obviously don't know who they are dealing with here!

So now we wait. I think I speak for many when I say...I'm tapped out. I am having a hard time "brightsiding" this. The words don't come like they usually do. I won't lose faith. I will pray. I will listen. I will thank God for Pastor Scott Watson who always seems to have the right words. But, I am not afraid to say....this sucks.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Alva Delzell Thurman

Alva Delzell Thurman, 86 years, passed to heaven on December 19, 2009 at St.John's Regional Health Center, Springfield, Mo. Alva was born May 7, 1923 in Girdner, Mo., to William and Lydia (Robertson) Thurman. On November 14, 1946 Alva and Frieda Thomas were united in marriage in Mtn. Home, Ark., and to this union three children were born. Alva was a lifelong resident of Douglas County. He was a WWII veteran serving with the U.S. Army. He worked as a farmer, and also served as a Douglas County Deputy Sheriff for many years. Alva also served as a minister and preached at several churches in the area. He was a member of the Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church in Ava and the Ava VFW #5993. He enjoyed gospel singings and found so much joy in being with his family and all his grandchildren. Alva was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Naomi Twitty; and a granddaughter, Deanna Thurman. Alva is survived by his wife, Frieda Thurman, Ava, Mo.; three children, Frank Dean Thurman, Platte City, Mo., Alva Edwin "Ed" Thurman and wife, Pam, Sparta, Mo., and Linda Neal and husband, George, Omaha, Ark.; 11 grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren; three sisters, Neva Vinson, Ava, Mo., Zola Harrison, Everton, Mo., and Norva Strong, Ava, Mo., many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. Funeral services for Alva will be Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at 10 a.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo., with burial in the Yates Cemetery with military honors by Ava American Legion #112 and VFW #5993. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 23, 2009 from 9 a.m. to service time in the funeral home. Officiating will be Rev. J.W. O'Neal and Rev. Marvin Loftin. Memorials may be made to Yates Cemetery or the Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church. On line condolences may be made to

To the Thurman family, please forgive me for not posting this sooner. You have all been in my prayers over the past few weeks and continue to be during this time. I wanted to make sure that I posted this to share with all of you. Steph's papa was a very special man and he will be missed by many.