Thursday, April 29, 2010

Keep 'Em Coming!!!

Just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has participated so far in my little project!!! You guys are awesome and I KNOW this is going to mean the world to her! I can't wait to see the finished project! Love to you all!!!!! Whoops. It looks like I shouted this entire post. I'll try to contain myself next time....I'm just SO STINKIN' EXCITED!!!!!!! Oh. There I go again.

Monday, April 26, 2010


**UPDATE** I am seriously out of it. It seems I have more time than I thought. I will change my deadline to SATURDAY at 10:00 am. That gives you a little more time!**

I will update you all on Steph's status soon. She is sleeping at chemo right now so maybe we will talk later. I did get a text from mom saying, "She is strong today." That is a step in the right direction! Our prayers are working....PRAISE JESUS! Steph said last night that all she wants is for everyone to start praising God for the healing that has and is taking place in her body!

I also have to give a little shout out to Pastor Scott. He came and had lunch with us yesterday. It was wonderful to have him there. He is such a sweet sweet soul and you just feel good when he is around...even if he did give me a hard time for being the family rebel. But don't worry...I got even when I made him laugh and he shot fruit dip out of his nose. It was awesome and I'm still giggling over that one!

Now for my special request. When my mom turned 50, I put a photo book together for her. It started with pictures of her as a baby and went to the present. I also had some of my family write letters to her to go with their section of pictures. It turned out really well and it is something she treasures. My intentions were to have the same thing for Steph ready for her birthday. Well...our world was rocked and I lost a lot of my focus. (See THIS post) Now that we are back on track, I want to do the same thing for Steph. So here is what I need from YOU!

1. Any pictures of Steph that you would like to share...bonus points if they have YOU and Steph in them.
2. A little note explaining how Steph has impacted your life. (Feel free to e-mail a note even if you don't have pictures.)
3. Pass the word along to anyone you may know that may not read the blog (then shame them into reading the blog.)
4. Send the letter and/or pics (make sure you put names with the people in the photos, just in case!) to If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me.

Here's the catch...I need these by Wednesday at 10 pm! I really wanted to have this done by mother's day, but it totally crept up on me, so a few days after will have to do! Now...what are you waiting for?? Go! Go!! Send me your stuff!! Thank you in advance! Love to you all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let me start by saying that Sunday was a day I will never forget. It was beautiful outside. We ate lunch and spent time together. We sat in the back and watched the kids play in the stream. We sat in the driveway and watched them ride their bikes and draw with chalk. The Bradford Pear tree (aka the stinky tree) had bloomed and the tiny white petals were swirling around and floating through the air. It was magical, like something you see on a movie. It is a memory that I will tuck away in my heart and pull it out when I need it.

Now, here are the facts. Steph recently started having severe swelling in one of her legs and in her pelvic area. After an ultrasound and doppler they determined that the blood flow from her heart to her legs is fine. However, the blood flow from her legs to her heart is not good. The tumor near her femoral vein is constricting blood flow. I won't lie, that stung a little bit. We have grown accustomed to problems and illness caused by chemo. This was the first time we have had to deal with a problem directly related to the cancer. So if you had the misfortune of running into one of us in public during the weeks we were processing this...sorry about that.

Sunday we discussed chemo with Steph. This was the week for her "bad chemo" which makes her VERY sick. Before chemo she talked with Dr. Hoos. They talked about the tumor. He said he would send her over to Dr. Helen and see about doing radiation to shrink the tumor and offer her some relief with the swelling and pain. The talked a little about pain management and also decided to take the Irinotecan (the bad chemo) down by %10. This is what they suggested at Mayo, but Dr. Hoos wanted to give it a shot at full force because he wanted to be aggressive. Steph was good with that until she realized how bad the side effects were going to be. It was an encouraging visit, especially when he mentioned something about, "Come September." We needed to hear that.

They met with Dr. Helen to discuss radiation. That woman gets it. Of course, we wish we would never have had to meet her but given the circumstances we are so glad we did! She is determined to save Steph's life. She opened her huge file on Steph and mixed in with the medical reports and results were news paper articles she had clipped out about our girl! She is a class act! She decided that she will do a PET scan tomorrow to get a solid plan in place. Steph will most likely be looking at radiation 5 times a week for 7 weeks. WOW. That's a lot of radiation. So right now, we need you to pray specifically for Steph's strength during this difficult treatment regime. Also pray that when it's all over, the tumor will be GONE! Keep praying for a miracle! WE BELIEVE!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chemo Day

Today is chemo. Today I couldn't hate cancer more if I tried. BUT TODAY is the day that the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be GLAD in it! Please pray!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jimmy V Foundation

Thanks to Kevin Meyers for sharing this with me tonight. Watch and consider what you can do to help!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I just posted this on my personal blog but felt it might apply on Steph's blog as well. I am looking forward to spending some time with the Phillips family tomorrow and hopefully will get some new pics up. In the meantime, you can read my ramblings and please keep praying for Steph. She really needs your prayers right now.

Last month, I had a REALLY bad week. It's really hard for me to even post that on here because my "bad" doesn't look near as bad as another person's "bad," but it was still hard. Big Daddy was out of town for the week. I woke up Monday with a migraine. I was bummed because my mom was coming over to spend the day. Instead of hanging out and decorating, I was sleeping it off. However, I was thankful that my mom was here to hang with Cohen while I slept. That night I went to bed with a "migraine hangover" but was sure I would be fine. I woke up in the middle of the night and was SICK! I finally had to call my mom and ask if she could come get the kids ready and take them to school. I then proceeded to puke for days. I had to stay with my parents because I could not get out of bed!

**My mother is a saint. On the two days that Cohen and Levi had school she would get all FOUR kids ready, take them ALL into Drew's school to drop him off. She would put three back in the car and make the 20 minute drive to drop Claire off then back to Springfield to take the little boys to school!

So, during this time I was also having an emotional melt down. My faith was shaky at best. I couldn't believe how weak I felt physically and mentally. As I lay there I beat myself up. How on earth can I feel so bad when one of my best friends in the world is fighting for her life with such strength and courage?? Why can't I just suck it up? I became almost disabled by fear. I feared the outcome of Steph's fight with cancer. I feared the sickness that was raging in my body. I hated the fact that I added more to my mom's plate. (Make no mistake, my mom is happy to help and was thrilled to have so much time with my kids. She LOVED every second of it, so I'm not sure why I was worried about that!) I missed my husband and was terrified that he would get stuck in New York due to the pending snow storm projected to hit the east coast.
The week went on and don't you know it...God prevailed. I still felt pretty bad but Brian was on one of the VERY FEW flights that got out of NYC before the snow storm hit. He made it home and the weekend came. I went to the doctor on Monday (Yes, I waited until Monday because I seriously could not get out of bed!) and found that I had an ear infection that was causing all kinds of problems. My doctor actually asked if she could look at my ear again because she had never seen anything like it! (P.S. my ear NEVER hurt!) On Tuesday we went to Lifeway and I found a great book that I am still trying to finish. Fearless but Max Lucado. It was as if the book jumped off the shelf into my arms. Hmmm, I wonder how that happened?? I am convinced that God didn't hear my prayers. He heard my mom's prayers. I know she was praying for me. I know she was praying that I could find peace. And I did.

I know God wants me to be a lot of things, but afraid is not one of them. By being full of fear, I am being disobedient to Him. By focusing on the things that terrify me, I am ignoring the things that should be filling my soul with joy. I have done A LOT of praying and soul searching. I have come to some conclusions and I will share them when the time is right. As hard as life has been in the past few's getting harder. I don't know exactly what the future holds but I DO know one thing. I know that I will not survive with the attitude I had last month. Worrying, feeling guilty and being afraid is not going to make Steph's cancer go away. If it could, I'm pretty sure my dad and I could have cured her about a year ago. I don't have all the answers, and never will, but I trust in God's plan. I am thankful for His promise to me. I am also thankful for His decision to put me in this amazing family. Because of these things, I am determined to be fearless.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Audrey

Many of you in the coaching/teaching community may have already heard about baby Audrey. I personally had her grandpa as a P.E. teacher in Jr. High. Her daddy and Scot go way back. Tonight, I am asking for your prayers. She has been fighting for her little life for weeks in the CICU at St. Louis Children's hospital. We remember that place all too well. It seems like a million years ago that we sat by Drew's bedside and wondered what the future held. CLICK HERE and go to her site. Read her story and pray with all your might for her and her family.