It came out in the paper yesterday. It wasn’t really a shock, since I’m the one who wrote it. I thought I had better use my weekly column to tell people about the cancer diagnosis before they heard it somewhere else. It’s been a year since we moved away, but I still have so many friends in Fargo and I wanted to tell them all individually, but… well, this just seemed easier.

A Fargo girlfriend sent me this picture… IMG_3449 It’s the front page of The Forum with a photo of my face and then the teaser headline, “NICOLE PHILLIPS REVEALS HER BATTLE WITH BREAST CANCER: Columnist, wife of former NDSU basketball coach shares how kindness has helped her since her diagnosis”

My head has never had so many conflicting thoughts at one time. I was honored that the editors thought it was so important that it deserved a front page mention… but what about all those other women? The ones in the pink & white robes at THE JAMES, many who will face their news alone? But gosh it feels nice to know I’m loved… but it’s only Stage 1 or 2, there are people struggling with much heavier things… eviction, hunger, job loss, losing a child, what’s the big deal with cancer? But isn’t it nice to know people care?

So that happened. I still can’t get my head to totally wrap around seeing my picture in the paper.

What really freaked me out (in a good way) was the outpouring of love coming through my phone. Emails, texts, Facebook comments and private messages. Every single person telling me 1) I was going to beat this cancer, 2) I was going to encourage others along the way and 3) they were praying for me.

I don’t doubt people’s promises to pray are sincere, but I’ll tell you what, if that many people started the day by talking to God on a regular basis, there would be no darkness left in this world at all.

And the number of cancer survivors who reached out to say, “I’ve been there. I know what you’re feeling. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.” Uffdah… so many women have had to deal with this. And they are living their lives post-cancer so full of kindness.

But I digress… the point is, I don’t think this news deserved space on the front page, but man, I felt loved. More than I could ever repay. But I’ll try. Every day of this cancer journey and every day after, I will try to repay all the love you have all shown me. I promise, I’ll try.