Sheila Foley has attended all of her daughter Taylor's volleyball matches despite undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Sheila Foley underwent her fourth round of chemotherapy on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Two days later she was cheering her daughter Taylor and Taylor's Matanzas teammates at their volleyball match.
The Pirates won the match against Mainland, and they celebrated while wearing their “Shelia Strong” T-shirts.
“It sums up who we are,” Matanzas coach Julie Menendez said of the T-shirts. "We win together, we lose together and we do life outside of the gym together.”
The T-shirts are not only a declaration of team unity and a way for the players to show support for a teammate’s family. They also couldn’t be more appropriate.
"She’s been strong for us. She’s never down or upset or sad, which keeps us from getting down or upset.”
Sheila was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer in May. She came home from the doctor’s that day and had to deliver the news to her husband, Ed, and her three children.
“It was very tough to take in,” Taylor said after the Mainland match. “It really came out of nowhere. I think she’s been the strongest of all of us. She’s been strong for us. She’s never down or upset or sad, which keeps us from getting down or upset.”
“Even when I lost my hair,” Sheila said with a laugh, still savoring the Pirates’ victory.
Other than Ed driving her to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Jacksonville for her three-hour chemo treatments every two weeks, Sheila’s day-to-day routine hasn’t changed much.
She travels around the state with her family on weekends to watch son Aiden, 13, race Legend cars. She attends Taylor’s volleyball games and 12-year-old daughter Bristol’s volleyball and softball games. And she hasn’t given up line dancing on Thursdays at the Social Club of Pine Coast. Not totally.
“Now it’s kind of hard to do with volleyball,” Sheila said.
“She’s been to all the home games and away games,” said Taylor, a junior middle blocker and right-side hitter. “She takes us to school every morning.”
With her kids keeping her busy, Sheila says it’s hard for her to sit around and dwell on her cancer.
Sheila has two more rounds of chemo to go.
“I’m almost done,” she said with a smile. “Then I get a month off, then surgery and radiation. After the New Year I should be all done with everything.”
Taylor said the doctors are amazed at how well her mother has been reacting to chemotherapy.
“It feels good knowing she’s willing to come out and cheer us on,” Taylor said. “It’s good to have her out there. (My teammates) all support her and appreciate that she’s here to support us.”