“A lot of the daily things you face in life don’t seem that hard; they seem petty,” said Edgmon, a senior on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s basketball team that just so happens to win more than lose in this 2005-2006 season. “You’re only on the court two hours a day. That’s two hours I wouldn’t want to give up doing anything else.” She caught a cold that she wrestled with for more than a month, she couldn’t play the minutes you’d expect from a go-to veteran and she even had trouble finishing her homework in the evenings. In late January of that year, her condition worsened. Initial tests and X-rays revealed a dark shadow in her lungs. After further analysis, one dreadful phone call on Valentine’s Day and one long drive from her Bakersfield-area home to the medical center at UCLA, Edgmon learned that the dark, shadowy area was indeed a mass. More specifically, it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, or Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer in the lymphatic tissue that has a lot to do with the body’s immune and blood-forming systems. With her future at Claremont McKenna College up in the air and six months of chemotherapy on tap and radiation treatments to follow, all kinds of thoughts and fears rushed through Edgmon’s mind: She would have to give up basketball and continue classes from home. She was certain to get sick. She could lose her hair. She might even die. Then Edgmon pushed all that aside. “I was really excited to get the (treatments) started,” Edgmonsaid. “It was either that or sit and mope, and I’m not one to do that. … “I always told my brother and sister, ‘I don’t think you guys are very tough, so I’m glad it happened to me and not you guys.”‘ No one disputes that notion. “It’s something we sort of joked about now; I think she’s right,” Kevin Edgmon said. “… From the very beginning I had not actually seen her scared or saddened by it. It was like, ‘Those were the cards I was dealt, so I’m going to play them and everything is going to be fine.”‘ “I don’t think anyone anticipates their 18-year-old sister having such a positive outlook, because for so many it would be the end of the world.” For Edgmon, the fight proved just an ellipsis waiting to reconnect her to that world. The chemicals from the twice-a-month treatments set in. She became nauseous. Her hair thinned. The fatigue continued. Then Edgmon, leaning on her faith in God, her family at home and countless friends at school, took a turn for the better. The mass had shrunk a considerable amount in a month’s time. She returned to school after spring break, finished the year at the top of her class like she had planned, built up enough energy to join a local gym and continued her treatments into the early part of the summer. Then before her last chemotherapy session, before radiation treatments had even begun, a scan revealed that the mass was gone and her life was about to get back on track. “I just feel so blessed,” Edgmon said in the basketball office at Ducey Gymnasium in the hours leading up to the Athenas’ conference opener at Redlands last week. ” … This is the best I’ve ever felt physically.” Of course, what Edgmon brings to the Athenas physically – after balancing radiation treatments with fatigue and the fight to return to playing shape at Bakersfield College – doesn’t come close to mirroring the leadership she brings to the team. She scores 9.6 points a game as a 5-foot-5 guard/forward, grabs 3.2 rebounds a game and is a vocal leader on the court. Her real value, though, lies in the inspiration she has become to her teammates. “She’s going to fight to win a game, and she’s going to fight harder than anyone else,” CMS coach Jodie Burton said. “She’s going to be disappointed if we lose that game, and she’s going to be very happy if we win that game, but she always knows that there are more important things in life than the win or the loss.” Said senior Betsy Butterick, who transferred into the CMS program last year with Edgmon: “Anytime things are hard or difficult I think about what Cory went through. … Nothing’s hard. There’s no comparison to measure to what she had to go through.” Edgmon still thinks about it, too. It was unavoidable when she lost a close childhood friend to his own fight with cancer last year, and it’s on her mind when she is driving back to the Bakersfield area to support her grandfather, who has begun his own chemotherapy treatments to treat lung cancer. Then there is the periodic blood tests and scans and the approaching Valentine’s Day that always dredges up so many memories. “The feelings. The fears. The story. It comes back up, and it becomes unreal,” Edgmon said. “I don’t think I really did that. It becomes a day of reflection and really remembering how that was the day that changed my life. I need to remember that and live each day as if it were that day.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Basketball isn’t that hard. Practices aren’t that exhausting. Defeats don’t really hurt. Cory Edgmon, nearing the fourth anniversary of her victory over Hodgkin’s disease, knows these things better than most. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Four winters ago, Edgmon – a captain on an Athenas team that is 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – nearly had to. That year, Edgmon returned to the court as the lone senior on a Shafter High School team in the middle of a hefty transition. Her parents, Ed and Lonnie, knew they would want to follow Edgmon’s career with the Athenas, where her sister Aubrey had played, and her final prep season seemed the perfect time to hand the program over to her 31-year-old brother, Kevin. Needless to say, Edgmon had grown up in a basketball home that made her the perfect candidate for Shafter to lean on in a year the team expected to contend for a league title. After all, she possessed an accurate perimeter shot, rarely missed from the foul line and made up for a lack of foot speed with all-out-effort on defense. One problem: Edgmon suddenly couldn’t run the floor like she had for her parents’ teams.