About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hair today...gone tomorrow?

When I was in high school, I remember my friend Kelly and I talking about how convenient it would be if everyone were just bald and had a wig collection. Then you wouldn't have to worry about bad hair days. Just pop a wig on your head and you're out the door.

Having kids has wreaked havoc with my hair. After Isabelle, I had hairs on the top of my head break about 3/4 of an inch from the root. So it kind of looked like a mohawk. After Jean-Marc, my hair has been thinning. It was fine to begin with, so to lose some of it didn't help. On top of all that, I've got some gray starting to show.

So you'd think that the prospect of losing my hair wouldn't be a big deal. It's not really. Or is it? I'm not sure how I feel about it all. Today, I started considering that reality when I tried on some wigs at the American Cancer Society's shop. They give chemo patients a free wig (and a free hat, I learned). I got my wig...but it felt strange. The texture is different, the color different, the cut different. Of all the options, it was the best fit for me. I'm not sure if I'll wear it much, though.

To strangers on the street, they won't notice anything out of place. They won't give me a second glance. To people who know me, though, it will probably take some getting used to. I guess it will all boil down to how I feel wearing it. I may feel more comfortable in a scarf and hat.

I've got this catalog of all kinds of hats and scarves. It is mind boggling. I think I need to go try things on. Do I get my hair cut shorter before it all falls out?

I think I am okay with the hair loss thing...its just the process that will be kind of freaky. It is one thing to intellectually come to terms with it. But to pull out clumps of hair is going to be beyond bizarre.

We aren't 100% sure if chemo is going to be before surgery, but we are leaning in that direction. That could mean as early as next week. I meet the oncologist on Friday to find out more about what treatment he suggests. One thing I do know for sure...I want to get started, even if it does mean losing my hair in a few days.


  1. A friend of mine from church, who is at least 25 years older than you, has been through several bouts with cancer. She's always had great hair! I saw her the other day at the pet shop and she was bald. It was quite a shock since she had lots of hair on Sunday. At first we chatted about our pets and ignored the obvious. The more I looked at her, the more I realized, she looked pretty darn good with her hair buzzed. No scars or big moles or oddities about her head. Then finally I said something like, "You look really good, Marie. When did you buzz your hair," thinking it was time to acknowledge the elephant in the room. She gave me a hard look and said, "Well I have cancer, you know," and walked off. I only tell you that story so you'll know that those of us who haven't been through cancer have no idea what to say sometimes. We want to be supportive, but we're clumsy. You are being so brave and positive. Keep posting. It's a great education for us and we want to support you from afar. ~ Sally

  2. I have a friend that owns a high quality wig shop that has fantastic lightweight wigs that may offer you more options -
    Name: Carleen Gannon
    Phone: 626-383-1598
    Address: 966 N. Grand Ave.
    Covina, CA 91724
    E-Mail: cpgannon48@aol.com

  3. hey Tonya,
    My mother in law had an non profit organization called Looks Like Me she customized all of the hair pieces and had them made her locally. If you are interested let me know and I can talk to her. I know that they are very pricey but I am sure we can come up with a way to raise money if necessary. I know there are many of us wanting and willing to jump in to help wherever it's needed.
    Sending lot of love and prayers your way!!!