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, July 13, 2010

The Women's Health Store

Today I went and got my post-surgery camisoles. The store is just a block away from my church, Calvary Chapel of Escondido.

Judy, from Kaiser, had called in the authorization for me. Kaiser will provide 2 of the camisoles for me. There was some insurance paperwork to fill out and sign. The lady who worked there commented that the paperwork will only get worse. I'm pretty sure she was referring to the changes coming down from the federal government getting more involved in health care.

The store itself had a lot of interesting things. Compression bands, which I'll probably need for my left arm if I ever travel by air to prevent swelling. They had lots of nice hats, scarves, bandanna and wigs. I'm definitely going to go back there after surgery. I feel a little awkward trying on these things at this point. At least the wigs there had modern styles to them. They also had a bunch of mastectomy bras and swimwear. These garments have little pockets that you can slip your foob into. The lady who worked there was very nice. She asked me what size I usually wear. I had to think a bit, since I've changed sizes so much in the last year. I explained my hesitation and said maybe a 6. She asked what diet I did to lose the weight. When I mentioned Jillian Michaels, she got all excited and said she just bought her book, "Master Your Metabolism." We chatted a bit about it. I explained that the food wasn't really a diet, but changing your eating habits to clean, organic, whole foods. Plus, the exercise...hard exercise, was key as well. It was nice to hear her say she couldn't imagine me not being "so tiny." You have no idea how strange it is to hear someone describe me in that way.

Anyway, she took me to the back and showed me the camisole. I tried a small size on. It was snug, but it is supposed to be. I told her without boobs, it won't be as tight. I took 2 pairs, one in white the other beige. I also got to hold one of the prosthetics for the first time. Yesterday they looked so heavy. The first one I picked up did, but she said it was a big size. She handed me one that would work better on me. It felt really strange. Kind of like a water balloon that is flat on one side and filled with toothpaste. Kind of freaky. This may sound bizarre, but I wonder how much weight I'll "lose" from the mastectomy. It's one heck of a way to lose those last stubborn pounds. The prosthetic fitting should be interesting. Stay tuned.

They mentioned that they have a breast cancer support group that meets at the store. In fact, they have a meeting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. I'm not sure if I'll go or not. There is also a local support group that a friend from church informed me of. They are meeting tonight...I'm missing it. I definitely want to go to these, its just hard with the family, kids, and dinner time to get to things in the evening. But I do want to connect with other women dealing with cancer, especially breast cancer. I've always found the support and knowledge gained from other women who have been in similar situations to be very helpful. So I know I'll end up going. I just don't know if it will be tomorrow.

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