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.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Before. Isabelle and I on her birthday.

I am blessed to have a wonderful friend in my hairdresser, Sheila. She graciously offered to help me with my hair, whatever I wanted to do. She even came in today on her day off to cut it for me. I appreciate it so much!

I decided that it would be easier (and less of a mess) to just get a short cut. It would also get me used to the feeling of having my neck bare. It will also be a transition for everyone else who is used to seeing me. Less of a shock. I'm thinking of it as something of a transitional hairdo.

I made the decision this morning, and thankfully, Sheila made herself available to me this afternoon. I was nervous, but there was no backing out. On the way to the salon, I was listening to KLove , a contemporary Christian radio station. I can't even remember what song was on as I was on my way, but I got that weepy Holy Spirit feeling again. I did NOT want to cry over my hair. Especially because I put on mascara! I'll admit, a few tears did flow. Like I've said, I'm not that fond of my hair as it is. But still. Losing it is going to be tough. Being bald is going to be a flag to the world that I'm "sick." A tell tale sign. I can try to hide it with wigs, I guess. But like I've said before, everyone knows I'm in this fight. Why hide it now? (Tough talk from someone with hair still on her head).

Other than the surgery healing, I don't FEEL sick. I'm sure that will change as I start chemo. But accepting the hair loss is kind of like accepting that I am sick, I guess.

When I got there, Sheila had a styling book open and suggested a style. It was short, for sure. But what the heck? In a few weeks, I'm going to be totally bald. So why not? Besides, I usually go in for a cut and tell Sheila to do whatever she thinks would look good. I've been a client of hers since I was pregnant with Olivier over 11 years ago. She knows my hair, head, and me.

So she went for it. It was fun to be doing something "normal" again, even though I was doing it for a cancer related reason. She took these pictures of me, and of the pile of hair that I left behind. Better left on the salon floor than in my shower drain!

Sheila also offered to come wig shopping with me. I do want to get a wig. I may feel differently once the hair is actually gone. I like to have options. Sheila can also thin the wig out and help make it more manageable for me too. I'm so thankful to her for all of her help in this journey. Thanks to you all who have given me positive feedback on my facebook page as well. You guys really gave me a boost!


  1. See, I totally KNEW you'd pull off a cute short-hair look! It looks great, and will be easier to care for in the meantime.

    Thinking of you as you approach chemo!

  2. Tonya!!! What a real warrior you are!!! I am putting you on my prayer list as of today! I will follow your blog. Stay strong! You sound like a really wonderful lady. I am praying for you every day! Penny Osgood (Rick Osgood's wife, your mom's cousin on the Osgood side!