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.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twas the day before chemo

The day has nearly arrived. I spent the morning helping the kids get organized in their rooms. I'm color coding hangers, and putting fancy velvet ones in my own closet. Olivier will be all white, and Isabelle will have all pink hangers. I'm trying to get them excited about the Flylady system. I need for them to be able to pick up after themselves and keep their stuff organized. I'm going to be too tired to do it for them. And really, they are old enough to handle these simple routines and tasks. Moods are lifted and life is better when things are organized, don't you think?

After lunch, I went and had my blood drawn, everything came back right in the 'normal' range. I love how you can see your test results about 30 minutes later on Kaiser's website. As I was walking out of the facility at about 1:15 p.m., an elderly lady with a chemo hat was being helped out from the direction of the chemo suite by a middle aged woman. Maybe her daughter? I could tell they had been there all morning. They had bags and lunch boxes. The sight of someone coming out of chemo kind of stopped me in my tracks. That will be me tomorrow. I am thankful to be young. Chemo is going to be hard, it would be hard to be elderly and frail going into it.

After going to the blood draw, I went to they gym. It was strange, my heart rate was about 10 beats higher than normal, even while resting. On the stair climber, I got to 80-80% of my range on 2 levels lower than usual. The end result was that in 1 hour, I burned 500 calories. This is really wild, because I usually can only burn 400 calories if I am really exerting myself hard. The heart rate monitor is great to help me know exactly where I am. So what would explain the elevated rate? Perhaps I am anxious about tomorrow?

I listened to a great podcast while at the gym. A friend from church pointed me toward this church from the Santa Barbara area called Reality. The pastor's daughter, Daisy, is suffering from a recurrence of cancer. She gave me the link to listen to one of his sermons when he addressed his walk while dealing with his little girl's illness. So I've been subscribed to the podcast since. Today they started a line by line study in Psalm 23. Perfect timing! It was all about how God is MY shepherd. How we are weak sheep who need him all the time just to get by without screwing up. How fragile and frail we are in His absence. It was great. I am going to download more of the sermons and listen to them in the coming days. By the way, if you are so inclined to pray for the pastor's daughter, they have a website with information called Pray for Daisy.

This cancer experience has really hit that point home with me. The personal relationship aspect of God. I am so thankful to know the Lord and cannot begin to imagine going through this without Him. And without the fellowship of the body of Christ who are praying for me daily. There is such love there, and it is overwhelming at times. I am humbled and grateful.

So....getting ready for chemo. I've been drinking a ton of water today so my veins will pop. I need to pack a "chemo bag" to take with me. I'll have my updated iPhone, my book "The Ezekiel Option," a small bible, a sweater, a water bottle, some comfy socks. I'm not sure about a snack. Maybe some of those organic ritz peanut butter type crackers?

I've been getting ready for the hair loss thing. I've got hats and stuff for when its gone. I bought a lint roller, which I've read helps remove the stubble that can itch and be uncomfortable. Target had some hats on sale and I got a couple. I didn't have one in black before. The only thing I don't have yet is a wig. There's time for that. Right now, it is really hot here in San Diego. A wig doesn't sound too appealing to me.

My prayer requests:
  • That we enjoy a nice evening tonight together. That everyone get along without picking on each other.
  • That I be able to sleep tonight.
  • That I not be fearful. I don't think I am, but it was weird to have my heart rate elevated. Is my body giving away that I really am anxious deep down?
  • That the chemo session go smoothly. That I react well to it and don't get sick while there. That I don't suffer debilitating side effects afterwards. If I do have side effects, that they are treatable.
  • That my chemo drug cocktail be effective against any cancer cells that may be floating around in my body.

No comments:

Post a Comment