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, September 14, 2010

In sickness & in health

Today is my fourteenth wedding anniversary. Eric and I are getting to live out the vows, "in sickness and in health." Although, like I've said before, I don't FEEL sick. Not really.

I was pretty tired yesterday. It was like I was in a fog all day. When I would sit down, I just wouldn't want to get back up. I did manage to take a walk with friends in the morning, but it definitely was physically more challenging than it usually is, and we didn't even do the "big" hill. At least I got some exercise. Next round I need to take it easy on Sunday. I did way too much this time and didn't rest at all. I paid for it yesterday. Being fatigued like that brought me down emotionally as well. I couldn't help but feel a bit blue all day.

The challenging part of days like yesterday is dealing with Jean-Marc in the mid to late morning. When we got home from the walk, I had hoped to be able to put on a "Thomas the Tank Engine" DVD and lay down while he watched. (I know, I know...electronic babysitter....bad mom. Whatever.) It wasn't that easy. He is just always moving, bouncing, and climbing on me. One day last week, he even head-butted me while I was sitting there. So its not exactly easy to rest while you are in defense mode. I was able to get him to a nap around 12:30 p.m. and lay down for an hour before I had to go pick up Olivier and his carpool buddy from the middle school. Man, that hour went by fast.

A bright spot yesterday came with the mail when I received a surprise package from an ICAN friend. It was a pretty pink necklace with a handcrafted card that said "Fight Like a Girl." So sweet. A friend also brought dinner, which was wonderful as well. I'm blessed to have such people in my life. God is good to me and shows it through the kindness of friends and family.

Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep last night was very welcome.

Today is a new day. I started my 7 day Cipro regimen to ward off infections as my white blood cell count goes down. I've had the metallic taste in my mouth for a day or so. A little slice of lemon in water helps with that a lot. This morning, I feel latent sores in my mouth. Not really sores yet, but areas of sensitivity that could develop into them. I'll wash with baking soda/salt and hopefully that will keep it at bay. My energy level seems a little better than yesterday. This morning, I did a 30 minute cardio workout on Exercise TV. Its a low impact workout, but I amped it up a bit by jumping the moves. I broke a sweat, got the endorphins flowing and it felt great.

Eric and I are going to celebrate our anniversary by going to lunch today. I'm going to debut the wig. I actually have it on right now just to get the feel for it. It's a bit itchy, but that may have to do with the fact that not all my hair is gone yet. My head is itching all the time and there are little bumps on my scalp. I hope that is just from the hair falling out process. It looks pretty nasty with the bumps--no glamorous bald chick here. At least not yet!

My prayer requests:
  • That the worst part of this round of chemo is over. That my energy level increases each day, that the side effects don't get worse. That I can just go on and live life without having it revolve around cancer therapy.
  • That as my white blood cell counts go down that I do not get sick from some other infection. Pray that my immune system be able to rally as much as possible. That the kids stay healthy at school and don't bring any bugs home with them.
  • That I do not fall prey to the spiritual attacks of the enemy. Being beaten down physically is one of his ways of attacking us. I started to succumb to it yesterday. Praise God for a night of rest and new mercies this morning! But it is a daily battle-minute by minute.
  • That the chemotherapy do what it is supposed to do-kill those bad cells!

1 comment:

  1. Tonya-I had no idea. When I saw you at Sprouts last week and we chatted I assumed you were just wearing the head scarf to cover a bad hair do. Sometimes when I am in too big of a hurry to shower and do my hair I will throw on a hat or scarf or something. You seemed like your typical happy, upbeat self. My heart goes out to you and my prayers to. You are an amazing woman and it seems that often the most amazing ones are the ones that get hit with some of the biggest challenges. As if we didn't already know what super stuff you were made of! I admire your attitude and faith-and candidness too. I truly appreciate your blog and am glad to learn from you and your challenge-you've always been inspiring even before this.

    Jen Ashcraft