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.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Locks of Panic

I feel a little silly. But I'll be honest. I'm kind of freaking out.

For 2 weeks now, I've lamented about waiting for my hair to fall out. Now that it is, I'm feeling a little bit of panic about it all. I'm not ready! All it takes is a little tug, and the hair comes out in my hand. It's also coming out when I brush it. I had hair all over the counter this morning. Thank goodness I got it cut short!

I know its just a few days until I can't take it anymore and will want it buzzed. I'm not quite ready to take that step just yet. I'm not ready! I don't have a wig. I have a few scarves and hats...but I'm not ready to HAVE to use them just yet. Or am I?

Maybe it won't even be a few days. Gulp. Maybe I just need to step off that cliff. After all, I would be the one in charge of when and how it comes off. That could be empowering. It does make my heart jump every time I pull out hair. But I'll look like GI Jane. I think of all the mornings, especially as a mother of young children, when I would go out without even thinking about how my hair looked. When it was longer, I spent an entire summer with it up in a clip. Or throw on a headband. I had kids, or I was on my way to the gym. Whatever. I looked ridiculous and it didn't matter. Why am I so bothered by how it looks now?

Perhaps because it is going to signal to the world something that I do not feel inside. Will I get those pitying looks from total strangers now instead of just those who "know" what is going on? I don't want those looks from anyone! I feel strong. I feel healthy, despite the fact of cancer. I'm in the best physical shape of my life...I AM NOT SICK! But the bald head will tell the world something else. It will make it "real." Funny how being flat chested with scars a foot long aren't as traumatic.

On the other hand, I won't have to go through the internal mental questioning when I talk to someone new. Do they know? Or do they not know? It will be pretty obvious now.

Anyway, that is where I am now. I need to just process this all for a day or so. Prayers are appreciated!


  1. Tonya, My daughter Lara just said to me, "I hope she gets to be a blonde with my hair I donated! She was really nice." She prayed for you and is hoping that she gets to "help" you in that way...not sure if this is reassuring in your fight to stay calm but as they say, a little child shall lead them...and she seems convinced that you will be healed. :)

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you. A good friend just went through this (losing clumps to the point of shaving her head) and said she was shocked to find it harder than losing her breast. Of course, everyone's experience is different, and their own, but in MY limited experience, it appears you are not alone in the "panic." Again, I love your strength and concomitant ability to admit vulnerability. You are a true warrior. God bless you.

  3. *nodding* *nodding* *nodding* -and remembering.

    I'm so glad you knew me bald.

    I so, so know what you mean about looking like the Walking Sick; you are gloriously alive!

    Your face, your smile, your "aura", your spirit transcends the baldness. You are so beautiful.

    Hair or no hair.

    Sending prayers of love.

  4. You will look beautiful no matter what you do. I am always thinking of u and praying for you. Trust in God and he will help guide you. All are prayers:) Love Trish

  5. No matter what, God is with you now and forever. Through sickness and health. I agree with Barb, you are beautiful!