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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shock and awe

I made quite a splash in my wig yesterday. Thank you to everyone for the sweet comments and compliments. It made me feel great. My best girlfriend Kelly and I would joke in high school about how cool it would be if everyone were bald and all you had to do in the morning was put on your wig. You know, there is something to be said for that now having lived it! My wig is what I always wished my hair would do, but it was fine and flat and would only look that way for about an hour after leaving the salon! Who knows what it will be when it grows back next Spring/Summer?

It will take some getting used to, though. After a couple hours it did get itchy and tight. I just wanted to get it OFF. I don't want to wear it every day, I like the scarf look too. I haven't even begun to really experiment with hats. It is kind of fun to be able to dramatically change your look every day. It keeps everyone on their toes. Who knows what Tonya will look like today?

So that was the shock.

Now for the awe.

Several people have said to me in the past couple days about how well I'm doing. Even that I've never looked better. When I think about it, I am surprised about it as well. I woke up a bit early this morning and as I lay in bed was pondering about this. What am I doing that is making it not so awful? Don't get me wrong-it is not easy. I'm not breezing through this. It definitely is a daily struggle and there are physical issues that I deal with all the time. But I'm not feeling like I got hit by a truck, and a part of me thinks that I should.

Then it hit me. Duh! The reason I am doing how I'm doing has nothing to do with me. It all has to do with the Lord. HE is the one that is showering me with blessing and grace. I'm not doing anything. It's all HIM. The Bible says, "My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) I am in awe of how God prepared me physically and spiritually for this trial. I am in awe of how I have seen Him work in the midst of it. I don't believe in luck or coincidence. I believe in divine providence, which reminds me of what I learned during my Esther bible study a year ago. (See--more preparation!) I firmly believe that God will not put a trial in your path that he will not equip and empower you to see through. There are purposes in all of this that He wants. Purposes that are for our own good. To make us better, more like Him. We may not understand what His purposes are, nor should we. His ways are higher than ours. I'm not boasting in me, but in the Lord. All I can do is look up and praise Him for all that He is doing in my life and in the lives of those around me, even in the midst of breast cancer.

I'm also in awe about how the Lord has placed me in the body of Christ. I know I am being lifted up in prayer, supported by the saints around me. They, in turn, are being His hands and feet in this trial to bring me through.

I'm a fan of the TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance." Last summer, there was a beautiful piece by coreographer Travis Wall called "Fix You." It was based on his own mother's battle with disease. I think it was some form of cancer, I'm not sure. Anyway, the male dancer in the piece is supposed to be him, and the female, his mother. If you have a few moments, here it is. It really is beautiful. Notice at the end, how she puts her feet on her son's, and he walks her through to the end of the piece, presumably (we hope) toward healing. I feel that way about this trial, although my feet are being guided by The Son, Jesus. I can lean on Him completely and let Him guide me and trust that He will heal me. I have an eternal guarantee! Check it out:

Simply put, I am once again in awe of the Lord and His ways. My life is in His hands, and I am at perfect peace with where He has led me thus far. I trust in Him and am filled.

Love and blessings to you all!

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