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, October 27, 2010

Getting strong again

I took a few days off of serious exercise since the last chemo round, but today I'm back in the game.  It was tough, but I did what has become my Wednesday routine-Jillian Michael's "No More Trouble Zones" circuit training workout.  I walked yesterday with my friends and did a 30 minute light cardio workout on Monday, neither of which are that challenging.  Today was different

I like this DVD because it incorporates some weights. Jillian's circuit training style was what helped me lose 50 pounds over the past year, so its a proven workout for me.  I also think its good for me as I process the latest batch of poison because while it does get your heart rate up there, it isn't as intense of a cardio blast as other workouts are.  I'll save a cardio blast for tomorrow.

It wasn't easy though, and I had to modify the pushups to the "girl" version on my knees.  There were times when I felt a little dizzy, and I attribute that to the Cipro that I started taking yesterday.

It is important to me to feel strong.  I realized this morning during the workout when I felt like I was going to poop out, I would just imagine the word 'CANCER' in my mind and my energy was renewed.  Before cancer, I would imagine Jillian yelling at me like she does her contestants on "The Biggest Loser."  Now cancer's voice is much stronger than hers. As I do the harder workouts and really push myself, I can feel myself actually beating this demon disease inside of me.  It is certainly a motivator.

My little lion
Today has been a good day.  San Diego's weather returned today. It is a bright and sunny day, even a little too warm.  It was wonderful. I took Jean-Marc to his weekly "Moove & Groove" class which he absolutely loves.  (Hi Miss Amy!)  The kids came in their Halloween costumes. I'm not a big Halloween fan, but toddlers in costumes sure are cute!  I put Jean-Marc in Olivier's first costume that he wore when he was about 15 months old--a lion. I didn't think he would go for it, but he really enjoyed the costume and kept it on the whole time.  I went "in disguise" too...I wore my wig and my foobies! Undercover cancer patient, that's me!  Although my compression sleeve may have raised some suspicions...

I can't help but laugh sometimes at situations. One of the other moms in the class, who is quite pregnant and kept busy by her almost-two-year-old, made a comment to me that she can't remember the last time she did her hair.  Without missing a beat, I said, "me either!"  She laughed and hi-fived me. Her mom dealt with chemo, so she wasn't offended.  Later on when I was picking up Isabelle, a friend came up to me and asked me what "that" was.  Now she is much taller than me--I'm only 5'1 on a good day.  So she was looking down as she asked, so it really did look like she was looking at my chest, at least from my perspective. My first thought was my foobies!  At least I asked "what?"  That gave her the chance to point to my arm.  I told the group I was with that I almost said something about "wearing my boobs" today.  Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

My prayer requests:

  • Healing. That this chemo be effective.  I would hate to think that all of this is for nothing. I don't want to live with cancer forever. I want to beat it once and for all.  
  • Mental battles. Along with the idea of "beating it once and for all" is a fear that it won't end.  That cancer will come back and I will have to do it over.  I know that happens to a lot of women, I've met some of them.  Many fight the rest of their lives with it. I admire their strength and willingness to fight.  But gosh, I am afraid of becoming one of them. I know that my health is all in God's hands and I should not be fearful.  But it is scary and my enemy knows this weakness-and he exploits it. I need to be physically strong, but spiritually and mentally as well.  

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