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, October 26, 2010

Happy birthday to me

I'm 41 years old today.

One of my survivor sisters on Sunday (at the Charger game) mentioned that after you are diagnosed with cancer, you never look at birthdays the same way again.  I suppose that is true.  Although I am in the midst of heavy cancer-treatment overload, so its hard for me to think much about it at all.  I'm sure I'll have deeper thoughts about it next year when treatment is in the rear view mirror.

I am doing better than I was yesterday.  Yesterday, I felt like I was stuck in a cancer swamp.  Or quicksand.  Everything I did and experienced came back to me having cancer and feeling bad.  Mentally, physically and emotionally, I was a mess.  My right arm is bruised from the IV for the first time.  Both on my forearm and inside my elbow from last weeks' blood draws.  I went to bed in tears, just hoping that the next day would be better.  I was a little disgusted with myself, throwing myself a pity party just a few days after having blogged about how "joyful" I should be, even in the pain. I couldn't even stick with that for 48 hours.  Woe was me.

There are times I wish I could just flip a switch in my head and stop thinking and talking about the various aspects of this disease.  I feel like a one track wonder. I mean, isn't there anything else in my life?  If I'm not talking about chemo, I'm talking about the insurance aspect, or lymphedma, or whatever.  Blah, blah, blah.  I can imagine how boring I can get to my acquaintances.

Anyway, today is my birthday and I am feeling better.  I got dozens of well wishes on Facebook.  Three flower deliveries-how neat is that?  I can't remember ever getting one, much less three in one day!  My family blessed me with an Amazon Kindle and I love it. I'm reading "Pride and Prejudice" on it and loving it.

I was hoping to enjoy food today, but it wasn't to be. That is a strange thing for me with chemo in the first week. I'm not nauseous.  Instead, food just has no taste. Or its metallic. I'll think of something that really sounds good and will make it.  I'll go to the store and spend time on it and everything.  Then when it comes down to eating it, it is just blah and unsatisfying.  It's kind of a bummer you your birthday.

But I am glad to be here for this year.  I did have a good birthday, as good as it could be at this point in my life. I thank you all for your prayers and love.


  1. 'Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world.'
    Happy Birthday Tonya. May each new day be filled with joy and wonder

  2. Tonya, Just discovered your blog and it's enjoyable to read if that's the right word. You have a good sense of humor about stuff that's for sure! Happy birthday! I think a cancer diagnosis changes how you think about everything, including birthdays. I'm blogging about cancer too at www.nancyspoint.com How many of us are there out there anyway?? Hope you visit sometime and comment. I'll be back to read more. Thanks for sharing your story.