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.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I shouldn't be doing this!

That was what I was thinking this morning at the gym.  I was about halfway into a cardio workout.  I was on the elliptical, level 10.  I had my heart rate monitor on, so I know I wasn't going outside of my safe target heart rate range. I was in the "zone" and feeling great.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if my iPhone battery had some juice in it so I could be listening to something other than the lame gym music and sounds of free weights clanking across the room.   After 35 minutes on the elliptical, I ran some intervals on the treadmill for another 35 minutes.   It's kind of fun to be at the gym in a turban and be kicking butt on the equipment.  I sweat like dog and loved it.

Yesterday, I did a Jillian DVD that was a type of exercise I hadn't done since my surgery in July.  The DVD title is "No More Trouble Zones" and it is a circuit training workout.  I am still a bit paranoid about lifting weights, so I used 2 pound dumbbells.  The workout used to be kind of easy for me, even with heavier weights.  But it was definitely a challenge yesterday.  I'm feeling the "good" pain of sore muscles in different places today!   I like to mix up my workouts so I'd like to do some circuits at least once a week.  There is definitely something to be said for lunges.  Owie!

But seriously.  I am 6 days out of my third round of chemo.  I have the energy and strength to workout, and not just go for walks or do yoga.  I am amazed at how God has upheld me in all of this.  I am so blessed by so many of you out there praying for me through this trial.  Truly, the Lord is my strength and my shield.  My heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song!  (Psalm 28:7)

This round of chemo is almost easier in some ways than the first ones.  Monday was the hardest day.  I felt tired, yucky and kind of blue.  But I was still able to function. Every day since has been better to the point where I pretty much feel normal today.  The metallic taste in my mouth is much less, and there is no hint of any irritation in my mouth.  I even had a flash of paranoia this morning and wondered if maybe they didn't give me enough of the toxic drugs last week.  I remember the conversation I had with the American Cancer Society's mentor who said the third round is the one that knocks people down.  That hasn't been my experience.  Maybe I'll get hit next time on round four.  I don't want to boast in myself, I know this is not coming from my own strength.  I'm the first one to give the glory to God and boast in Him.

My prayer requests:

  • That the chemo drugs do their job.  With the way I'm feeling, I'm almost skeptical that they are in there.  I pray that they are, that the dosage is correct and that they are disrupting any cancer cells that are in my body.
  • That my white blood cell counts are good, that my immune system be strong against infection during these days when I am supposed to be vulnerable to infections.
  • That the kids and Eric stay healthy.  Any bugs they come down with, I may get too.  If I get sick, it could delay my next chemo session. 
  • That everyone who knows me, hears of me, or reads this blog recognizes God at work in all of this.  That He receive glory and honor and praise for how He is seeing me through.   That my trial be a testimony to His faithfulness and amazing love.  


  1. Tonya, you are truly amazing and inspiring. It is wonderful how you can see the hand of God through all of this. You have faced so many trials. Yet through it all, God has given you so much stregth, grace, and encouragement. Today, I will be thinking of you as I continue to learn how to put my faith in God as you have shown me. I love you!

  2. Oops, I used my husbands' gmail. The above comment was from Susie White! Ha,ha!

  3. Yea for you! Continue to do what feels right for you. It used to make me giggle sometimes when people would say to me that I should be taking it easy as I worked out or swam. (OK, sometimes it annoyed me) I hope you continue to feel good!