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, October 17, 2010

Making Strides!

Today was the day! We joined about 20,000 other San Diegans this morning in a drizzly Balboa Park to walk to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.  It was a little overwhelming to be in a sea of pink. There were walkers there in all shapes and sizes. Pink wigs, pink tutus, bangles and beads.  Everyone there united in the same cause...to find a cure for breast cancer.

Isabelle and I at the starting line

Before the walk, we walked around and there was a table where you could fill out a sticker of who you were walking in honor of. Mom said to Isabelle, "Hey-lets go get a sticker in honor of your mom!" That kind of got me going and I started to cry a bit. I had been feeling emotions welling up a bit as we neared the park, but that did it. We hugged and they got their sticker. I saw another survivor walk by with a sticker that said "I'm walking in honor of MYSELF." I decided, why not? If it hadn't been for MY diagnosis, I wouldn't have been there. So I had Isabelle get a sticker for me too.

It got kind of frustrating before the walk because there were just SO MANY PEOPLE. You couldn't get from point A to point B because they were just milling around, or going in different directions. At least when we walked, everyone was moving in the same direction! I had several people come up to me and wish me well. A couple of them were survivors. One told me how "brave" I was to be out walking the event. Brave? I don't know about that one. What else would I be doing? In a way, its not so brave to be out there with 19,999 other people who are supporting you and hoping for a cure for the very disease you are fighting. It was kind of a big pep rally.

My nephew, Caleb and I

It was hard to see some of the signs with pictures of women who had lost their battle. Or shirts that referenced the walk being "in memory" of someone. I don't like to think about that fact. But it is true. Some women do not beat this disease. Thank God for the advances that have been made in treatment over the years. Thank God for the awareness that has been raised so more cases are caught early. I wish mine had been caught earlier. 3.5 centimeter tumor and 5 lymph nodes is not exactly "early." But it could be worse, I suppose. I want to be a survivor. I want to beat this. With God's help, I can. But it is all in His hands.

Maybe a little self-centered, but I'm walking in honor of ME!
They had a "Survivor" tent but I didn't really feel comfortable going over there. I really do feel like I am going to beat this and be a survivor. I read in Kris Carr's book, "Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips" that the minute you are diagnosed you should think of yourself as "a Survivor." But somehow, I don't really feel like I have earned that title yet. I'm a warrior, a fighter. I WILL be a survivor.

After the walk, we hung out for a little while, but the rain started coming down harder. I had brought a couple of umbrellas, but left them in the car earlier. So much for that. We had a nice lunch at the Claim Jumper where mom, dad and I celebrated with a Mimosa!

It was a great event, and I am very glad to have participated. A big huge thank you to all who financially supported my walk. I was the second biggest fundraiser on Team Cymer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My support group!
Isabelle, Mom, Laura, Dad, Caleb, and me

Starting line

1 comment:

  1. That is very cool. Congradulations!