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 12, 2010

Relatively drug free for a week

I finished my Cipro yesterday.  That means I don't have to take any prescription drugs until next Thursday, the day before chemo round number 4.  Then I'll start the steroid in anticipation of the heavy stuff the next day.  Other than the cytoxan and taxotere that may still be in my system from chemo 12 days ago, I'm drug free!

I've never been one to take medicine much.  Not even for headaches.  I'd usually just drink a glass of water and ignore it.  I'm more than making up for it now.

One thing I've been considering is supplementing Vitamin D.  There have been studies linking low levels of Vitamin D to breast cancer.  Eric even showed me one study that indicated that supplementing Vitamin D may even help the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  In that study, they even mentioned cytoxan as being assisted by it. I e-mailed Dr. P to see if he would order a Vitamin D test to see if I have a deficiency. I was interested overall in hearing his opinion on Vitamin D and breast cancer.  He ordered the test, but didn't say anything other than it would be okay to supplement 1,000-2,000 IU.  Typical Dr. P--he doesn't spare many words.  I think I'll get the blood test this week. I want to see what my levels are before I start supplementing.  

I'm wearing my compression sleeve and gauntlet for the first time today.  It is kind of hard to get on, but once its on it is okay.  The manufacturer suggests you use a rubber cleaning glove on your other hand to help ease it on and I now see why.  Otherwise, you end up pinching the skin on your arm.  The gauntlet is like a fingerless glove.  I have to take it off a lot because of having to wash my hands, cook, etc.  I'll try to wear these garments for about 10 hours a day as my physical therapist suggested.  I want to do all I can to avoid swelling in the first place. It's hard to imagine that this is something that I will have to be mindful of for the rest of my life.  Breast cancer is the gift that keeps on giving.  Sigh.

As an attorney, I am used to citing "authority" for any assertion or statements made.  This morning, I found some confirmation in the ultimate authority...God's Word.  I've been saying all along that God has been strengthening me, sustaining me, and giving me the physical ability to fight this battle against breast cancer.  Check this out:

  • For by You, I can run against a troop, by my God, I can leap over a wall.  (Psalm 18:29)
  • It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.  He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Psalm 18:32-34)
  • For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, so that I have destroyed those who hated me. (Psalm 18:39-40)
There it is!  The Lord is my Rock! Therefore, I will give thanks to the Lord! (v. 49).  Blessed be the name of the Lord, and may you have a blessed day! 

1 comment:

  1. Because of where you live, you are less likely to be vit-D deficient than someone who lives further north and/or has less sunny weather. However, if you use sunscreen a lot, it's still possible, so it's certainly worth getting tested and then making your decision about supplements.