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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One more to go...

I'm back from my 5th round of chemotherapy.  It went well, no surprises.

I slept really well last night.  My 90+ minute heart pumping cardio workout yesterday may have had something to do with that.  Well, that an the Ativan I popped before going to bed.  On the 3 days I'm on the steriod, I take th Ativan to help me sleep.  It's not that I can't get to sleep, but when I wake up at night, I can't get back to sleep. The Ativan takes care of that.

The kids were off of school today and I didn't need to be at Kaiser until 9 a.m.  I had time to do a load of laundry and a 30 minute yoga practice.  It felt good to really stretch and relax before going in.

The chemotherapy nurses at Kaiser in San Marcos are the best.  They all greet you, know you, talk to you and are generally amazing.  I passed along a greeting from my former pastor to one of them that was his wife's nurse when she was battling breast cancer. She, in turn told me how Pat and Joyce had taken the time out of their lives (during their battle) to call her while she was touring Israel. Sweet!

My blood counts were perfect!  I realized later that was an answer to prayer from earlier in the week.  Thank you Lord!  (And all my prayer warriors out there). I went ahead and had the IV put in my forearm. I told her about the brusing, so I kept my arm wrapped in a heating pad while I was there.  I also drank 40 ounces of water while at Kaiser.  I had about 30 ounces at home before going in.  These first few days of chemo rounds make me really thirsty.  I drink and drink and feel dry still.  In a few days, water will taste bad--like metal.  So I drink it while I can without the aftertaste.

There was a lady next to me who was really scared.  It was her first time, and she was getting the same drugs as me.  She only spoke a little English.   Her nurse introduced me to her and told her that I was on my 5th time.  I smiled and told her it would be okay.  When I left, she seemed to be doing fine.  You can't let you mind go off in scary places.  The fear of the unknown can be debilitating.

As I was finishing up at Kaiser, I got a call from Eric.  He had taken the kids to the San Diego Wild Animal Park and they were pulling into Sammy's for lunch.  What timing!  I told him what to order for me and made my way over.  It was a nice lunch.  Jean-Marc was sitting at the other end of the table next to Eric, so daddy got to take care of him in the restaurant.  He's high maintenance, always moving, and wanting whatever it is NOW.  He'll drop a crayon, want a drink, etc. It was nice to be able to go and just talk and eat!  After lunch, the kids and I went to a new frozen yogurt place nearby called Menchie's.  It was great, and I daresay the original tart yogurt was better than Froyos.  Creamier.  It's a new place, the employees were friendly, giving the kids stickers, balloons, and temporary tattoos.  It was a great way to celebrate the ending of my morning.

My plan for the weekend is to relax as much as possible.  I'm dropping Olivier off for a boy scout backpack campout in about 30 minutes.  He'll be gone until Sunday.  It's his first backpacking trip, so he's really excited to break in his new backpack.  I hope he won't get too cold!  They are going to camp tonight at some place called Fish creek, and then hike up to some caves in the Anza Borrego desert tomorrow and sleep there tomorrow night.  Eric is going to build shelves in our new garden shed.  Isabelle is going to ride her horses tomorrow.  Jean-Marc will be in the mix throughout.  He has been invited to a birthday party tomorrow morning, we'll go if I'm up to it.  My idea of perfect days are to just go up in my room and watch the 6-8 hours of Jane Eyre on DVD that I got from Netflix!  We'll see how much of it I'll get through.

My prayer requests:

  • That Olivier have a fun, warm and safe experience this weekend.  He's the only new scout going on this trip, so he won't be with the patrol leaders he's used to.  He'll be getting to know other boys better and learning a lot!
  • That I deal with this round of chemo well.  That I don't turn into a chemo-mush brain, with little to no patience.  That my family have the grace to cope with my mood swings and fuzzy head if the need arises. 
  • That my arm doesn't bruise like it did last time.  That made me feel "sick" to see a banged up arm. 

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