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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Preparing to slay the enemy

2 days before my 5th round of chemo.

I started the week out with a new mix of anticipation and anxiety.  It is getting old, but its what I have to do.  I was kind of looking forward to other rounds in a bizarre kind of way.  With the bruising on my arm last time, it kind of made me feel like my veins were starting to protest the repeated incursions and I was not looking forward to having them punctured yet again.

With two days to go, I'm anxious to just get it over with.  At least then, I can look forward to my LAST round of chemo.  Maybe its time to start reading up on radiation therapy...

And what about the vein issue? We'll see what the nurse things about using the forearm.  It is more comfortable while I'm in the chemo suite to have the IV placed there.  I had it in the back of my hand on my second round and every time I flexed my wrist, it kind of hurt. But maybe I need to have it there to give the vein in my forearm a break.  Either way, I plan on drinking water like a camel tomorrow so my veins pop, regardless of where they are.

The kids are going to be home for the next several days. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and Friday the schools aren't in session...a "furlough" day because the state of California is broke and is going to save money by not providing school for kids.  Eric is going to take the next couple of days off so between him and the older two kids, we should be able to get through my medical stuff that is coming up.  Olivier has his first boy scout backpacking trip this weekend, and I've been spending the past week getting him outfitted for that. We bought a backpack for him and today I got him a mummy bag that is smaller so it can fit inside his new pack. Thank God for boy scouts!  It has been so good for him, and provided him with a set of slightly older boys that he can learn from and look up to.  It's been one of those constants for him during this cancer thing and I'm glad that he has it.

I've been reading like a maniac on my new Amazon Kindle.  I'm on my third Vince Flynn novel and also read Joel Rosenberg's latest on it.  It's a great little device.  I'm looking forward to bringing it to chemo on Friday and spending the time reading.

As you would expect, I've been working out a lot this week, "training" for combat on Friday.  I'll go to the gym tomorrow for my last workout before Round 5 and run.  It occurred to me after last round, the reason that my heart rate is slightly elevated the day before chemo may not be anxiety after all.  I do start taking the steroid the day before chemo, and that may explain it.  (Duh!) It may sound a little twisted, but I kind of like what it did to me last time.  I was able to run and run and run like there was no stopping me.  It made me think of the verses that describe God making one's feet swift like the deer.  I'm looking forward to testing the theory out tomorrow.

I also go into see Dr. P tomorrow and see where my blood counts are.  I'm sure they are okay, at least good enough for chemo.  Even though I got the flu last week, I feel fully recovered from it.  My nose has been a little drippy, but I think that isn't a virus or illness, but just a byproduct of not having the little cilia hairs in my nose.  It's kind of a pain.  But the upside is, I don't have hair on my legs anymore, either.  They are silky smooth!  Hey--you've got to look on the bright side of things and look for those silver linings.

My prayer requests:

  • That my blood counts be in a place that allows chemo to go forward on Friday.  
  • That Round 5 go smoothly and that the side effects are minimal.  That the cytoxan and taxotere do their work and SLAY CANCER CELLS!!
  • That with the kids off of school for so many days that we have harmony in the house.  One thing that this treatment has done to me is make me kind of irritated.  I think its a hormonal thing. I just would like peace in the house and not bickering kids. Love, love, love!! May we all have the patience of our Lord and His holy spirit flowing in and through us toward each other. 

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