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.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pure Joy

Taking a break from yucky cancer news.

Jean-Marc is just such a source of joy right now.  He absolutely LOVES all of the Christmas stuff.  The music, the decorations, Santa, Frosty the Snowman, the tree, you name it, he loves it.   It is so much fun introducing him to the Christmas stuff, and he hasn't even seen Rudolph yet.

Of course, we do talk about baby Jesus.  In fact, the first time he saw a picture of Santa, I asked him who he thought it was and he exclaimed, "Jesus!"

He has a particular fancy for snowmen.  I bought him a little ornament last Saturday of a snowman. I let him choose whichever one he wanted in the store.  He doesn't quite understand that it should stay on the tree.  He wants to carry it around the house.  It's okay, it makes him happy.  I have the DVD of "Frosty the Snowman" and I put it on today while I was wrapping presents.  Now he goes around the house singing "Frosty the Snowman!  Frosty the Snowman!"  He's added to his repertoire of "Jingle Bells...Jingle Bells....Hey!"

Another favorite is "Charlie Brown's Christmas."  I have the DVD that I play in the car while we are running errands.   It cracks him up.  He puts his hands to his cheeks and yells, "Rats!" just like Charlie Brown.  We were in Hallmark today and they had a lot of Charlie Brown stuff.  I bought a package of napkins to use on Christmas Eve.  He doesn't get their utilitarian purpose.  He thinks its for him, so he wanted to take them to nap with today.  Whatever.  Like the snowman ornament, it makes him happy.

The neat thing about it all is that he has no clue about the present end of Christmas.  He is in it for the pure joy of Christmas, not what he can get out of it.  It is so innocent and sweet, and brings joy to my own heart.  That innocence is precious, one of the things the season is all about. It's sad to think that by next year, he probably will have been a little bit spoiled by the gift end of it.

Tomorrow, he gets to meet Santa.  This morning, I asked him if he wanted to meet Santa.  With eyes shining, he said, "Yes!"  Then I asked him if he wanted to sit on Santa's lap.  He wasn't so quick to answer.  A little crease went across his forehead.  His slower answer was...."No."   I explained to him that the kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas.  He kind of warmed to the idea.  We'll see how it goes tomorrow.  If nothing else, I'll have a picture of my third child screaming on Santa's lap.  It will match my other two!

Back to me.  Because that's what this is all about right?  ;-) I'm doing better today.  I'm still swollen, but the hives and rash have faded.  Dr. P called again today to check on me, which is nice.  The nurse I talked to on Saturday night also called to see how I was doing.  I appreciated that and let her know.  I'm still ticked at the doctor who was in such a hurry to get out on Saturday.  I was able to get an appointment with my physical therapist for Thursday.  Hopefully doing the lymphatic massage and exercises and seeing her will help resolve any lymphedema.  I'm not sure the swelling is that because I am puffy elsewhere too.  But hives can trigger it, so I want to do everything I can to avoid it.  Especially since my radiation oncologist wants to treat the underarm (axilla) area.  If he thinks it needs to be zapped to treat this, I want it to be zappable.

Anyway, I hope everyone is able to find some pure joy this Christmas season.  There is nothing like the innocence of a child marveling at all of the beauty around him to give a person a piece of it.

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