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, January 7, 2011

Going in the right directions

It is a good day.  I'm moving forward in radiation therapy, downward in weight (slightly, but I'll take it), and downward in my arm/hand measurements. I feel like doing Jean-Marc's happy dance! If you don't know what that looks like, check out this video:

First of all, I finished the first week of radiation.  Sure, I was only nuked 4 of the 5 days.  But I had to drive to the medical office all 5 days.  A big part of this so far has been getting into this daily routine.  Juggling getting the kids to school on time, carpools, Jean-Marc's Wednesday "Moove & Groove" class, and my self-imposed exercise regimen makes it a little complicated.  As far as the radiation itself is concerned, there are  no problems to report.  I understand it will take a few weeks for my skin to react. Or not. Maybe it won't?  We can certainly pray for that, anyway!

I also was pleased at my own personal weigh-in this morning. I was down 2 pounds from last week.  I wasn't going to start counting calories until after radiation treatment, but decided it wouldn't hurt to be a little more mindful about what I'm putting in my mouth now.  Especially after weighing in at the doc's office on Monday.  Not that I really "count" that one-I think of the Friday number at home on my scale is "the" number.  Anyway, it was down 2 pounds and I'll take it. Aside from just feeling better and meeting a goal I set for myself, I've learned that reaching and maintaining an ideal weight is important in my lifetime battle with lymphedema.  "Battle" may be the wrong word, because there is no "winning" with lymphedema.  It is something that you learn to live with.  In any event, excess body fat impairs the flow of lymph fluid thorough the tissues and into the lymph vessels.  It is another motivator to drop another 10-15 as soon as I can.  

Finally, I had a pleasant surprise at my now-weekly physical therapy appointment this morning.  The measurements of my hand and arm looked good.  I did not swell anywhere! Praise God! My hand and wrist saw significant improvement--almost back to where I started from before the flare ups before Christmas.  My upper arm did not improve, but it didn't get bigger, either.  I had not been that careful about bandaging on my upper arm so it wasn't a surprise.  The bottom line is that it looks like my "program" of lymphedema self-care seems to be working.  I just need to keep an eye on my arm/hand to see if I start swelling as radiation progresses and adjust accordingly.  If can get through this only bandaging at night, I will be very happy.

Thank you all for your support and prayers. I appreciate them very much.  Keep them coming!

1 comment:

  1. Tonya,
    I'd like to say everthing but my english is very poor! Take care with your left arm and follow the recommendations of your doctors! Everthing be okay! Good luck and believe: God protect and save you! Bye. Marina da Silva. Brasil.
    Apologise my english, please!