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, January 25, 2011

Just about half way

I got a surprise this morning at the radiation office.  A referral for another set of blood work. Lucky me! He said they needed to get my blood counts now that we are about half way through my radiation treatment. I need to get them as soon as possible. It's a busy few days right now, I don't think I'll have time to get it done until Thursday.

Half way?  Already?  Today was treatment number 16 out of 33.  It is going by pretty quickly.   Traveling every day to Escondido to get zapped definitely adds another component to an already busy schedule.  But as they say, time flies when you are having fun. Right?

I'm doing pretty well, considering. The aloe seems to be helping. I'm not having too much discomfort or burning feeling yet. There is increased redness in the area, but it isn't too bad.  My arm swelling seems to be under control as well, even with my "day off" on Sunday. I continue to bandage at night and wear the sleeve during the day. I have a physical therapy appointment tomorrow morning and we will measure to see how I'm doing. I also continue to exercise about 6 days a week.  Not only does it keep me sane, it helps me stay strong to fight this fight.

I also am taking some natural supplements that were recommended in an article on natural remedies for lymphedema that a friend, (Tamara from Natural Health Solutions), sent me. I'm taking bromelain, horse-chestnut extract, and rutin twice a day.  
Where bromelain comes from
Buckwheat contains a bioflavonoid called rutin
Horse chestnut

One thing that I am sure is continuing to help me is your prayers. I am so blessed by you all.  Today at Bible study, two different women told me how inspirational I was.  I do hope I can help others as I go through this, but I take absolutely no credit in that. It all is the work of God in my life. I am weak, He is strong. If it wasn't for His grace and faithfulness, I would be a quivering heap of fear and despair. I am so thankful that God has not forgotten me.  That He hears me when I call on Him, even if I haven't been faithful in my devotions and prayers. Any inspiration that I may give I want to give credit to the One who has given me the strength to wake up each morning and fight this fight. I pray that everyone would grow closer in their relationship with Jesus as they see Him help me along this road.


  1. Hi Tonya! I found your blog through Daria's blog. In 2010 I was diagnosed with stage 2b Her2+ idc. I had a left mastectomy, AC+T+H chemo and 33 radiation treatments. I finished rads Dec. 16th. (in 2009 I went through chemo and rads for colon cancer)
    Congrats on being halfway through! Aloe works well, but if your skin gets worse switch to aquaphor. My rad. onc. gave me a few little breaks to keep the skin from getting too bad, and now, other than looking a little tan, you would hardly even know I had radiation. The fatigue hit me pretty hard at the end, but most of that is gone now. I'm now working on getting my strength back after 2 years of brutal treatments, and enjoying life!
    I feel the same way as you when people say I'm an inspiration--It's all God! He has been with me through everything and I give Him all the glory! My favorite verse right now is 2 Cor 12:9-10 "My grace is sufficient..."
    May God bless you as you continue to show Him to others!

  2. Tonya, I'm happy to hear you are half way through! You really are coping so well and your positive attitude is amazing. Thanks for the tips on supplements. Good luck with the second half!

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