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.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I went back to the gym today and am happy to report that the "bucket of lead" feeling that I had 2 days ago is gone.  I did an hour of intervals on the treadmill.  Granted, my "running" is probably slower than many.  But I figure my legs are shorter than many as well, so there!  I still felt good and decided to do a little extra to make up for the piece of pear tarte I had last night, so I got on the stationary bike and did another 20 minutes.  All in all, I burned 650 calories.  I guess there is something to be said for rest days. I'm thankful that I felt normal again. I was worried that the fatigue I had heard about radiation was setting in.  Hopefully, it won't!

I am also happy to report that I am definitely getting regrowth of hair on my head.  A friend gave me a kit of Ovation cell therapy for my hair.  I'm using it about 3 times a week.  There is definitely a noticeable dark fuzz. I'm liking it!  I didn't like my bald head so much-I've got a few moles that made me self conscious.  Funny the lack of hair itself wasn't the embarrassing thing for me.   No sign of leg or underarm hair.  They can stay away, thank you very much. I'm pretty sure the radiation will permanently take care of the underarm hair on the left side. I haven't shaved my legs in months.  Call it a chemo silver lining.  

I've been pondering my scars. I was doing my manual drainage this afternoon after my shower and included rubbing some Vitamin E oil into my mastectomy scars.  Since it was right after my shower, I had no clothes on and looked for my cesarean scar.  You know what??  I couldn't even see it!  Now that scar is one that I always kind of ignored.  I knew it was there, and didn't like it one bit.  Maybe it was a little bit of avoidance.  At ICAN conferences when other women were photographing their scars for various photo galleries, I managed to avoid it.  Now it is 11 1/2 years later and I can't even see it.  I had to look really hard and saw a very thin white line. When did that happen? I wonder if my mastectomy scars will look like that someday?  Right now, they still look like Frankenstein.  I'm coming up on my 6 month mastectomy anniversary.  I think I will take a photo of them just to record what it looks like.

I just finished watching a movie that made me cry and cry.  I actually like to do that in front of movies. It's a good emotional release. This one was called "Letters to God."  It's about a little boy with brain cancer who writes letters to God.  Through his life and his battle with cancer, he ends up inspiring dozens, if not hundreds, of other people to come to know Christ and have a relationship with God. At the end, he does pass away which pretty much did me in.  I cannot imagine having to say goodbye to one of my kids like the mom in that movie did.  Even with that, though, it is inspiring and uplifting.  It reminded me that while God's plan may not be our plan, it ultimately is the best plan.  The lives that this boy touched and souls that were saved as a result was amazing. I hope my life bears fruit like that little boys did, cancer or not.


  1. I'm 18 months out from mastectomy and almost a year out from radiation and have no underarm hair on the left side...the right side and my legs however require shaving (bummer) ;/. For the first few months post-chemo I took pics of my head hair growing back but eventually stopped because it seemed so slow to me even though it was growing really fast - I'm impatient haha. I just had my first REAL all over haircut at almost exactly one year out - had to cut 1.5 inches of fried chemo hair off which is why I waited so long - needed it to be long enough so that after such a chopping enough would be left behind so as not to still look like a recovering cancer patient. It felt GREAT to get that haircut. Here's to a speedy path to your first post-treatment haircut!

    You're braver than me - I can't watch those movies. I cry enough day to day without that kind of prompting haha. ;)

  2. Tonya, What a great post again. You are certainly putting me to shame in the exercise department! I totally relate to the scar thing. Mine are healing nicely, but are still quite prominent. And my hair is taking forever to come back in, but at least it's coming. My husband keeps teasing me by saying, "Your hair is really coming in now." He's been saying that for weeks just to make me feel better I think, because it's not really true. I love movies too, but have not seen that one.