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, February 7, 2011

Eight and running

After a couple days off for my skin, it was back to the radiation oncologist's office for another hot date with the machine.  I have 8 more sessions to go before I'm done. I hope my skin can take it!

The troublesome patch under my arm is turning from a dark purple to a dark brown. It can be uncomfortable at times, so I just try not to think about it. There are times too when I get a stabbing pain in the area. It doesn't last long, it just makes me sit up and take notice. I don't know if this is related at all, but I've also had bouts of intense itching on my upper back. It's right where I can't reach it.  It doesn't last a long time, but if I don't get to it, it drives me crazy. I tried to ignore it in the middle of the night a few nights ago, and the result was a period of wakefulness for a few hours. Now I sleep with a bamboo back scratcher by my bed. 

I still have the same Mepilex pad that the nurse gave me last Wednesday. It is getting pretty ragged. It is also slipping off a lot. Today at the gym, I was doing abs and realized that the pad was on my stomach! I noticed a little bit of pink spotting on it today as well. Is that just dirt and accumulated gunk from 5 days of wear and sweat? Or is my wound starting to seep?  I'm going to ask for a new one tomorrow if the nurse is there. I didn't see her today, otherwise I would have asked. 

My mom and I are going to an informational meeting tonight about the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk in San Diego. Doing the 3 day was one of those goals I set for myself several months ago. 20 miles a day for 3 days in a row. 60 miles! I'm pretty sure I can handle the fundraising part. Each participant needs to raise $2,300.  I've got several months to get there-the walk isn't until November. I've been seeing inspirational ads on television for the 3-Day and am getting kind of pumped to do it. I'm a survivor! I hope they do find a cure for this nasty disease. 

Mom and I are also going to run in our first 5k race this Spring-the Carlsbad 5000. We each have been doing a little running, so we decided at the gym this morning to take the plunge and register. Most of my running has been inside on the treadmill, so yesterday I took a run outside. I didn't have a pedometer at that point, so I couldn't track how far I went. I'm sure it was at least 5k, if not more. I ran most of the time and was out for about 50 minutes. (My 5k time on the treadmill is 33:15)  I came home and found a GPS pedometer app for my iPhone, so next time I'll know for sure. 

I'm not doing the race to compete with others-its more about tackling something completely new and challenging.  Running is just that for me. I went through most of my life absolutely HATING running.  Even the thought of running annoyed me. But for some reason, I'm enjoying it now.  It's not easy, in fact it is anything but. I realized as I was winding down my run yesterday that the extreme physical challenge of it is what I enjoy about it. I had been at it for at least 40 minutes, with my heart rate around 85%-90% of its max for most of the time.  It was painful, but in a life-affirming kind of way. 

It hit me that running for me is similar to cancer treatment. Both are "races" that I'm participating in. They aren't easy, in fact, it is some of the most difficult stuff you could do in your life. They aren't a "sprint" either. (Some longer distance runners might disagree with the 5k not being a sprint, though!)   The treatment especially feels like a marathon, and I'm at that point where I can see the finish line, but am in a lot of pain.  But I know I can do it, so I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and concentrate on breathing through it. I can do this. With God's continued help, I can do this. 

My prayer requests remain the same. That my skin be able to cope with the last treatments, that I not be in too much pain, and that my lymphedema does not flare up. Thank you all for your prayers!

1 comment:

  1. Go Tanya! I am so proud of you for sticking with your workouts and running. I can only imagine how hard some days must have been for you. I am also so very envious of you for being able to do that. I'm not currently in a situation where I can do much excercise, and I know it is so very important in battling this disease.